A decadent collision of buttery, flaky pie crust, a super-fudge brownie, and a shot of Irish whiskey, this Brownie Pie is a molten chocolate cake meets after-dinner drink, in glorious pie form.
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Choosing a dessert is always stressful for me because I can never narrow my sweet tooth craving to just one treat.
Will it be of the gooey fudgy variety (like these Brownie Bites)?
Or something with a tender, extra flaky crust (hello, Vegan Chocolate Pie)?
Brownie pie says yes and YES.
At least this once, you really can have it all.
5 Star Review
“Made this for some friends last night – it was a hit, of course.”— Eric —
Fudgy brownie pie is two-in-one dessert perfection:
- Chocolate. With a rich chocolate brownie filling that’s decadent and fudgy, this brownie pie is rich enough for a special occasion while remaining decidedly homey and unfussy (like these Brownie Cookies).
- Flaky. Made with a homemade coffee-infused pie crust (very different from this Oil Pie Crust), its buttery, flaky texture contrasts the gooey chocolate brownie filling like a dream.
And for the grown-ups in the room, this brownie pie has another festive quality:
- Boozy. Spiked with Irish whiskey (or bourbon, you choose), this is a next-level brownie pie to remember.
Crackle-topped, whiskey-fudged, and espresso-crusted, this epic brownie pie makes the dessert decision is a piece of cake, er, pie.
How to Make Brownie Pie
My favorite brownies (these One Bowl Brownies) are crackly on top with a rich, fudgy center. They flirt with the edge of underbaked in the best way.
This brownie pie is equally decadent and offers an additional dimension in the crunch department.
The contrast of the crispy crust with the gooey brownie center is pure pleasure.
This brownie pie needs to be chilled in the refrigerator overnight to slice properly. Be sure to plan ahead. It’s worth the wait.
- Chocolate x2. Cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate work in tandem to give the brownie filling an ultra-deep chocolate factor with just the right amount of chew (like these Avocado Brownies).
- Espresso Powder. Espresso and chocolate are besties. I added it in both the crust and the brownie batter. Espresso powder gives the crust a subtle coffee flavor. In the filling, it intensifies the chocolate flavor of the brownies. (For another coffee-infused treat, try this Mocha Cake.)
If you do not want a coffee flavor, you can omit the espresso powder from the crust or make this classic Whole Wheat Pie Crust instead. (You cannot taste the espresso in the filling.)
- Butter. Gives both the flaky pie crust and rich brownie filling wonderful butter flavor and improves their texture.
- Flour. For our homemade brownie pie crust, I used half all purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour, and it was just as tender and flaky as the pie crusts I’ve made with 100% all purpose flour.
If you’ve never worked with white whole wheat flour before, here are a few fun facts that will help you get familiar with this Well Plated staple.
- You can substitute up to half of the all purpose flour in just about any baking recipe (like these Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies) with white whole wheat flour, and (except for something extremely delicate such as an angel food cake), you will hardly notice a difference.
- You can even substitute all of the all purpose flour in a recipe with white whole wheat flour (like in these Healthy Chocolate Muffins). Your dough will require 1 extra tablespoon moisture per cup of flour and the final product will be slightly denser.
- Powdered Sugar. When used in pie crust, powdered sugar yields a smoother, less sticky pie dough that is easier to work with. Additionally, it also makes the pie crust more tender.
- Irish Whiskey. The whiskey works in two ways. Not only does it flavor the pie and pair well with the chocolate and coffee, but it also makes the crust even more flaky (it’s the same idea behind a vodka pie crust—the alcohol slows down the gluten formation, leaving you with a tender, extra flakey crust).
If you would prefer to omit the whiskey from the recipe you may swap it for an equal amount of half-and-half in both the crust and the pie.
- Half-and-Half. Adds necessary fat for richness, tenderness, and moisture.
If you’re feeling extra indulgent you may use heavy cream instead.
- Granulated Sugar. Sweetens the brownies to counter the bitterness of the cocoa while also making the brownies light, soft, and ultra-tender.
- Eggs. For richness and gives the brownies some structure.
- Vanilla. Balances and marries all the flavors together.
- Cornmeal. A trick I borrowed from chocolate chess pies: it improves the structure of the filling so that the brownie pie isn’t runny.
- Pulse together the cold butter with the pie crust dry ingredients until it resembles a cobblestone street.
- Add the espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon of the half and half and whiskey. Pulsing together, adding additional half-and-half until the dough starts to hold together.
- Shape the dough into a flat, 1-inch disk, wrap in plastic, then chill.
- Roll the dough and transfer to a pie pan. Trim and crimp the edges, then chill until ready to fill.
- Beat together the butter, sugar, and salt for the brownie pie filling.
- Add the eggs, then stir in the cocoa, whiskey, half and half, and vanilla.
- Grind together the espresso powder, cornmeal, and chocolate mixture, then fold it into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared crust then bake until the crust is golden and the filling reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees F.
- Remove, let cool, then refrigerate overnight before serving. ENJOY!
- To Store. Brownie pie may be stored at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Otherwise, it should be stored in the refrigerator. Wrapped tightly with plastic, brownie pie may be chilled for up to 4 days. Let come to room temperature or microwave for several seconds before serving.
- To Freeze. Brownie pie may be kept in the freezer, wrapped tightly in plastic and heavy-duty foil for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Food Processor. Makes pulsing together the pie crust ingredients easy-peasy.
- Stand Mixer. If you bake on the regular, a quality stand-mixer like this KitchenAid will be the best friend you’ve always wanted in your kitchen.
- Pie Plate. A pretty standard-size (not deep-dish) pie plate is all the decoration this humble brownie pie needs.
The Best Food Processor
I’ve had this 11-cup Cuisinart food processor for over 15 years and it still works perfectly. It comes with multiple attachments for different slicing thicknesses.
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As one dessert dilemma is solved another begins. How big of a slice do I take?!
Frequently Asked Questions
No matter how decadent the dessert I am baking, I always make a point to incorporate whole wheat flour for a boost of fiber where I can. While I love the deep, nutty flavor of regular whole wheat flour in bread, I find it can be too harsh for some desserts. My solution? White whole wheat flour. It has the same fiber and nutrition as regular 100% whole wheat flour, but is milled from a lighter white wheat berry, giving it a mild flavor and light color that’s ideal for use in cakes, cookies, muffins, and yes pie.
In this brownie pie, I use a homemade flaky pie crust with the cheeky additions of whiskey and espresso. It’s my personal preference for the BEST brownie pie. However, I have seen recipes that use a graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust too. Feel free to experiment!
A few factors can impact the final texture of the brownies. Improperly measuring your ingredients (especially the flour) is a common culprit. Overmixing the batter can also cause brownies to be more cake-like as opposed to fudgy because too much air gets worked into the batter.
For the Crust:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter very cold
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 – 3 tablespoons half-and-half cold, or substitute heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (or half-and-half)
For the Brownie Filling:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (4 tablespoons) at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
- 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (or half-and-half)
- 1 tablespoon half and half or substitute heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal (yellow or white)
- 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- Whipped cream for serving (optional)
To prepare the crust, dice the butter, then place it in the freezer while you prepare the other ingredients. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade (or a medium mixing bowl), place the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, and salt, then pulse a few times to combine. (If not using a food processor, stir the ingredients together in a medium bowl). Add the butter pieces, then pulse just until the dough resembles a cobblestone street. Some pieces will be the size of peas. (Without a food processor work the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender.)
Dissolve the espresso powder in 1 tablespoon of the half and half. Sprinkle over the crust mixture. Sprinkle on whiskey. Add up to 3 tablespoons (or more, if necessary) of the half-and-half to the dry ingredients, pulsing a little after each. Add only as much half and half as you need to for the dough to just hold together when you take a handful.
- On a lightly floured work surface, pat the dough into an even, flat, 1-inch disk, wrap in plastic, then refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
Once the dough is properly chilled, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm at room temperature until it becomes flexible enough to roll, 15 to 30 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a regular (not deep-dish) 9" pie pan that's at least 1 ¼ inches deep. Trim and crimp the edges, then place the crust in the freezer to chill, while you prepare the filling.
In the bowl of a standing mixer or a medium mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating slowly but thoroughly after each addition. You want to ensure the eggs are well combined, without beating in a lot of air. Stir in the cocoa, whiskey, half and half, and vanilla.
In a food processor (mini is easier), grind together the espresso powder, cornmeal, and chocolate. Gently stir it into the batter, then pour the batter into the prepared crust.
Bake the pie for 45 minutes, adding a crust shield after 20 minutes (if you do not have a reusable crust shield, carefully fit the edges with pieces of tin foil). The middle will look very soft. The pie is done baking when the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F. Remove the pie from the oven, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.
- Serve each slice topped with whipped cream, if desired.
- TO STORE: Brownie pie may be stored at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Otherwise, it should be stored in the refrigerator. Wrapped tightly with plastic, brownie pie may be chilled for up to 4 days. Let come to room temperature or microwave for several seconds before serving.
- TO FREEZE: Brownie pie may be kept in the freezer, wrapped tightly in plastic and heavy-duty foil for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
READ: Brownie Pie