Dessert/ Pie/ Recipes

No-Bake Black Bottom Pudding Pie

I’m doing this because I love you…

and because life is so much better with cream. And pudding. And chocolate.

Heaven help me, I’ve officially gone off the deep end. I’m just going to put on my black stretchy pants now and leave them on until they permanently become part of my body. A second skin, if you may. Trust me, this pie is worth it.

Imagine a nutty graham cracker crust topped with a thick layer of dark chocolate ganache and topped with such a heavenly frozen creme that could only be made from instant pudding.

Don’t be hatin’ on the Jello!

Our grandmothers used it so it must be okay.

This is pretty much my standard summertime “take anywhere” dessert. Everyone goes crazy over it and the fact that it’s so easy to make is my little secret. It’s perfect for potlucks, barbecues, birthday parties and PMS.

Especially PMS.

And if you’re sitting here wondering why my “pie” is shaped like a square it’s because I went to Target to buy a new pie plate. Brought it home, set it on the counter then brushed up a million pieces of glass off the floor after it slipped off.

That was fun.

Chocolate heals all.

No-Bake Black Bottom Pudding Pie

Adapted slightly from The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook <—best cookbook ever!

serves 8

Print this recipe!


for the crust:

4 sheets graham crackers, smashed

2 T butter, melted

1 T powdered sugar

for the ganache layer:

8 oz semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 pint cream

for the filling:

2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding

2 pints cream (not half n’ half…use heavy whipping cream!)

cocoa to finish


Mix together the graham crackers crumbs, powdered sugar and melted butter with your fingers and press into a glass pie plate (or 9-inch casserole pan).Β  Freeze two hours or overnight until hard.

Next, make the ganache. Place chocolate chips in a bowl and bring the cream to a simmer on the stove (watch it so it doesn’t scorch!). Pour cream over chocolate and mix well until smooth. Pour onto frozen crust and place back in the freezer for two more hours.

To make the filling, beat together the cream and instant pudding on high until stiff peaks form. Smooth onto chocolate layer of pie. Freeze until hard (about an hour).

Right before serving, dust with cocoa powder.


30 minutes active time

5 hours total time (includes chilling—preferably chill overnight)


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  • Nora@LifeLifeEatRight
    May 23, 2011 at 4:51 am

    I almost just fell out of my chair, and in love when I saw this picture. I didn’t even need the description to realize that I was head over heels for this recipe. Oh man–with Summer BBQs coming up this is a keeper!! Thank you Jenna for all of your amazing recipes on here!

  • Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    May 23, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Anything with a graham cracker crust will get my attention. And thankfully I just bought some new black stretchy pants. Yoga Pants, if you will. But maybe better named Eating Pants?

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    May 23, 2011 at 5:09 am

    oh lord. stretchy pants, here i come!

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas
    May 23, 2011 at 5:10 am

    I love pudding dishes.. they are so tasty! This looks great.. I may make it for a BBQ this weekend! πŸ™‚

  • Evan
    May 23, 2011 at 5:13 am

    I loved this recipe at first because it’s gorgeous and decadent.

    But then, I saw the big bad box. And hot damn, I’m smitten! You share my mentality exactly…if eating Jell-O pudding is wrong (and it can’t be, since our gma’s ate it, right?), I don’t want to be right.

    …Try a spoonful of the stuff in overnight oats. Just sayin’.

  • Rachel @ Rachel's Recipe Reviews
    May 23, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Oh no! Sorry about your new pie plate! This looks like it would be amazing in any shape or form though!

  • Jenny
    May 23, 2011 at 5:20 am

    This looks scrumptious!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey
    May 23, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Woah Jenna this sounds awesome!! I love that there’s no baking required. It really does sound perfect for summer!

  • The Blue-Eyed Bakers
    May 23, 2011 at 5:34 am

    Yes please! Stretchy pants and no baking!? And Jell-o!?? We’re so in.

  • Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    May 23, 2011 at 5:35 am

    That ganache layer makes this pretty amazing looking! Pie can be any shape when it has ganache in it:-)

  • Laurie @ The Corner Slice
    May 23, 2011 at 5:50 am

    What church potluck heroes we will be!

  • Kath
    May 23, 2011 at 5:52 am

    “Our grandmothers used it so it must be okay.” <— LOVE THAT!

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg
    May 23, 2011 at 5:56 am

    I love jello pudding desserts — and you are so right: my Grandma used jello so it must be ok.

  • Luv What You Do
    May 23, 2011 at 5:59 am

    That looks delish and I don’t even have PMS. Perfect for a memorial day weekend BBQ. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tasha @ Voracious
    May 23, 2011 at 6:01 am

    PMS you say? Just in the nick of time, thank you. πŸ˜‰ Seriously, though, I think I’m going to drop everything and MAKE. THIS. PIE. Except, I’m not sure I’ll be able to get past the ganache layer. I think I might just hunker down there with a spoon and be done with it!

  • Dee
    May 23, 2011 at 6:02 am

    oh my! this looks like something i should make stat.

  • Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy
    May 23, 2011 at 6:22 am

    this looks amazing and so easy! Def the perfect summer picnic dessert.

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    May 23, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Looks delish Jenna πŸ˜‰ If you’ve gone over the deep end, then so have I. I’m drooling over every supposedly “not good for you” recipe and loving it! You’re the best!


  • Baking 'n' Books
    May 23, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Just seen your tweet about Michael Pollan’s books…I have a feeling these desserts are going to be non-existent.

  • R @ Learning As I Chop
    May 23, 2011 at 6:41 am

    I love Jello no-bake. Agree that it’s perfect for summer

  • jenna
    May 23, 2011 at 6:42 am

    yummy!! this looks amazing!!
    ha-i had something similar happen to one of my pie plate from target!…they must be bad luck.

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    May 23, 2011 at 6:57 am

    no-bake is the best!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga)
    May 23, 2011 at 7:06 am

    “2 pints cream (not half n’ half…use heavy whipping cream!)” = that is music to my ears! No one could hate on jello w/ two pints of cream added! yum!

    And our grandmothers and mothers used to make things like this all the time…well, mine did. Basically my mom could take some graham crackers and a tub of cool whip and turn it into amazing things. She also added sugar, more sugar, cream, and butter to most of it.

    I LOVE This recipe! And it’s no bake.

    Sorry about the glass. BTDT recently with a jar of TJ’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce. Sticky caramel AND glass shards everywhere. OMG. Nightmare!

  • Maria
    May 23, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Perfect summer dessert. No need to heat up the house! Love it!

  • Hannah (Culture Connoisseur)
    May 23, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Yum! Looks like a great recipe for a picnic! I’ve never really seen anything like this. Looks absolutely divine! πŸ™‚

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    May 23, 2011 at 7:27 am

    This looks amazing!!! I love quick desserts like this πŸ˜€

  • The Cilantropist
    May 23, 2011 at 7:31 am

    I opened my eyes this morning, opened up my computer, and this came across my twitter feed. Must be fate, don’t you agree? πŸ™‚ I am *definitely* going to be making this for summer barbeques (or just for myself).

  • Tabitha (From Single to Married)
    May 23, 2011 at 7:38 am

    wow – that looks AMAZING! So nice of you to give to us on a Monday morning. πŸ™‚

  • Gina
    May 23, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Looks totally yummy!

  • Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    May 23, 2011 at 8:20 am

    You are so naughty! In a good way, of course. Looks decadent, as always.

  • Merrie@ Strawberrylaces
    May 23, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Um, this looks incredible. Definitely my new cure for PMS! Great post πŸ™‚

  • Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat
    May 23, 2011 at 8:41 am

    These look SOOO good! So wrong, they have to be right.

  • sherri
    May 23, 2011 at 8:47 am

    okay, i just ate my weight in beet puree yesterday and now you tempt me with pudding pie? holy yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm πŸ™‚

  • Liz @ IHeartVegetables
    May 23, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I totally just booked mark this recipe. I have a feeling this is going to be a summer hit for my small group!!!! I can’t wait!

  • Moni'sMeals
    May 23, 2011 at 9:33 am

    SAY WHAT! Oh lord I am a bad bad woman! This is over the top in a good way. Awesome. πŸ™‚

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    May 23, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Now THIS is the only way to start off a Monday morning πŸ˜‰

  • Shannon Blogs
    May 23, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I saw the title and knew this was a MUST! Now, after seeing the photos I am DEFINITELY making it!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    May 23, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I don’t even think this would make it into the dish. I’d eat it all (plus the crust) in the mixing bowl.

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate)
    May 23, 2011 at 10:20 am

    This would have been perfect for a birthday party I hosted last night!

  • Mikaela
    May 23, 2011 at 10:26 am

    This reminds me of the “eclair cake” my mom used to make!! She would layer graham crackers and vanilla pudding mixed with whipped cream in a 9 x 11 pan and then top it off with chocolate frosting. I don’t think there was a single natural ingredient in it but I turned out okay πŸ˜‰

    • jenna
      May 23, 2011 at 11:20 am


    • alison
      May 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      I LOVE ‘eclair cake.’ Love, love, love.

  • Kay, The Church Cook
    May 23, 2011 at 10:33 am

    All my desserts made at church are square, so this will be perfect!! Thanks Jenna! Will let you know how many people ask for this recipe! πŸ™‚

    • jenna
      May 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

      wish i was there! πŸ™‚

  • Justeen @ Blissful Baking
    May 23, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Chocolate DOES heal all!! This square pie looks awesome!

  • Greta
    May 23, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Awesome! I feel like there is a major deficit in quality no-bake dessert recipes online. My oven moonlights as a storage receptical, and although I love to bake, I’m not always that motivated to unload it πŸ˜‰

  • Lindsey@Lindselicious
    May 23, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I love these kinda pudding pies!! Oooh slipping into the stretchy pants/sun dress mode is a slippery slope. I did that one season and then all of a sudden my jeans were too tight. Ack! Never again- but that doesnt mean I wont have a big slice of this pie. =) Haha

  • Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen
    May 23, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Ohh – so goood.

  • Jen
    May 23, 2011 at 11:52 am

    This reminds me of my aunt’s banana cream pie…only minus any traces of fruit, and plus chocolate!

  • Gracie
    May 23, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I may have to make this for the boyfriend before I head off to visit friends out of town this weekend… you know, just to remind him why he’s going to miss me.

  • Rachel @ The Avid Appetite
    May 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I have been all about the pudding pie lately! I love that since I’m trying to cut some of {my} fat I can substitute the sugar free/fat free pudding, etc, to make this an everyday dessert! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Kristin Murdock
    May 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I’m suffering from PMS and a horrible cold at the same time, which makes this smooth-on-my-sore-throat dessert sound delectable. Mmm.

  • Kristen @ Change of Pace
    May 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Are you hiring recipe tasters? I think I would be PERFECT! πŸ™‚

  • meghan@ struggle muffins
    May 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Ooo that is some serious dessert! While I out Jello-pudding’d myself back in college and couldn’t eat it if it paid me to, I respect your decision to use it in this recipe. Go big or go home, right? Err maybe, go Jello or go home.

  • Alyssa
    May 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    about how many would this serve at a dinner party?

    • jenna
      May 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      probably around 8 πŸ™‚

  • The Food Hound
    May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    These are way too luscious and easy– that’s a lethal combo!

  • Happy When Not Hungry
    May 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    This no-bake pie looks beautiful and perfect for this warm weather! Would love to curl up with a slice of this deliciousness and one of your recommended summer readings!

  • Farmgirl
    May 24, 2011 at 6:46 am

    This looks really good! Just a question, would you serve it frozen like an ice cream cake? I would like to make it this coming weekend!

    • Natalie
      June 8, 2011 at 8:25 am

      I’d also like to know this! I made it last night and it’s in my freezer now, so do I take it out this morning to serve tonight? Inquiring minds need to know …

  • Meesh
    May 24, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I’m adding the pudding mix straight from the box to the cream, correct?
    I can’t wait to make this!!

    • WiscoTeach
      April 7, 2012 at 8:19 am

      I am also wondering this! I’m a newbie….help please!

    • WiscoTeach
      April 7, 2012 at 8:21 am

      Also…another newbie question – If I want to double the recipe, do I just straight double everything? Or are there some mysterious baking conversions that need to be made? Thanks thanks thanks πŸ™‚

  • Baking Serendipity
    May 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    This looks amazing! And, I love that it is no-bake…perfect for summer πŸ™‚

  • Katina
    July 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I made this for the Bake-Off at our 4th of July Block-Party Yesterday and I won the Bake-off! Thanks for the great recipe!

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    November 19, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Have just run across this recipe and have started it-.he crust is freezing…–once it is totally done do you keep it in the refrigerator or is it okay at room temp? I am experimenting with using a cup of egg nog rather than all cream.


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