Photo by Morgan Howarth

The freshly baked chocolate pie is displayed on the counter. The Howarth family first starting making the delicious dessert in the 1940s.

Howarth Family Chocolate Pie

December 12, 2022

My special recipe has been passed down over five generations and can make my family feel connected even if we aren’t together.

Whenever I get out of bed on any holiday, I know I will be making and eating my family’s iconic pie: the Howarth Family Chocolate Pie. The dessert has always been on the table whenever any family comes over for the holidays, and I’ve helped my mom make this recipe since I can remember. 

The recipe has been passed along on my dad’s side of the family and has remained a tradition for years. It started with my great-great-grandma when she wanted to make something special for my grandma when she visited. Eventually, she decided on a decadent chocolate pie, since then my family has made this pie on special occasions like holidays and family dinners. 

I first started taking part in the tradition when I was in kindergarten. I would make the pie with my mom until my brother was old enough to help, and then the three of us started making it together. Nowadays, my brother and I bake the dessert ourselves. 

One of the most memorable times I made the chocolate pie was when we had a huge family gathering. All of our grandfathers, aunts, uncles, and cousins were in the same house, and it was chaos. With my cousins and I all working together, we managed to make enough delicious chocolate pie for everyone to share. In the end, sharing the family tradition with relatives other than my mom and brother was nice.

This pie itself is a fantastic treat. It has both great taste and texture, and is baked just enough to be crispy on the outside yet gooey on the inside.

I like to use a premade pie crust, but I roll it out and shape it myself. I bake it for the recommended time, and after it’s cooled down a bit, I put it in the fridge. Since the pie’s inside is gooey, having a cool pie makes it taste so much better.

I hope that your family can enjoy this pie as my family has done for generations. Make sure to always share it with your loved ones.


  • 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 rounded tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups sugar 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cups evaporated milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 9’’ pie shell


  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Whisk in sugar and salt. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour into pie shell. 
  • Bake 40 minutes or until done. If you stick a toothpick into the pie and still get thick batter attached, it needs a bit more time. Whipped cream is an option, but preferred.

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