Kentucky Derby Pie Recipe: A gooey concoction that’s like a cross between pecan pie & a chocolate chip cookie. Such an indulgent treat!

A thick slice of derby pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.

With the Kentucky derby right around the corner, this seems like the perfect time for me to share my best derby pie recipe!

If you’ve never heard of it before, this is quite the indulgence!

Imagine if a pecan pie and a soft chocolate chip cookie got together. That’s exactly what derby pie is like!

It’s ooey-gooey, sweet, crunchy, and chocolate-y, all together in a buttery, flaky pie crust. Can you imagine anything better?

If you’re all about good pie recipes, then be sure to also check out my banoffee pie, coconut cream pie, and salted caramel chocolate tart recipes. The hits just keep on coming!

Derby pie recipe, prepared, sliced, and served on a white plate with a vintage silver fork.

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What is derby pie?

This is a traditional Southern dessert often enjoyed in celebration of the Kentucky derby, which is one of the most prestigious horse races in all the land.

People come from far and wide to watch the derby, drink mint juleps, and sport fancy hats!

And eat derby pie of course!

Derby pie consists of a flaky pie crust, filled with a gooey filling that’s studded with loads of tender nuts and rich chocolate. It’s seriously good!

Why this is the best derby pie recipe

  1. Tastes amazing: Many derby pie recipes are sweet enough to give you a cavity, but this one has a nice balance of buttery richness, a hint of salt, and warm brown sugar. It’s indulgent without being overly sugary.
  2. Few ingredients: You’ll only need a handful of pantry staples to make it.
  3. Easy to make: Once the crust is ready, the filling can be whipped up in mere minutes.
  4. Special: It’s a party in a pie dish! This pie is the best way to celebrate derby day.

What does Kentucky derby pie taste like?

This pie recipe combines warm, slightly smoky-tasting brown sugar with rich butter and eggs, tender nuts, and gooey chocolate. All of this is contained in a buttery pie crust, for a combination of incredible flavors and textures like you’ve never experienced before!


Ingredients for making derby pie, with text labels.

Pie crust: I’ve used my best homemade pie crust recipe, but you could also use store-bought pie dough or a frozen pie shell if you’re looking to save time.

Sugar: I prefer light brown sugar here, but any kind of sweetener that subs 1:1 should work just fine.

Flour: All-purpose flour thickens the filling so it’s not too runny, as well as helps to form a crinkly, papery layer on the top, similar to a brownie or blondie.

Butter: Adds a richness that allows all the lovely flavors to linger on your tongue. I prefer unsalted butter, so I can know exactly how salty my derby pie will be regardless of what brand of butter I use.

Eggs: Large chicken eggs give the filling a slightly custardy quality.

Vanilla: Vanilla extract lends a sweet perfume that balances out the chocolate in a beautiful way.

Salt: Kosher salt has a clean, pure flavor with no bitter-tasting additives like iodine. It enhances all the other flavors and brings them out.

Nuts: Some derby pie recipes are made with pecans, others are made walnuts. I chose walnuts!

Chocolate: I like semisweet chocolate chips here, but you could use white chocolate or milk chocolate chips as well.

Special equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons: Follow my guide on how to measure ingredients.
  • Pie dish: I used a standard-sized (not deep-dish) metal pie dish. If you use glass or ceramic instead, you may have to adjust the bake times slightly.
  • Rolling pin: For rolling out the pie dough.
  • Extra flour: Also known as “bench flour” this will prevent your pie dough from sticking to the worksurface, your hands, or the rolling pin.
  • Pie weights: Or dry beans, to hold the pie crust down as it par-bakes before the filling goes in.
  • Bowl: A large mixing bowl in which to mix up the filling.
  • Silicone spatula: For stirring all the ingredients together and to help you get every last bit out of the bowl!

How to make this recipe for derby pie

This easy recipe comes together in just 5 simple steps.

Step 1: Par-bake the crust

Roll the pie dough out until it’s an inch or two bigger than the pie dish.

Ease it into the dish, then trim away any excess, fold the edges under, and crimp.

Fill it with pie weights and allow it to partially bake while you get going on the filling.

Step 2: Sugar, flour, and butter

Place the brown sugar, flour, and melted butter in a large mixing bowl.

Melted butter, light brown sugar, and flour in a large glass mixing bowl.

Stir these ingredients together until smooth.

Step 3: Eggs, vanilla, and salt

Crack in the first egg, and stir until it’s completely incorporated.

Adding eggs, vanilla, and salt to melted butter, sugar, and flour mixture.

Then add the other egg, the vanilla extract, and the salt. Stir it all up!

Step 4: Nuts and chocolate

And tip in the nuts and chocolate.

Adding nuts and chocolate chips to derby pie filling.

Fold everything together until blended.

Step 5: Bake

Transfer the filling to the partially baked pie crust. It’s fine if it’s still a little warm from the oven!

Unbaked derby pie in a vintage pie pan on a distressed white surface.

This pie will bake until the edges of the filling are set but it’s still a little wobbly towards the center. As it cools, the filling will thicken up even more!

How to serve derby pie

It’s important that you wait until this pie is completely cool before attempting to slice it. This allows the filling to really firm up, so it doesn’t all spill out the sides.

There’s a lot going on here, so I’m not sure if this pie needs another thing! But if you really want to gild the lily, try adding a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup or salted caramel sauce.

Expert tips

Good pie crust: Homemade is always best! My pie crust recipe is impossibly flaky, thanks to a special technique that creates countless layers of buttery pastry.

Cool the butter: Make sure the butter isn’t too hot, or it could scramble the eggs.

Make it boozy: If you like, try adding a tablespoon or two of bourbon to the filling, to really drive home the Kentucky-ness of it all.

Allergen-free: Try swapping in your favorite gluten-free flour blend, plant-based butter, and vegan egg substitutes to make a gluten-free derby pie or vegan derby pie.

Kentucky derby pie served on white plates with ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Frequently asked questions

Can you make derby pie ahead?

If you’d like to get a jump on the prep, I’d suggest making the pie crust ahead of time, as well as the filling.

The crust needs lots of time to chill, and it will last in the fridge for several days or in the freezer for months. Just keep it tightly covered so it doesn’t dry out. It can go straight from fridge or freezer to oven.

The filling can also be made up to a few days ahead. Keep it in the fridge (separate from the crust) until the day you plan to bake your derby pie, or freeze the whole thing (crust and filling) for up to 2 months.

How to store leftover derby pie?

This pie can be kept at room temperature for several hours, but if you have any leftovers, they should probably go into the fridge or freezer.

Leftover derby pie will keep for 5 to 7 days in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer.

It can be thawed in the fridge and reheated in the microwave for around 20 seconds on 100% power, or (wrapped in foil) in a 170-degree F oven until warmed through.

What is the serving size?

This pie recipe easily cuts into 6 generous slices. Each slice is equal to one serving.

The nutritional info below is for 1/6th of the whole pie. It does not include any additional toppings like ice cream or sauces.

Recipe for derby pie that's been baked, cooled, and sliced, displaying the gooey filling inside.

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A thick slice of derby pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.
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Derby Pie

Servings: 6 slices
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Kentucky Derby Pie Recipe: A gooey concoction that's like a cross between pecan pie & a chocolate chip cookie. Such an indulgent treat!



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Roll the pie dough out to an inch or two wider than a standard-sized pie dish, transfer it to the pan, trim, fold, and crimp the edge.
  • Weigh the bottom down with pie weights or dry beans, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Stir the brown sugar, flour, and melted butter together in a large bowl.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each one to fully incorporate before adding the next.
  • Stir in the vanilla and salt.
  • Fold in the nuts and chocolate, and transfer the mixture to the partially baked pie crust (it's ok if it's still warm).
  • Bake the pie until the edges of the filling are set but the center is still a little wobbly (approx. 35 to 45 minutes).
  • Cool completely before slicing
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 637kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 97mg, Sodium: 231mg, Potassium: 342mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 47g, Vitamin A: 571IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 83mg, Iron: 3mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert, Snack
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  • Allie

    Allie is the creator and owner of Baking a Moment. She has been developing, photographing, videographing, and writing and sharing recipes here since 2012.

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