Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Rich and decadent with an unexpected twist, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie is an easy crowd-pleasing dessert, perfect for your holiday table… or any time of year!

overhead view of a baked chocolate bourbon pecan pie with pecans scattered in the background.

So.  Thanksgiving is in three days.  It’s pretty late in the food blogging game to be sharing new recipes for Thanksgiving, but here’s the thing.

Last year, the single biggest traffic day for my food blog was Thanksgiving Day.  Mostly from Google searches like “quick and easy pie” or “what to make for dessert” or “Thanksgiving dessert not pumpkin.”

So Thanksgiving morning, a whole lot of you woke up…. with no idea what you were going to make for dessert.


As I always say, nothing is worth doing if it’s not worth doing at the last possible minute so you get that fantastic extra adrenaline boost as you try to beat the deadline!  Including deciding what to make for your Thanksgiving dessert… the morning of Thanksgiving.

And so, I decided that three days before Thanksgiving was not at all too late to share a Thanksgiving dessert.  Especially when it’s as amazingly delicious as this chocolate bourbon pecan pie, which really deserves to be an Everyday Dessert and not just a Thanksgiving Dessert.

(Poll time: do you say PEE-can or pee-KAHN?  I’m from the northeast, so I can PEE-can.  But every time I say it now, I hear my southern friend Rachel’s voice, yelling at me that a PEE-can is what you keep in the house if you don’t have indoor plumbing, and a pee-KAHN is the nut that you eat.)

You say to-may-toh, I say to-mah-toh – but we can all agree that pecan pie was made to include chocolate and bourbon.  The slightly gooey custardy center, the chewy pecans, the rich chocolate, and just a hint of bourbon… yes, yes, yes.

I normally don’t have a huge sweet tooth, so I’m able to show a lot of restraint when it comes to most of what I bake.  Except when it comes to this pie, apparently.  A sliver when I took pictures.  Another sliver late at night.

The only reason I didn’t eat the entire remaining half a pie for breakfast is because my two year old was watching, and I can’t very well tell him he can’t have cake for breakfast when I’m downing a slice of pie!

overhead closeup of a chocolate bourbon pecan pie with pecans arranged in concentric circles.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Pie Crust: I always recommend my No Fail Pie Crust, but for those of you last-minute bakers, you can use a storebought crust, too! Or if you use a gluten-free pie crust, this will be a gluten-free pecan pie.
  • Eggs
  • Brown Sugar
  • Light Corn Syrup: If all your grocery store has is dark corn syrup, go ahead and use it.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Butter
  • Bourbon: Obviously we’re using bourbon in our chocolate bourbon pecan pie – but the pie is delicious without it, so feel free to omit!
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Pecans: I like to use chopped pecans in the pie (easier to cut and eat), but decorate with halved pecans on top.
  • Chocolate Chips
two slices of chocolate bourbon pecan pie on fall themed dessert plates.

Easiest Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is basically the procrastinator’s dream come true.  Unlike an apple pie, which requires peeling, coring, and chopping all those apples, or a pumpkin pie, which requires par-baking the crust before pouring in the liquidy custard, a pecan pie requires no extra effort.

The pie crust should be frozen beforehand, but no need to par-bake — the filling is thicker than pumpkin pie.  There’s no need to cook the filling beforehand, and nothing to peel or slice.  The hardest part is chopping some pecans, but if this is too much, just buy them already pre-chopped! 

This is the dump cake equivalent of pies: add ingredients to bowl.  Whisk.  Pour into crust.  It just doesn’t get any easier.  And the addition of bourbon and chocolate means it just doesn’t get any more delicious, either.

side view of a slice of chocolate bourbon pecan pie on an orange leaf plate.

Corn Syrup for the Perfect Chewy Texture

A big part of what makes pecan pie so delicious is the texture contract between the slightly hard nuts and the rest of the chewy, gooey filling.

Have you ever wondered what makes the filling so perfectly chewy? It’s the corn syrup! Corn syrup is made from corn starch and sugar, and added to foods to soften the texture and prevent sugar from crystallizing. How does it do this? It’s time for my favorite subject – kitchen chemistry!

Kitchen Chemistry

Corn syrup undergoes caramelization during baking as the sugar molecules break down under heat. As the sugars in the corn syrup break down, it forms a web-like structure in the filling. As the pie cools, the sugars solidify again in the new structure, creating a gooey matrix binding together the chocolate and pecans.

Baking the pie for the right amount of time is important for this process. If you don’t bake long enough, the sugars won’t fully transform, leaving the filling too liquidy. But if you overbake the pie, the sugars over-caramelize and have a bitter taste. The visual cues of a golden-brown color and just barely jiggly center with set edges indicate the ideal time to remove your pie from the oven!

two slices of chocolate bourbon pecan pie on fall plates.
  • 9-inch Pie Plate: Glass pie plates are great for checking the status of the crust from the bottom, but I always prefer baking with ceramic pie dishes because they’re pretty!
  • Mixing Bowls: My favorite mixing bowls, these are both microwave and dishwasher safe.
  • Whisk: A sturdy whisk makes this pecan pie a breeze!
  • Pie Shield: Place this pie shield on the crust partway through baking to prevent the crust from getting too brown.
overhead view of a whole chocolate bourbon pecan pie with pecans arranged decoratively on the surface.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

  1. Room Temperature Eggs: Bring your egg to room temperature before whisking them into the filling. Room temperature eggs incorporate more evenly, resulting in a smoother texture.
  2. Pie Crust Shield: Shield the edges of your pie crust with a pie crust shield or aluminum foil if they start to brown too quickly during baking. This ensures an even, golden crust.
  3. Quality Ingredients = Better Pie: Use high-quality chocolate chips, fresh pecans, and real bourbon for the best flavor. Quality ingredients make a noticeable difference in the final product.
  4. Top with Whipped Cream: Take your pie to the next level by serving it with freshly whipped cream.
  5. Cool Completely: Allow the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie to cool completely before slicing. This helps the filling set properly and makes for cleaner slices.
  6. Leftover Storage: Store leftover slices of pie loosely covered at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

More Thanksgiving Pie Recipes:

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie: rich and decadent, this is an easy, crowd pleasing dessert, perfect for your holiday table... or any time of year! #bunsenburnerbakery #pie #pecanpie #chocolate #bourbon #Thanksgiving

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Yield: Serves 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Rich and decadent, chocolate bourbon pecan pie is an easy, gluten free, crowd pleasing dessert, perfect for your holiday table… or any time of year!


  • 1 unbaked No Fail Pie Crust (see notes for gluten free crust)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (106 grams) brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup (208 grams) light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons bourbon (*omit if gluten free, or confirm that individual can consume distilled grains)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups (171 grams) chopped pecans, plus additional halved pecans for topping
  • 3/4 cup (127 grams) semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
  2. Fit pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges. Place the pie plate in the freezer for 10 minutes to allow the dough to firm up.
  3. While dough chills, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, melted butter, bourbon, salt, and cinnamon, until well combined. Stir in the chopped pecans and chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  4. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Layer remaining halved pecans along surface of pie. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the center of the pie is just barely set. Tent the crust with pie shields or foil halfway through baking. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.


Use this pie crust recipe for a gluten free crust.

Leftover pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

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Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie: rich and decadent, this is an easy, crowd pleasing dessert, perfect for your holiday table... or any time of year!