Replicating Marie Callender’s German chocolate pie

German Chocolate Pie
German Chocolate Pie flickr

Michelle Clifford of Santa Rosa, California, was hoping someone would have a recipe for the Marie Callender’s German chocolate pie with meringue.

She said she has had this pie as her “birthday cake” for decades but is no longer able to purchase it as all the Marie Callender’s restaurants and bakeries have closed in her area. She has tried to make the pie at home but has had no success coming up with anything as good as the original.

I did not receive the recipe Clifford was searching for directly from any readers, but I was able to locate a recipe for the pie on, one of the largest copycat recipe sites on the web. is the creation of Stephanie Manley. Manley started publishing recipes on the web in 1995, and over the years, in addition to preserving her family’s recipes, she has developed and collected many recipes that taste just like restaurant favorites. She credits Sharon Powell with the development of this particular recipe.

Marie Callender launched her legendary pie business in the early 1940s. By the late 1960s, the business had grown to include not only her pies, but full-service restaurants with many menu items created by Callender.

Today, some 75 Marie Callender’s restaurants and bakeries remain, mostly in the western United States, as well as a frozen food line available in most grocery stores across the county.

The German chocolate pie is not available frozen, but thanks to this easy copycat recipe, you can whip up this luscious pie at home in no time. It can be served simply with a whipped cream topping or a meringue topping if you prefer.

No matter what, this old-fashioned winner is sure to please.

Restaurant-Style German Chocolate Pie

8-inch plain pastry pie shell (store-bought or make your own)

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 small box dark chocolate pudding (cooking kind, not instant)

1/2 cup fine coconut

1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Whipped topping (like Cool Whip)

Meringue topping (optional):

2 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

4 tablespoons sugarTake

crust and cover the bottom with chocolate chips, just enough for one layer. Heat in oven or microwave until it’s slightly warm and the chocolate chips are softened. Meanwhile, cook pudding according to directions on box and add coconut and nuts; stir well. Pour while hot into pie crust. Chill in refrigerator until set. Once chilled, top with whipped topping. For more of a restaurant effect, put topping into a cake decorating bag with tip and pipe on. Sprinkle top with a few chocolate chips, coconut and nuts for a finishing touch.

Most people prefer the German chocolate pie with whipped cream, but if you would prefer a meringue topping:

Beat egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread over hot filling. For that Marie Callender’s effect, leave a smidge of filling visible around the edge, and don’t forget to sprinkle the chips, coconut and nuts on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or till meringue is golden. Chill in fridge.

Yield: 8 servings.