Lazy, warm weekends are the perfect time to enjoy cool, sweet icebox pies. This vintage recipe for Mocha Pudding Pie is an easy and tempting no-bake dessert made with coffee ice cream, chocolate pudding, whipped cream and a cookie crust.
It doesn’t get much better than a creamy, cool icebox pie. I happen to be a pie fanatic (see my post – the history of pie in America). This has become a favorite pie in my home; I shared it on the blog a few years ago, and have recently updated it with a more detailed recipe and pretty new pictures (thanks Kelly Jaggers!).
This recipe comes from one of my vintage cookbooks, an oldie but a goodie- Good Housekeeping’s Party Pie Book (published 1959 by Consolidated Book Publishers). In the book it’s called Coffee Pie. With chocolate being so integral to the overall flavor here, I call it a Mocha Pudding Pie.
In true 1950s fashion, this pie recipe requires only a few prepackaged ingredients. I generally gravitate towards all natural, from-scratch recipes with local and organic ingredients, but during the 50s convenience items like instant pudding were all the rage in home kitchens. This recipe is reflective of that trend.
The history of pie in America stretches back to the very first settlers, who had practical reasons for making them. Since they required far less flour than bread they could be cheaply baked, thus providing a sustainable food source for hungry immigrants.
When pioneers began to travel west, finding land to claim as their own, pies began to reflect the regional differences of the areas where they settled. Pumpkin pies and pies sweetened with maple syrup were enjoyed in northern states, where Native Americas taught new settlers how to extract sap from maple trees.
Of course pie evolved with the times; by the 1950s prepackaged products like instant coffee, Jello and even processed cheese slices were popular additions, as seen in the “Sweetheart” Pretty Pie Top in this diagram from Good Housekeeping’s Party Pie Book:
This particular recipe for Mocha Pudding Pie reminds me of a pie my father used to make for us growing up. He’d buy the premade chocolate cookie crust from the market and add a chocolate pudding pie filling. It was beyond simple, but I loved it. Another favorite treat of mine is coffee ice cream. This pie is the best of both worlds.
I have made this Mocha Pudding Pie quite a few times through the years. Each time, I made it with slight variations. I settled on the version here, a chocolatey pie with more coffee added for a stronger flavor. The result was creamy, dreamy and delish.
This pie is really easy to make. Just make sure you use instant pudding, or your pie filling may turn into a soupy mess! I have also frozen this pie to enjoy a more solid, chilled texture. If you would rather have a softer pudding-like texture for the filling, you can refrigerate the pie instead of freezing. Enjoy!
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Food Photography and Styling by Kelly Jaggers
- 1 1/3 cups chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 packages instant chocolate pudding (3 - 4 oz each - make sure it's instant!)
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee
- 1 pint coffee ice cream, softened
- Lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream (optional topping)
- Chocolate shavings (optional topping)
- Place the chocolate wafer cookies in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin until finely ground. You can also do this in a food processor if you prefer.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the crushed wafers with the butter until well combined.
- Using your hands or the back of a spoon, evenly press the chocolate wafer mixture into the bottom and sides of a greased 9 inch pie plate.Dissolve the instant coffee in 1/4 cup of hot water. In a stand mixer fit with the whip attachment, or using a hand whisk, beat together the chocolate pudding mix and milk on the lowest speed until just combined. Whip in the instant coffee until incorporated. It will resemble thick chocolate frosting. Do not over whip.
- Add coffee ice cream and continue beating until just blended. The final result will be quite thick.
- Pour filling into pie shell. Smooth the top with a spatula.Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving (refrigerate overnight to let it firm up completely). You can also freeze it if you want a firmer pie, my stepdaughter loved hers frozen. Just don't freeze it for many days in a row, or the crust will start to crumble.
- Garnish with fresh lightly sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired. Serve cold.