Hershey’s Cocoa Cream Pie

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Cocoa Cream Pie by Angela Roberts

This is the pie that tells the story of who I am and who I don’t want to be.

I am that person who relishes in another’s good fortune. I am that person who admires people who have stepped  into an entrepreneurial endeavor, taking risk, especially when it is in the creative or culinary arts.

I had a rich opportunity last week to sit down with five restaurant entrepreneurs. I had to peel myself away from each two hour interview, because I couldn’t get enough of their story, and their positive energy. Positive. Energy.

Nashville has quite an unusual entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with rare camaraderie and mutual respect amongst business owners and the chefs.

I was reminded  of this scene in the recent movie, The Little Rascals Save the Day. If you’re not familiar with it, these fumbling rascals set out to raise money to save the small town bakery. The leader of the pack, Spanky, has a gifted, entrepreneurial spirit and comes up with the several, clever money-making ideas, supported with fervor by the rest of the “rascals,” only to be foiled by Spanky’s own mistakes.  After his pals leave him, declaring him just too bossy,  Grandma, owner of the bakery counsels him.

Hershey's Cocoa cream Pie by Angela Robert

Grandma takes out a can of cocoa and has him smell it, and of course, he loves it. Then she has him taste it. He quickly noted how bitter it was. She explained how that cocoa needs all of the other ingredients to make something taste good.

Hershey's Cocoa

A good idea is not much without garnishing teamwork, respect, and support.

Last week I tasted a little bitterness myself when I read about a cookbook that underwent some harsh scrutiny.  It got so heated, that it became a bit of a dust up in the on-line food community.

I felt defensive for the cookbook author, though I don’t know her and haven’t peered into her book. What should have been a critique came off more like beauty shop gossip. You know the kind, “oh Gawd, look at her hair.” Or, “you know how they really made their money.” Etc. Etc.

I grew up in hair salons (three generations),  and I hated the gossip more than the smell of perm solution. I heard things I didn’t want to know or think. Sometimes someone puts  something into your head, and it never leaves, even if it’s not true or half true. Then you never view that person the same again.

I didn’t blog for a week, as I sorted this out in my mind. Then I thought back to these entrepreneurs who have to face constant criticism from customers, bloggers, critics and worst of all,  yelpers. Their livelihood is on the chopping block every day.

What do successful people do with personal attack, non-constructive criticism? They just keep moving and they don’t look back.

I know some of you will say that we need to listen to constructive criticism.  I believe it’s okay to judge someone’s art or work, but when it gets personal and uses pictures with their children, it crosses a line for me.

Pretty people should be able to take it, because we have this idea that they have more doors opened for them, and we need to level that playing field. Ugh, there is nothing uglier than insecurity. It brings out the worst in all of us. It’s that thing that makes us smile when a successful or beautiful person fails. It’s one of the unkindest parts of humanity.

The topic of sexism was raised. I didn’t think the critique was sexist because it was about the appearance of the cover. I think what was sexist is that if the book had a male author showing his cool life style, no one would dare take a jab, especially another man. If I’m wrong, show me, and I’ll concede that.

So how did I  move on and get back to blogging?

Moving means cooking and writing for me. I am going to order the book, make the recipes for myself, and not pay attention to any competitions or clever critiques. If I like what I cook, I’ll share it with you. In fact, I’ll order both books because I think the winner deserves that too.

Today, I  give you a recipe from the Hershey’s 1934 Cookbook. In this recipe, the bitter cocoa does its job, combining the strength of the cocoa with the sweetness of sugar. There is a life lesson there. 

This simple cookbook is the not the coolest cookbook ever written, but it made people happy before Retro Rose was born and she turns 80 next week!

It’s adorable, and uses terms like cupful instead of cup. It still makes the best chocolate fudge cupcakes and chocolate frosting.

Hershey's Cocoa Cream Pie by Angela Roberts

The Cocoa Cream Pie Recipe Process

I give you some options for the crust, like this chocolate pastry dough from a different chocolate cream tart I made years ago. You could also use this tart crust recipe made with an egg.  You can make the pie as one big pie  or in small tarts. I was sharing these, but otherwise, I would probably go for the big cocoa cream pie. Go a bit lighter on the whipped cream. I got a little carried away, because I was so happy about the way the whipped cream stabilized.

Hershey's Cocoa cream Pie by Angela Roberts

I also offer two options for topping the pie. You can use a meringue which is how the recipe reads, or opt for a whipped cream topping. These pictures with strawberry are taken two days after I piped the whipped cream, and shows you how well the technique works (adding confectioner’s sugar and cream cheese).

I hope you enjoy your food life, your baking and your Hershey’s cocoa cream pie. And, I really hope that if someday I get to write a cookbook, someone out there hates it enough to make me famous. (just kidding).

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Hershey's Cocoa Cream Pie

A chocolate cream pie made with cocoa, and the option of two different toppings, meringue or whipped cream.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Author: Angela Roberts


Chocolate Filling

  • 1/4 cupful of Hershey's Cocoa
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 inch baked pie shell

  • Meringue Topping
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped Cream Topping

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese optional


  • Mix together cocoa, sugar, cornstarch, salt. Put into a saucepan, and slowly add in milk, whisking until smooth.
  • Add Yolks. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and starts to boil.
  • Boil for one minutes, continuing to stir.
  • Turn off heat. Add in butter and vanilla.


  • Whip egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add in sugar and beat to stiff peaks.
  • Pour into baked prepared pie shell, cover with prepared meringue.
  • Brown in hot oven of 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
  • Top chocolate pie with a stabilized whipped cream. No extra baking.
  • S


If you don't want to throw out the egg whites, meringue is a good idea.
I like a chocolate cream pie and give you that option.

Please follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe,  please tag me #spinachtiger.

If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo



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  1. Hi! I am about to start my own baking business, in a different country no less, and this post, this post means more than you will ever know. I have no formal training unless you count my mom and gran’s kitchen but baking is the one thing the Good Lord gave me a love and a knack for, so my hobby will now become my job. Thank you for your words of encouragement!! Sunny regards from South Africa and soon Botswana.

    1. I want to further encourage you. I visited a local Bakery today, Sweet 16th Bakery in Nashville, owned by a fabulous local couple that took the leap and opened a store front after baking for 11 years in their home. Best decision they ever made. I met with them yesterday and I read your comments to them. We all got chills, thinking of you in your endeavor.

      Also, thank you for comment on how much this post means to you. I’ve struggled with sharing it; now I’m glad I did. Don’t let anyone talk you out of what is right for you.

  2. So I’m not a baker by any means nor do I feel like i have the patience for it. But I’d gladly gobble up the ready made treats (how bad am I?!). But I’m the cook, and my bestie is the baker. I’m SO sending her this recipe… you know… to make for me, after I cook her a delish meal. That sounds like a deal, right? LOL

  3. I love the correlation you pointed out between cocoa being bitter unless coupled with the other ingredients. I think this would be an awesome object lesson for kids! And, I’m also now thinking I need pie, with whipped cream over meringue any day! 🙂

  4. The reason why I love your blog is because you are positive and don’t delve into the ugliness of petty gossip. I’m sorry that the cookbook author (I missed it so I don’t know who it is) made other people so insecure that they had to be horrible about it. Having said that, I would happy share this pie with you-it looks glorious! 😀

    1. Thanks, Lorraine, I love your blog for the same reason. You entertain me and you are so gracious to others.
      There is the critique of one’s work, but then there is the tearing down of person. I’m not for that.

  5. Such a treasure that vintage cookbook must be! I can tell the ingredients are just a touch different than what I normally see these days (like the cornstarch in the filling). Looking forward to trying this recipe!

  6. I love that in a post where you say, “They just keep moving and they don’t look back.”, that your recipe really DOES look back, to a cookbook published in 1934. The implication, to me, is that you have the good judgment to look back, from time to time, when the occasion warrants doing so. You took some time over the last week just to take stock, yourself, which clearly, has been a good thing!
    Handling criticism well speaks highly of the one against whom that criticism has been leveled. It’s very, very difficult to do, and I don’t think I do it well. But I want to grow in that area.
    I do think, when criticism comes my way, of course, that I must consider the source.
    I need to carefully weigh what’s been mentioned.
    I then make any course adjustments I deem necessary, based on elements of truth that I might find within that criticism.
    And after that, I just need to keep on keeping on, as you say.
    For me, it’s been really important to remain positive, as I know it is for you. And to not look back…too much.

    1. I wasn’t talking about criticism. I was talking about haters, but I didn’t want to use that word. In today’s social media world, and behind computers people think they are everyone else’s judge. God says esteem others more highly than yourself. Not for false flattery, but it keeps the heart in a good place. Criticism is best left to mentors, teachers, editors, coaches, not for someone to just come and throw a pie in the face. (he he).

  7. Those look so fancy!

    And this: “What do successful people do with criticism? They just keep moving and they don’t look back.” I’d also add that they take constructive criticism and do something with it 😉

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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