Posted by: Erica Retrochef | November 3, 2014

Snow Ghost Pie

There’s something charming and frightening about this story-ad from Hershey’s. I think it might be because nothing says “winter snow” like… chocolate pie?


Snow Ghost Cocoa Cream Pie

1 9-in. baked pastry shell or crumb crust
1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Sweetened whipped cream

Combine cocoa, sugar, salt and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Gradually blend milk into dry ingredients, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until filling boils; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; blend in butter and vanilla. Pour into pie crust. Carefully press plastic wrap directly onto pie filling. Cool; chill 3 to 4 hours. Garnish with whipped cream.

I’m not going to post the entire story from the advertisement here, because that’s not really what my blog is about. But you should go read it yourself. It’s about a kid remembering his grandmother’s chocolate pie, and the strange handyman who used a ghost story to convince him to steal a piece. Go read it.


While you’re reading, I’ll just get all the ingredients together. Don’t mind me.


I like making puddings from scratch. Instant pudding is fast, but cornstarch pudding is more satisfying.


It’s coated the back of a spoon, so it should be ready to chill and thicken further.


Steaming hot pudding is then poured into the baked pie shell and left to cool for a while. Before I walked away, I checked that there wasn’t a weird handyman hanging outside asking my kid to steal the pie.


I used wax paper instead of plastic wrap (it’s what we’ve got) and it did prevent a skin from forming on top, but it also peeled off a thin top layer. Hmm.


Oooooooo… Spoooooooooky…

This is a deeply rich chocolate pie, and tastes pretty good. It possibly should have been cooked a little longer, and also would have benefited from more whipped cream on top to help lighten the flavor. Also, that whole snow ghost story is… weird. Apparently we can blame ghosts for all the weird winter weather. GOOD TO KNOW.

Recipe can be found on Flickr thanks to Shelf Life Taste Test, and also at Mid-Century Menu


  1. It really was a different time. Usually stories like that end with “Nowadays, whenever I make ___, I think of Granny/Aunt/Mom,” not “Nowadays, when my wife makes ___, I think of said relative.”

    • Hahaha, good point! (Silly men, cooking is for the ladies!)

  2. I do love home made chocolate pudding. I remember going to someone’s house and bringing a big baggie of cocoa, sugar, cornstarch, and powdered milk, with instructions how to measure and just add water, stir, and cook. Their kids were impressed that pudding didn’t come from a little box.

    • That’s one thing I like about cooking from scratch: I love being able to duplicated boxed “magic” šŸ™‚

  3. I noticed that you used almond milk instead of cow’s milk. I’m thinking that that may have created a much stronger flavor as almond milk is more watery than dairy milk (I know this because I drink the exact type of almond milk shown in your picture and love it). Perhaps scaling back the cocoa wouldn’t be a bad idea if you use almond milk? Also, I was actually surprised that the pudding set at all. I’ve had issues using almond milk for pudding recipes, but I’m glad that yours seemed to have worked.

  4. Oh, wow, I just had a yen to make pudding this week! (It is sitting in the fridge in tiny ramekins, daring me to eat more than one a day…) If only I could a.) make it rain or b.) affect the weather at all with c.) pudding pie – I’d make it all the time to end this drought! (That story really IS weird; not gonna lie, all that Don Draper era boozing is what gets you this kind of “the ad people thought this was a great idea” storytelling.) My pudding was the kind with the egg in it, but I think I’ll do this next. And I’ll be using a mix of coconut and almond milk, which sets just as nicely, I think…

  5. That’s a worrisome story. I like my chocolate peppermint cream pie better. Less haunting.

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