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Texas sure knows how to dessert. Over the past few months alone, we’ve covered the Lone Star state’s fruity Texas Pie, crunchy Cowboy Cookies, decadent Texas Mayo Cake, and *heavenly* Banana Pecan Crunch Pudding. So of course, when I heard that Texas also has a dessert called Texas Trash Pie, I couldn’t help myself. Not only is it pie (which I never turn down), the filling is custardy, chocolatey, and full of all kinds of sweet and salty snacks. Essentially, it’s the pie of my dreams.

This beloved pie is actually a replica of a similar pie served at Royers Round Top Café, a family-owned restaurant based in the tiny town of Round Top, Texas. Known for being a “cross between a candy bar and a pie,” this recipe has that same feel as Kitchen Sink Cookies or Snack Drawer Bars. It’s a sweet treat made salty with beloved snacks, mixed together into a dessert that you can eat at once. It’s perfect for the kind of person who loves flaky sea salt on their chocolate chip cookies, aka, me (or everyone). With all of the promise of Texas Trash Pie being the dessert of my dreams, I decided to give this recipe a go.

How to Make Texas Trash Pie

Thankfully this recipe is super easy to remember — the measurements for all of the filling pieces are the exact same: 1 cup each!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt a stick of unsalted butter in a large microwave-safe bowl.

Crush up enough pretzels and graham crackers to get a cup of each. Then in that large bowl with the melted butter, toss in the crushed pretzels and graham crackers, as well as one cup of pecan pieces, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and caramel bits. Pour a 14-ounce jar of sweet condensed milk then mix the filling until everything is evenly combined.

Pour the filling into a frozen pie crust. It will seem overfull, but don’t worry, it will reduce down when the chocolate and caramel pieces melt during the baking process. Just make sure to press down the filling so it’s even on the top and firmly in place inside the pie crust so nothing overflows while baking.

Bake the pie for 35 minutes in the oven. Once finished, remove the pie and let it rest for 30 minutes before slicing.

My Honest Review of Texas Trash Pie

While this pie had lots of elements to make it a salty dessert, I was actually surprised by how sweet it was. All of that added chocolate and caramel, mixed in with the shredded coconut and sweet condensed milk, overpowered the salty snacks that are also in the dish. 

The original pie — which is still served at Royers Round Top Café today — actually does not have pecan pieces in it, according to their menu online. However, this recipe by Southern Living does add in the pecan pieces, and given how sweet this pie is, I think that was a great call. 

I almost feel like I could have had less chocolate and caramel in there and really let the salty pretzels and pecans shine. However, this is also coming from a person who certainly would pick something salty over sweet, so super-sweet desserts aren’t typically my thing in the first place. 

I was also hesitant when I saw that shredded coconut was one of the main pie ingredients because I’m not a huge fan of coconut. Typically coconut-flavored things turn me off, but thankfully, the coconut flavor is very subtle when comparing it to all of the other overpowering flavors in each bite.

Needless to say, if you’re a person who loves a sweet dessert and feels hesitant about trying the Texas Trash Pie because of all of the salty elements in it (as well as the coconut) don’t be fooled — you’re going to love every bite of this pie. 

Three Tips to Make Texas Trash Pie

If you can’t find caramel bits, try chips: While caramel bits are a type of bagged candy you can buy for this pie, they may not be so easily accessible depending on what store you like to shop at. If you can’t find them, I recommend swapping them out with caramel chips, which are typically found with the other chocolate chips in the baking aisle of the grocery store. Can’t even find chips? You could also buy a bag of soft caramels and slice them into smaller pieces, which should make for an extra ooey-gooey consistency.

Blind bake the crust to make it flakier: While this recipe technically does not call for you to pre-bake your frozen pie crust, if you want an even flakier crust with your pie–and a less soggy bottom–you could blind bake the pie crust in the oven for 10 minutes before filling it. Just be sure to defrost slightly and prick the pie crust with a fork to avoid an uneven bake. Feeling extra ambitious? Make your pie crust from scratch!

Serve with vanilla ice cream: Seriously, don’t skimp out on this step. While whipped cream could be an option for topping this pie (kudos if it’s homemade whipped cream), I highly recommend going for a scoop of vanilla ice cream or even gelato instead. This pie is crunchy and savory making it the perfect pairing for that creamy scoop. 

Get the recipe: Texas Trash Pie

Kiersten Hickman

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