Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Halloween | Tart

Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart

By Tessa Arias
October 10th, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart is the perfect Halloween or fall dessert with a buttery crust, solid richness of chocolate, and an oh-so-creamy pumpkin filling. 

Yield: 1 10-inch tart

Cook: 2 hours 15 minutes

Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart

Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart

When I first got into cooking and baking a few years ago I made my family a chocolate-pumpkin cheesecake. It might have been the first holiday dessert item I made from scratch. It was beyond delicious and from that moment on I was hooked on the pumpkin-chocolate combination. This tart has a chocolate crust and a layer of semisweet chocolate below the spiced pumpkin filling.

This recipe comes from Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts, a cookbook I had to buy the moment I saw it. I remember this recipe standing out to me as I flipped through the pages because of the beautiful photo and creative design. I stored it away in my memory of things to make for the upcoming holidays. Actually, my list of holiday recipes to make is almost endless. Fall and winter are practically synonymous with good food.

What holiday recipes are on your to-make list?

Recipe Rundown

Taste: Pumpkin and chocolate may not be the most well-known combo but it is one of my all-time favorites and the best part of the holiday season to me. So so so good and so so so comforting.
Texture: The crust is buttery, slightly crumbly, slightly crunchy. The layer of chocolate above the crust adds a solid richness while the pumpkin filling is oh so creamy and delightful.
Ease: The crust was actually the most time-consuming aspect. The good thing is you can make the dough two days ahead of time and/or roll out the dough and shape it a day ahead of time. The finished tart stays good in the fridge for a few days.
Appearance: The best part! Melted chocolate is used to make a spiderweb design that any kid or adult will appreciate on Halloween.
Pros: Perfectly scrumptious, adorable, and can be made ahead of time.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Most definitely.

Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart

Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart

How to make
Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart

Yield: 1 10-inch tart
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart is the perfect Halloween or fall dessert with a buttery crust, solid richness of chocolate, and an oh-so-creamy pumpkin filling. 


For the crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

For the filling:

  • 1 can (15 ounce) unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

For the topping:

  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped


Make the crust:

  1. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, and cloves in a bowl. Add butter. With an electric mixer on low speed beat until butter is the size of small peas, about 5 minutes. Add egg, mix until ingredients form a dough. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to just more than 1/8-inch. Press dough into bottom and up sides of a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim excess dough flush with rim. Pierce bottom of shell all over with a fork. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
  3. Place tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until dry, about 15 minutes. Immediately sprinkle the 4 ounces chocolate evenly over crust; let it begin to melt, then smooth with an offset spatula.

Make the filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, sour cream, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and cloves until smooth. Pass mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, discard the solids. Pour filling into prepared crust, just to top edge.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees until filling is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 30 minutes.

Make the topping:

  1. Place the 2 ounces chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted and smooth. Transfer chocolate to a resealable bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner. Pipe about 15 evenly spaced lines radiating out from the center of the tart. Pipe curved lines around the perimeter of the tart, connecting each spoke. Continue piping curved lines, spacing them closer together as you near the center. Refrigerate until set, 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Recipe Notes

From Pies and Tarts
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Denise Boudreau — October 24, 2014 at 7:58 am

    I will try this adorable recipe. 1 question: Paragragh 2 of MAKE THE CRUST: It says: “Preheat oven 350….“ but then you say to put the dough in the fridge…..When do I use the 350 degree oven? Before I refrigerate or after???

  2. #
    panamanorthchef — October 24, 2014 at 6:35 am

    If the caloric and fat content is correct, one piece of this tart would be the equivalent of normal total dietary intake for one and a half days!

  3. #
    milk_chocolate84 — October 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    This tart looks and tastes really wonderfull!
    I put some spiders on spiderweb, and it looks amazing 🙂
    Thanks for inspiration 🙂

  4. #
    soniarumzi — October 16, 2011 at 7:59 pm


  5. #
    Justin Francis Kane — October 12, 2011 at 1:43 am

    I actually just made this today but did some of my own substitutions. Did the crust dough feel extremely wet and pliable to you? I had to use so much extra flour just so it wouldn't stick to my hands. It still turned out delicious, but whenever I use my traditional tart dough, it's never that melty!

    • #
      handleheat — October 12, 2011 at 3:36 am

      When I made the crust it was just really sticky. I ended up not worrying about rolling a perfect circle as I found it was easier to just fill in cracks/holes with leftover crust. What is your traditional tart dough? Would love to see the recipe!

  6. #
    Tracey — October 12, 2011 at 12:12 am

    This tart is so cute Tessa – absolutely perfect for Halloween! I have that pies and tarts book from MS too, but somehow I'd miss this one.

  7. #
    Lauren @ KeepItSweet — October 11, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I am also a huge fan of the chocolate/pumpkin combo. Your cheesecake looks gorgeous and perfect for Halloween!

  8. #
    Elisha — October 11, 2011 at 2:54 am

    This is amazing! I love that you brought flavor and design together to celebrate Halloween with this tart!

  9. #
    Kelli H — October 10, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    SO cute! I'm going to a Halloween party and I think I'll bring this.

  10. #
    Deb — October 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    What an irresistible Halloween dessert! A decadent pairing of chocolate and pumpkin with a whimsical spider web a decoration, inspired!

  11. #
    Emily — October 10, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    how beautiful tessa! I love fall and all things halloween (and pumpkin!). I will definitely try this recipe out 🙂

  12. #
    spiffycookie — October 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    That tart is super cute. And i bet it tastes great too. My favorite holiday recipe is my dad's traditional pumpkin pie. Sometimes you just gotta have the original!

  13. #
    Russell — October 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I love when people get excited about halloween – it gets me more excited. This tart is adorable. And I've been very tempted to try the pumpkin chocolate combo in cake. Now I know I works.

    Like you my list goes on forever but it has lots of pumpkin and lots of spices on it. Oh and tons of apples and pears. I really could go on.


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