Who needs pie when you have a pumpkin mousse tart? This sweet treat is extra special with it’s black-bottomed spiced chocolate crust and custardy French cruller toppings.
pumpkin mousse cruller black-bottomed tart

I have a hunch that some of you are afflicted with a very grave illness.


Maybe it’s female food blogger intuition, future physician clairvoyance, or has something to do with the numerous comments I received on last week’s Friday sweet treat that were essentially shrieks of YES FINALLY NO PUMPKIN.

There is a bit of pumpkin fatigue going around, and I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.


To be clear, I place full blame on the reappearance of the PSL (aka pumpkin spice latte, for the uninitiated) in JULY, when we were supposed to be preoccupied with seasonally appropriate fare like ice cream sundaes and peach crumbles, and instead felt compelled to sweat it out with warm cinnamon nutmeg spiced frothy espresso milk in our bellies because everyone else was doing it.

Guilty, as charged.


So while I realize your eyes might be glazing over just from reading the title, I beg you to BLINK IT OUT. Get that blood pumping again.

We have pumpkin mojos to, uh, “reinvigorate”. And there is not a moment to lose.


I actually had not been intending on making this, but sometimes a recipe chooses you and not the other way around.

And normal people totally randomly decide to make 3 component tarts with 4 hour chill steps in them on weeknights.

After work.

When they don’t even have all the ingredients.

It’s not like I’m crazy or anything.

You believe me, right?


Okay, fine, so I might have been pulling my hair out and ruing my life choices just a tad bit, but that was all forgotten when I took my first bite.


Worth it.


This may not be your momma’s pumpkin pie, but it is the first step on the road to pumpkin fatigue recovery.

And it will look sooooo nice on our Thanksgiving tables. All classy-like.

Two birds, one stone? I like the way we think.

Pumpkin Mousse Cruller Black-Bottomed Tart
Who needs pie when you have a pumpkin mousse tart? This sweet treat is extra special with it's black-bottomed spiced chocolate crust and custardy French cruller toppings.
Yield: 1 (10-inch) tart
For the cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
For the mousse
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup mascarpone
  • 2½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 3 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 1½ cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
For the crullers
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
  • ¼ cup confectioner's sugar
  1. For the cake, heat the oven to 325F. Grease a 10-inch round springform or baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Set a heatproof bowl over a pot of boiling water. Add the butter and chocolate to the bowl and allow it to heat until melted, stirring frequently.
  3. In the meantime, combine the eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and spices in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Run the mixer on low speed and slowly pour the chocolate mixture down the side, into the egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cake is slightly firm to the touch. Let cool completely.
  5. For the mousse, in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and sugar. Place the stand mixer bowl over a pot of boiling water. Whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm, Reattach the bowl to the stand mixer and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture doubles or triples in volume. Transfer to a clean metal bowl and set aside.
  6. In the same stand mixer bowl, combine the mascarpone and cream. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold this mixture into the egg-chocolate mixture. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  7. Place the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Allow to sit for 3-4 minutes to bloom. Microwave in 10-20 second intervals, until dissolved.
  8. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin with the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Whisk a small amount of pumpkin into the gelatin, to temper it, and then whisk the gelatin into the pumpkin puree. Fold the egg/cream mixture into the pumpkin mixture until combined.
  9. With the chocolate cake remaining in the springform pan, spread the pumpkin mousse over the top. Smooth with an offset spatula. Freeze for 2 hours or overnight, until set.
  10. To make the crullers, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, butter, sweetened conensed milk, and salt. Stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is simmering.
  11. Add the flour to the milk mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  12. Transfer the flour/milk mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low for 1 minute. Add an egg and mix until well-combined. Mix in the baking powder. Add the remaining eggs, one at a time, until a smooth paste forms. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Line a pan with parchment paper. Pipe the batter on the sheet into small S shapes. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
  13. In a large skillet or pot, heat the oil to 350F. Line a pan with parchment paper.
  14. Slide the crullers into the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer to the pan to cool.
  15. Remove the cake from the freezer and let cool for 1 hour to thaw. Top with the crullers and a sprinkling of confectioner's sugar before serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice


For more Thanksgiving-worthy treats, check out these:

bourbon-pumpkin caramel tart

Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Tart

pumpkin cheesecake with chocolate-stout ganache swirl

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Stout Ganache Swirl

pumpkin layer cake with butterscotch filling

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Butterscotch Filling

From Around the Web:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake from The Baker Chick

Roasted Butternut Squash Pie with Brown Sugar Marshmallow Topping from Keep It Sweet

Pumpkin Spice Pot de Creme from A Cozy Kitchen

Midnight Pumpkin Layer Cake from Sweetapolita

Pumpkin Bavarian Crepe Cake from Sprinkle Bakes


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69 Responses to Pumpkin Mousse Cruller Black-Bottomed Tart

  1. Joanne… this is seriously amazing. I mean, seriously. YUM!

  2. This has to be the ultimate pumpkin recipe!
    I’ll be dreaming of this tonight…

  3. Sues says:

    I am so with you on this. It makes me so sad that people have pumpkin fatigue 🙁 I too blame PSLs and pumpkin beers in July. And also kind of Trader Joe’s for making everything and its mother pumpkin-flavored.

    I also love that this recipe chose you. True love <3 It looks fabulous!

  4. No pumpkin fatigue over here! Wow and WOW

  5. GAH! SO worth it. I am 100% NOT pumpkined out yet. I mean, I am ready to peppermint all the things, but I don’t want to throw pumpkin out the door just yet.

    This is amazing girl! Pinned!

  6. Monica says:

    Those crullers on top are killing me! Gorgeous!

  7. bellini says:

    In truth I would never be tired if pumpkin Joanne. So keep up the pumpkin madness. For me this is more of a weekend project, I guess I do to have your youth and your fortitude.

  8. oh my gawd, Joanne! All classy like indeed! oh my gawd, love this so much! and yes to pumpkin. . it’s only Nov 14 .. we should be going full force with pumpkin 24-7 until Turkey day if you ask me!! and oh my gawd, yes for the third time, you MADE the crullers?!!! I thought for sure those were store bought yo. Damn, I am floored and super impressed. I am officially inviting you over for Thanksgiving dinner at my house. . and can you bring this tart?!

  9. Yup! I shook it off and ready to inhale this goodness 🙂

  10. Shake if of, shake it off, oh oh!! Yup – I’m going to Taylor Swift myself right out of pumpkin fatigue so I can eat this. Looks AH-MAZING!

  11. I don’t suffer from such an affliction. Pumpkin fatigue, what’s that? I suppose it’s because I’ve never had a PSL. I’m glad this recipe chose you. Very glad indeed. Mmm…

  12. I could never get over pumpkin recipes and most certainly NOT this one!!!!!! The pumpkin mousse is calling my name and the crullers look like the perfect topping for this creamy mousse-tart!!!! OMG. I AM DROOOOOOOOLING Joanne!!!!!!!!

  13. You’ve outdone yourself on this one! Crullers ON TOP of a cake?!?! Ahhhhhh everything about this is decadent and gorgeous. I can’t even express how much I like it!!

  14. This is so stinkin’ pretty I can barely stand it! That late night bake session looks like it was totally worth it.

  15. danielle says:

    I am all about some pumpkin and this is amazing!!

  16. Kathryn says:

    Wowzer. This tart is really something else. All of the component parts sound amazing but together? Totally blows my mind!

  17. Kelster says:

    Wow. That’s all I can muster right now. Pretty amazing

  18. Great minds think alike 🙂 I’ve got a black bottomed pumpkin dessert coming up on the blog…but this one is spectacular, worthy of a 5 star restaurant!

  19. Sounds amazing ! Have to try this one!

  20. This tart is totally worth a late night baking session! So much better than a traditional pumpkin pie!

  21. CakeSpy says:


  22. Oh my you may be an evil genius!! I LOOOOOVE this! Over the top YUM!

  23. I haven’t quite pumpkined myself out yet, but how can anyone say no to this? Anyone!

  24. Aaah! This tart looks over-the-top. The combination of pumpkin spice and chocolate shall never die. And I completely agree, July is wayyy too early to be sipping pumpkin spice lattes (although I’ve never had one – ever. For real!) And ripping hair out over problem recipes – I’ve been there so many times. It’s so much fun, right? Oh yeah, if you look up the word “Classy” in the dictionary, there is a picture of this tart. Gorgeous!

  25. Two birds, one stone…I like the way you think! Beautiful and delicious…I can handle that!

  26. Taste aside (which I am sure is wonderful) – what an amazing presentation this would make!

  27. As a pumpkin lover who eats pumpkin year round – Joanne – this ROCKS!!! Good Gosh – that cake alone sounds heaven – piled high with this mousse and cruellers – good goash! WOW!

  28. Heather says:

    Still my beating heart. I usually just make a standard pumpkin pie every year, but now I don’t know that I can after seeing this.

  29. I saw this on Instagram today and swooned. Continued to the post and am swooning more!

  30. Pam says:

    I am still loving pumpkin – and this tart has me drooling!

  31. If anything can bring back the pumpkin mojo it’s this! Speaking of PSL in July – how about Christmas decorations at Costco in August. why? just WHY? Can I feed the trick-or-treaters first please?

  32. Foodiewife says:

    Seriously? You made your own crullers? Now, I’m uber impressed. Yeah, I’m feeling a little less charged up about pumpkin recipes. This lovely dessert got me going again. I do love pumpkin, and can eat it year-round

  33. This looks AMAZING – Joanne – and while I won’t make it after work! I will give it try when it’s the pumpkin season again down here.

  34. Kate says:

    It’s November. I give anyone with “pumpkin fatigue” the side eye.

  35. I will eat pumpkin alldayeveryday forever and ever if it’s in this mousse tart form. DROOL.

  36. Kelly says:

    Tired of pumpkin?? Never!! This cake looks gorgeous and so worth it! Pinning to my pumpkin board! Swoon!

  37. cheri says:

    Love the pumpkin madness, I bet this is delicious!

  38. Eileen says:

    Well, DANG. This looks nothing short of spectacular! So much of everything anyone could possibly want for a holiday cake. 🙂

  39. Wow! This is one showstopper of a dessert. So unique! I was disappointed when the PSL came out so early, I feel like some seasonal rituals are worth the wait.. NOW is the time for all things pumpkin and because I showed restraint (difficult restraint) when the PSL came out in July, my palette is ready for the full on gluttony of all the pumpkin OI can get!! ; )

  40. I’m perfectly okay with more pumpkin! Especially something this good looking. I actually did make a caramel apple cheesecake for Friendsgiving but we plan on having two pumpkin and one apple pie at Thanksgiving.

  41. I would never get tired of pumpkins! Your mousse cake looks crazily GOOD! Those crullers look so fancy :-))

  42. I didn’t have pumpkin fatigue anyway (it’s not so common over here in England 🙂 ) but if I did, this would have shaken me out of it. I adore mousse like desserts and this sounds like perfection in a tart.

  43. Julia says:

    I LOVE the title of this post! I’ve been repeating it over and over out loud…in various accents…it’s a good thing I live alone.

    Pumpkin fatigue makes no sense to me, either…It’s delicious whether it’s enjoyed in the sultry heat of summer or the dead of winter, so I say bring on all that pumpkin mousse. I guess pumpkin fatigue works out to our benefit, cause we can enjoy this whole dang tart to ourselves!

  44. Saw this on insta and that how amazingly delicious it looked! So stunning and delicious too!

  45. Hotly Spiced says:

    I do love the look of this dessert and even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here, I think this would be so pretty on any Thanksgiving table. Those crullers are intriguing and I’d like to see if I can make them. Dare I let you know that pumpkin season comes and goes in Oz with no one taking the slightest bit of notice! xx

  46. Pam says:

    What a great dessert for Thanksgiving! It looks delicious and would be a hit. For some reason your url doesn’t work for me anymore in my blogroll. Wonder what is wrong…

  47. Oh my goodness, this looks amazing!! And I am not sick of pumpkin yet because I have yet to bake with pumpkin! I know, what is wrong with me??

  48. Ooh that sounds so good and looks gorgeous.

  49. Susan says:

    So beautiful! Lots of steps but it sounds so worth the effort!

  50. Megan says:

    Ha! I guess that makes me normal too then. The things I take on on weeknights! This tart is beautiful!

  51. grace says:

    aren’t you clever with your cruller garnishes! the tart looks amazing anyway, but they’re a truly awesome touch!

  52. So French, so Good! So many ingredients and steps, but it’s worth it! Your last photo of the tart (with the bite taken out) makes me giggle a little- it looks a little like Darth Vader has taken a bite and left his teeth marks!

  53. Johanna GGG says:

    that tart is so beautiful – never heard of cruller before but I love them – and I am with you all the way – pumpkin fatigue is not in my vocab

  54. Katerina says:

    It is simply mouthwatering! And so beautifully decorated!

  55. this’ll impress the foodies at my table!

  56. i think i just died and went to heaven! YUM!

  57. Sarah says:

    This is a beautiful dessert! I love the crullers decorating the top. I think I could eat just the crullers for days as cookies. I may have been a little pumpkin tired, but this beautiful pumpkin mousse has snapped me out of that – pumpkin rules, thank goodness I have one more can of pumpkin puree left!

  58. […] Pumpkin Mousse Cruller Black-Bottomed Tart – Oh my gosh, get my a fork, stat! […]

  59. Lynna says:

    Omgahh I am totally loving the crullers on top. It makes everything so fancyyy. I love pumpkin desserts! Those PSLs are moneymakers after all, so I guess they decided to come early this year.

  60. dina says:

    it looks so delicious!

  61. This seriously looks too good! Had to pin it!

  62. Jessica says:

    How crucial is the gelatn? I’m a vegetarian.

  63. Jessica says:

    I am confused with step 6 where it says to fold the mascarpone into the egg-chocolate? What is the egg chocolate mix? There is no chocolate in the mousse is there? Not that that would be wrong but in this step it just doesn’t make sense?!

    • joanne says:

      Hi, sorry I’m just seeing this! I’ve never made this without the gelatin, so I can’t say for sure how crucial it is. I’m a vegetarian also, and for this recipe I used a brand of kosher gelatin (which is vegan). As far as step 6, you are totally right! I meant the egg-sugar mixture. Sorry about that!

  64. Theresa says:

    hello, does the cake bottom come out more like a flourless torte? (since there is NO flour in this portion of the recipe)

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