Halloween is a time to create all kinds of fun, creepy desserts. This spooky Spiderweb Cheesecake is a dessert that is perfect for Halloween celebrations – and it’s much easier to bake than you might think! The rich cheesecake base is topped with a stunning spiderweb design that contrasts well with the vanilla base of the dessert. It is baked in a chocolate wafer pie shell, which not only adds flavor, but ties in well with the Halloween look of the finished dessert.
To create the spiderweb design, I separated a small quantity of cheesecake from the base mix and added in cocoa powder and activated charcoal. I find that black food coloring is difficult to find (though much easier around Halloween) and I already had the charcoal on hand from my Goth Ice Cream. You should only need a small amount of either the charcoal or the food coloring to get a truly black color for the topping.
I transferred the black cheesecake batter to a small ziploc bag with a corner snipped off, which created a small opening. I piped several concentric circles on the top of the cheesecake. Next, I took a toothpick and inserted it into the batter (no more than 1/4-inch deep) at the center of the cheesecake, then pulled it through the circles to create the spiderweb look. I did about six pulls from the center out and six from the outside in. Just make sure your marks are equally spaced for best results.
The design holds well during baking and the effect on the finished cheesecake is absolutely stunning. It’s spooky, but simple. The cheesecake should be refrigerated before serving. It’s dense, creamy and gets a lot of flavor from the chocolate wafer crust. You’re not going to get much flavor from the topping, simply because there isn’t much of it there, but you’ll get a hint of cocoa if you look for it (in tiny, tiny bites). Add some candy spiders or plastic spiders for decoration before serving.
1 9-inch chocolate wafer pie crust
16-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp activated charcoal or 1/2 tsp black food coloring
Preheat oven to 325F. Place chocolate wafer pie crust on a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt until very smooth.
Transfer 3 tbsp of cheesecake mixture into a small bowl. Add cocoa powder, milk and activated charcoal/food coloring to the small bowl and stir until mixture is uniform. Transfer to a small ziploc bag and cut off one of the corners to create a small opening.
Pour vanilla batter into prepared pie crust and spread into an even layer. Pipe 4-5 concentric circles with the chocolate batter on top of the vanilla base. Starting at the center, insert a toothpick no more than 1/4-inch into the cheesecake and pull it towards the outer edge of the pie. Repeat this process 6 times, making sure each line is evenly spaced. Between this first set of lines, repeat the process but start out the outer edge of the cheesecake and pull towards the center.
Bake until set, about 30-35 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving.