Chocolate Spiderweb Bakewell Tart


Chocolate Spiderweb Bakewell Tart

Since I started watching The Great British Baking Show, I've become obsessed with British bakes - even when I don't know what they are. Bakewell tarts were one of those. I finally tried my hand at making Bakewell tarts for Imperial Sugar last month, and they are exquisite! And surprisingly easy!


As I was making the marbled glaze for the top, I was immediately reminded of spiderweb cookies. Which gave me the idea for a spiderweb Bakewell tart. A chocolate-glazed spiderweb Bakewell tart, to be exact! 


Chocolate Spiderweb Bakewell Tart

I think this spiderweb tart needs to replace popcorn balls as the go-to homemade Halloween treat. Who's with me? The sweet crust, the cherry jam, the almond cream, the thick chocolate glaze - it's a winner! No one can resist this chocolate cherry bakewell tart! 


Chocolate Spiderweb Bakewell Tart


Look at that glaze and that buttery crust! 


What is a Bakewell Tart anyway? 


Traditionally (and this is from my research...keep in mind, this is a Texas girl explaining a British dessert), a Bakewell tart is a sweet pastry crust which is blind-baked, spread with a thin layer of jam, and topped with frangipane (almond cream). The tart is baked and, once cooled, glazed with a powdered sugar icing. 


This one is a wee bit different in that, well, there's a spiderweb decoration on top, and the glaze is dark chocolate. 

Chocolate Spiderweb Bakewell Tart


How to make a Spiderweb Bakewell Tart...


NOTE: I intended to make this in a ROUND tart pan, but sadly found the bottom was missing. I actually like the heart shape for this instead, but use either one! 


tart crust made in food processor

Start with the tart crust. It's sweeter than a pie crust and oh-so-buttery. It comes together quickly in a food processor. It's ready when the dough will clump together. 


trim tart dough heart-shaped pan

Line the tart pan and trim the edges. I like to do this with a rolling pin, rolled across the edge rather than trimming with a knife. 


The tart crust will need to be blind-baked, meaning you'll bake the crust for a bit before filling it. To avoid the crust puffing and keep the edges in place, you'll want to use dried beans, pie weights, or sugar! (This is a technique I learned from Stella at Serious Eats.)


blind-bake tart crust with sugar

Line your unbaked tart crust with parchment or foil. Pour in granulated sugar to fill. Press it out to the edges of the pan. Blind bake as directed. Sugar may be cooled and used in a recipe! 



Once the crust is cooled, you'll spread a bit of jam on the crust. Don't use too much; just a thin layer is all that's needed. I chose cherry here to go with the chocolate glaze, and it seemed Halloween-y. That's totally a word. 



Whip up a quick frangipane. Frangipane is a fancy word for almond cream. It's delish and easy to make. Spread this onto the jam layer and bake! 


frangipane tart

Let this cool. Oh, you could absolutely just dig in now. You'd have a frangipane tart, and it would be delicious! Trust me. Here are some mini frangipani tarts to try. 


Once cooled, whisk a dark chocolate glaze and a plain white glaze. I used a little white food coloring in my white glaze, but it's not 100% necessary. 


chocolate bakewell tart

Spread the chocolate glaze onto the cooled tart. 


Chocolate Spiderweb Bakewell Tart

Chocolate Spiderweb Bakewell Tart

Pour the white glaze into a piping bag. Snip the tip and pipe curved lines onto the chocolate. Drag a toothpick through the lines towards the center. Don't go back and forth, just towards the center. This will make a spiderweb. 


Chocolate Spiderweb Bakewell Tart

Chocolate Spiderweb Bakewell Tart

Leave it as is (I had a hard time deciding), or use more white glaze to add a spider.


Let the tart set up in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Serve. 



Spiderweb Bakewell Tart

for the tart crust:

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 tablespoons water

1 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour + more for rolling

2 tablespoons sugar + more for blind baking

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

10 tablespoons cold, unsalted European butter, cut into chunks


for the filling:

1/4 cup unsalted European butter, cut into chunks

1/4 cup sugar (may use sugar from blind-baking crust)

1/2 cup almond flour

1 egg

1/2 tablespoon unbleached, all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch fine sea salt

4 tablespoons cherry jam


for the chocolate glaze:

1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa

1 3/4 cup powdered sugar 

pinch fine sea salt

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

3 tablespoons milk


for the white glaze:

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

white gel paste food coloring (optional)


Make the tart. Use a fork to whisk egg yolk and water in a small bowl. Set aside. Place flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the butter chunks, pulsing several times until the butter is distributed throughout, and dough resembles large crumbs. With the processor on low, pour in the egg mixture. Stop to see if the mixture holds together when pressed. If not, pulse a few more times. Dump the dough onto a work surface and form/knead into a ball. Press into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes. 


Preheat oven to 400. If the dough has been chilling for over an hour, you may need to place it on the counter to warm a bit before rolling. Place on a floured work surface and roll thin enough to line a heart-shaped or 9 to 10-inch round tart pan with overhang. Line the tart pan and trim edges. I like to do this with a rolling pin. 


Place a sheet of parchment or foil onto the unbaked tart shell. Pour granulated sugar or dried beans into the shell, filling to the edges. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil/parchment with the sugar/beans, return to the oven, and bake 5 minutes more. Cool. 


Make the filling. Reduce oven temp to 350. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in almond flour. Beat in the egg, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add flour, extracts, and salt. Mix until combined. 


Spread jam into the tart shell. The layer will be thin. Carefully spread the filling over the jam without swirling the two. Bake for 25 minutes or until set. Let cool completely. 


Make the glazes. For the chocolate glaze, sift the cocoa, powdered sugar, and salt together. Whisk in the corn syrup and milk. The glaze should be glossy and pourable. If too thick to spread easily, whisk in a bit more milk. 


For the white glaze, whisk the powdered sugar, milk, and food coloring (if using) until smooth. The glaze should be pourable but not thinner than the chocolate glaze. Adjust with more sugar or milk as needed. 


Spread the chocolate glaze evenly over the cooled tart, using an offset spatula or back of a spoon to spread. Spoon the white glaze into a piping bag and snip the tip. Pipe curved lines of white glaze onto the chocolate. Drag a toothpick through the lines towards the center. Do not drag it back and forth, only in one direction. This will make a spiderweb. If desired, use more white glaze to add a spider. 


Let the tart set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. 


Chocolate Spiderweb Bakewell Tart


Spiderweb Bakewell Tart - this is going to be a Halloween tradition around here! 






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