Cocoa Spice Pumpkin Pie

Cocoa Spice Pumpkin Pie

From my November 2021 Times Union story, Thanksgiving Traditions and the Foods to Match.

The pie I’ll make this year is a shake up of old traditions. Everyone in our house loves pumpkin pie, and it must be part of the dessert table, but why not change it up? In this version of our beloved pie, a little extra spice is stirred in, and a small amount of cocoa powder, too. The cocoa makes it feel a little like you’re eating a chocolate cream pie and your taste buds might have a tug of war as you eat your piece. It’s chocolate! No, it’s pumpkin! Better go back for another slice, just to be sure. The sugared crust is something that will please the crust lovers at the table: crackly raw sugar makes the edge feel like a flaky, buttery cookie. Be sure to stretch your dough out far enough over the edge of the pie plate  to create a holder for all that sweet crunch.

Cocoa Spice Pumpkin Pie

Recipe by Caroline BarrettCourse: Sweets + Desserts




  • 1 pie crust, from your favorite recipe, or purchased

  • Butter for greasing the pie plate

  • 1-15 ounce can pumpkin puree

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon each nutmeg and clove

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar

  • Whipped cream, for serving.


  • Preheat oven to 375°. Generously grease the pie plate.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, cream and sugar. Lay a fine-mesh sieve or colander over the bowl and pour in the measured spices, salt and cocoa. Tap the colander to sift all into the pumpkin mixture. Gently stir to combine.
  • Roll out and lay the pie crust into the pie plate and crimp the edges. Pour in the pumpkin mixture, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the edge of the dough with milk, then generously shake sugar into the milk.
  • Bake the pie for 30 minutes, then cover with aluminum foil (to keep the edges from burning). Bake for another 25 minutes, or until the center is just set. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Best when refrigerated for a day. Serve cold with whipped cream.


  1. Wow! These recipes look amazing! We will be trying some of these this year. Beautifully presented too. Happy Thanksgiving ❤️

  2. Judy Gerthoffer

    We will be trying your pie this year!
    Judy G. in DeWitt

  3. Pingback: Thanksgiving Traditions, and the Foods to Match – Caroline Barrett

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