A Sweet Ending: Chocolate Cream Tart with Pecan Shortbread Crust

Cream pies can be tricky. While most have to be made day-of, let’s be honest—when entertaining, although desserts are often the easiest item to get done the day before, I think this recipe tastes even better the next day! The rich chocolate pudding filling pairs perfectly with the pecan shortbread crust, so that the tart isn’t too dry—and don’t get me started on the homemade whipped cream! This dessert is perfect for parties and entertaining—it is a showstopper. Get into the kitchen and see for yourself!



1 cup of pecans

½ cup flour

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature


First Layer:

4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

½ cup powdered sugar


Second Layer:

⅔cup granulated sugar

⅓cup unsweetened cocoa powder

⅓cup cornstarch

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2½ cups half-and-half

4 large egg yolks

¼ teaspoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon butter



1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 ounce baking chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Begin by chopping pecans by hand or with a food processor. In a mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine chopped pecans, flour and butter. Spray a tart or pie dish with non-stick cooking spray and press dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and set aside to cool.
  3. For the first layer of filling, whip together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Using an offset or rubber spatula, spread onto the bottom of the cooled crust.
  4. For the second layer of filling, combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Whisk in milk, cook over medium-high, stirring constantly. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until it is bubbly and thick. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks together. Add a small amount of chocolate mixture to the eggs and stir. Stirring constantly, continue to add small amounts of the chocolate mixture and the egg yolks until they are completely combined. Return to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Stir in vanilla and butter and mix until smooth. Pour filling over cream cheese layer and let chill in the refrigerator.
  5. Make the whipped topping just before serving. Beat together cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of the chocolate layer. With a vegetable peeler or microplane, make shavings of chocolate with baking chocolate to garnish.

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