In honor of National Pizza Month and Halloween, food blogger Kylee Scales joined the FOX59 morning show to show us how to make spooky black and orange pizzas.

The crust is gray/black, thanks to the addition of activated charcoal powder. Food-grade activated charcoal powder is safe to consume, but it’s important to note that it should be avoided if you take medications because it can bind with some medications causing them to be less effective.

Kylee used a very small amount of activated charcoal powder in the pizza dough to create a grayish/black hue. The charcoal powder is odorless and flavorless, but if you add too much, it can taste a little gritty.

You can skip the charcoal powder entirely if you aren’t comfortable using it or if you don’t have any.

The orange pizza sauce is a pumpkin-based sauce. And you can get as creative as you want with the toppings. I used mozzarella to make ghosts, eyeballs, and a spider web.

Yield: 4 personal pizzas

Time: About 30 minutes

For the pumpkin pizza sauce:

  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

For the pizza dough

  • 2 cups (240 grams) bread flour (plus 1/4 cup reserved in case the dough is too sticky)
  • 1 packet Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon food-grade activated charcoal powder
  • 2/3 cup warm water (130 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil

Possible toppings:

  • Mozzarella medallions, cut into ghost shapes
  • Capers
  • Mozzarella pearls, cut in half 
  • Black olives, sliced
  • String cheese pulled apart


For the sauce

  1. Combine pumpkin puree, parmesan, garlic, vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.

For the pizza dough

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven while the oven heats up.
  2. Combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and food-grade activated charcoal powder in bowl. Add water and oil and mix until it comes together. The dough should be slightly sticky. If it’s too sticky, add up to 1/4 cup additional bread flour.
  3. Knead dough for about 4 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. I prefer to use my hands.
  4. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Flatten and stretch the dough with your hands until each piece is about 8 inches in diameter. 
  5. Spread pumpkin pizza sauce on the dough, place the dough on a pizza stone or onto a baking sheet, and stick in oven. Bake for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven. Place toppings on pizza. Return to oven just until cheese melts.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing.

For the toppings

  1. To make ghosts, place capers on mozzarella medallions to resemble eyes.
  2. To make eyeballs, place halved mozzarella pearls on sauce in pairs. Place black olive slices on the center of the pearls.
  3. To make a spider web, place string cheese pieces in a cross and X. Use string cheese pieces to make 2 giant circles on top of the cross and x. Make spiders with olives by using olive slices as the body and halved slices as the legs.