How to Make Chocolate Curls

Chocolate Curls are one of those things that can seem so intimidating, but really shouldn’t be. They aren’t hard to make once you know what you’re doing – they just take a little time and patience. Once you master them, they’re sure to be one of your favorite dessert decorations!

Try these cute little curls on my homemade Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream to add a beautiful (and tasty) finishing touch!

How to make chocolate curls - video included!

The first I tried to make them, I had to get a little help from a friend – I am Baker. She shared the key with me once and I never had trouble again! You want to know the secret?

It’s quite simple really – the key to chocolate curls is having the chocolate at the right temperature. If the chocolate is too warm, it will just get pushed onto the scraper tool you’re using. If it’s too cold, it will flake or break into pieces. To be successful you have to be patient with it and take it in and out of the fridge as needed so that it’s the right temperature to work with. The more quickly you make the curls, the less you have to pop it back in the fridge. 🙂

How to Make Chocolate Curls

To make the chocolate, add the chocolate chips and shortening to a bowl and microwave in 15 second increments, stirring between each increment, until it’s melted and smooth. The shortening breaks up and softens the chocolate just a bit so that you can create the curls, but the chocolate stays firm after the curls are made.

Spread the melted chocolate into an even layer onto the back of a half sheet baking pan or large cookie sheet. The chocolate doesn’t need to be real thick, but shouldn’t be super thin either. Put the chocolate in the refrigerator until completely cooled and firm.

Once firm, remove the cookie sheet from the fridge and set it on the counter. Use a bench scraper (you could also use a metal spatula) to push forward on the chocolate and create a curl. You may have to test the chocolate every minute or two by trying to make a chocolate curl, until the temperature is right. If the chocolate is flakey, it’s still too cold. If it seems soft and won’t roll, it’s too warm and needs to go back in the refrigerator. It should only be about 3-5 minutes before the chocolate is the right temperature.

Once the chocolate curls are made, store them in the refrigerator to keep them cool and firm until ready to use. Once they are on your dessert, they are fine at room temperature while the dessert is served.

For more help, check out the video below and watch me make some curls!


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Image of Chocolate Curls on a Cake
Recipe

How to Make Chocolate Curls

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 6 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 cup of chocolate curls 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Chocolate Curls are one of those things that can seem so intimidating, but really shouldn’t be. They aren’t hard to make once you know what you’re doing – they just take a little time and patience. Once you master them, they’re sure to be one of your favorite dessert decorations!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tsp shortening

Instructions

  1. To make the chocolate, add the chocolate chips and shortening to a bowl and microwave in 15 second increments, stirring between each increment, until it’s melted and smooth.
  2. Spread the melted chocolate into an even layer onto the back of a half sheet baking pan or large cookie sheet. The chocolate doesn’t need to be real thick, but shouldn’t be super thin either. Put the chocolate in the refrigerator until completely cooled and firm.
  3. Once firm, remove the cookie sheet from the fridge and set it on the counter. Use a bench scraper (you could also use a metal spatula) to push forward on the chocolate and create a curl. You may have to test the chocolate every minute or two by trying to make a chocolate curl, until the temperature is right. If the chocolate is flakey, it’s still too cold. If it seems soft and won’t roll, it’s too warm and needs to go back in the refrigerator. It should only be about 3-5 minutes before the chocolate is the right temperature.
  4. Once the chocolate curls are made, store them in the refrigerator to keep them cool and firm until ready to use. Once they are on your dessert, they are fine at room temperature while the dessert is served.

Keywords: how to make chocolate curls, how to decorate a cake video, easy cake decorating, cake decorating video, chocolate recipe, chocolate curls

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Recipe rating

21 Comments
  1. Sherri Coldewe

    I am simply in love with your site. Spending WAY to much time here.
    You are unbelievably talented and should run a bakery school and of course, I wish you were in my town! Thank you for these beautiful picture and super great ideas! I just want to BAKE, BAKE AND BAKE!

  2. Dina

    I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried using coconut oil instead of shortening. I think it would probably have the same properties but I thought I’d ask if you’ve tried it. I don’t usually have shortening on hand but I do have coconut oil. Thank you for such a beautiful website and such amazing recipes. You are so talented and inspiring!

    1. Lindsay

      Thanks so much Dina! I actually hadn’t tried coconut oil before, but it’d be worth a shot. I’m not sure that it’s quite as firm at room temperature as shortening, but it might be fine.

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say from personal experience. I think some people do use it, but it has a softer consistency at room temperature than shortening, so the curls might be a little more temperamental to work with.

      1. Brittany

        Perhaps lard might be a better alternative than butter in this case, then. I actually have some on hand after making tamales! What luck!
        By the way, I’m making your chocolate lover’s cheesecake as I write & I’m so excited to try it tomorrow for my birthday! Thanks so much!

  3. Miss Pat'

    Merci beaucoup pour ce tuto très claire afin d’apprendre à réaliser des “curls” au chocolat ! Bisous ! Je suis fidèle à ton blog depuis quelques mois, et j’en suis très heureuse car tu m’épates avec tes beaux gâteaux !

  4. Hinh Anh Dep

    I loved the chocolate it looks nice i fill like i what to eat it i made one of them on Sunday it was nice

    1. Amanda K Bass

      Have you ever done this with milk chocolate? Or just dark chocolate? I’m having trouble and am wondering if it’s because I used milk chocolate morsels…

      1. Lindsay

        I’ve only used semi sweet chocolate. The milk chocolate would definitely present a problem, as it has different amounts of milk fats, which make it creamier/softer.

  5. Linda

    Hi! I just wanted to say that I really love all your ‘how to’ posts! I only found your blog recently, but my cakes are already that much prettier! Can’t wait to read more!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12