How to Make Chocolate Shavings for Cake Decorating

Chocolate shavings are a beautiful and delicious way to decorate cakes, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to any dessert. In this article, we will explore the art of making chocolate shavings for cake decorating, providing you with all the tips and techniques you need to create stunning decorations for your baked creations.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, mastering the skill of making chocolate shavings will elevate your cake decorating game to the next level.

The use of chocolate shavings in cake decoration dates back centuries, with skilled bakers and pastry chefs using them to adorn their masterpieces. Today, chocolate shavings continue to be a popular choice for adding visual appeal and flavor to cakes of all kinds. From classic layer cakes to modern drip cakes, chocolate shavings are a versatile decorating element that can be used in various ways to enhance the overall look and taste of a dessert.

In the following sections, we will cover everything you need to know about making chocolate shavings for cake decorating. We’ll start by discussing the essential tools and ingredients needed for creating perfect shavings, as well as where to find high-quality chocolate for this purpose. Then, we’ll delve into choosing the right type of chocolate and preparing it for shaving.

Finally, we’ll explore different methods for making chocolate shavings and offer expert tips for storing and using them in your cake decorating projects. So let’s dive in and learn how to take your cake decorations to new heights with homemade chocolate shavings.

Tools and Ingredients

When it comes to making chocolate shavings for cake decorating, having the right tools and ingredients is essential. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to get started, as well as some tips on where to find high-quality chocolate for your shavings.

List of Tools

The key tool for making chocolate shavings is a good quality vegetable peeler. Look for one with a sharp blade and a comfortable handle for easy use. Additionally, a box grater can also be used to create larger chocolate curls if desired. Make sure it’s clean and dry before using it.


The most important ingredient for making chocolate shavings is, of course, the chocolate itself. It’s best to use high-quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate for optimal taste and texture. Look for chocolate that has a high cocoa content for the best results. Additionally, you may need a small amount of vegetable oil or shortening to help with the shaving process.

Finding High-Quality Chocolate

When it comes to finding the best chocolate for making shavings, consider visiting specialty grocery stores or artisanal chocolatiers in your area. They often carry higher quality chocolates with unique flavors that can add depth to your cake decorations. Online retailers are also a great place to find a wide variety of high-quality chocolates suitable for shaving.

With these tools and ingredients in hand, you’ll be ready to start creating beautifully delicate and delicious chocolate shavings for all your cake decorating needs.

Choosing the Right Chocolate

When it comes to making chocolate shavings for cake decorating, choosing the right type of chocolate is crucial. The type of chocolate used will affect the flavor, texture, and overall appearance of the shavings. It is essential to select a high-quality chocolate that will produce the best results.

Different Types of Chocolate

There are several different types of chocolate that can be used for making shavings, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate. Each type has its own unique flavor profile and characteristics. Dark chocolate tends to have a more intense and slightly bitter flavor, while milk chocolate is sweeter and creamier.

White chocolate has a rich, buttery taste with subtle hints of vanilla. It’s important to consider the flavor profile you want to achieve in your cake decorating when selecting the type of chocolate for your shavings.

Importance of Using High-Quality Chocolate

Using high-quality chocolate is essential for producing beautiful and delicious chocolate shavings. High-quality chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter, which allows it to melt smoothly and evenly. It also has a richer flavor and smoother texture compared to lower quality chocolates. When choosing the right chocolate for making shavings, look for brands that use premium ingredients and have a good reputation for producing high-quality products.

By carefully considering the type and quality of the chocolate used for making shavings, you can achieve outstanding results in your cake decorating endeavors. Whether you prefer the boldness of dark chocolate or the sweetness of white chocolate, selecting the right type of high-quality chocolate is key to creating stunning decorations that will elevate your cakes to new heights.

Preparing the Chocolate

Before you can start creating beautiful chocolate shavings for cake decorating, it’s essential to properly prepare the chocolate. First and foremost, it’s crucial to use high-quality chocolate, as this will greatly affect the taste and appearance of your shavings. Look for couverture chocolate, which contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter, making it ideal for shaving.

To prepare the chocolate, you will need to melt and temper it. Start by chopping the chocolate into small, even pieces to ensure that it melts evenly. You can then proceed to melt the chocolate using a double boiler or in the microwave at 50% power in short intervals, stirring frequently. It’s important not to overheat the chocolate, as this can cause it to seize or become grainy.

Once the chocolate is melted, it needs to be tempered to ensure that it sets properly and has a glossy finish. This involves carefully controlling the temperature of the melted chocolate through a process of cooling and reheating. Proper tempering is essential for achieving perfectly smooth and shiny chocolate shavings for your cake decoration endeavors.

Chocolate Preparation TipsData
Use high-quality couverture chocolateCheck labels for cocoa butter content
Melt the chocolate evenlyAvoid overheating or causing it to seize
Properly temper the melted chocolateThis ensures smooth and shiny shavings

Making Chocolate Shavings

When it comes to cake decorating, chocolate shavings are a versatile and elegant way to add flavor and visual interest to your creations. Whether you’re making a simple chocolate cake or a more elaborate dessert, the addition of chocolate shavings can take your presentation to the next level. With their delicate and luscious texture, chocolate shavings not only enhance the appearance of your cakes but also provide a delightful contrast in taste and texture.

To make perfect chocolate shavings for cake decorating, you will need the right tools and ingredients. High-quality chocolate is essential, as it will ensure that your shavings have the best flavor and consistency. Look for good quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate with at least 60% cocoa content. Additionally, having a sharp vegetable peeler or a box grater will make the process of creating both thin and thick shavings much easier.

Cake Flower Decorations
Chocolate BrandCocoa Content
Lindt Excellence70%
Ghirardelli Intense Dark60%
Valrhona Guanaja70%

Storing and Using Chocolate Shavings

When it comes to storing chocolate shavings, the goal is to maintain their quality and prevent them from losing their flavor and texture. Here are some guidelines for properly storing chocolate shavings:

  • Store in an airtight container: To protect the chocolate shavings from moisture and odors, it’s important to store them in an airtight container. This will help preserve their freshness and flavor.
  • Refrigerate or freeze: If you live in a warm climate or if you’re not going to use the chocolate shavings right away, consider storing them in the refrigerator or freezer. Just make sure to let them come to room temperature before using them so they don’t become too hard.
  • Avoid direct sunlight and heat: Exposure to direct sunlight and heat can cause the chocolate shavings to melt or become discolored. Therefore, it’s best to store them in a cool, dark place away from sunlight and heat sources.

Now that you have perfectly stored chocolate shavings, it’s time to get creative with how you use them in your cake decorating endeavors. Here are some creative ways to incorporate chocolate shavings in cake decorating:

  1. Sprinkle on top of frosting: Sprinkle the chocolate shavings on top of your frosted cake for a simple yet elegant decoration that adds depth and flavor.
  2. Create intricate designs: Use the chocolate shavings to create intricate designs on top of your cake, such as floral patterns or geometric shapes, by carefully arranging them with tweezers or small spatulas.
  3. Add texture to desserts: Aside from cakes, you can also use chocolate shavings to add texture and visual appeal to other desserts such as cupcakes, mousses, truffles, and tarts.

By following these guidelines for storing and using chocolate shavings, you can elevate your cake decorating skills and impress your friends and family with beautiful and delicious creations. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and designs when working with chocolate shavings.

Troubleshooting and Tips

For those new to the art of cake decorating, making chocolate shavings can present some challenges. It’s important to be aware of common problems and mistakes that can occur during the process.

One common issue is chocolate shavings becoming too thick or thin, which can affect the overall look and taste of the cake. To avoid this, it’s crucial to pay attention to the pressure applied when shaving the chocolate and ensure that the temperature of the chocolate is just right.

Another common problem is the chocolate shavings sticking together or clumping up instead of remaining light and airy. This can be caused by excess moisture in the chocolate or improper storage. To prevent this, make sure that the area where you store your chocolate shavings is dry and cool. Additionally, be mindful of any condensation that may form on the chocolate as this can also lead to clumping.

To achieve perfect chocolate shavings every time, here are some expert tips to keep in mind: First, use a high-quality chocolate bar with at least 70% cocoa content for best results. Second, ensure that your tools are clean and dry before using them to shave the chocolate.

Lastly, practice makes perfect – don’t be discouraged if your first attempts at making chocolate shavings don’t turn out as expected. Like any skill, it takes time and patience to master the art of creating flawless chocolate shavings for cake decorating.


In conclusion, mastering the art of making chocolate shavings for cake decorating can truly take your confectionary skills to the next level. As discussed in this article, the process involves carefully selecting high-quality chocolate, properly preparing it, and using the right techniques to create delicate and beautiful shavings. By following the tips and guidelines provided, anyone can become proficient in this decorative technique and elevate their cake designs.

It is important to remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to creating chocolate shavings. Experimenting with different types of chocolate, tools, and methods will allow you to find what works best for you and your unique style of cake decorating. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try out new ideas – after all, cake decorating should be a fun and enjoyable experience.

So whether you’re a professional baker or a hobbyist looking to add flair to your homemade desserts, incorporating chocolate shavings into your cake decorating repertoire is sure to impress. With patience, precision, and a bit of indulgence, you can transform even the simplest cake into a decadent work of art. So go ahead and unleash your creativity – let chocolate shavings be the star of your next culinary masterpiece.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Make Chocolate Flakes?

To make chocolate flakes, start by melting the chocolate in a microwave or over a double boiler until it’s smooth. Then spread the melted chocolate onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place it in the refrigerator to cool and harden.

Once the chocolate is completely set, use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to gently shave off thin curls or flakes from the hardened chocolate.

What Can I Use to Shave Chocolate?

There are several tools you can use to shave chocolate, including a vegetable peeler, paring knife, cheese grater, or even a microplane zester. Each of these options offers different results in terms of thickness and texture of the shaved chocolate, so choose the one that best fits the desired outcome for your recipe.

What Kind of Chocolate Is Best for Shaving?

The best type of chocolate for shaving is high-quality bar chocolate with a high cocoa content (around 70% cocoa). This type of chocolate will provide the best flavor and texture when shaved into delicate flakes or curls.

It’s important to avoid using lower quality or overly sweet chocolates, as they may not produce clean shavings and could potentially alter the taste of your dish.

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