How to Make Chocolate Shavings for Cake Decorating

Are you looking to elevate your cake decorating skills? One way to do so is by mastering the art of creating chocolate shavings for that perfect finishing touch. In this article, we will explore how to make chocolate shavings for cake decorating, a skill that can truly take your desserts to the next level.

Adding chocolate shavings to cakes not only enhances the visual appeal but also adds a delicious element of flavor and texture. Whether you are a baking enthusiast or a professional pastry chef, knowing how to create these delicate chocolate curls can make all the difference in your creations. With the right tools and techniques, you can achieve stunning results that will impress your friends, family, or customers.

From selecting the best type of chocolate for shaving to learning tips and tricks for perfecting this technique, we will guide you through each step of the process. By following our step-by-step guide and exploring creative ways to incorporate chocolate shavings into your cake designs, you’ll soon be on your way to becoming a master in cake decorating with this simple yet impactful element.

Tools and Ingredients Needed for Making Chocolate Shavings

Chocolate shavings are a versatile and beautiful way to add an elegant touch to any cake. To create these delicate decorations, you will need a few essential tools and ingredients. The key tool you will need is a good quality vegetable peeler or a sharp knife with a wide blade. This will allow you to create long, thin chocolate curls that can be easily layered onto your cake.

In addition to the right tools, you will also need high-quality chocolate. It is important to use chocolate that has a high cocoa content for the best results. Dark chocolate works well for making chocolate shavings as it has a rich flavor and creates more defined curls. You can also experiment with milk or white chocolate depending on your personal preference and the overall flavor profile of your cake.

When selecting your chocolate, opt for bars or blocks rather than pre-packaged chocolate chips, as they tend to have additives that can affect the texture of your shavings. Make sure to choose a brand that you enjoy eating on its own, as the quality of the chocolate will shine through in your final cake decoration. Now let’s dive into how to make chocolate shavings for cake decorating.

Vegetable peeler or sharp knifeNecessary for creating long, thin chocolate curls
High-quality dark chocolateChoose bars or blocks with high cocoa content for rich flavor and defined curls

Choosing the Right Chocolate for Shavings

When it comes to cake decorating, chocolate shavings can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any dessert. However, not all chocolates are created equal when it comes to making shavings. The key to successful chocolate shavings is choosing the right type of chocolate that will give you the best results.

For making chocolate shavings for cake decorating, it is important to select high-quality chocolate with a good cocoa content. Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa is ideal for creating rich and flavorful shavings that will enhance the overall taste of your cake. Milk chocolate, on the other hand, may be too soft and creamy, making it difficult to create well-defined shavings.

One popular choice for chocolate shavings is semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, which strikes a perfect balance between sweetness and cocoa intensity. These types of chocolates are firm enough to hold their shape when shaved, yet they melt easily in your mouth when paired with the rest of the cake components.

Chocolate TypeCocoa Content
Semisweet Chocolate50-60%
Bittersweet Chocolate60-85%

Experimenting with different chocolates will help you determine which flavor profile works best for your specific cake recipe and personal taste preference. Remember, the quality of the chocolate you choose will greatly impact the overall presentation and taste of your decorated cake.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Chocolate Shavings

Step 1: Prepare the Chocolate

To start making chocolate shavings for cake decorating, you will first need to prepare the chocolate. Choose a high-quality chocolate bar or block – dark, milk, or white chocolate depending on your preference. Make sure the chocolate is at room temperature before you begin. This will make it easier to create long and thin shavings.

Step 2: Use the Right Tools

To create perfect chocolate shavings, you will need the right tools. A sharp vegetable peeler or a dedicated chocolate shaver is recommended for this task. These tools will allow you to shave thin strips of chocolate easily and smoothly. You can also use a cheese grater with larger holes for slightly thicker shavings if desired.

Step 3: Shave the Chocolate

Hold the chocolate bar firmly in one hand and use the vegetable peeler or chocolate shaver to slowly shave the edge of the chocolate bar. Apply gentle pressure to create thin and even shavings. If you are using a cheese grater, hold it at a slight angle and run the edge of the chocolate bar along it in a downward motion.

Decorating a Christmas Cake With Royal Icing

By following these steps, you can create beautiful and delicate chocolate shavings that will add an elegant touch to your cake decorating projects. Experiment with different types of chocolates and thickness of shavings to achieve various decorative effects on your cakes.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Chocolate Shavings

When it comes to cake decorating, one of the most versatile and visually appealing elements you can use is chocolate shavings. However, creating perfect chocolate shavings can be a bit tricky if you’re not familiar with the right techniques. Here are some tips and tricks to help you master the art of making chocolate shavings for your cakes:

First and foremost, it’s crucial to ensure that your tools and ingredients are properly prepared before starting the process. Make sure your chocolate is at room temperature but not too soft, as it will be easier to shave when slightly firm. Additionally, using a high-quality chocolate bar is essential for achieving the best results – avoid using chocolate chips or low-quality baking bars.

To make perfect chocolate shavings, use a sharp vegetable peeler or a mandoline slicer specifically designed for this purpose. Start by holding the chocolate firmly in one hand and carefully running the peeler or slicer along the edge of the chocolate away from you. Experiment with different angles and pressures to achieve varying thicknesses of shavings for added texture and visual interest on your cake.

Another helpful tip is to chill your chocolate bar in the refrigerator before shaving – this will make it easier to create clean and uniform shavings. Additionally, if you find that your shavings are breaking or crumbling, try warming the chocolate bar slightly with your hands before shaving. With these tips and tricks in mind, you’ll be able to create beautiful and professional-looking chocolate shavings for all your cake decorating needs.

Creative Ways to Use Chocolate Shavings in Cake Decorating

Adding Texture and Flavor

One creative way to use chocolate shavings in cake decorating is by adding them as a texture element to your creations. The delicate curls or shavings of chocolate can provide a contrast in both taste and texture when paired with the smooth frosting or cake batter. Sprinkle a generous amount on top of your cakes, cupcakes, or even truffles for an added layer of elegance and flavor.

Creating Artistic Designs

Another way to utilize chocolate shavings creatively is by incorporating them into intricate designs on your cakes. Use different sizes and shapes of shavings to form patterns, flowers, or geometric shapes on the surface of your desserts. With a bit of practice and patience, you can transform a plain cake into a work of edible art that will wow your guests.

Enhancing Presentation

Whether you’re making a simple sheet cake or an elaborate multi-tiered masterpiece, chocolate shavings can serve as the perfect finishing touch to elevate the overall presentation. Sprinkle them around the base of the cake for a decorative border, scatter them on the serving plate for an added flair, or use them to adorn individual slices for a professional and polished look. The possibilities are endless when it comes to using chocolate shavings in cake decorating.

Storage and Preservation of Chocolate Shavings

When it comes to making chocolate shavings for cake decorating, you may find yourself with more chocolate shavings than needed for a particular project. In such cases, knowing how to properly store and preserve these delicate decorations can save you time and effort in the future. Here are some tips on how to store and preserve your chocolate shavings effectively:

  • Container: Store your chocolate shavings in an airtight container to prevent them from absorbing any unwanted odors or moisture from the surroundings. This will help maintain the freshness and integrity of the chocolate shavings.
  • Refrigeration: While chocolate should generally be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, chocolate shavings can benefit from being refrigerated if you live in a warm climate. Just make sure to bring them back to room temperature before using them on cakes.
  • Freezing: If you have a surplus of chocolate shavings that you won’t be using for an extended period, consider freezing them. Place the chocolate shavings in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag, ensuring they are well protected from freezer burn.

Properly storing your chocolate shavings not only helps maintain their quality but also ensures that you always have beautifully crafted decorations on hand for your next cake decorating project. Whether it’s for a special occasion or simply to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings, having a supply of chocolate shavings ready to go will undoubtedly come in handy.

Remember, when you’re ready to use your stored chocolate shavings, gently thaw frozen shavings in the refrigerator or at room temperature until they reach their original texture. By following these storage and preservation tips, you can enjoy the convenience of having homemade chocolate shavings at your disposal whenever inspiration strikes for your next cake decorating masterpiece.

Troubleshooting Common Issues When Making Chocolate Shavings

When attempting to create beautiful chocolate shavings for cake decorating, you may encounter a few common issues that can affect the quality and appearance of your final product. It’s important to address these problems promptly to ensure that your cakes turn out as visually appealing as possible. Below are some common issues that may arise when making chocolate shavings, along with troubleshooting tips to help you overcome them:

  • Issue: Chocolate shavings are too thick or chunky
  • If your chocolate shavings are turning out thicker than desired, it could be due to the temperature of the chocolate or the type of tool you are using.
    To troubleshoot this issue, try adjusting the temperature of the chocolate by allowing it to cool slightly before shaving. Additionally, consider using a sharper peeler or knife to create thinner shavings.

  • Issue: Chocolate shavings keep breaking or crumbling
  • When your chocolate shavings keep breaking apart instead of forming long, elegant curls, it can be frustrating and make decorating your cakes challenging.
    To resolve this issue, make sure that the chocolate is at the right temperature – too cold or too warm can cause it to crumble easily. Be gentle when handling the chocolate and apply even pressure while shaving to create smoother, more uniform curls.

  • Issue: Chocolate shavings are melting or sticking together
  • If your chocolate shavings seem to be melting or sticking together into a clump, it could be due to high humidity in your kitchen or improper storage techniques.
    To fix this issue, try moving your work area to a cooler location with less humidity. You can also chill the chocolate for a few minutes before shaving and work quickly to prevent excessive melting. Storing the shaved chocolate in an airtight container in a cool place can help prevent clumping and sticking.

By addressing these common issues and implementing the troubleshooting tips provided above, you should be able to overcome any challenges you encounter when making chocolate shavings for cake decorating. With practice and patience, you’ll soon master the art of creating perfect chocolate curls to elevate your cake decorations.


In conclusion, mastering the art of making chocolate shavings for cake decorating can truly elevate your skills in the kitchen. The delicate and elegant touch that chocolate shavings add to a cake or dessert cannot be understated. By following our step-by-step guide and utilizing the right tools and ingredients, you can create professional-looking decorations that will impress your friends and family.

Remember, choosing the right type of chocolate is essential for achieving the perfect consistency and flavor in your shavings. Whether you prefer dark, milk, or white chocolate, each one can offer a unique twist to your desserts. Experiment with different varieties to find your favorite combination.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to get creative with how you use chocolate shavings in your cake decorating. From simple sprinkling on top of a frosted cake to elaborate designs and patterns, the possibilities are endless. And with proper storage and preservation techniques, you can ensure that you always have a stash of chocolate shavings ready for any baking project that comes your way.

Overall, mastering the skill of making chocolate shavings for cake decorating is sure to take your culinary creations to the next level. So gather your tools, pick out your favorite chocolates, and start practicing – soon enough, you’ll be able to effortlessly add a touch of elegance and sophistication to every dessert you make.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Make Chocolate Flakes at Home?

Making chocolate flakes at home is a simple process that requires only a few key steps. First, ensure your chocolate is at room temperature for easier shaving. Then, using a vegetable peeler or knife, carefully shave the edge of the chocolate bar to create thin flakes.

You can also use a grater if you prefer smaller flakes. Be gentle to avoid breaking the chocolate and voila – homemade chocolate flakes ready for garnishing desserts!

What Chocolate Is Best for Chocolate Shavings?

The best type of chocolate for making shavings is high-quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content. This type of chocolate is ideal because it has a firmer texture that makes it easier to shave into beautiful curls or flakes without melting too quickly.

Avoid using milk chocolate for shavings as it tends to be softer and may not hold its shape well.

How Do You Shave Chocolate for Decorations?

Shaving chocolate for decorations requires a steady hand and the right tools. Start by selecting a quality chocolate bar and ensuring it is at room temperature for easy shaving. Using a sharp vegetable peeler or knife, carefully shave thin curls off the edges of the chocolate bar onto your dessert or dish.

For finer shavings, consider using a microplane grater instead. The key is to be patient and gentle to create elegant chocolate decorations that will elevate your final presentation.

Send this to a friend