How to Shave Chocolate for Cake Decorating

Are you looking to elevate your cake decorating skills with a touch of elegance and decadence? In this article, we will explore the art of how to shave chocolate for cake decorating. Chocolate shavings are not only a visually stunning addition to any dessert, but they also add a rich and intense flavor that complements the sweetness of cakes perfectly.

When it comes to creating beautiful chocolate shavings for cake decoration, it is essential to understand the importance of using the right type of chocolate. Whether you prefer dark, milk, or white chocolate, each type offers a unique taste and appearance when shaved onto cakes. By selecting high-quality chocolate, you can enhance the overall presentation and taste of your baked creations.

Before you begin shaving chocolate for cake decorating, it is crucial to have the necessary tools at hand. From a sharp knife to a vegetable peeler or even a microplane grater, each tool provides different results in terms of texture and thickness of the chocolate shavings. Additionally, proper preparation of the chocolate by tempering or chilling it ensures that you achieve clean and precise shavings for your cake decorations.

Types of Chocolate

When it comes to cake decorating, chocolate shavings can add a beautiful and delicious touch to any dessert. However, not all types of chocolate are created equal when it comes to shaving. The best types of chocolate for shaving are usually those with a high cocoa butter content, as they will yield smooth and delicate shavings that are easy to work with. Some popular choices include dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate.

Dark chocolate is a favorite among many bakers for shaving due to its intense flavor and firm texture. It is important to select high-quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content for the best results.

Milk chocolate, on the other hand, is sweeter and creamier than dark chocolate, making it a great option for those who prefer a milder taste in their shavings. White chocolate has a rich and buttery flavor that can add an elegant touch to any cake decoration.

No matter which type of chocolate you choose for shaving, it is essential to ensure that it is of good quality to achieve the best results. Experiment with different types of chocolate to find the one that suits your taste preferences and complements your cake design. This way, you can create stunning decorations that not only look impressive but also taste deliciously indulgent.

Necessary Tools

When it comes to shaving chocolate for cake decorating, having the right tools can make a significant difference in the final result. One essential tool needed for this task is a good quality vegetable peeler. A sharp and sturdy vegetable peeler will allow you to create thin and even chocolate shavings. Additionally, a microplane grater can also be used to produce fine chocolate shavings that are perfect for decorating cakes.

Another important tool for shaving chocolate is a sharp knife. A long and thin blade knife, such as a chef’s knife or a paring knife, can be used to create larger curls or shavings of chocolate. Make sure the knife is sharp to avoid crumbling or breaking the chocolate while shaving. Finally, having a cutting board where you can place the chocolate while shaving with the knife is essential for stability and safety during the process.

In addition to these tools, having a clean kitchen towel or paper towels on hand can be helpful when working with chocolate. These can be used to handle the chocolate to avoid melting it with warm hands and to wipe down any excess moisture from the surface of the chocolate before shaving. With these necessary tools in your arsenal, you will be well-equipped to beautifully shave chocolate for your next cake decorating project.

Vegetable PeelerCreate thin and even chocolate shavings
Microplane GraterProduce fine chocolate shavings
Sharp KnifeCreate larger curls or shavings of chocolate


When it comes to preparing chocolate for shaving in cake decorating, proper preparation is key to achieving perfect and delicate shavings. There are a few necessary steps that need to be taken before you can start shaving the chocolate for your cake decorations. Here’s a detailed guide on how to prepare your chocolate:

  • Choose the Right Chocolate: The type of chocolate you choose will greatly impact the ease of shaving and the final result. Opt for high-quality chocolate bars or blocks that are at least 70% cocoa for best results.
  • Temper the Chocolate: Before shaving the chocolate, it’s important to temper it properly. Tempering helps stabilize the cocoa butter crystals in the chocolate, ensuring that it has a smooth texture and glossy finish when shaved.
  • Chop or Break the Chocolate: Start by chopping or breaking your chocolate into smaller pieces. This will make it easier to work with when it comes time to shave it. Make sure that the pieces are uniform in size for even shavings.
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Once you have completed these preparation steps, you are ready to move on to actually shaving the chocolate using your chosen technique. By taking the time to properly prepare your chocolate, you will ensure a beautiful and professional-looking finished product that will impress any cake decorating enthusiast.

Next Steps

  1. Get your high-quality chocolate bars or blocks
  2. Temper the chocolate
  3. Chop or break the chocolate into smaller pieces


Shaving chocolate for cake decorating is a skill that can take your baked creations to the next level. The delicate and beautiful curls of chocolate not only add a touch of elegance to your cakes but also provide a delicious contrast in both texture and flavor. Knowing the right techniques for shaving chocolate is essential to achieve the perfect result, whether you are aiming for fine shavings or chunkier curls.

When it comes to shaving chocolate for cake decorating, there are various techniques that you can use, depending on the desired outcome. Here are some commonly used methods:

  • Using a Vegetable Peeler: One of the most straightforward ways to shave chocolate is by using a sharp vegetable peeler. Simply run the peeler along the edge of a chocolate bar to create thin, delicate shavings. This technique works well if you want finely shaved chocolate to sprinkle over cakes or desserts.
  • Using a Knife: If you prefer thicker curls or chunks of chocolate for decorating, using a knife may be more suitable. Start by heating up your knife slightly (by running it under hot water) to ensure clean cuts through the chocolate. Gently scrape the knife across the surface of the chocolate to create larger shavings or curls.

Experiment with different techniques to see which one works best for the specific cake decorating project you have in mind. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempts at shaving chocolate don’t turn out exactly as planned.


  1. Choose high-quality chocolate for better results
  2. Chill the chocolate before shaving for cleaner cuts
  3. Work slowly and carefully to prevent breaking or melting the chocolate

By mastering the art of shaving chocolate, you can elevate your cake decorating skills and impress your friends and family with stunning creations. So grab your favorite type of chocolate, sharpen your tools, and start experimenting with different techniques to add a touch of decadence to your next baked masterpiece.

Tips and Tricks

When it comes to cake decorating, chocolate shavings can elevate the look of your creation and add a touch of elegance. However, achieving perfectly shaved chocolate requires some skill and know-how. In this section, we will discuss some helpful tips and tricks to ensure that you can create beautiful chocolate shavings for your cakes.

One important tip when shaving chocolate for cake decorating is to use high-quality chocolate. The better the quality of the chocolate, the easier it will be to shave and the more beautiful the shavings will look on your cake. Opt for dark or semi-sweet chocolate with a high cocoa content for best results.

Another essential tip is to make sure that your chocolate is properly tempered before shaving. Tempering helps to stabilize the cocoa butter in the chocolate, resulting in a smooth and glossy finish. You can temper your chocolate by melting it gently, then stirring it until it reaches the right temperature for shaving.

Additionally, using the right tools is crucial for achieving perfect chocolate shavings. A vegetable peeler or a sharp knife are great tools for shaving chocolate. Make sure the blade is sharp to create thin and even shavings. You can also use a microplane grater for finer shavings that can be easily sprinkled on top of your cake.

Use high-quality chocolateEasier to shave and better-looking shavings
Properly temper your chocolateCreates a smooth and glossy finish
Utilize sharp tools like a vegetable peeler or knifeCreate thin and even shavings efficiently

Decorating With Chocolate Shavings

Chocolate Shavings as a Border

One simple yet effective way to use chocolate shavings for cake decorating is by creating a border around the edges of the cake. Once you have shaved the chocolate using your preferred method, gently press the shavings onto the sides of the cake.

You can alternate between dark and white chocolate shavings for a striking contrast or stick to one type for a more uniform look. This technique adds texture and depth to your cake while giving it a professional touch.

Layered Chocolate Shavings

For a more intricate design, consider layering chocolate shavings on top of each other in a cascading pattern. Start by placing a thick layer of chocolate shavings in the center of the cake and gradually thinning them out towards the edges. This creates a beautiful ombre effect that is both visually appealing and indulgent. You can play around with different angles and shapes to create unique designs that will surely impress your guests.

Chocolate Shaving Flowers

Take your cake decorating skills to the next level by crafting delicate chocolate shaving flowers to adorn your dessert. To create these edible floral decorations, carefully shave long strips of chocolate and roll them up into tight coils resembling flower petals. Arrange these chocolate shaving flowers on top of your cake in clusters or as single blooms for an elegant touch. Experiment with different sizes and types of chocolate to add dimension and beauty to your creation.

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Incorporating these creative ways to use chocolate shavings for decorating cakes will not only enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your desserts but also showcase your skills as a baker. Whether you opt for simple borders or intricate designs, remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to working with chocolate shavings in cake decorating. Don’t be afraid to experiment and unleash your creativity to achieve stunning results that will leave everyone impressed at your next gathering.


Storing chocolate shavings properly is essential to maintain their quality and prevent them from losing their flavor or texture. Whether you have leftover chocolate shavings from a cake decorating project or you want to pre-make them for future use, following the right storage techniques is crucial. Here are some instructions on how to properly store chocolate shavings:

Air-Tight Container

After shaving the chocolate, make sure to transfer the shavings into an air-tight container. This will help protect them from moisture, odors, and other external factors that may affect their taste and appearance. Choose a container that fits the quantity of chocolate shavings you have and seal it tightly to ensure maximum freshness.

Cool and Dark Place

It is recommended to store chocolate shavings in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Excessive heat can cause the chocolate to melt and lose its shape, while exposure to light can lead to discoloration. A pantry or cabinet in your kitchen would be an ideal spot for storing your chocolate shavings.

Refrigeration or Freezing (Optional)

If you live in a hot and humid climate or want to extend the shelf life of your chocolate shavings, you can consider refrigerating or freezing them. Wrap the air-tight container with a layer of plastic wrap before placing it in the refrigerator or freezer. Just remember that when you take out frozen chocolate shavings, allow them to come back to room temperature gradually before using them for decorating cakes.

By following these storage instructions, you can ensure that your chocolate shavings remain fresh and ready for any future cake decorating projects. Properly stored chocolate shavings can last for weeks without compromising their quality, allowing you to add a touch of elegance and indulgence to your sweet creations whenever needed.


In conclusion, mastering the technique of shaving chocolate for cake decorating can truly take your baking skills to the next level. As discussed, understanding the types of chocolate that work best, having the necessary tools on hand, and knowing the proper preparation steps are essential components in achieving beautiful chocolate shavings for your cakes.

By following the outlined techniques such as using a vegetable peeler or knife, you can create intricate designs and add a touch of elegance to your desserts.

One key aspect to keep in mind is that practice makes perfect when it comes to shaving chocolate. Don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts are not flawless – with time and patience, you will improve your skills and be able to create professional-looking chocolate shavings for all your cake decorating projects. Remember to apply the tips and tricks shared in this article, such as working with chilled chocolate and using gentle pressure while shaving, to ensure success.

So, why not challenge yourself and elevate your cake decorating game by incorporating chocolate shavings into your designs? Whether you opt for simple sprinklings or intricate patterns, experimenting with different ways to decorate using shaved chocolate can add a special touch to any celebration.

So go ahead, gather your tools, follow the techniques outlined here, and have fun exploring the creative possibilities of how to shave chocolate for cake decorating. Your desserts will surely stand out and impress everyone who takes a bite.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Best Way to Shave Chocolate?

The best way to shave chocolate is by using a sharp knife to carefully slice thin curls or shavings off a block of chocolate. This method allows for precision and control over the texture of the shaved chocolate.

What Is the Best Tool to Shave Chocolate With?

A tool specifically designed for shaving chocolate, such as a chocolate shaver or a truffle slicer, is considered the best tool for the job. These tools are created with the ideal design and sharpness to achieve delicate and thin chocolate shavings effortlessly.

Can You Use a Cheese Grater to Shave Chocolate?

While it is technically possible to use a cheese grater to shave chocolate, it may not be the most efficient or effective tool for the task. Cheese graters are typically designed for shredding cheese into larger pieces, which may not give you the fine texture and control that shaving chocolate requires.

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