Admit it. You’ve long admired those gorgeous garnishes on fancy schmancy cakes and every now and again you wonder how to make chocolate curls at home. So have we. Fortunately, it couldn’t be easier. All you need is a vegetable peeler, some chocolate, and a microwave. No special skills required. Here’s how.–Renee Schettler Rossi

A pile of white chocolate curls

How to Make Chocolate Curls

4.72 / 7 votes
We explain exactly what to do to make stunning chocolate curls or shavings at home for topping cakes, cupcakes, tarts, and pies with nothing more than a vegetable peeler and a chocolate bar.
David Leite
Servings1 serving
Calories144 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes


  • 1 bar or block chocolate, whether dark, milk, or white (the exact amount depends on how many curls you need), room temperature
  • Parchment paper


  • Unless it's a hot and humid summer day, you'll probably need to microwave the block of chocolate on medium power until it's ever so slightly softened. Try heating the chocolate for no more than 20 seconds at first.
  • Hold the chocolate above a piece of parchment paper and gently but firmly scrape a vegetable peeler against a long, smooth side of the chocolate.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: Hold the block of chocolate with a piece of parchment paper so that the heat from your hand doesn't transfer to the chocolate and melt it.

  • If the chocolate curls without the curl shattering or breaking, it's warm enough.  If the chocolate doesn't easily curl, nuke it again on medium power in 5-second intervals until the desired softness has been reached. Depending on the microwave, it may take a total of about 35 seconds. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate or it won't curl.
  • Continue to make chocolate curls or shavings with the vegetable peeler, letting the curls fall onto a piece of parchment paper and reheating the chocolate as necessary.
  • Let the chocolate curls set. Avoid touching the chocolate curls as much as possible. If not using the curls within a short time, transfer the parchment and curls to the refrigerator.
  • Gently scatter the chocolate curls atop cakes, cupcakes, tarts, or any other place a little chocolate loveliness is desired.
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Serving: 1 ozCalories: 144 kcalCarbohydrates: 17 gProtein: 1 gFat: 10 gSaturated Fat: 6 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gSodium: 5 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 15 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2016 Tessa Huff. Photo © 2016 Tessa Huff. All rights reserved.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Wow, this recipe works amazingly! I’ve tried so many different ways to make chocolate curls and they always fail. This worked perfect!

    1. Magnificent to hear that this technique worked for you, Anna! We, too, have found it to be failproof. Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know!