This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.
To me, it’s not the holiday season without chocolate truffles.
Not only are they delightfully rich and tasty, but they’re so much fun to make with your kids or friends. Messy, but fun.
They’re the perfect romantic dessert to make for Valentine’s Day and they also make a perfect gift to give to friends, family, neighbors, or teachers any time of the year.
I’ve included a BUNCH of truffle making tips & customization options below for you to get creative, so have fun with it!
The BEST Chocolate Truffle Recipe
What Are Truffles?
A chocolate truffle is essentially a firm ganache, made of melted chocolate, cream, butter, and flavorings, shaped into balls and coated. It’s super simple but impressive – and so delicious!
How to Make Smooth, Creamy Chocolate Truffles
A bonus dose of butter and heavy cream help make these truffles rich and creamy. Don’t use light cream or half and half which contain less fat. That fat is essential to setting up these truffles.
What Kind of Chocolate Should I Use for Truffles?
- Do not use chocolate chips, which include ingredients that prevent them from fully melting to help preserve that chip shape even after baking (think chocolate chip cookies).
- Use finely chopped high-quality baking chocolate instead, for ultra-smooth truffles.
- I love to chop up bars of Ghirardelli chocolate, or even the Trader Joe’s Pound Plus chocolate as an economic and convenient option. A serrated knife is best for chopping chocolate. The smaller the pieces, the more quickly and evenly they’ll melt.
- If you want to splurge on super high-quality chocolate, try Guittard, Scharffen Berger, or Valrhona. You can find these brands at gourmet grocery stores, sometimes even Target or Whole Foods, or simply order online.
- I don’t recommend coating truffles in melting wafers, as they’re not real chocolate and I don’t prefer the taste. Instead, we’re going to temper our chocolate – learn how to temper chocolate here!
Do I Have to Use Semisweet Chocolate? Can I Use Different Chocolate?
I personally think semisweet chocolate lends the perfect balance of sweetness and chocolate flavor. You can use bittersweet instead, if preferred. If you use milk chocolate, reduce the amount of cream by 2 tablespoons. This recipe does not work with white chocolate which doesn’t contain cocoa butter.
Do I Have to Use Corn Syrup?
Nope! It’s an optional ingredient. It simply helps to keep the truffles smooth and fudgy without getting too hard.
Do I Have to Use Alcohol in My Truffles?
No – but it adds a wonderful punch of flavor. Some of my favorite options include:
- Raspberry liqueur (such as Chambord)
- Orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
- Hazelnut liqueur (such as Frangelico)
- Irish cream (such as Bailey’s)
- Coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)
Chocolate Truffle Flavor Ideas
If you didn’t want to use liqueur to flavor your truffles as listed above, here are some more options. You could even couple these options with some of the coating ideas below!
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
Tips For How to Shape Chocolate Truffles
- The truffle mixture must be well chilled, otherwise it’ll just be a mess and your balls won’t hold their shape.
- Use a spring-loaded scoop to make quick work of shaping perfectly uniform truffles.
- Pop the scoops of truffle filling onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate until slightly hardened, about 15 minutes. This makes them MUCH easier to roll into smooth balls.
- Roll the balls between your palms to smooth them into even spheres. Use disposable gloves to prevent your hands from melting the chocolate. Or, dip your hands in ice water every few minutes as you roll the truffles. If the chocolate begins to melt too much, return to the fridge.
How to Dip Truffles in Chocolate
- Make sure your shaped truffles have chilled for at least 30 minutes before dipping in chocolate. They should be nice and firm.
- Your chocolate should be completely smooth and melted, but not scalding hot. Place the chocolate in a small but deep heat-proof bowl. This allows you to reheat the chocolate in the microwave if it gets too cold and hard.
- Use tempered chocolate to get a professional snappy and shiny coating, which stays hard without refrigeration.
- Avoid swirling the truffles in chocolate. Drop your truffle in the chocolate and spoon the chocolate over the top. Swirling can make a mess.
- Use a fork or chocolate dipping tool to lift the truffle out of the chocolate. The excess chocolate will drip down through the tines of the fork or tool.
- Tap your hand, not the fork, to allow the excess to drip off. This prevents you from damaging the truffle or creating an uneven chocolate coating.
- Use a toothpick to help transfer the truffle from the fork to your cookie sheet for minimal pooling of chocolate at the base of the truffle.
Other Chocolate Truffle Coating Options
If you’d prefer to coat your truffles instead of dipping them in chocolate, simply place your chosen coating(s) in separate small bowls. Place the truffle in and turn to coat completely, pressing in the coating if needed. If your truffles are too cold and hard, they may not coat easily, so allow them to warm up slightly.
Below are some of my favorite coating options:
- Finely chopped nuts (like pecans, pistachios, or hazelnuts)
- Unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- Crushed freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries
- Shredded coconut
- Powdered sugar
- Finely chopped crystallized ginger
- Matcha powder
- Crushed peppermint candy canes
How to Store Chocolate Truffles
The truffles can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
How to Gift Chocolate Truffles
- For wrapping and gifting chocolate coated truffles, I highly recommend using tempered chocolate. This way it won’t get soft and melty. Instead, it’ll stay nice and hard, shiny, and snappy.
- Placing the truffles inside a small festive gift box makes them look so cute and special. Treat boxes & bags are easily found at stores like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby – or these are available on Amazon.
- You could even use a plastic egg container for an upcycled option. Or a mason jar for a reusable option.
- If gifting truffles coated in something a little messy, I’d highly recommend using mini cupcake liners to place each truffle into.
More Desserts You’ll Love:
- Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
- Peppermint Oreo Truffles
- Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake Bites
- Cookie Dough Hearts
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
For the truffles:
- 8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup (optional)
- 1 tablespoon rum or liqueur (optional)
For the coating:
- 10 ounces
- Cocoa powder, sifted
- Chopped nuts
- Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Stir in the corn syrup and alcohol (if using). Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before whisking vigorously until melted and smooth like pudding.
- Refrigerate, uncovered, for 3 hours or overnight.
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Roll the mounds into balls with the palms of your hands. Use disposable gloves to prevent your hands from melting the chocolate. Or, dip your hands in ice water every few minutes as you roll the truffles.
- Return the truffles to the baking sheet and chill for another 30 minutes, or until firm.
- Place cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts, sprinkles, etc. in separate shallow dishes. Roll each chilled ball in your desired coating, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
To dip in chocolate:
- Dip the balls in tempered chocolate. For smooth results, use a fork or chocolate dipping tool to completely plunge the ball in chocolate. Lift up and tap the hand holding the fork to allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Use a toothpick to gently slide the dipped truffles onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with any garnishes before the chocolate sets, if desired. Repeat with remaining balls, wiping off your fork with a paper towel after every couple truffles. Let the truffles set completely before serving or storing.
- The truffles can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
This post was created in 2020 and has been updated with additional recipe tips and information. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.