Learn how to make Chocolate Bark … it’s so easy and delicious, and you can choose your favorite chocolate and toppings!
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I meant to share this recipe at Christmastime, but I ran out of time. With everything going on right now, I figured we could all use a sweet treat, so better late than never!
The truth is that Chocolate Bark is a delicious dessert that can be enjoyed at any time of year … like Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Halloween, or pretty much anytime you want to treat yourself.
Best of all, it’s so easy to make! You really only need two ingredients—the chocolate and the toppings—which means it’s perfect for a last minute gift (or snack attack).
Have I tempted you to whip up a batch? Then, keep reading for all the easy details!
This recipe really couldn’t be any easier to make! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Extract (Optional)
You will need 12 ounces of chocolate for this recipe, which is about one bag of chips or three bars. Don’t worry if you have a few ounces less or a little more … the recipe will work out just fine.
Any kind of chocolate (milk, dark, white, etc.) works, so feel free to choose your favorite. You can even mix different types of chocolate together … watch the video to see how I made marbled bark with white and dark choc.
It’s easy to customize this recipe to taste simply by choosing your favorite toppings … I’m sharing tons of creative ideas below! You can also add a teaspoon of extract (such as almond or peppermint), if you wish.
Tip: to make this recipe vegan, choose vegan toppings and read the labels on your chocolate. You’ll want to avoid chocolate containing milk or anything milk-derived, like whey, casein, milk, milk fat, and milk solids.
What is the Best Chocolate for Bark?
Any kind of chocolate works for bark, but make sure to choose something high quality. Ghirardelli or Lindt are dependable brands that are affordable and easy to find in most grocery stores. You can also use your favorite artisan brands, just remember to avoid added ingredients (like bits of nuts and fruits).
White chocolate is another good option, just keep in mind that it’s fairly temperamental to melt. You may want to buy a little extra. That way you’re covered if it seizes up, and you need to start over.
Want to make colored (or rainbow) bark? Use Candy Melts. They come in tons of different colors, which makes it easy to get creative!
You’ll Also Need
In addition to the chocolate and toppings, you’ll also need a sturdy baking sheet (this Circulon set is my fave) and some parchment paper (aluminum foil also works in a pinch). The recipe calls for using a microwave to melt the chocolate, but if you’d prefer (or don’t have a microwave), you can use a double boiler.
Want to make shaped chocolates? Instead of spreading the chocolate on a flat pan, add a thin layer to the cups of a muffin pan (use silicone pans to make it easier to pop them out later). Mini muffin pans also work, and you can even use shaped pans, like squares or hearts.
Bark Topping Ideas
Let’s talk about the fun part … the toppings! Pretty much anything you can think of can be used to top bark. Keep it somewhat healthy by choosing nuts and dried fruit, or go decadent with candy and other treats.
- Whole or Chopped Nuts (Almonds, Peanuts, Walnuts, Pecans, Macadamias, Pistachios, etc.)
- Seeds (Sesame, Pumpkin, Sunflower, etc.)
- Pretzels (Whole or Sticks)
- Candy (M&Ms, Crushed Candy Canes, Mini Peanut Butter Cups, Conversation Hearts, Candy Corn, etc.)
- Coconut Flakes or Chips
- Whole or Chopped Cookies (Oreos, Chocolate Chip, Ginger Snaps, Teddy Grahams, etc.)
- Crushed Potato Chips (look for extra crunchy varieties, like Kettle Chips)
- Dried Fruit (Cherries, Cranberries, Apples, Raisins, Orange Slices, Mango, Goji Berries, etc.)
- Freeze Dried Fruit (Strawberries, Bananas, Blueberries, Raspberries, etc.)
- Fresh Citrus Zest
- Candied Ginger
- Cereal (Chex, Rice Crispies, Lucky Charms, Granola, etc.)
- Sprinkles (I used Rainbow Jimmies, but there are tons of different sprinkles available. Avoid hard sprinkles, like dragees, that aren’t as pleasant to eat.)
- Toffee Bits
- Flaked or Coarse Salt (like Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)
- Marble (Swirl together white and dark chocolate … watch the video to learn how.)
- Chocolate Chips, Chunks, or Sprinkles
- Peanut Butter Chips
- Cinnamon Chips
- Caramel Bits
- S’mores (Marshmallows, Mini Candy Bars, and Crumbled Graham Crackers)
I used a bunch of different toppings, and everything was delicious. My favorite ended up being the mixed nuts (almonds, pepitas, walnuts, and pecans),which was sweet-salty perfection! On the less healthy side of the spectrum, I also loved the bark with Peanut Butter M&M’s (hard to beat that classic peanut butter + chocolate combo). My husband’s fave ended up being the mixed, freeze-dried fruit paired with white chocolate.
Topping Ideas for Different Holidays
Most people think of this easy candy as a Christmasy treat. It can be enjoyed anytime of year though, and the toppings can be customized accordingly. So use peppermint candy for Christmas, heart-shaped candy at Valentine’s Day, Lucky Charms for St. Patrick’s Day, mini eggs at Easter, or sprinkles and googly eyes for Halloween.
How to Make Chocolate Bark
This yummy bark is so simple to make, and I have a few tips to help make the recipe foolproof.
Prepping the Toppings
Before you melt the chocolate, prepare your toppings. You will need about 1/2 to 1 cup of toppings, depending on their size. For smaller ingredients, such as sprinkles, you’ll only need a few tablespoons.
Some ingredients, like pretzels, can be sprinkled on as-is. While others, like nuts and whole pieces of dried fruit, should be cut into bite size pieces first.
Once you’ve prepped everything, set the toppings aside while you melt the chocolate. If you’re planning to make different kinds of bark, arrange the toppings in small bowls to help you stay organized.
Melting the Chocolate
If you’re using a bar or block of chocolate, chop it into bite size pieces. Transfer the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl, then microwave for 30 seconds. Remove it from the microwave, then stir it really well. Continue microwaving the chocolate in 15 second intervals, making sure to stir really well in between.
You don’t want to 100% melt the chocolate in the microwave! There should be a few small chunks left … they’ll melt as you stir it.
Take your time to avoid overheating the chocolate. If you do accidentally overheat it, it will seize up (clump together), and you’ll have to throw it out and start over. You could also use a double boiler … it’s gentler, and a great option if you don’t have a microwave.
If you’re using extract, stir it in once the chocolate is melted.
Tip: white chocolate is very temperamental and prone to seizing up. It also takes less time to melt. After microwaving it for the initial 30 seconds, continue using 10 second (or smaller) intervals … always making sure to stir very well in between.
Spreading the Chocolate
Pour the chocolate onto a parchment lined baking sheet, then spread it into an even layer about 1/4-inch thick.
A regular spatula works fine for this. But if you’d prefer perfectly smooth bark, use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate.
Adding the Toppings
Sprinkle the toppings evenly over the bark. If you’re using a variety of toppings (like different kinds of fruits and nuts), add each one individually to ensure it’s evenly distributed.
Press larger ingredients, like pretzels, gently into the chocolate after you add them. That way, you can be sure they’ll lay flat and stay adhered.
After you’ve added the toppings, place the pan in your freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes (or your refrigerator for a little longer). You’ll know it’s ready when the Chocolate Bark has solidified.
How to Make Marble Bark
To make marbled bark, drizzle white chocolate over the melted milk / dark chocolate. Then, drag a spoon or spatula back and forth over the two layers to create swirls. Watch the video to see exactly how to do this … it’s much easier than you’d think.
How to Cut Bark
Once the bark has hardened, remove it from the freezer.
Use you hands to break it into irregular pieces. To avoid getting fingerprints on the chocolate, grasp it with parchment or wax paper instead of your bare hands.
For squares, let the bark warm up slightly so it’s not rock solid (or chill it for a shorter amount of time). Then use a knife to chop it into regular pieces. Chill it again so it’s firm enough to handle before separating the squares.
How to Store Bark
Store your homemade Chocolate Bark in an airtight container or zip top bag.
If your home is very cool, you can keep it at room temperature. Otherwise, store it in your refrigerator or freezer so it doesn’t melt. I prefer to store mine in the freezer … that way it’s out of sight and out of mind, but I can still grab a piece whenever a craving strikes.
Tip: Condensation can cause chocolate to become dull. If you’re serving the bark for a special occasion (or you’re planning to gift it), avoid storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. If that’s not possible, wrap it tightly first, then store it in an airtight container. When you’re ready to serve it, let the chocolate warm up before unwrapping it.
How Long is Bark Good For?
Chocolate Bark will last for one to two weeks on your counter. In the freezer, it will keep for a couple months (if stored in an airtight container).
More Chocolate Recipes You’ll Love
If you enjoyed this delicious chocolate treat, then you’ll want to try these recipes next:
- Strawberry Dark Chocolate Bark
- White Chocolate Peppermint Bark
- Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
- Fruit and Nut Chocolates
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Easy Chocolate Fondue
- S’Mores Freakshake
- 12 ounces chocolate
- 3/4 cup mixed nuts (or other toppings, like fruit, candy, pretzels, etc.)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or aluminum foil). Set aside.
- Chop chocolate into small pieces, then place in a bowl.
- Microwave chocolate for 30 seconds, then stir chocolate well. Continue microwaving in 15 second increments, stirring very well in between, until chocolate is melted. (For white chocolate use 10 second intervals. See notes below.)
- Spread melted chocolate over parchment paper, about 1/4-inch thick, using a spatula.
- Sprinkle chocolate with toppings.
- Freeze bark until set (about 10 minutes). Then cut into squares with a chef's knife or break into pieces with hands.
- Eat bark immediately or store in an airtight container a cool place. Enjoy!