This beginners guide to homemade hot chocolate bombs will give you all the tools, tips, and tricks you need to start making homemade hot chocolate bombs in any flavor or color you can imagine.
The perfect marriage of a chocolate truffle and hot chocolate, these homemade hot chocolate bombs are the trendiest way to enjoy a mug of hot cocoa. Easy to make, fun to customize, and great for gifting!
A Beginners Guide to Hot Chocolate Bombs
Hot chocolate bombs have become all the rage this holiday season. Afterall, who can resist a ball of chocolate that melts into the perfect mug of hot cocoa? They spark all the warm fuzzy feelings, making for the perfect cold weather treat.
While these hot cocoa balls have started popping up at bakeries and candy shops across the country, many would be surprised to learn that they are quite simple to make at home. All you need is a silicone chocolate mold, chocolate chips, and hot cocoa mix.
Whether you want a fun holiday project to do with your kids or are looking to make a homemade gift for the teachers, neighbors, and relatives on your list, homemade hot chocolate bombs are just what you need.
Once you’ve mastered the basics you can experiment with any flavor combination you desire.
Making these successfully does mean you need the right tools, but they don’t have to be expensive and you can improvise as needed. Here are the basics:
- silicone chocolate mold – Heat resistant and non-stick, both necessary when molding hot, melted chocolate into shape. It’s also flexible, which makes it easier to work with compared to a metal mold.
- microwave safe bowl – or – double boiler (small saucepan and a metal or glass mixing bowl)
- wire whisk
- silicone spatula
- glass or ceramic dinner plate
- metal spoon
While most hot chocolate bombs are made out of spheres, you can use any shape you desire. You can find hearts for Valentine’s Day, shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, you can even decorate little Christmas trees for Christmas.
My recommendation: start with the balls, as they are easiest to work with, then branch out into making more custom shapes once you are more experienced. No matter what shape you choose, the ingredients and method are going to be the same.
The ingredients for a basic hot chocolate bomb is chocolate for the ball and hot cocoa mix to fill it. From there you can get into flavor add-ins for customized combinations.
The chocolate for the shell can come in many forms. You can use basic chocolate chips, chocolate discs, baking chocolate, chocolate candy bars, or even candy melts. If I’m buying chocolate just to make these I use chocolate chips, but you can use whatever chocolate you have on hand.
Measure the amount by weight or volume, knowing that if you don’t melt enough of it, you can always melt more. It is not necessary to use exact amounts in order to get great results.
Want a colored shell for something fun and festive? Use white chocolate or candy melts and add in powdered or gel food coloring. Liquid can thin the texture too much.
Want to add a hint of flavor to the shell? For actual chocolate shells use only oil based flavorings. If you are using white chocolate or candy melts you can use alcohol based flavorings and extracts. Raspberry, orange, and mint are some of my favorites.
For the inside of the chocolate bomb you will need hot chocolate mix. You can make it from scratch or buy premade stuff in bulk. I say bulk because it’s easier to measure out than use packets, but packets work too.
Beyond the hot chocolate mix, the rest of the fillings are up to you. Add in crushed cookies, mini marshmallows, powdered coffee, or anything else that would enhance your hot chocolate experience.
How to Melt Chocolate
The chocolate in these hot chocolate bombs doesn’t have anything added to it, it’s just melted chocolate chips or candy melts. When melting chocolate it can get too hot, causing it to scorch or burn. Neither of which make for a tasty chocolate treat.
Adding water to melted chocolate can cause it to seize up and become unworkable. This is why we avoid alcohol-based extracts, and liquid or gel food colorings in chocolate.
When working with chocolate make sure your tools are thoroughly dried before use. Do not cover hot melted chocolate, to prevent condensation from forming.
No matter which method you choose, when melting chocolate stir it often and remove it from the heat source once it’s melted. If your chocolate gets too hot but isn’t yet burned, stir in more chocolate to cool it down.
You can always add more heat if needed, but once it’s burned you’ll have to start over with fresh chocolate.
Melting Chocolate in the Microwave
For most people the easiest method for melting chocolate is to use the microwave. You’ll need a microwave safe bowl that doesn’t retain much heat and a spatula for stirring.
Simply microwave the chocolate on a medium setting for 30 second bursts, stopping after each burst to stir. As the chocolate gets hotter and meltier, you’ll notice that more of the melting process is happening during the stirring rather than in the actual microwave.
Keep microwaving and stirring until the chocolate is almost smooth. Continue stirring to complete the melting process.
Melting Chocolate in a Double Boiler
In my house, the microwave is use to store things like bread, tortillas, and crackers, so it’s often easier not to use it. Instead of having to unload it and have stuff everywhere, I prefer to use a double boiler.
A double boiler is a method that uses two pots. The bottom pots is filled with water to create the water bath, while the top pot sits on top of the bottom pot. When the water in the bottom pot boils, it transfers a gentle heat into the top pot. This gentler heating method means that whatever is in the top pot, will be heated gradually and it’s less likely to scorch or burn.
To melt chocolate in a double boiler: put the chocolate in the top pot, place it over the boiling water in the bottom pot, and stir the chocolate continuously until it melts. Remove from heat and be careful not to splash any water into the chocolate.
How to make a double boiler with things already in my kitchen
Don’t own an actual double boiler? You don’t need to! You can easily make one using common household cooking items.
For the bottom pot, any small saucepan will do. I typically use the smallest saucepan I own, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
The top part can be fashioned from any heat safe mixing bowl. Think metal or glass. Metal transfers heat more quickly, is lighter weight, and I find it easier to handle. Glass on the other hand feels a bit more sturdy due to its weight. Use whichever you own. Do not use plastic.
Make sure the top piece is wide enough to completely cover the opening of the pan, while still sitting inside (not on top of) the pan. My favorite metal mixing bowl to use is the one from my KitchenAid stand mixer. The handle makes it super easy to maneuver!
How to Fill the Chocolate Mold
Once the chocolate is melted fill the chocolate molds. For each chocolate bomb you will need two chocolate shell halves. A mold with 6 slots will make 3 hot chocolate bombs.
The most important thing to remember when filling the mold is to make sure to layer the chocolate evenly up the sides of the mold.
You don’t want to end up with spheres with sides that are too thin to hold together. I recommend doing two thinner layers of chocolate, letting the chocolate set up between layers.
You’ll want to use about half of the melted chocolate on the first layer, reserving the second half for the second layer. You may have to reheat the chocolate between layers to keep it easy to work with.
Filling the Chocolate Shells
The most basic of hot chocolate bombs is filled with just hot chocolate mix. Like to keep it simple? Add two tablespoons of hot cocoa mix and call it a day. Want to make things a little more interesting? Use your imagination!
You can add mini marshmallows, crushed up candies like toffee or peppermints, sprinkles, crushed cookies like oreos or biscoffs, or any other sweet treats that would go well with hot chocolate.
Only fill half of the chocolate shell halves, the bottom halves, leaving the other halves to serve as the tops. Do not overfill the bottom half. You want the halves to come together without force, or you could break them.
Things to avoid in your chocolate truffles: liquids
Fillings like flavored coffee creamer, cordials, or liqueurs do add a fantastic flavor to a hot chocolate bomb, but I recommend against putting them inside the truffle itself.
The liquid can cause the chocolate shells to breakdown, causing them to leak and taking away the magic of an exploding hot chocolate bomb. Putting liquid inside chocolates and expecting it to have a long shelf life is something best left to professional chocolatiers.
If you do choose to put the liqueur or other liquid flavor enhancers inside the truffle, it will reduce the shelf life to about 24 hours, if you are lucky. Want to learn more about how to include the liquid inside a chocolate truffle? Checkout these instructions from Chef Eddy and proceed with caution.
The best way to add a liquid to your hot chocolate bomb is to combine it with the hot milk or water, or stir it in while your hot chocolate bomb is exploding. Stir in kahlua, Irish cream, amaretto, orange liqueur, or any other flavor you desire for a tasty hot chocolate cocktail.
How to Seal Homemade Hot Chocolate Bombs
To get your chocolate bombs to fit stick together without messy edges, you need to start with edges that are as smooth as possible. If you have really rough edges, smooth them out before you fill them by either melting them slightly or gently breaking off any uneven pieces.
To seal the bombs you need one filled half shell, one empty half shell, and a surface that is warm enough to melt the chocolate in order to meld the two sides together.
A warm plate works well. Get it hot in the microwave, or place it over your double boiler to let the steam heat it up. Another great method (my go to) is to use a small non-stick skillet on a very low burner.
Grab the empty half shell and press it against the warm/hot surface just until it starts to melt. Remove it and carefully press it against a filled bottom shell. Hold it for a few seconds while the chocolate cools back down and they should stick together.
If you have spots that aren’t sticking, you can use additional melted chocolate to fill in the gaps.
If you have messy edges that you want to clean up, warm a spoon under a hot faucet or dip it in the boiling water from the double boiler and rub the back of it along the seam to smooth and straighten the edges.
Decorating Homemade Hot Chocolate Bombs
This last step is optional, but decorating these hot chocolate bombs can be so much fun! It’s also a helpful reminder for what you put inside each one.
The decorations on the outside should be something that will dry completely and solidly. If you use a soft icing, it will make a mess.
The BEST decoration is more chocolate in a contrasting color that has been thinned slightly with solid shortening, like coconut oil.
For extra variety, mix white chocolate chips with powdered food coloring and the sky’s the limit. You can drizzle it on with a fork, pipe it on with a decorating tip, or dip the hot chocolate bomb in it before rolling in other toppings.
Whatever you’ve put inside the hot chocolate bomb can also be used as decoration on the outside. A dusting of hot cocoa mix over piped on chocolate adds such a pretty touch.
Dipping the finished bomb in extra chocolate of the same color then rolling it in crushed cookies is a great way to make your fillings obvious.
Making Homemade Hot Chocolate Bombs into Hot Chocolate
This is the best part!! Add one chocolate bomb to a mug large enough to hold it and add steaming hot milk or water. Stir until it’s dissolved and enjoy!
How do you know if you should use milk or water? Check the package for your hot chocolate mix. Many of them contain powdered milk and only call for hot water. Some of them say the choice is up to you. Some of them need milk in order to taste right.
Using milk will result in a richer, more decadent hot chocolate. Using water may be “less decadent” but if you’ve loaded your bombs with flavor, hot water may be all you need for a really enjoyable cup of cocoa.
Homemade Hot Chocolate Bomb Gifts
Now that you’ve fallen in love with homemade hot chocolate bombs, it’s time to share them with your friends! These exploding chocolate truffles make great gifts any time of the year.
Combine a hot chocolate bomb with a personalized mug for a thoughtful and enjoyable gift for teachers, neighbors, coworkers, or anyone else. Take it up a notch and add in a mini bottle of your favorite liqueur, like kahlua or Irish cream.
Create themed hot chocolate bombs for the holidays. Personalize them for birthdays and celebrations. Put them in goodie bags at baby and bridal showers. You are only limited by your imagination!
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To Make Homemade Hot Chocolate Bombs
- 6 ounces semi-sweet* baking chocolate, chopped (or 1 cup chocolate chips)
- 6 TBSP hot cocoa mix
- 3 dozen mini marshmallows (about 3/8 cup or 6 TBSP)
- 3 ounces white* baking chocolate, (or ½ cup white chocolate chips) for topping (optional)
To Make Into Hot Chocolate
- 1 homemade hot chocolate bomb
- 1 cups hot milk*
To Make Homemade Hot Chocolate Bombs
- STOVETOP: Create a double boiler by setting a bowl over a pot of boiling water. Place 6 ounces chopped semi-sweet baking chocolate, (or 1 cup chocolate chips) into the top bowl. Stir often until chocolate is melted. MICROWAVE: Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat the chips on high in 15 second intervals stopping between each interval to stir. Continue to heat until chocolate is melted.
- Add a large spoonful of the melted chocolate into each of the 6 cavities in your silicone chocolate bomb mold. Smooth the chocolate up the sides of the mold with the back of a spoon making sure to completely coat the sides of each cavity.
- Refrigerate or freeze for a few minutes to set.
- Reheat the chocolate if necessary, then repeat the process by adding another spoonful of melted chocolate into each of the chilled mold cavities. Return the mold to the refrigerator or freezer to set.
- Remove the half rounds of set chocolate from the molds. Don't force them! They should come out pretty easily.
- Fill each of the three bottom half rounds with 2 tablespoons of hot cocoa mix and 12 mini marshmallows.
- STOVETOP: Heat a plate over the pot of boiling water until warm enough to melt chocolate. MICROWAVE: Heat a microwave safe plate for a few seconds, until warm enough to melt chocolate.
- Working with one bomb at a time, press one of the top half rounds against the heated plate to slightly melt the rim. Place the empty half round over the filled bottom half round to seal. Repeat with the remaining two chocolate bombs.
- If your seams are not tight enough or if they look messy, warm a spoon (dipping it in the hot water or run it under a hot faucet) then run back of the spoon along the seam to melt the chocolate and seal the edge.
- OPTIONAL: Melt the white chocolate chips (use the same method as step 1) then drizzle over the filled chocolate bombs. Return to the refrigerator or freezer to set.
To Make Into Hot Chocolate
- Heat the milk either on the stovetop or in the microwave, being careful not to burn or scald it.
- Place one hot chocolate bomb into you favorite large cup or mug. Pour the hot milk over the ball. The hot chocolate bomb should burst open, releasing the hot cocoa and marshmallows. Stir until smooth and enjoy.
*You can swap the types of chocolate however you desire. Any combination of dark, semi-sweet, milk or white chocolate will do.
*While I recommend 1 cup of hot milk per hot chocolate bomb, you can adjust that to make your drink as more (or less) chocolaty as you desire. For a less rich option, you can make it with part milk and part boiling water.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 621Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 174mgCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 4gSugar: 76gProtein: 13g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.
For the step by step version of this recipe, check out the step by step Beginners Guide to Homemade Hot Chocolate Bombs Story.