Chocolate Truffles are an elegant and indulgent treat you can easily make at home! They’re made with just 4 ingredients – heavy cream, semi-sweet chocolate, cherry kirsch, and dried cherries. Decorate them with chocolate, nuts, or cocoa powder for a festive treat you’ll love gifting and adding to holiday cookie plates.
Who’s ready to learn how to make homemade chocolate truffles? It’s one of the easiest (and best!) candy recipes you can make at home – there’s no candy thermometer required, and only 4 simple ingredients make up the base of this recipe. Let’s dive in, fellow chocolate lover!
Why you’ll love these Homemade Chocolate Truffles:
- Easy Recipe – This easy recipe can be broken up into simple steps, and requires just 6 ingredients!
- Customizable – Customize these truffles by rolling them in different coatings like cocoa powder, nuts, or sprinkles, or dip them in melted chocolate. (See notes in recipe substitutions below about omitting the alcohol.)
- Festive Treat – Nothing says festive like a beautiful plate of chocolate truffles! Make these for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any special occasion.
- Holiday Gift – Portion your homemade truffles into cute little treat tins and pop on a festive ribbon for a delicious and thoughtful homemade gift.
As always, the full recipe with measurements & directions can be found at the bottom of this post.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate – Use baking chocolate bars – not chocolate chips. Chocolate chips have stabilizers to keep them intact when baked (in a cookie, for example) and they will not melt as nicely as a baking bar. Use something like Baker’s, Scharffen Berger, or Ghirardelli.
- Heavy Cream – Heavy cream and chocolate combine to make the ganache base, which is chilled and rolled into the centers of our truffles.
- Kirsch – Kirsch liquor adds that classic black forest taste!
- Dried Cherries – Chopped dried cherries complete the black forest flavor profile.
- Vanilla – Use real vanilla extract for best results.
- Melting Wafers – For chocolate that melts easily and coats beautifully, use something like Ghirardelli melting wafers for dipping. Or, use chopped chocolate bars again and melt them in the microwave (gently!) or in a double boiler on the stovetop.
- Dairy-free – Use your favorite dairy-free heavy cream and dairy-free chocolate to make this recipe dairy-free and vegan!
- Gluten-free – This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
- Alcohol-Free – If you need to omit the alcohol, just replace it with the same amount of heavy cream.
- Chocolate – Feel free to use milk chocolate or dark chocolate – whatever your favorite is! Don’t use bittersweet chocolate – no more sugar is being added to the mixture so that will be too bitter for this recipe.
How to Make this Black Forest Chocolate Truffle Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Make the Ganache Base. Finely chop your semi-sweet chocolate and add to a heat-safe bowl. Heat heavy cream and kirsch to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chopped chocolate. Let mixture sit for 4-5 minutes, then stir until completely smooth and all the chocolate is melted.
Step 2: Add Cherries & Chill. Stir in your chopped cherries. Pour the chocolate mixture into a shallow dish (like a pie dish) to help it cool a bit faster. Cover this with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the top of the chocolate so it doesn’t dry out in the fridge. Let the mixture chill for at least 1.5 to 2 hours and up to 24 hours before moving on to the next step.
Step 3: Form the Truffles. Once the mixture has chilled, use a tablespoon to scoop scant tablespoon size balls and place them on a lined baking sheet. Roll these into balls, getting them as smooth as you can. Don’t fret if they’re not perfect – chocolate covers a multitude of sins! Heh.
Step 4: Dipping & Decorating Chocolate Truffles.
Set up a little station on your counter to keep this process easy. Have a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet ready. Melt your chocolate in a 1-cup glass measuring cup so you have enough depth to fully coat truffles. Use a fork to lift a truffle into the chocolate and swirl it around to coat completely. Then, use the fork to lift it out and slide it onto the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining truffles. Make sure your chocolate isn’t warm, or it can cause the truffles to melt a bit. Let the dipped truffles set before adding an additional drizzle of chocolate on top so it doesn’t melt into the initial layer. I just use a spoon to drizzle it on, but you can use a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the tip snipped off if you want more control.
Truffle Decorating Options:
Use your favorite toppings to finish these treats off!
- Cocoa powder – Roll in cocoa powder for a classic and easy option!
- Nuts – Try walnuts or pecans – they go beautifully with the chocolate. Make sure to chop the nuts finely so they will stick to the truffles.
- Chocolate – Another classic option! Use melting wafers to make this process super simple, then drizzle another color of chocolate on top for a polished look. I added a drop of red food coloring to white chocolate to make a pink drizzle for my truffles.
- Sprinkles – While they aren’t my personal favorite option here, you can roll your truffles through sprinkles. Choose something fine like sanding sugar or jimmies, not a sprinkle mix with big novelty shapes.
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Once the chocolate is completely set, transfer finished truffles to an airtight container or food-safe cookie tin to store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Expert Success Tips for the Best Chocolate Truffles:
- Chopped Chocolate – Make sure your chocolate is finely chopped so the simmering cream & kirsch can easily melt it. Otherwise, you may have to microwave to remove any lumps, which is fine as long as you use short intervals.
- High Quality Chocolate – The type of chocolate you use matters! Use high quality baking bars so it will melt nicely. You also want to use high quality chocolate because it makes up the bulk of this recipe. You’ll notice the taste if you use low quality chocolate.
- Keep Chocolate Cold – When rolling the chocolate into balls, you want to keep things cold so they roll easily. Don’t let the chocolate sit at room temperature for very long. Don’t be afraid to pop things back in the fridge as needed to chill.
Your chocolate wasn’t chopped finely enough, or your cream wasn’t hot enough. Microwave the chocolate ganache in 7-10 second bursts, stirring well between each, to melt any remaining chocolate lumps.
The chocolate will begin to warm up a bit as it sits out and as you work with it. Just pop the pan of chocolate lumps back in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to firm things back up enough for you to be able to roll balls. After the balls are formed, give the pan another 10 minutes or so in the fridge if things are warm again from being rolled.
This can happen if your chocolate is warm from the microwave, and if your truffles are coming straight from the fridge. Let the truffles and melted chocolate stand at room temp for about 10 minutes, so that you’re not creating such a drastic collision of hot and cold. And, if they do crack some – it’s fine! Just cover it with a drizzle of chocolate on top and no one will know.
- Cherries – Feel free to omit the cherries if desired. You can make these with the kirsch and cherries, just one or the other, or without either for plain truffles – see below note.
- Classic Chocolate Truffles – To make classic chocolate truffles, simply swap the kirsch out for the same amount of heavy cream.
- Truffle Dipper – If you want to be fancy, use a truffle dipper to easily coat them in chocolate!
- Cookie Sheets – Line your cookie sheets and and allow dipped truffles to set up on them.
- Glass Measuring Cup – A 1-cup glass measuring cup is the perfect size & depth to melt your chocolate for dipping.
- Small Cookie Scoop – Use a cookie scoop that holds 1 tablespoon to scoop your chocolate balls. Make sure to scoop scant balls – this means the scoop is just below completely filled. A melon baller also works!
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More Christmas Candy Recipes to Love:
- Double Chocolate Swirled Peppermint Bark
- Best Soft Gingerbread Cookies
- Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Pretzels
- White Chocolate Peppermint Puppy Chow
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Black Forest Chocolate Truffles
For the Truffles:
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate Use a good-quality baking bar here, like Ghirardelli or Baker's. Do not use chocolate chips.
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup kirsch Replace with 1/4 cup heavy cream if you want to omit the alcohol.
- 1/3 cup sweetened dried cherries, chopped
- 6 ounces chocolate, for dipping You can use milk or semi-sweet here – I recommend something like Ghirardelli melting wafers – still not chocolate chips.
- unsweetened cocoa powder, for rolling
- chopped walnuts or pecans, for rolling
- chocolate sprinkles, for rolling Use jimmies.
- Prep: Chop the chocolate finely and place it into a microwave-safe bowl. Chop the dried cherries and set aside.
- Make the Ganache Base: Heat the heavy cream and cherry kirsch together in a small pot over medium heat until simmering. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Then, stir the mixture until it’s completely combined and smooth, like a ganache. If you have any lumps of chocolate left, microwave the mixture for 10 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval, until no lumps remain. Stir in the chopped cherries. Pour the ganache into a shallow dish (like a glass pie plate) to cool faster. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the surface of the chocolate so it doesn't dry out, and chill in the fridge for 1 and ½ to 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- Form the Truffles: Once the mixture is chilled, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. To form the truffles, scoop the cooled chocolate out of the dish with a measuring spoon – each truffle should be about a scant tablespoon worth. Place these chocolate mounds on the prepared pans. Once you've scooped all the chocolate, working with one pan at a time so the other stays cold, go back and roll each mound into a smooth ball. They may be a bit soft and hard to roll, so you can pop the pan (covered with a kitchen towel) back in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to firm the chocolate back up. Let the rolled chocolate balls chill again for 10-20 minutes before decorating.
- Decorate the Truffles: Dip the chilled truffles in melted & slightly cooled chocolate (to prevent cracking when the hot chocolate meets the cold balls), or roll them through cocoa powder or crushed nuts. I dipped mine in semi-sweet chocolate and then added a bit of red food coloring to some melted white chocolate to make the pink chocolate drizzle on top. Make sure the first chocolate coat is set before adding a drizzle. The cocoa powder will rub off on the chocolate-covered truffles if they touch, so if that will bother you I recommend storing the cocoa powder-rolled truffles in a separate container from the others.
- Serve + Store: Enjoy once the chocolate has set! Store truffles in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2 weeks. These make a wonderful addition to holiday cookie plates or an elegant homemade gift.