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How to Use Chocolate Transfer Sheets to Decorate Cupcakes

Born and raised in the Scottish Highlands, I have a keen interest in my local history and culture.

Chocolate transfers are a great, easy way to spruce up your desserts.

Chocolate transfers are a great, easy way to spruce up your desserts.

What Are Chocolate Transfer Sheets?

Chocolate transfer sheets are a great way of creating beautiful decorations for your cupcakes and other desserts. They are very simple to use, but the effects are amazing.

The chocolate design is printed onto one side of an acetate sheet using cocoa butter and food colorings. Tempered chocolate is then spread evenly across the cocoa-buttered side of the sheet and left to set. Once the chocolate has hardened, it is a simple case of peeling away the acetate.

How to Use Chocolate Transfer Sheets

  1. The first thing you need to do is melt your chocolate. The simplest way to do this is to break the chocolate into pieces and pop it into the microwave. Put the microwave on in short bursts and stir the chocolate every 10 seconds or so. The chocolate can burn very quickly.
  2. If you use good-quality chocolate and heat it only to the point where it has just started to melt, you won't need to worry about tempering it. Remove the chocolate from the microwave just as it starts to melt, and stir quickly until it is smooth. For tips on tempering chocolate, see the video below.
  3. Cut the acetate sheets you wish to use to the size you need. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread the chocolate evenly over the acetates. Allow to cool at room temperature and then pop into the refrigerator to set completely.
  4. When the chocolate has set, carefully peel off the acetate.
  5. Take the cupcake of your choice and pipe it with buttercream, using a star-tipped nozzle to create a nice swirl.
  6. Break the chocolate acetate piece into shards; you can use a very sharp knife to trim the chocolate if you wish.
  7. Pop the chocolate shard into the frosting, and you are ready to serve. The cupcakes may keep in the refrigerator for a day or so, but this depends on the recipe you use.
The cupcakes may keep in the refrigerator for a day or so but this depends on the recipe you use.

The cupcakes may keep in the refrigerator for a day or so but this depends on the recipe you use.

Doesn't it look delicious?

Doesn't it look delicious?

Some Alternative Designs

If you are making cupcakes for a special occasion, you should create a number of different designs. Here, I have used a cookie cutter to make a floral-shaped decoration. This requires a bit of care as the chocolate can break easily. It sometimes helps to dip the edge of the cutter into hot water and then use it to cut out the required shape.

You can pop the floral-shaped chocolate piece flat on top of the cupcake or stand it up in the frosting.

Consider some alternative designs.

Consider some alternative designs.

Decorating Desserts

You can also use the decorated chocolate sheets to top off a layered dessert. Here, white chocolate has been used to create the top layer of a rhubarb dessert. You should choose an acetate sheet with a pattern in colors that will suit the type of chocolate you wish to use. Some lighter patterns may not show up well on dark chocolate but will look great on white chocolate.

This dessert consists of a layer of dense sponge cake, topped with rhubarb jam, and rhubarb mousse and then finished with the chocolate sheet.

What about a chocolate hazelnut cake?

What about a chocolate hazelnut cake?

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Here, a chocolate transfer sheet with a swirl pattern has been used to create the finishing touch for a decadent dessert. It has a layer of rich chocolate hazelnut cake with layers of chocolate ganache and white chocolate mousse and is topped with a square of decorated chocolate.

In order to make the chocolate decoration, I first cut a piece of acetate to the same size as the baking pan I was using to bake the cake. When the chocolate sheet was finished, the edges were a little ragged, so I used a very sharp knife to carefully trim them.

What do you think of the chocolate transfer sheets?

Here's a bonus vanilla cupcake recipe.

Here's a bonus vanilla cupcake recipe.

Bonus Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Here is a bonus recipe.


  • 1/2 cup butter, (unsalted)
  • 3/4 cup sugar, (superfine/caster)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rise flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F (170˚C) and put a dozen paper baking cases into a muffin pan.
  2. Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix well, until it is light and fluffy.
  3. Now add the eggs, one at a time. Mix well after each addition, and then add the vanilla extract and milk. The mixture may appear to curdle, but don't worry; it will come right.
  4. Sift together the flour and baking powder and add to the batter, a quarter cup at a time. Mix the batter so that everything is incorporated, but don't overdo it.
  5. Fill the cupcake cases and place them in the center of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before adding the frosting of your choice.

© 2012 alliemacb