How to Use Chocolate Transfer Sheets to Decorate Cupcakes

Updated on February 10, 2020
alliemacb profile image

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. | Source

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.

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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 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 to 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.


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.


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 a rhubarb jam, rhubarb mousse and then finished with the chocolate sheet.


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, 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?

5 stars from 3 ratings of chocolate transfer sheets

Bonus Vanilla Cupcake Recipe


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 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. Pre-heat 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 into 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 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


Submit a Comment
  • prasetio30 profile image


    7 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Beautiful decoration. It looks cute and delicious. I love chocolate. Very inspiring hub. Thanks for share with us. Voted up!


  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 

    7 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    I learn something new everyday. I would love to try chocolate transfer sheets! Beautiful Hub. Voted up and awesome!

  • ktrapp profile image

    Kristin Trapp 

    7 years ago from Illinois

    This is so cool. I can't wait to come up with a reason to try making my own chocolate transfer sheets.

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Hazelton 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    I've never heard of chocolate transfer sheets. They look like they would make a beautiful presentation. Up and useful.

  • alliemacb profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Scotland

    Thanks, moonlake. I only recently heard of these myself and have been using them at every opportunity since discovering them.

  • moonlake profile image


    7 years ago from America

    Beautiful I never heard of chocolate transfer sheets. Very good idea and good instructions. Voted Up and Shared.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    7 years ago from Planet Earth

    So elegant - I will try to get my nerve up to attempt these exquisite works of art! Your photos a great, and I like the clear instructions. Thanks for the lessons!

  • Turtlewoman profile image

    Kim Lam 

    7 years ago from California

    Great idea with the transfer sheets- they instantly add a touch of "fancy" to the cupcakes! I especially like the hazelnut recipe you included! Beautiful!

  • alliemacb profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Scotland

    Thanks, everyone. I am probably the least artistic person in the world but with chocolate transfer sheets I can make something a bit special. If I can do it, anyone can.

  • Cre8tor profile image

    Dan Reed 

    7 years ago

    These all look ALMOST too good to eat!

  • ElizaDoole profile image

    Lisa McKnight 

    7 years ago from London

    These look beautiful - worth of a cake shop like Maison Blanc. I will be trying this recipe when I want to make cupcakes for sure.Voted up!

  • alissaroberts profile image

    Alissa Roberts 

    7 years ago from Normandy, TN

    These cupcakes are so beautiful! I have never tried the chocolate transfer sheets before but after seeing your designs I must try this out. Very creative and elegant looking! Thanks for the idea - voted up!

  • blaeberry profile image


    7 years ago from Scotland

    This idea looks awesome. I love making cupcakes and this will really jazz them up. Definitely going to try this out.


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