Make Holiday Gifting Easy with Deluxe Homemade Dark Chocolate Truffles

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Homemade holiday gifting is all the rage in my home.

If I can choose between grabbing a small trinket in a random store and making something with all my heart at home, I will always choose the homemade gifts.

Vertical image of chocolate truffles coated in nuts and cocoa powder in a blue and white candy dish and scattered on a crinkled piece of white parchment paper, on a dark brown wood background, printed with orange and white text.

Not to mention, you don’t have to fight the holiday shopping crowds, and you actually end up saving more money by doing some things yourself. Everybody wins in that scenario, you know?

This is why I love to make homemade candy for my friends and family for the holidays, truffles in particular. They’re one of life’s little indulgences that we all seem to love. They can be made with so many different flavors, and you can customize them with everyone’s favorite ingredients.

Whether you are a fan of milk, dark, or white chocolate, I think we can all agree that truffles are a treat that will bring a smile to our faces, no matter how badly our day is going.

I love chocolate and hazelnut (like almost everyone else on the planet, I’m pretty sure…) so the combination of dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts in homemade candy is pure magic for me.

Vertical image of a blue and white ceramic dish of homemade truffles coated in nuts, with more arranged on a white crumpled piece of parchment paper in the foreground, with a gathered beige cloth, decorative pine cones and artificial greenery, and white baubles, on a dark brown wood surface with a lighter brown wood background.

There’s just something about watching a loved one while they’re opening a package of cute packaged treats that you made from scratch, and seeing them gasp in surprise because you made them yourself, rather than buying them in a store.

Homemade gifts really make the difference during the holidays, and when you are at a loss for what to give someone, these truffles are the ones to go with. It’s so fulfilling to know that something you made in your own kitchen can bring so much joy to others.

They are flavorful and rich, in ways that bring your taste buds to life. The soft chocolates melt in your mouth, filling your palate with a bitter smoothness that everyone will swoon over.

Homemade chocolate truffles coated in chopped nuts and cocoa powder are in a small blue and white ceramic dish in the foreground, with more arranged on a piece of white parchment paper in soft focus in the background, with artificial greenery coated with artificial snow, on a dark brown wood surface.

The best part of this recipe is that it is so easy to triple or quadruple, so you can bust out all of your homemade gifts in one day. I like to put on the Christmas music, light some scented candles, and relax with a movie while the truffle base is chilling.

Then you can get to work assembling your boxes of treats, coating them in a variety of ingredients so they will really stand out in the crowd of seasonal goodies.

Keep reading to learn more about all the different ways that you can coat these truffles at the end of the article. I promise, there is no limit to the creativity you can express when you’re making these for your friends and family.

Hazelnut, pistachio, and cocoa powder-coated homemade chocolate truffles arranged on a crumpled piece of white parchment paper and in a small blue and white ceramic dish, with a gathered beige cloth, artificial greenery, and pine cones in the background on a dark brown wood surface.

You can even make these truffles up to a week before you gift them. Simply pop them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to deliver them to the lucky recipients.

If you decide to keep these all for yourself, they make a fantastic treat to indulge in while you snuggle up with your family at home, next to a cozy fire. Pair them with a bold red wine and you have a romantic evening ahead of you, if you so choose.

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Closeup of a small decorative blue and white serving dish of homemade dark chocolate truffles with various coatings, with more on a piece of parchment paper in the background, on a dark brown wood surface.

Deluxe Homemade Dark Chocolate Truffles

  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 18 minutes
  • Yield: 1.5 dozen truffles 1x


Make your friends and family smile this holiday season with the best homemade dark chocolate truffles. It’s a tasty gift that’s easy to create.


  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Suggested Coatings:
    • Sifted cocoa powder
    • Shelled and chopped pistachios, almonds, or hazelnuts


  1. Place chocolate chips in a medium-sized heatproof bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine heavy cream and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat until nearly simmering. Stir in the vanilla. Pour hot liquid over the chocolate chips and stir mixture until totally smooth. Refrigerate, tightly covered, for about 3 hours or until firm.
  3. After the mixture has chilled, remove from the refrigerator. Place each of your chosen coatings on a plate or in a shallow bowl.
  4. Wearing latex gloves and using two spoons, scoop out rounded portions of the chocolate mixture by the tablespoonful. Form into balls by rolling with your palms.
  5. Roll each ball in the coating of your choice and place on a clean separate plate, or in a storage container lined with parchment or waxed paper.
  6. Chill until firm, for about 1 hour.
  7. These truffles can be made up to 1 week ahead. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.


Nutritional information below does not include optional coatings.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Category: Candy
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Desserts

Keywords: chocolate truffles, chocolate, candy, Christmas

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Measure Ingredients

Measure out the chocolate chips, and place them in a medium-sized heatproof bowl.

Overhead shot of one square and two glass bowls of vanilla extract, cream, and dark chocolate chips, on a striped wood surface.

If you don’t like dark chocolate, note that you can always use a different type of chips, like butterscotch, white or milk chocolate, or peanut butter.

Measure the heavy cream, salt, and vanilla.

Step 2 – Make Truffle Mixture

A stainless steel mixing bowl of chocolate chips on a wood countertop.

Add the heavy cream and salt to a small saucepan over medium-low heat, and stir to combine. When it is just barely simmering, stir in the vanilla.

Milk and chocolate chips in a stainless steel mixing bowl, on a striped brown and beige wood surface.

Immediately pour the hot liquid over the chocolate chips. Stir until the mixture is completely smooth.

Melted chocolate in a stainless steel bowl, on a beige and brown striped wood surface.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, until firm.

In this step, you are making ganache, a creamy dessert base perfect for candies, tarts, and more!

Step 3 – Coat and Chill

Place each of your chosen coatings on a plate. For this batch, I’ve used cocoa powder, toasted chopped almonds, toasted chopped hazelnuts, and salted pistachios.

You can also use peanut butter powder, powdered sugar, crushed candy canes, mini chocolate chips, or really anything else you can think of to make the ultimate flavor combination!

Scoop out tablespoonfuls of the chocolate mixture and form them into balls by rolling with your palms. Repeat for the remainder of the mixture.

Overhead shot of four square ceramic dishes with rounded edges, filled with finely chopped hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, and cocoa powder, on a dark brown wood surface.

Pro Tip: Be sure to wear latex gloves when you are forming the truffles, to keep your hands clean throughout the process. Otherwise, you’ll need to wash your hands with cold water after making every handful or so, to keep them from getting too sticky.

Roll each ball in the coating of your choice, and place on a clean plate or in a storage container. Line it with parchment paper or waxed paper if you like, to keep them from sticking.

Homemade chocolate truffles with various coatings are arranged on a piece of parchment paper in the foreground, with a small blue and white ceramic dish of more of the candies in the background in front of a gathered beige cloth, and decorative greenery, holiday baubles, and pine cones, on a dark brown wood surface.

Once all of the balls are coated, chill until firm. This will take about one hour.

Truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Let them sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.

Need More Inspiration For Coating Your Truffles?

If you are like me and you are considering making these for holiday gifts, you want to make a triple batch of these bad boys. You also want to make sure you have a good amount of variety, so when you pack up little boxes of the treats, they will really wow whoever you give them to.

Set of 25 1/2-Pound Kraft Candy Boxes

I like to order a few packages of these boxes, available via Amazon.

Here is a comprehensive list of all of my top favorite ideas to coat these beauties, either on their own or in combination:

  • Cocoa powder
  • Powdered sugar
  • Matcha (green tea powder)
  • Nuts: chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts, etc.
  • Crushed candy canes
  • Pixy Stix (for the inner kid in you)
  • Chopped candied ginger

Closeup of a small decorative blue and white serving dish of homemade dark chocolate truffles with various coatings, with more on a piece of parchment paper in the background, on a dark brown wood surface.

  • Sprinkles
  • Sanding sugar, sparkling sugar, or edible glitter
  • Freeze-dried fruits like raspberries or strawberries, crushed or ground into powder
  • Espresso powder
  • Toasted and sweetened desiccated coconut
  • Ground cinnamon or cinnamon sugar
  • Cayenne pepper (for a spicy kick – mix with powdered sugar and cocoa powder)

What coatings would you use to make your own homemade truffle boxes? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to come back to rate the recipe after you’ve had a chance to try it!

Trying to find healthier options to give as a gift? You’ll be pleased with our bite-sized recipe for either chocolate date truffles or cacao bliss balls! They are just as beautiful, but with mindfully chosen ingredients.

For a tasty box of assorted flavored truffles, make a few of these recipes:

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photo via Premium Quality Gift Wrap Paper. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on March 24, 2009. Last updated: January 23, 2023 at 16:23 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

20 thoughts on “Make Holiday Gifting Easy with Deluxe Homemade Dark Chocolate Truffles”

  1. I once ate a chocolate bread pudding, now I want to eat it again.

    Those truffles look gorgeous. I’ve only attempted to make truffles once and it was a messy business that resulted in very craggy truffles. I might give them a try again the next time I need a gift.

  2. Lainey – Don’t envy any so-called skills, by the way – these chocolates are EASY. You gotta’ try them.

    Sarah L – Pistachios are so photogenic, I agree!

    Hillary – Thank you!! The toppings were very good, and I’m already brainstorming for new ones!

  3. I just wanted to share this bread pudding recipe with you. It’s adapted from the one my grandmother gave my mother. Since it’s a hand me down recipe, there aren’t really amounts, but it’s easy and always works.

    Take your bread, slice it, butter both sides, break bread into smaller cubes and mix with chocolate chips. You can also add walnuts, pecans, M&Ms or anything else you want. Then in a separate bowl, mix eggs, milk (or cream) and vanilla and pour this mixture over the bread and mix through. Then transfer the whole shebang into a pan. I usually use a loaf pan but anything can work.

    A good rule of thumb to know if you have the bread to wet stuff ratio right is the bread should be moist to lightly wet all the way through. You can even mix it with your hands to change the consistency. You’ll just cook it longer if it’s on the wetter side and the final result will be more pudding-y than bready.

    Then bake at 350 for about 45 min or until you see that the liquid is more of a custardy consistency. It gets all puffy as it cooks.

    And yes, those truffles look amazing. But then, your photos here, from kale to cake, always make me hungry!

  4. Hi! I just found your blog – through a comment you left on Pete Bakes. Your site is wonderful! I never thought about rolling truffles in pistachios or almonds, that sounds marvelous. I will let you know when I try it out…thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. So glad to have you reading, Laura – isn’t Pete’s site fantastic, by the way? If you try these truffles, I hope you’ll stop back to tell me what you think!

  6. An important thing to know is that you actually have to simmer the chocolate mixture until it thickens and reaches the softball point (where you can drop it into cold water and it forms a ball).

  7. Hey Katie, I think because the mixture the chocolate is being added to is already simmering, it just happened really quickly for me. Thanks for the feedback!

  8. Thank you for this awesome recipe! I added toasted walnuts to the chocolate batter and they came out amazing. They taste kind of fudge-y, kind of brownie-y, and they were so simple to make! I’m definitely holding on to this one.


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