Chocolate tree bark positioned on the side of a cake with the letters "LAF" within a heart carved into it. A red mushroom cookie, green cake "moss" and chocolate cake "dirt" are at the bottom of the cake.

Chocolate Tree Bark

  • Author: Meagan Fikes
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 mins
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: 10 oz 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: microwave
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Roughed up chocolate shards intended to look like tree bark on a cake.


Additional materials:

  • parchment paper
  • rolling pin or similar object
  • paring knife
  • new toothbrush or stiff pastry brush


  1. Line a large cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Pour chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Microwave 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until chocolate chips are melted down.
  4. Once the chocolate has melted, pour onto the parchment paper (use all the chocolate for thick bark or work in multiple batches for thinner bark).
  5. Add two or three drops of black gel food coloring (optional) and use a spatula to evenly spread out the chocolate. This will add small black streaks to the chocolate as the food coloring gets distributed. Melted chocolate with black food coloring streaks spread over a sheet of parchment paper.
  6. Cover the chocolate with another sheet of parchment paper. Place a rolling pin on one end and gently wrap the chocolate filled parchment around it. Leave to harden overnight. Parchment paper with melted chocolate wrapped around a wooden rolling pin on top of a cookie sheet.
  7. Once the chocolate has hardened, slowly unroll the paper. The chocolate will break into shards but you can give it a little help if any pieces are too big. Hang onto the small pieces too because they can be used to fill in gaps on the outside of the cake later. Still smooth chocolate bark shards laying vertically atop a parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. To add texture to the bark, use the tip of a paring knife, the serrations on a steak knife, or in my case -  the plastic tool that removes remnants from a garlic press. Gently swipe the item lengthwise on each chocolate shard to make it resemble the texture of tree bark. Use a new toothbrush or stiff pastry brush to wipe off the chocolate shavings as soon as you're done with each piece. This ensures the shavings don't re-attach to the chocolate and make it look crumbly.
  9. As an added touch, you can add a "carving" to the bark. I did my son's initials in a heart but you could also do the person's age, a significant date, or whatever you want. Pick a piece of bark that you would like on the front of the cake (a wider piece is easier to work with). Dip the tip of a paring knife into hot water and wipe it dry. Use the hot knife to make you design, re-dipping it as the knife gets cool.
  10. Store chocolate bark in an airtight container until ready to use on your cake. You can stack multiple layers of it by separating each layer with parchment paper.


Potential allergens contained in this recipe may vary due to brands of ingredients used, product reformulations, etc. Please verify that all your ingredients are safe for you to consume and always be mindful of allergen cross contact while cooking.

More than one batch may be needed to make it all the way around the cake plus provide room for slip-ups. Be generous with the amount you make - it can't be made last minutes since it takes so long to cool. I saved the leftovers and have been chopping them up to replace chocolate chips in my baking.