Every year at Friendsgiving, I make a small homemade party favor – something a little decadent, a little something special. This year, our favors were my heart shaped DIY Hot Chocolate Bombs!
*UPDATED POST* now with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at the bottom!
What’s a hot cocoa bomb, you ask? Its molded chocolate with a hollow center, filled with hot chocolate mix and mini-marshmallows that so satisfyingly and delicately explodes in your mug when hot water or milk is poured over it. Then you mix it all together to make an extremely chocolatey cup of cocoa, perfect for a cozy night in.
Now, let’s learn how to make them!
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Here's a couple of tips to get you started making perfect Hot Chocolate Bombs!
Tip #1: You’ll find many people make hot chocolate bombs with sphere silicone molds – but as these became so popular, you’ll find that these have shipping with 1-3 weeks processing time… (Bummer!) So I found these even more adorable heart-shaped silicone molds on Prime and away we went! (Plus they come in a pack of 2, which definitely helps you save time.)
Tip #2: To make these, you will be using a double-boiler method to melt your chocolate chips and will need either a heat-safe glass bowl or measuring cup. If using a container like a measuring cup that has a smaller width than the pot filled with water underneath it, you will also need a metal cooling rack to put between the two so that your container does not make direct contact with the heat. (DO NOT heat chocolate chips in the microwave to melt the entire bag. Chocolate is temperamental and will burn, rather than melt into a silky mixture.)
Tip #3: I like using hard shell chocolate here because the mixture is the perfect consistency for bonding the chocolate hearts together. You can find it usually by the ice cream at the grocery store. However, you can make your own by melting a few extra chocolate chips and mixing it with coconut oil in a separate bowl. AllRecipes.com recommends for 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate, mixing in 2 teaspoons of coconut oil.
Tip #4: For the hot chocolate mix, get creative! No need to buy anything special since the chocolate chips will already add an extra indulgent chocolate richness. You can use a few leftover packets of cocoa that you have in the pantry, or any mix you have laying around. You can add crushed peppermint candy, mini-marshmallows, cinnamon, or anything else fun and festive to make your cocoa mix special. Because the bonding process if a little messy, I do recommend putting the mix in a bowl before getting started so that you’re not ripping packets open while trying to connect the hearts together.
With just a couple of ingredients and supplies, you can easily make these yourself at home, as gifts for friends or coworkers, and as your own party favors.
Yield: 6 hot chocolate bombs Time: 2 hours
2 Silicone molds with shapes between 2-3 inches each
Small pot filled 1/3 of the way with water
Metal cooling rack
Toothpick or small skewer
Cellophane bags with ties (optional – for storing and gifting)
10 ounces (or 1 bag) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips*
4 ounces Hot Chocolate Powdered Mix (about)
1-2 ounces Hard Shell Chocolate
5 ounces (or ½ bag) of Mini-Marshmallows (optional)
*If you have never double-boiled chocolate before, I recommend having some extra chocolate on hand in case you need more for any breaks! Melting an additional bar of chocolate or a few extra chocolate chips (of any kind) into the bowl will help you fix mishaps easily later.
Heat a small pot filled 1/3 of the way with water on Medium-High.** As the water heats up, place your double-boiler tools overtop, (a glass heat-safe bowl or cooling rack with a glass heat-safe measuring cup.) Fill the glass container with chocolate chips.
**Remember: Chocolate is delicate. Do not let the bottom of the glass container touch the boiling water, or your chocolate will burn into sad, dry clumps.
As the water is boiling, stir the chocolate chips every 1-2 minutes with a silicone or large metal spoon, for a total of 8-12 minutes until the chocolate is smooth in consistency. You may want to use oven mitts while stirring the chocolate to keep your hands safe from the steam. Once the chocolate is fully melted, turn off the stove and remove the glass container from the heat and set on a trivet.
With a metal spoon, scoop a heaping tablespoon of melted chocolate into each silicone mold cavity. Use the back of the spoon to coat the sides of the molds in a thick layer, making sure that there are no “open” or thin areas, (see picture for good and poor examples.)
Repeat until all cavities are filled. Place the molds flat in the refrigerator for 30+ minutes or overnight. (The chocolate will slightly change to a lighter color when it’s fully hardened and cold.)
When the chocolate has re-hardened in the molds, take them out of the fridge and gently pull on all outer sides of the mold to loosen up the chocolate shapes inside. Carefully push upwards on the bottom of each mold to pop them out one at a time.
If any break or you find that the side layers are not thick enough, use the remaining melted chocolate chips to add another layer and re-refrigerate for another 20-30 minutes. (If the chocolate chips need to be reheated, refer to step 2 to reheat.)
To prepare the bombs, pour 1-2 ounces of hard shell chocolate in a small bowl that’s wide enough to fit a chocolate heart into.
Place one heart shape onto a dish or wax paper and fill it with a heaping tablespoon of hot chocolate powdered mix. Then place (approximately) 5 mini marshmallows on top of the cocoa mix.
Take another heart shape and place it bottom down into the hard shell chocolate to coat the bottom border. Carefully place that heart directly on top of the cocoa-mix filled heart to enclose the cocoa mix and marshmallows. Dab your fingers with a little extra hot cocoa mix and then rub some on the top and bottom of the heart shapes so the chocolate doesn’t melt while handling it.
Use a toothpick, skewer or spoon to fill in the sides with more hard shell coating or melted chocolate. (Hard shell coating is recommended for minor spaces and melted chocolate should be used to cover up and fill in any major cracks.) Pat with extra cocoa-mix and place on wax paper. Repeat until all hearts are enclosed and then place in the fridge to harden for 30 minutes.
Place a hot cocoa bomb into a cellophane or plastic bag. (Optional: enclose a few extra mini-marshmallows!) Secure the bag closed tightly with a twist-tie or ribbon. Store in a cool, dry place. (I recommend storing them in the refrigerator.)
Place the hot cocoa bomb in a mug and pour 8-12 ounces of hot water or chocolate slowly over the bomb. The outer coating will melt and then the mix and marshmallows will pop up. Mix until combined and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
I received so many questions after posting my photos & videos of our hot chocolate bombs! Here are some helpful hints for your DIY project.
1. My molded chocolate broke! What do I do now?
There are a few different ways to fix these delicate little chocolate hearts, (or spheres.) This likely happened because the chocolate was too thin in that area or the chocolate warmed up too much while handling it. Whenever you are rebuilding the shape, be sure to apply a thick layer of chocolate to fix it.
Option 1: If the piece(s) that broke off are just small parts of the wide edges that will be bonded, attempt to stick the two pieces together. Then, use the back of a spoon, a small butter knife, or a tooth pick to cover the edges with additional melted chocolate. Be careful when doing this, as applying too much pressure or chocolate that is too hot can break down additional parts of the molded, hardened chocolate. Work swiftly and carefully.
Option 2: Put what's left of, (or the salvage-able piece of,) chocolate back into the silicone mold. Reheat your chocolate on the double boiler, including the bits that broke off from your original piece. Stir until smooth and then fill in the holes in your mold. Re-refrigerate for 30 minutes or until hardened and then carefully attempt to remove your molded chocolate again.
Option 3: Just because it broke doesn't mean that you can't reuse it. Put that baby back in the double-boiler and reheat the chocolate. Stir until smooth and then refill the cavity. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and try again, (carefully!)
2. Should I use mini-marshmallows or dehydrated marshmallows?
I tested both and can confidently tell you that I prefer the taste of mini-marshmallows in my cup of cocoa. However, you can fit more dehydrated marshmallows inside of the hot chocolate bomb.
Verdict: If you're going for taste, use mini-marshmallows. If you're going for TikTok worthy videos, use dehydrated marshmallows.
3. Can I use melting chocolate?
Because molding chocolate is full of extra ingredients, food coloring, and preservatives, it is not the best for making hot chocolate bombs. They will taste funny and melt a lot easier when assembling them and handling them. It's totally possible, but a lesser quality cocoa bomb.
4. Can I microwave my chocolate?
The short answer is - if you know what you're doing, yes. The long answer is, I really don't recommend it because you need a candy thermometer, really high quality chocolate, and typically a lot of experience tempering chocolate to do this.
5. How do you make the chocolate hollow?
This is definitely easier shown than written, so check out this video on our Facebook page.
Nonetheless - the best way to explain it is to:
Dump the heaping tablespoon of melted chocolate into the cavity. Then use the back of a small spoon to push the chocolate up each side of the cavity. Once the cavity is coated, use the back of the spoon to spread the chocolate evenly around each edge to ensure it is thick enough to easily pop out later.
6. I want to make these as gifts. How do you package them?
I've packaged these with two different types of cellophane bags. You need a bag that is at least 5-6 inches wide to ensure there is enough space for the cocoa bomb to "breathe" inside of the bag without immediately melting it when you're holding it. This will also give you enough room to stuff a few extra marshmallows inside! Lastly, secure top tightly with a twist tie or ribbon.
See our two examples below.
Picture 1: Snowy rectangular 5x11 cellophane bags
Picture 2: Cone 11.8x6.3 cellophane bags