Giant Cupcake Chocolate Shell

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Yes it’s completely chocolate!

How about sitting your Giant Cupcake Cake in this?!

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To make a Giant Cupcake base chocolate shell you will need 400g of chocolate, white dark or milk.  My photos show a blue chocolate shell as it’s easier to see in the photos – tips of colouring white chocolate are at the end of the post.

Work with 150g of chocolate to begin with and melt gently.

Pour it into the base of the clean dry Giant Cupcake tin.

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Gently turn the tin so that the chocolate swirls and coats the inside of the tin completely.

Use a pastry brush to help if you need to.

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Set the shell somewhere cool, but ideally not the fridge to allow the first coat to set.

Once that’s set melt another 150g of chocolate and pour it into the set shell.

Use a pastry brush to recoat the first layer completely and then allow to set again.

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Finally repeat with the final 100g of chocolate.  Pay attention to the very top edge using the pastry brush to lift the chocolate right up to the top trying to keep the chocolate even across the shell.

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Set aside to set fully.

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Once it’s set completely it’s time to get it out.

Much easier than you may think.  Insert the fingers of one hand into the shell and apply pressure on the shell upwards and towards the side of the tin.  You should feel a sharp pop as the shell releases.

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Carefully remove the shell from the tin.

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Ta Dah – one expertly made chocolate shell.

You can trim the top edge very neatly with a sharp warmed knife.    The base of the Giant Cupcake cake will have to be trimmed down with a sharp serrated knife to fit inside.  Just taking off the ridges around the side will have it just the right size for you.

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Just don’t put it next to the hot kettle – doh!

Top Tips:

Dark chocolate is much more forgiving to work with than milk and white.

Avoid subjecting your chocolate to extremes of temperature – melt it gently gently and cool it at room temperature avoiding the fridge if at all possible.  Both heat and cold can cause the chocolate to bloom when finished, putting you right back to square one.

If you can’t get your shell out of the tin.  First check that your shell is thick enough, it really does need to be made with the full 400g amount of chocolate and should pop out easily.  If it doesn’t pop the whole lot in the freezer for a couple of minutes and then try again.  A gentle squeeze upwards and to the side of the tin with the fingers of one hand should just release it.

White chocolate can be coloured using food dusts, don’t use gel paste colours they will cause the chocolate to seize.  To colour with food dusts remember that white chocolate is actually fairly yellow.  Rather than choosing a dust that is the shade that you want choose one much darker then you won’t have to use as much.

Sift the food dust first as it tends to clump together in the pot a fair bit.  Place the dust in a small bowl and add a good couple of spoonfuls of melted chocolate.

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Work out any specks of dust in the chocolate with a spatula, paddling it against the side of the bowl.  This bit is super important,  if you don’t get rid of them now the finished shell will have a speckled effect.

Now add this coloured chocolate back to the rest of the melted chocolate.  Repeat until you have the right shade.

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Create a squiggly white and dark chocolate shell by piping in slightly cooled (so it doesn’t run everywhere) white chocolate  in squiggles.  Set the white and then create a dark shell around it using 400g of dark chocolate.

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You’ll be turning out Chocolate Shells in no time!

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

Meet me down the aisles of The Pink Whisk Shop – for all sorts of cake decorating and baking delights!


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88 Responses to Giant Cupcake Chocolate Shell

  1. Pingback: Giant Cupcakes – Tips & Ideas | Baking, Recipes and Tutorials - The Pink Whisk

  2. Francesca says:

    You are full of the best ideas Ruth 🙂 xx

  3. Awesome chocolate idea, thanks for the great tips as per usual :))

  4. Mary-Ellen says:

    The two tone shell with white & dark chocolate looks amazing, so clever. Thanks.

  5. Amanda says:

    Brilliant as usual! Can I ask – the food colour dusts, would you use these with a paint brush on fondant to add a hint of colour? Reason I’m asking is that I’m making (ahem) a Fifi and the flower tots cake for my daughter, and lots of things just have hints of colour…! I must be mad!!!! Thanking you in advance.

  6. Nycola says:

    Hello Ruth. You are my favourite contestant on all the bake offs and your website & books are just fantastic. Well done! Can you tell me what filling you use to fill the giant cupcake? Is it vanilla buttercream & homemade strawberry jam? I’ve never put jam and buttercream together before.

  7. Bev Hunter says:

    Heeeelp! Having trouble with the chocolate shell for the giant cupcake. The first attempt stuck fast – had to melt off, but scared to try again. Should I use a smear of oil? I’m using a Wilton pan btw. Ps. Love this blog soooooo much.

    • No, don’t use oil it would spoil the finish of the chocolate. Make sure the shell is thick enough, get it cold – flash it in the freezer if you need to and whilst it’s still very cold release it with a firm motion – fingers towards the side of the tin and upwards and it should pop to release. Make sure its cold and use a firm action and you should be okay x

  8. claire says:

    Thanks so much for the freezer tip – it worked a treat! Like Bev I’d been wrestling with my shell until I was red in the face with no joy. 15 mins in the freezer and it popped out like a dream. Thanks for your help and the fab tutorial. Cx

  9. Karen says:

    Need to attempt one of these, they look brilliant! What are your thoughts on using Candy Melts instead of chocolate?


    • Hi Karen – I don’t have a good track record with Candy Melts more often ending up with a lump rather than smooth flowing melts! My preference is for choc, both for working with and on taste but it would work if you have the knack with them 😉 x

  10. Alexandria says:

    Hey,I gave this ago yesterday but unfortunately I still can’t get the chocolate out the tin:(iv even put it in the freezer!i used basic white chocolate though could this be why?or maybe I’m just not strong enough!lol I really want to do this as it looks fab in the photos!making the real thing Friday so any extra tips would be great!x

    • I would definitely try a better quality white chocolate – white chocolate is always much softer than a milk or dark so you need a bar of chocolate that already has a good snap to it before melting, some bars of chocolate don’t have that snap and they almost crumble gently in which case they don’t set firm enough for the pop release xx

  11. Emma says:

    How long in advance can you make the choc shell?

  12. Jones says:

    Love the squiggly chocolate one – so pretty. The blue one looks a bit odd to me!
    Jones x

  13. Tracy says:

    Oh dear! I followed instructions to the letter and my chocolate shell simply would not “pop out”. I had to break up the chocolate to get it out!!

    What could have gone wrong? I need to make a giant cupcake next week and this isn’t looking good for me.

    • Making sure that the chocolate layer is thick and even will help plus getting it super cold before trying the release. Hope your next attempt goes smoothly xx

    • Alu says:

      i had the same problem and discovered that it was just too THICK at the bottom – make your sides thicker and it’ll work

  14. Lyn Dunham says:

    Hi, I have a question when you put the cake into the chocolate mould do you crumb coat the cake? and what is the best way buttercream the cake or line the chocolate?

    Thank you

  15. Amy says:

    Any ideas if this method would work on a silicon mould?

    Thanks x

  16. Debbie says:

    I have just made my first chocolate case!
    Thank you so much I am do impressed!
    It took a good 20 or so mins in the freezer and I found that when it wouldn’t come out, a few taps on the base and holding upside down helped with the “pop”.
    Will definitely do this again
    Also it saved me from a slightly dodgy cake hehe

  17. Helen Milligan says:

    I love these squiggly ones! I’ve just made two for a friend’s birthday cake and they worked really well in a silicone would, it just peeled off really easily :)(She needs considerably bigger buns…)

  18. S says:

    I need to stack the giant cupcake on another cake..How should I do that? Also will it transport well or will it melt in 45 min? I live in texas..

  19. Tracey Kirby says:

    I have just made a white chocolate shell with milk chocolate swirls, I couldn’t get it out of the tin, but after 10mins in the freezer t came out a breeze and with very little effort. So please with the result on my 1st attempt. Wouldn’t have thought to do a chocolate shell for my cupcake. Thanks for the idea and the tip.

  20. Fiona says:

    Hi. I wonder if you have any tips – I’ve made the shell using white chocolate twice now, and each time when I’ve taken it out it has had a mottled pattern on thr outside – basically tiny little patches of chocolate are left on the tin ruining the smooth finish. I removed if from the tin by putting it in the freezer for 15 mins as it wouldn’t budge before. Do you think this is being caused by the extreme temperature of the freezer? If so, schould I try making it with 500g of chocolate so the shell is thicker hopefully making it easier to ‘pop’ out? Also, can I use a tiny bit of cake release in the tin before? Thanks for all your help!!!

    • Hi Fiona, it’s usually the chocolate being heated too high when melting which causes the blotching so heat it really gently and make sure it doesnt get too hot. Making it thicker will definitely make it easier to pop out but I’d avoid any cake release in the tin as it would be likely to affect the chocolate x

  21. Emma says:

    Hi, i love your page, your vanilla giant cupcake is amazing. I want to try the choc shell, does it need to be tempered chocolate though? X

  22. Rozeena says:

    Hello would this work for a silicon mould?

    Thank you

  23. Lindsey says:

    Help!!! I can’t get it out the tin! I’ve tried freezing it and it still won’t come out. Could the bottom be too thick?

    • I don’t think it’s the bottom that’s too thick, if that were the case the sides would split off the base as you tried to get it out. To release it from the tin you need to press the shell to the side of the tin with the length of your fingers and gently pull up which will pop the shell to release. Cold cold cold is your best bet!

  24. Jo Elkington says:


    I am going to attempt your giant cupcake recipe this week. I was going to use fondant to cover the case, but now looking at it, think chocolate would be better. Does the chocolate case melt once done and cake has been assembled in it? I am looking to put it on a cake board covered with fondant.

  25. Meredith says:

    Using candy colouring works much better for colouring the chocolate. You get more vibrant colours, use less product and it’s less work.
    Great tutorial, I’ll definitely be using it in the future.

  26. takethatfan1978 says:

    I absolutely love the colour of the shell. Can I ask you what the colour of the dust is? I have had a look at a few and not sure if its arctic blue,or something else? 🙂

  27. Lisa Allison says:

    Hi, I have tried this sort of thing for my giant cupcakes. The issue I have is the chocolate melts too quick. Any ideas on how to avoid this, better chocolate etc. I live in uk so not extreme heat.

  28. Adele says:

    How far in advance could this chocolate bases be made if kept in tin and cool?

    • Don’t keep it in the tin but cool on a wire rack, then wrap well in clingfilm and store in the fridge for 3-5 days, the chocolate version keeps exceptionally well x

  29. Deirdre B says:

    Thank you for all the brilliant ideas. I struggled with my first attempt at the chocolate case and it broke when I eventually removed it from the tin. I think it may have been the quality of the chocolate, but as I was short of time I tried lining the tin with cling film. It was so easy to remove! I used chocolate mini eggs to decorate and as the shell looks rather rustic it almost like a nest.

  30. Sharon says:

    Any tips for stopping the melted chocolate from pooling at the bottom. Got an extra thick bottom, and sides that cracked as soon as I tried to ‘pop’ it out.

  31. Zoe says:

    Hello, ive just made this chocolate case, melting the chocolate in the microwave. I really struggled to get it out of the tin, having tried the freezer with ok luck I had to add a other 70g of chocolate and freeze again one fully set. I’ve manage to get it out but in 2 halves and it’s mottled, with some bits still stuck on the tin… What did I do wrong? I used green and blacks white choc and I didn’t over heat in the microwave .

    • Hi Zoe, If its mottled then it has generally been overheated. The resulting chocolate would then be crumbly and difficult to release from the mould. Melting chocolate in a bain marie is always a much more delicate method than the microwave, especially with white chocolate that can be quite sensitive x

  32. Pingback: Giant Mocha Pound Cake with Ganache and Chocolate Buttercream | Clogs

  33. ronnie says:

    i have made my chocolate case, assembled my cake… but this heat its not good for it… it has started to go really soft and beginning to break 🙁

  34. Amema says:

    When you make your chocolate case with sqiggles, and when you coat it with chocolate, can it be done with milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate?

  35. Amema says:

    I have got a silicon giant cupcake cake case. Will I be able to use a silicon one for making the chocolate squiggles case?

  36. Amema says:

    Does the white chocolate for the sqiggles count in the 400g of chocolate? If not how much white chocolate will I need?

  37. Rochelle barber says:

    The bottom of my giant cupcake shell always ends up being thick. What am I doing wrong?

  38. birthdaybaker says:

    Beautiful! I want to make this for my son’s first birthday. Do you have any tips on how to serve it?

  39. Nadia says:

    Hi trying this at the moment hope to goodness it works. Probably a silly question but how long does it take to set at room temperature.
    Any thanks


  40. Katie hardy says:

    Im trying this now! I think its futile trying to set it all in one evening esp as so warm! Fondant it is 🙁

  41. Bert says:

    very good Recipe/instructions .attempted the chocolate with white choc pattern it set well . just the pattern didn’t turn out great for me .doing the giant cupcake next using your recipe xx

  42. jennifer says:

    How do tou ad the big cupcake after wouldnt the shell brake because theyre both the same size or can you bake the mix with the cooled chocolate?

  43. Miranda says:

    Thanks for these great tips!
    I used white chocolate milky bar buttons for the chocolate shell but it began to melt and collapsed under the weight of the top layer of cake 🙁
    Any tips to prevent this from happening?

  44. Nicole says:

    Thank you for this tutorial…looks amazing!
    I have made a shell before but with a silicone version however it doesn’t come out as sharp lookin and perfect as yours lol so I’m thinking of trying the tin method! One problem I have had before though is the chocolate she’ll cracking down one side one I start piping the top :(! I do normally buy Tescos own to be fair…is this the reason? If so what brand do you recommend (I’m in uk) thank you! X

  45. Katie Hardy says:

    Im going to try this again tomorrow. Can this be done all in one evening as I work all day?

  46. ShazT says:


    To save trimming the cake to fit a chocolate shell is it possible to make the shell on the outside of the cake tin instead of the inside?


    • I tried that but only once and was pretty unsuccessful so took to trimming the cake instead for ease! It depends on the outside shape of the tin, mine just isn’t suitable x

  47. victoria says:

    I’m on my 3rd attempt, and every time I can’t get it out of the tin? I’m not one to be defeated, but it’s driving me nuts.

  48. victoria says:

    ha ha , 3rd attempt is a success,it tooking a bit of pulling but it came out!

  49. Katie says:

    First attempt at the choc holder and it has crumbled. I know from previous comments it is because I heated the choc in the microwave. So I will do a Bain Marie next time.
    Query: my glass bowl is too small for my smallest saucepan. Can I use a metal bowl to melt the choc in (like another saucepan) when doing a Bain Marie? Any other tips as I have not done a Bain Marie before. Thank you. Love both the choc and vanilla recipes. X

  50. Katie says:

    Or perhaps a plastic bowl?

  51. Katie says:

    Can I re-melt chocolate used in a failed attempt?

  52. Leanne Bourne says:

    Hi Ruth, use all you recipes all the time and making my brothers wedding cakes this week! The question I have is if I use the same mould for the chocolate case and the cake will the cake be too big to fit in the chocolate case or am I supposed to trim it???
    Love you’re work!
    Thanks in advance!

    • Oh good luck! Sounds like you have a full weeks baking ahead! Yes it will be too big for the case but just trim it down taking off the crust edge all the way round and then it should fit in perfectly for you x

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