Chocolate tulip bowls add a gorgeous touch to any dessert, and they’re surprisingly easy to make! All you need are water balloons and candy melts (or tempered chocolate) to make these beautiful dessert cups.
🍫 Chocolate Dessert Cups
Desserts get a MAJOR upgrade when they’re served in these gorgeous edible “tulip” bowls! These dessert cups get their name from the delicate leaf shape of the edges, but don’t be fooled by their fancy appearance — they’re surprisingly simple to make. In fact, they’re made with water balloons, which is the exact opposite of fancy, so you know they can’t be too hoity-toity.
What can you do with chocolate bowls? Traditionally, they’re filled with soft desserts like ice cream, mousse, whipped cream, pastry cream, or pudding, but that’s just the beginning! How about making individual no-bake cakes in the bowls? Or filling them with luscious salted caramel? Heck, just toss some M&Ms in there for an instant party! They’re endlessly versatile and lots of fun to make.
Table of Contents
🧾 What You’ll Need
Ingredients & Equipment
First step, gather your supplies! (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
- Candy melts: These can be made with either candy coating or real tempered chocolate. To keep things simple this tutorial uses candy melts, but you can read more about using real chocolate in the Tips section below. You can do one solid color of candy coating, or multiple colors if you want to create the swirled effect in the pictures.
- Water balloons: Water balloons are the secret to making the bowl shape! Be sure that you use water balloons and not regular balloons — the small size is exactly the right shape, and simply half-inflating a regular balloon doesn’t work nearly as well.
Melt the candy coating
- Melt the white candy coating and the pink candy coating in separate bowls. Set them aside to cool to room temperature—they should still be melted and fluid, but not at all warm to the touch.
- When they’re at the right temperature, drizzle some pink coating on top of the bowl of white. Do not stir it in.
Dip the balloons
- Hold a water balloon at the top, and gently press the side of the balloon in chocolate, so that the chocolate comes about half-way up the side of the balloon in a semi-circle shape. Pull the balloon out of the chocolate, then rotate it a bit to do a second dip, slightly overlapping the first.
- Repeat, rotating the balloon, until all of the sides are covered with chocolate.
- Dollop small spoonfuls of candy coating on a parchment-covered baking sheet, and set the dipped balloon down on one of the circles — this base helps with the bowl’s stability.
- Drizzle another big spoonful of pink coating into the bowl, and repeat with the remaining balloons. Let them set completely.
Remove the balloons
- Press against the sides of the balloons, gently, to loosen them from the chocolate bowls, then pop the balloons with a sharp pin.
- Carefully pull out any balloons that cling to the white chocolate inside.
💭 Tips for success
- Check the temperature: it’s a balancing act to keep the candy melts at the right temperature. Too cool and it’s hard to work with, too warm and it will pop your balloons! I recommend erring on the side of too cool, and if it does become hard to work with, warm it up in short spurts at half power in the microwave just until it is fluid again.
- Using real chocolate: YES you can use real chocolate instead of candy melts! However, your chocolate should be tempered and not just melted. Tempered chocolate hardens at room temperature and has a beautiful shine and snap. Untempered chocolate is dull, streaky, and soft at room temperature — not ideal for chocolate bowls!
- Use water balloons: I cannot stress this enough. Using regular (large) balloons does not work well and will be frustrating and difficult.
- Add flavoring: if you want to flavor your chocolate cups, use an oil-based flavoring (not extracts, which are water-based) so the chocolate or candy coating doesn’t seize.
- Avoid water: water and chocolate do NOT mix! Make sure that the bowl you use to melt the chocolate or coating is completely dry, and do not get any stray drops or splashes in the chocolate. If you do, it might seize and become an unworkable clump.
❤️ What to serve in a chocolate bowl:
The sky’s the limit when it comes to deciding what to serve in your chocolate bowls, but if you need some recipe inspo, here are a few of our favorites:
No-Churn Circus Animal Ice Cream
Raspberry Mousse Chocolate Cups
Don’t miss the step-by-step tutorial showing how to make Chocolate Bowls – check out the web story here!
- 12 oz white candy coating melts
- 4 oz pink candy coating melts
- 10 water balloons
- Melt the white candy coating and the pink candy coating in separate bowls. Set them aside to cool to room temperature—they should still be melted and fluid, but not at all warm to the touch. (If the chocolate is too warm, the balloons will pop when you dip them!)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Drop 10 1-inch circles of white coating on the paper, spaced several inches apart, and tap the baking sheet against the counter a few times to level off the circles of chocolate and give them a flat top. These will be the bases for your white chocolate bowls.
- Blow up the water balloons and tie them off.
- Drizzle a spoonful of pink coating on top of the melted white coating in a random pattern. Hold a balloon by the top near the knot in one hand, and in the other hand hold the bowl of coating, tilted at an angle toward you.
- To get visible swirls, you don’t dip the balloon so much as place the side of it in the chocolate and then pull it up. Gently set the side of the balloon in chocolate, so that the chocolate comes about half-way up the side of the balloon in a semi-circle shape. Pull the balloon out of the chocolate, then rotate it a bit, and do a second side, slightly overlapping the first, and creating a scalloped edge on top. Repeat, rotating the balloon, until all of the sides are covered with chocolate. I typically did 5 dips per balloon. Let the excess drip back into the bowl, then gently set the balloon down on one of the white chocolate circles you made.
- Drizzle another big spoonful of pink coating into the bowl, and repeat with the remaining balloons. If the coating gets too cool to work with, heat it up briefly, in 5-second spurts, just until it is workable again.
- Once all of the balloons are dipped, refrigerate the tray to set the white chocolate bowls completely.
- Press against the sides of the balloons, gently, to loosen them from the chocolate bowls, then pop the balloons with a sharp pin and pull out any balloons that cling to the white chocolate inside.
- Fill them with ice cream, mousse, whipped cream, candies, or anything else you can dream up!
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.
Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?