If you’re looking for a last-minute holiday recipe to bring to a party, I’ve got you covered! No need to make a batch of cookies when you can whip up some chocolate bark.
This chocolate bark recipe is so easy to make, and I bet you have all of the ingredients in your pantry already. Today, I’m sharing my favorite chocolate bark recipe, plus tips on how to change it up.
The chocolate bark you see here features dark chocolate (you can even use good chocolate chips), topped with toasted chopped nuts and seeds and dried cranberries.
I sprinkled it lightly with flaky sea salt, which basically makes it taste like sweet-and-salty trail mix chocolate bark. You could call it gourmet and healthy (in moderation, like everything else). Let’s make some!
Chocolate Bark Notes & Tips
For a festive appearance, incorporate something green, like pistachios or pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) and something red, like dried cranberries. Other options include chopped dried ginger, which will add some golden sparkle, or even crushed candy canes.
The easiest way to melt chocolate is in the microwave. Use a microwave-safe bowl and warm the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring after each one. Don’t get impatient and skip a stir, and don’t overdo it!
No microwave? Melting white chocolate? Use a double boiler. Place the chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Cook until the chocolate is almost entirely melted, stirring frequently. Carefully wipe any condensation from the bottom of the bowl before scooping the chocolate onto your baking sheet (water and chocolate do not mix!).
If you’re in a hurry, chill the chocolate bark in the refrigerator. Your chocolate bark will be perfect for tonight’s party.
If you have time, let the chocolate bark cool at room temperature for a few hours. The trouble with the refrigerator is that the chocolate can develop some light condensation on the surface. When the water evaporates overnight, you’ll see little swirls of dissolved sugar on top (called sugar bloom).
Watch How to Make Easy Chocolate Bark
Chocolate Bark Variations
For this recipe, you’ll need about 3/4 cup toppings. Choose from any of the following, and chop or crush them if they’re large:
- Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts hazelnuts, pistachios, macadamias, cashews or peanuts
- Seeds, such as pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- Dried fruit: dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, candied ginger
- Candied citrus
- Coconut: dried unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut
- Candy canes
- White chocolate: Buy high-quality white chocolate and melt it in a double boiler. Drizzle a small amount of melted white chocolate over the melted dark chocolate, and swirl it gently with a toothpick. Top as desired.
Please let me know how this chocolate bark turns out for you in the comments! I hope it’s a big hit.
Craving more simple holiday treats? Here are a few more favorites (no cookies here):
- Peppermint Bark Popcorn
- Chocolate Peppermint Cups
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge
- Sesame Caramel Corn
- Cranberry Orange Granola
- Easy Salted Oat Fudge
- Gingerbread Granola
Easy Chocolate Bark
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes (plus 15 minutes cool time)
- Yield: 25 pieces 1x
- Category: Candy
- Method: By hand
- Cuisine: American
This chocolate bark recipe is so easy to make, and ready in a hurry! I typed up my favorite dark chocolate trail mix chocolate bark recipe below. Use this technique and change it up using the ideas provided within the post. Recipe yields about 25 pieces.
- 12 ounces quality chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I like bittersweet/about 60% cocao content)
- ¾ cup raw nuts or seeds (choose from almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios and/or pepitas)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit (dried cherries, apricots and/or candied ginger—chopped if large)
- About ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt, optional
- If you have time, toast the nuts/seeds: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast the nuts/seeds on a rimmed baking sheet until fragrant and turning lightly golden on the edges, about 6 to 9 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and roughly chop them.
- In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments, stirring after each one. Don’t overdo it. The chocolate is done when it’s about 90% melted—keep stirring off the heat and the pieces should completely dissolve. (Alternately, you can use melt it in a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water.)
- Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a silicone or rubber spatula to spread chocolate evenly over the center area of the baking sheet—aim for about ¼″ thickness (it won’t reach the edges).
- Sprinkle the nuts evenly over the chocolate, followed by the dried fruit. If you’re adding flaky salt, crush it between your fingers as you sprinkle it over the chocolate. Lightly use your palms to press the toppings into the chocolate.
- If you’re in a hurry, place the pan on a flat surface in the refrigerator to harden for about 15 minutes. If you’re not, let the chocolate cool at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, until completely hardened.
- Once the chocolate is completely hardened, use your hands to break it into about 25 pieces. Serve immediately, or cover and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Make it nut free: Use pepitas and/or sunflower seeds instead of nuts.
Make it vegan/dairy free: Use vegan/dairy free chocolate, such as Enjoy Life brand.
Stooooop, I’m supposed to be working!! When your tempting emails come through, I just have to click through to check out your new recipes. Good thing I work for myself so the only person judging me is me!
You’re so funny, Patty! Thanks for subscribing!
You have yet to post a recipe that doesn’t interest me. I have been abroad for 20 months and will be back in my own kitchen very soon. I can’t wait to try so many of your recipes. Thank you!
I’m so glad you are enjoying what I’ve been posting! Enjoy your final time abroad and let me know what you think of the recipes as you try them.
This looks wonderful! A quick treat to have on hand when you get those chocolate cravings. :P
I agree! Thanks, Donna.
This is such a fun and easy treat! Perfect for Christmas!
Thank you, Natalie!
I was wondering… I have 100% Rainforest Cacao Organic Dark Chocolate could I use that? I have never used this before so I know it is stronger. Didn’t know if it would change the taste? Can I add anything else to it to help the taste? Plan on making it this weekend! Thanks! <3
Hi Angela, so sorry for the delayed response. I wouldn’t recommend using 100% cacao for chocolate bark. I’m not sure it will melt/perform the same as other chocolate, and I’m not sure how to incorporate sweetener etc. without affecting the final texture.
Love this sweet and salty combo!
Thanks, Gaby! :)
So Easy and So Good! Kate, your site has changed my life since my son’s diet changed. The recipes are always delicious, healthy and easy–even for me, a mom who is actually beginning to enjoy spending time in the kitchen! Thank You and the Happiest of Holidays to you and Cookie….
I’m so happy the blog has been so helpful to you and your family, Barbara. Thanks for your review and sharing!
Hi, Kate – I made some bark for Christmas and it was a big hit! I made it very thin (~1/8”), but it was wonderful. Used various topping in sections – cranberries & pecans, crystallized ginger & walnuts, almonds & apricots – with a sprinkling of sea salt over all. Luscious! Thanks so much for the suggestions and basics! Love your newsletter and site.
That sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing you topping ideas. I appreciate the comment!
Simple, delicious, and FULL of protein thanks to the different nuts, YUM!
Thank you for your review, Kelli!
I made the bark last week and it was great and am making at again for a thanksgiving dinner this week. I did not toast the nuts the first time around I think doing so will give them more flavor but all in all it was a great result!
This recipe did not work. The chocolate did not remain set.
Hi Karen, I’m sorry to hear that! It should have once it cooled in the refrigerator or at room temperature for long enough. It gets warmer than room temperature, like near a stove, it will melt.
I was baking cookies for a potluck yesterday and ran into a major issue and had to toss them along with my baking trays :/ my BF picked up some pure baking chocolate on his way home and I was able to quickly make this instead. Everyone loved it and I didn’t get to take any home!
Oh no! I’m glad you found this recipe, Hayley. Thanks for sharing!
I’ve just started subscribing to your recipes and love them! My goal is to cook and bake more going into 2020. Will definitely bookmark this one – it’s one to eat no matter what season :)
Be sure to let me know your favorites, Lisette!
OMG ! Easy ! and great tasting !
I’m glad you love it!
I’m about to make this now. It sounds so easy and yummy. Will send picture when done. Thank you so much
Fantastic recipe. Simple, delicious and perfect for a holiday treat.
Well at first I put it in a cookie sheet and put in the freezer, then try to spatula it out and my nuts and stuff didn’t stick , so I put the whole think in the oven to melt a bit ,then when melted mixed it together, put back in the freezer , cut it / broke it apart from the 8×9 pan and it great ! Thank u
You’re welcome, Kim!
Hi Kate, I was introduced to your blog by a friend and I have been making the healthy banana bread and zucchini brownies since a few months now, it’s amazingly simple to make and sooooo healthy…also it’s mostly a hit with friends and family..i recently subscribed to your site….. I am Planning to make these barks for toddlers, can I blend the roasted nuts into a paste and add them to chocolate, skip the dried fruits… So that it’s mostly chocolate visible to kids but had the goodness of Dryfruits as well.. Also will only salt do instead of sea salt
The Bark looks tasteful.I will make that tomorrow we had bad weather today in
Texas . We all wanted vegetables soup..
Have a great evening Kate
Dolores De Lano
I made it. …soo easy. ..so wick. .so good…I used semi sweet chips…topped with walnuts. .dried cranberries..almonds. .and pumpkin seeds
So we took all the remnants of pretzels, nuts, granola, dried berries and decided to try this. Awesome and easy and sooo delicious. My teens are loving it.
I had a little trouble with the chocolate setting up. I let it cool on the counter 10 minutes and then put it in the fridge for an hour. It firmed up somewhat but as soon as you touched it to break it up it was melting all over our fingers. Has anyone else had this problem? And what did you do to fix it, please. Thank you
Hi Emm! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t have a perfect result with your chocolate bark. Did you get it to the right thickness? Even though you didn’t follow my exact timing instructions for setting it up, it should have still hardened since you left it for an our in the fridge. What type of chocolate did you use?
Hi Kate… I have an over-abundance of milk chocolate- would it be suitable for this recipe? Also, can the finished bark be stored frozen? Thank you!
Hi Barb, I prefer this best as listed. It should still work, but likely sweeter. You can store if frozen, just be mindful eating it as it will be very hard.
Fantastic. Added some broken salted pretzels in the mix and mini Smarties on the top.:-)
Can you freeze the bark after it’s completely set? Want to make ahead for Christmas.
Hi Cindy, Yes this one would be a great one to freeze.
I used choc chip semi sweet it didn’t get hard feels sticky on fingers love taste cranberries pistachio raisins sunflower seeds few pecans was wondering if it all can be incorporated into the melted chocolate then lay it flat
Reading this receipe over gave me a great idea. I melted my bag og Geradeli white chocolate chips and spread out evenly. Next I sprinkled dried cranberries over the top. I used a fine grater on several naval oranges and sprinkled over the top. I then added roasted pistachios. Not only did it taste delicious it was beautiful and festive. Thank you.
if there are more starsfor rating i would put them all , so easy to make.
I am a food lover and by searching on something speacial your blog came out , and i was so lucky to click on it haha <3
Thanks for the recipe that i would try it definitely !!
Wish u all the luck of the world
Thank you, Nesrine!
I have 80% or 90% cocoa chocolate which is a bit too bitter do you have any sugestion on how could I seeeten it a bit?
I haven’t tried adding a liquid sweetener, so I’m not sure how it will set up if you add some to it. If you try it, let me know!
This was great except it doesn’t stay hard like store bought bark. It soften up and melted in my hand. Did I do something wrong.
Hi Ruby, How long did you let it chill for?
I set it in the refrigerator for around 30 minutes.
Hi! Simply luv your chocolate bark recipe idea. Makes for great gifts.
Thank you so much.
Am I able to add oils to my chocolate? Just thought that might make it interesting.
Hi Karine, I’m glad you like it! I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure.
I just made this with 70 percent dark chocolate, used 14 ounces, added 1 1/2 tablespoons of good honey when the chocolate was melted, added freeze dried raspberries and pistachio’s, use small amount of pink salt, setting up fine for me
This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to try it! Could you recommend some brands of chocolate to use? Can you use milk chocolate?
Hi! A higher quality chocolate works well. I prefer dark chocolate, but you could try milk. Let me know what you think!
I tried it with Belgian milk chocolate and it came out amazing! Thanks so much!
Can you use 70% dark chocolate without having to use a sweetener?
I recommend making this as the recipe states for best results. I hope you try it!
Easy Bark Recipe Does this recipe work with SALTED mixed nuts or is is better going unsalted and then sprinkling a little sea salt if you want it?
Hi, I prefer unsalted and add the salt after. Let me know what you think!
Can you use lightly salted mixed nuts, or does it work best with unsalted nuts?
Hi Gail, I prefer unsalted. But, you can try it. You may want to omit the flaky sea salt.
Hi! I have made SIX batches of these and they ALL turned out fabulous! They are going to be my neighbor xmas treats! Such a wonderful recipe. Made mine with hazelnuts, pistachios, pepitas, and dried Michigan cherries.
Thank you so much for sharing this!
You’re welcome, Claire!
Does your sodium amount include the added salt?
Hi Karla, all that is listed in the ingredients list. Nutrition Disclaimer
Looking forward to the recipes
I hope you love it, Belva!
do you need to add nuts?
Hi Kim you can omit if you like.
Thankyou for this Recipe. It tastes Awsome. My friends and family loved it .
Cut I Mariska
Hi Kate, I just tried to your recipe. OMG, they are super easy to make and unbelievably yummy! My husband & I love it. Thank you for inspiring me to make it.
You’re welcome, Cut! I appreciate your review.
I am thinking about making the bark. Would it be ok to add orange extra to the melted chocolate? Have you made white chocolate bark? I like maple flavor so I might add some maple flavoring to that recipe. What do you think?
You could try it, may be interesting. Let me know what you try!
Absolutely delicious, addictive and so easy! I used roasted, salted pistachios, raw almond slivers and cranberries. It did not need the salt, as there was enough on the pistachios. It is definitely gift-worthy.
Great to hear, Vicki!
Made this today and gifted it tonight!!! A huge hit!! Thank you so much for sharing!
You’re welcome, Erin! Thank you for your review.
Why did my chocolate layer and white chocolate layer sparate after i broke the bark up. Was it to thick?
Hi Barbara, I’m not sure what you are referring to. Did you combine them?
This was simple and oh so easy to make. It is delicious, and I love the sweet/salty combo. Plus, it’s pretty to look at!
Outstanding! I used candied Orange Peels, pistachios, a few smashed up pretzels for a slight salt effect, dark chocolate and swirled in a decorative pattern of white chocolate on top. Made several tubs for hubby’s retirement and put on several units in the hospital. Total hit!
Sounds delicious, Lynda! Thank you for sharing.
This recipe looks fantastic! Is it possible to make dark chocolate cookie bark incorporating this recipe?