Chocolate Fondue

updated Dec 21, 2023

A step-by-step guide to making smooth chocolate fondue with all your favorite dippers.

Serves4 to 6

Makesabout 2 cups

Prep10 minutes

Cook3 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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In my world, fondue is just another word for fun with food. I mean, poking food onto sticks and dipping it into something melty suddenly makes the meal way more interesting. Proof of this is how much my daughter’s eyes light up whenever I mention chocolate fondue.

While a smooth pot of melted chocolate surrounded by a full spread of dippers may look fancy, it’s way, way easier than making a cake, pie, or cookies — and everyone gets to choose their own dessert adventure. Here’s a step-by-step guide on the very best way to make chocolate fondue at home.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk
Quick Overview

Quick Tips for Making Chocolate Fondue

  • You’ll need a 1 cup to 10 ounces dairy-to-chocolate ratio so that the chocolate doesn’t get grainy or separate.
  • Heat the dairy up first, and then add in your chocolate (chocolate chips are best, but you can experiment with different types of chopped up candy bars).
  • Once the chocolate is smooth, it’s time to transfer it to a fondue pot to serve — or place your pot on top of a trivet and serve directly from there.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

What Type of Chocolate Is Best for Fondue?

We recommend using either semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, or a combination of both. The difference between semisweet and bittersweet chocolate is the percentage of cacao in each. Semisweet chocolate contains less cacao than bittersweet chocolate and tastes slightly sweeter. Use good quality chocolate chips if can find it. You can also use chopped chocolate bars if that’s what you have on hand.

Semisweet and bittersweet chocolates need slightly different amounts of liquid to stay smooth, but going with 1 cup of liquid (equal parts milk and cream) for every 10 ounces of chocolate provides good, consistent results no matter the type of chocolate used.

Ingredients in Chocolate Fondue

Making fondue is as simple as melting chocolate, right? Well, not quite. Melted chocolate is quite thick and can be a little unstable and prone to seizing (which means turning grainy or separating). Adding some liquid helps thin it out and stabilizes it into an ideal dipping texture.

  • Chocolate: The easiest route to go is just buying chocolate chips. But feel free to use bars of chocolate instead (just chop it up first).
  • Heavy cream and milk: Most recipes call for a lot of heavy cream, but I’ve found a mix of heavy cream and milk makes for a chocolate fondue that still retains a good chocolate flavor but isn’t too heavy.
  • (Optional) Your favorite liqueur: You can also add an extra boost of flavor with your favorite liqueur, like orange liqueur, amaretto, or a coffee liqueur like Kahlua.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make Chocolate Fondue

  • Gently heat up the liquids first. The heavy cream and milk are warmed over medium-low heat until just gently simmering.
  • Add the chocolate and remove from the heat. Let it sit off the heat for a few minutes. This will start the melting process so that all you have to do is give everything a good stir to incorporate.
  • Stir until smooth. You can also stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of liqueur if you want.
  • Transfer to a fondue pot. When it’s all completely smooth, pour it into the fondue pot for serving.

If You’re Making Chocolate Fondue, a Few Tips

  • To avoid burning the chocolate: You’ll use a technique borrowed from making chocolate ganache. Ganache is made by adding finely chopped chocolate to very warm cream, waiting a few minutes for the chocolate to melt, and then stirring the mixture until smooth.
  • If the chocolate starts to get grainy: Don’t fret: Just stir in more milk a teaspoon at a time until it smooths out.
  • If it starts to burn on the bottom of the pot: Just turn off the fondue fuel, as the fondue will stay warm on its own for quite awhile.

What if You Don’t Have a Fondue Pot?

No fondue pot? No problem:

  • Place the saucepan of melted chocolate right onto the table on a trivet and dip away.
  • If it starts to cool off, a little bit of time over low heat will warm it right back up.
  • You can also transfer the chocolate fondue to a small slow cooker and keep on WARM.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

What to Dip In Chocolate Fondue

Now that we’ve got that perfectly smooth chocolate fondue ready to go, it’s time to pick the dippers. Sky’s the limit really, but aim to have a good combination of textures and flavors. I like to think of things in categories so that I end up with a good variety.

  • Cookies and other sweets: Raid the cookie aisle and grab some pound cake. Don’t forget to check your kid’s candy stash for some holiday remnants.
  • Fresh and dried fruit: Berries are favorites, but whatever you choose, make sure it’s cut into bite-sized pieces and thoroughly dried after washed. Water is the enemy of fondue.
  • Savory options: Pretzels, crispy bacon, and potato chips are delicious options for those who like to break things up with something salty.
  • Garnishes for sprinkling: A little flaky salt, crushed freeze-dried fruit, or even Pop Rocks add a welcome pop of texture.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Chocolate Fondue Etiquette

If it’s your first time fondue-ing, there are a few tips you can choose to follow (or go rogue!).

  1. Reserve the fondue fork for dipping. First up is that you use the fondue fork (or skewer, if you don’t have one) for dipping but not for eating. Drop the dipped item onto your plate, then use a different utensil for eating.
  2. Make two platters of dippers rather than one. Divide everything onto two serving plates so that it’s within reaching distance on either side of the pot. That way, people don’t have to stand up or reach an arm over the fondue pot to skewer their next bite.
  3. Have fun! Try something unexpected as a dipper, and dare each other to try wacky combinations.

Oh, and by the way: Leftover fondue chocolate makes a fabulous hot chocolate base. You’re welcome.

How to Make Easy Chocolate Fondue

A step-by-step guide to making smooth chocolate fondue with all your favorite dippers.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 3 minutes

Makes about 2 cups

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


For the fondue:

  • 10 ounces

    semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1 3/4 cups) or chocolate, or a mixture

  • 1/2 cup

    heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup

    whole, 2%, or 1% milk, plus more as needed

  • Pinch kosher salt

  • Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons liqueur, such as chocolate (Godiva), hazelnut (Frangelico), almond (amaretto), orange (Grand Marnier), or coffee (Kahlúa)

Dipping options:

  • Cookies: rolled wafers, biscotti, meringues, chocolate sandwich, shortbread

  • Other sweets: marshmallows, brownies, rice krispy treats, pound cake, graham crackers, doughnuts, madeleines

  • Fresh fruit: strawberries, raspberries, bananas, apples, pineapple, orange segments

  • Dried fruit: apricots, pineapple, citrus peel, banana chips, apple chips, crystallized ginger

  • Savory: thick-cut salted potato chips, pretzels, Ritz crackers, cooked thick-cut bacon, peanut-butter pretzels, sesame breadsticks, Cheetos, Carrs whole-wheat crackers, Wheat Thins, Cheez-Its, Triscuits, plain pita chips

  • Garnishes: flaky salt, shredded coconut, chopped toasted nuts, Pop Rocks, crushed freeze-dried fruit


  • Chef’s knife and cutting board

  • Fondue pot with fuel (optional)

  • Fondue forks or skewers

  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Small saucepan

  • Wooden spoon or heatproof spatula

  • Platters


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  1. Rinse and dry off fruit. Cut everything into bite-sized pieces, with the exception of things that are dipped in by hand, such as rolled wafer cookies.

  2. Arrange everything to be dipped on a platter, or divide onto 2 platters instead for easier access on both sides of the fondue pot. Place any garnishes like flaky salt or chopped nuts in little bowls.

  3. If not using chocolate chips, chop 10 ounces chocolate into pea-sized pieces.

  4. Heat 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until just gently simmering.

  5. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and a pinch of kosher salt. Do not stir and let sit for 2 minutes.

  6. Stir with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and the fondue is smooth. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons liqueur if desired.

  7. Pour the mixture into a fondue pot. Light the fuel and serve with dippers. If the fondue gets too thick or grainy, turn off the fondue fuel and stir in more milk 1 teaspoon at a time until it smooths out again. No fondue pot? No problem! Just dip straight from the pot or transfer to a ceramic bowl. Reheat the fondue as needed over low heat if it thickens up or cools off.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover fondue can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks and remelted over low heat.

Credit: Kitchn