How to Build a Chocolate Dessert Board (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

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This chocolate dessert board is the answer to all your entertaining needs.  It doesn’t require any cooking, which is a relief this busy holiday season.  The beauty of a dessert board is it is both an impressive work of art and a short-cut all at once.  It is a great way to use up nuts, seeds, dried fruit, fresh fruit, cookies and chocolate.  This “recipe” is incredibly flexible and you can customize the board to your liking based on what you have on hand or at your local store.  I like to go for a variety of colors, shapes, textures and flavors to keep things interesting.  Think: chewy and vibrant dried mango, salty and sweet candied pecans, fresh and juicy berries, soft mini cookies and decadent dark chocolate.

Your dessert board can be scaled up or down depending on how many people you are serving.  You can keep it minimal or overflowing depending on your crowd.  Go big for larger gatherings or parties and scale it back a bit for intimate dinner parties.  Pair with wine or champagne for the perfect romantic and swanky in-home date night.  It also makes for a fun girls’ night treat.  It is a versatile dessert option and kids won’t turn it down either.

The star of this board is dark chocolate and here I’m using moi non-GMO, French-produced chocolate bars.  Their beautiful full-bodied bars use single-sourced beans from Ecuador, Sao Tome, Dominican Republic and the Ivory Coast.  Each bar offers a distinct flavor profile and aromatic bouquet from their unique country of origin.  This post is sponsored by Cémoi and through this collaboration I learned that they work hard to roast the chocolate beans to perfection to highlight the region and to deliver the most indulgent tasting experience.  Their cocoa is collected in fair trade conditions which enables improved working and living conditions for cocoa communities.  For three generations, Cémoi has been committed to quality and sustainable cocoa farming for their 60,000 farmers.  

Depending on the type of chocolate you are using, you can select dessert board items that compliment the chocolate flavors.  For example, Cémoi‘s 80% cocoa chocolate bar from Ecuador has dried fruit tasting notes so I layered dried fruit near that particular chocolate bar to compliment that bar.  You certainly don’t have to get that technical but if you are into chocolate food pairings you can go for it here. Cémoi makes it easy by listing the top three tasting notes on the label of each bar.

To build your dessert board, group together your star/larger items and then add a couple small bowls filled with tinier items that you don’t want to get lost or mixed up.

Fill in any holes with garnishes (I suggest a bunch in the recipe below).  Have fun with it and definitely don’t overthink it too much!  This dessert concept is basically fail-proof.

This chocolate dessert board is a crowd pleaser for sure.  It has something on it for everyone from decadent dark chocolate to fresh fruit, cookies, nuts, seeds, dried and freeze dried fruits.  The pops of color and variety of items are intriguing and attractive to guests.

I included a loose recipe framework below with categories and ideas within each category.  I find the more I enjoy the process of making it the better the spread turns out.  I hope this post inspires you to make a killer chocolate dessert board this holiday season.  If you do, please use #eatingbyelaine and tag @eatingbyelaine on Instagram and Facebook so I can see your epic creations!

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How to Build a Chocolate Dessert Board (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 10 mins


This chocolate dessert platter is impressive and appetizing for your guests and couldn’t be easier for you to pull together this busy time of year! Scale the board according to your crowd.


  • 34 Cémoi chocolate bars of different varieties, broken up into squares
  • Your favorite graham crackers and/or cookies (homemade or store-bought)
  • Fresh fruit such as apples, pears, persimmon, mango, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, pomegranate seeds, green grapes or red grapes (sliced or leave whole)
  • Figs, dates or dried fruit such as dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries, apples, mangos or pineapples
  • Banana chips and/or freeze dried fruit such as raspberries, blueberries, apples etc.
  • Nuts and seeds (plain, salted, roasted, spiced and/or candied) [try my Sweet & Salty Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
  • Garnish ideas: fresh mint, cacao nibs or chocolate chips, whole fruit (i.e. mini apples, cranberries, satsumas or clementines, half a pomegranate) and cinnamon sticks
  • Other ideas: popcorn, pretzels, chocolate covered pretzels, marshmallows, melted chocolate or caramel for dipping, nut or seed butters for dipping


  1. Select a couple items from each category above. Arrange the largest items first in groupings on a cutting board or platter.
  2. Add mini bowls and fill with smaller items that you don’t want to get lost on the board.
  3. Garnish (see garnish ideas above) to fill in any gaps or holes you have leftover to complete the overall look.
  4. Serve with hot chocolate, wine, champagne or cocktails if desired.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Dessert

This post is sponsored by moi.  All opinions are my own.

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