This vegan white chocolate recipe is easy to make and delicious! That’s right, you can make your own white chocolate at home without all the special tools and gadgets. Drizzle this rich and creamy melted white chocolate over desserts, dip pretzels in it, or enjoy it as bars.
Learn more about buying and working with dairy-free chocolate!
White chocolate is a controversial topic in the chocolate community. It’s as if some are hesitant to actually refer to it as chocolate. However, leaving that question aside for a moment, if you’re vegan, finding dairy-free white chocolate seems nearly impossible. But to quote the infamous Jacques Clouseau, “Not anymore.”
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using high-quality cocoa butter gives this white chocolate a rich, smooth mouthfeel
- Adding powdered soy milk adds another dimension of flavor
- Powdered sugar is added for smooth sweetness, making the flavor and texture of this vegan white chocolate so irresistible!
Key Ingredients for Vegan White Chocolate
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Powdered sugar — We’ll keep the amount used to a minimum, but adding just enough to add notes of sweetness to each bite
- Soy milk powder — Although you could use coconut milk powder or even rice milk powder, I love the richness of soy milk powder
- Sea salt — It may seem strange to add salt to chocolate, but the small amount used here adds a very subtle complexity which is important
- Cocoa butter — I recommend a high-quality, food-grade cocoa butter
- Vanilla extract — We’ll add just a bit of pure vanilla extract to add a hint of vanilla flavor. Make sure whatever vanilla you add does not contain even trace amounts of water. I mostly use alcohol-based vanilla extract. If your vanilla has water in it, you’ll be better off using a vanilla paste or vanilla beans.
- Soy Lecithin — Soy lecithin is an emulsifier that helps stabilize the fat from cocoa butter, sugar, and soy milk. Without it, the chocolate is oily.
Lecithin is another ingredient used to stabilize white chocolate. If you’re having trouble with your chocolate setting properly, adding 1/8 teaspoon of soy lecithin makes all the difference.
How to Make Vegan White Chocolate
- Combine Dry Ingredients — whisk together the powdered sugar, soy milk solids, and salt.
- Melt Cocoa Butter — melt the cocoa butter in a microwave-safe dish.
- Stir in Sugar — stir in the powdered sugar mixture, vanilla and lecithin.
- Heat & Mold — return the mixture to the microwave and cook it for 30 seconds. Then pour it into a candy mold.
Any moisture or water can make your chocolate-making experience a complete failure. That’s because water causes chocolate to seize. Make sure to use heat-proof glass bowls (not metal) and a rubber or silicone spatula (rather than a wooden spatula), to prevent any water or moisture from interacting with the chocolate. Also, be sure your bowls and tools are completely dry.
Once your ingredients are assembled, you have tackled the hardest part of making your own vegan white chocolate. You’re just a few simple steps away! Here’s a visual guide of the steps involved:
Step One: Combine Dry Ingredients
Here is where you’ll combine the powdered sugar, powder soy milk, and salt in a small bowl. Be sure to give it a good stir. Then add the vanilla and stir it all together.
If you want a super smooth white chocolate bar, you can grind the powdered sugar and soy milk solids in a coffee or spice grinder so that it’s super fine.
Step Two: Melt the Cocoa Butter
Chop the cocoa butter into smaller pieces. I recommend using a serrated knife to make the chopping process smoother. This allows you to chop it into smaller bits, making melting the cocoa butter easier. However, the cocoa butter melts relatively quickly.
- Microwave: Place the chopped cocoa butter in a microwave-safe bowl. I like to use a glass pyrex measuring cup because the handle does not heat up, making it easy to remove it from the microwave. If you’re using a bowl, let it sit in the microwave until it’s cool enough to touch, or use oven mitts.
- Stovetop: Use a double boiler or make your own double boiler. Heat the water in the saucepan over medium-low heat. Then add the cocoa butter to the bowl. Once the water is simmering, use oven mitts to place the bowl over the saucepan. The steam from the simmering water will heat up the bowl and melt the cocoa butter.
Once the cocoa butter melts it looks yellow. This is natural and nothing to be worried about.
To make a DIY double boiler, add water to a saucepan and use a heat-proof glass bowl that is a little bit wider than the pan so it can sit on the rim of the saucepan. The bowl should not come in contact with the water. If it does, pour some of the water out.
Step Three: Stir in the Sugar
Once the cocoa butter is melted, remove it from heat and stir in the powdered sugar mixture.
I like to use a whisk to stir these two together, but a fork works too. Then add the vanilla and lecithin.
Step Four: Heat and Mold
Once it’s all stirred together, place the bowl back in the microwave and heat for about 30 seconds. Or, if you’re using a double boiler, return the bowl back over the pan and heat it for up to a minute.
Pour the white chocolate into your candy molds. I used both candy bar molds and chocolate chip molds. If you don’t have molds, simply pour it into any appropriately-sized dishes (like muffin pans) to create chocolate chunks. If you’re using this chocolate to melt and dip things like chocolate covered pretzels, the shape of the chocolate chunks won’t matter. They’ll be melted anyway.
You can allow the chocolate to set at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Alternatively, place the chocolate in the fridge, where it hardens quickly. If you’re using a bigger mold, like with chocolate bars, the setting process may take longer.
Is Cocoa Butter Vegan?
Even though it has the word “butter” in it, cocoa butter is actually a plant-based ingredient. In fact, cocoa butter is the fat from the cocoa bean and is entirely vegan. Not all cocoa butter is made to be eaten, so be sure you’re using food-quality cocoa butter.
Is White Chocolate Vegan?
The standard store-bought white chocolate is not vegan because it has added dairy milk solids. However, some brands are making their bars with coconut, rice, or soy milk solids, so always check the label. And, of course, you can make homemade white chocolate without dairy.
Is White Chocolate Chocolate?
Is white chocolate even chocolate? To answer this, let’s talk about the cocoa bean, from which all chocolate originates. The cocoa bean can be roughly broken down into two parts: cocoa butter and cacao solids (also referred to as nibs). The nibs are full of the flavor and smell of chocolate. It’s also used to make cocoa powder. However, the cocoa butter provides that fat that gives chocolate its creamy, smooth mouthfeel. Because white chocolate’s main ingredient, cocoa butter, comes from the cocoa bean, it’s hard to deny that it is indeed chocolate.
I made this white chocolate and dipped pretzels and it was so good! It was easy too. Thanks for the recipe!
Making Sugar-Free White Chocolate
If you’re going for a low-carb or keto white chocolate, this is completely doable. Simply use zero-calorie powdered sugar. If it’s grainy at all, be sure to run it through a coffee or spice grinder first to make it super fine.
Working with Dairy-Free White Chocolate
Vegan white chocolate is a little different than the white chocolate you buy in stores. Let’s go over some of the differences:
- Baking — vegan white chocolate doesn’t hold its shape as much as store-bought white chocolate. This is true of tempered vegan white chocolate too. However, it holds just enough shape to make baking it into cookies worthwhile. I love the flavor and texture it adds to various cookie recipes.
- Coating — Using vegan white chocolate as a coating for truffles, pretzels, and popcorn, is festive and fun. Let the melted white chocolate sit for a minute or two to thicken before dipping anything in it. To get a thoroughly white coating, you may need to double-dip your goodies.
- Adding Color — I recommend using gel colors or even Wilton candy colors. Use minimal coloring because too much will impact the texture of the chocolate.
Do I Need to Temper Vegan White Chocolate?
Tempering white chocolates requires raising and lowering the temperature of the melted chocolate in ways that impacts the fats. This can create a glossier finish to the chocolate and make it snap when you bite into it or break it into pieces.
I tried it both ways, and I personally found that not tempering the chocolate was fine. Of course, I’m mostly using white chocolate as a coating for other desserts or adding the chips into some other desserts. To eat it as a chocolate bar, you may want to temper it.
To Temper White Chocolate
There’s a technical explanation of what happens to the fats at various temperatures when melting cocoa butter. To save you the details of all this, here is what you’ll need to do after combining the melted cocoa butter with the powdered sugar ingredients. I find using a double boiler and a candy thermometer is necessary to temper chocolate.
- Heat the chocolate to 120°F while stirring regularly. Remove it from heat and let it sit for a minute to cool.
- Place the container in the fridge for several minutes, removing it regularly to stir and check the temperature until it drops down to 79°F.
- Reduce the heat on your pan of simmering water to low.
- Place the bowl back on the saucepan and bring the heat up to 87°F. Remove it from heat immediately. If it shoots up past 89 degrees, you’ll need to start over on step one.
Then you’re ready to pour the chocolate into your molds.
Vegan White Chocolate
- Whisk together the sugar, soy milk powder, and sea salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Use a serrated knife to cut the cocoa butter into smaller bits. The smaller the bits, the quicker it will melt. Transfer the chopped cocoa butter into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the cocoa butter for 1 minute. Leave the bowl in the microwave. Place a plate over the top of the bowl and let it sit in the microwave until all the cocoa butter bits have melted. This allows the bowl to cool too.
- When the cocoa butter is fully melted and the bowl is cool enough to handle. remove it from the microwave. Whisk in the powdered sugar mixture, stirring until it's all combined. Add the vanilla extract and lecithin. Continue whisking.
- Return the bowl to the microwave and heat for another 30 seconds. Use oven mitts to remove the bowl from the microwave. Whisk the contents one last time. Let the bowl cool for a minute. Then pour the melted white chocolate into your candy mold.
- Transfer the mold to the fridge to allow the chocolate to set. It should be chilled at least 30 minutes.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.