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. This dairy-free white chocolate is rich and creamy and it makes a perfect topping for dipping your favorite sweets, or you can 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.”
Is White Chocolate Chocolate?
The question is asked these days whether white chocolate can even be considered chocolate. To answer this question, 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.
So, now that this big question is answered, let’s talk about how to go about making it.
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!
White Chocolate Ingredients
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 key ingredients used to make white chocolate:
- 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.
Lecithin is another ingredient sometimes used to stabilize white chocolate. If you’re having trouble with your chocolate setting properly, adding 1/4 teaspoon of soy lecithin may be helpful. I have not used it in any of my white chocolate batches and they all turned out fine.
How to Make Vegan White Chocolate
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 summary of the steps involved:
- Combine Dry Ingredients — whisk together the powdered sugar, soy milk solids, and salt. Then stir in the vanilla.
- Melt Cocoa Butter — melt the cocoa butter in a microwave-safe dish
- Stir in Sugar — stir in the powdered sugar mixture
- 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.
Let’s go into a bit more detail for each step.
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
The first step in melting the cocoa butter is to chop it into smaller pieces, assuming you buy cocoa butter that is in chunks. 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, I recommend either letting it sit in the microwave for a minute or so to allow it to become cool enough to touch, or you can use oven mitts.
Stovetop: Use a double boiler or make your own make-shift double boiler. To do this, add water to a saucepan and select 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. Next, heat the water in the saucepan over medium-low heat. Then add the cocoa butter to the glass bowl. Once the water is simmering, use oven mitts to place the glass bowl over the saucepan. The heat from the simmering water will rise up and heat up the bowl. This will, in turn, melt the cocoa butter.
Once the cocoa butter melts it looks a little yellow. This is natural and nothing to be worried about.
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 would work as well.
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.
Now you’re ready to 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 down anyway.
You can allow the chocolate to set at room temperature for up to 24 hours. That’s a long wait! I prefer placing the chocolate in the fridge, where it hardens quickly and is ready within an hour. Of course, 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 be sure to check the label. And, of course, you can make homemade white chocolate without dairy.
Making Sugar-Free White Chocolate
If you’re going for a low carb or keto white chocolate, this is completely do-able. 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 Vegan White Chocolate
Vegan white chocolate is a little different than the white chocolate you might buy in stores. Let’s go over some of the differences:
- Baking — vegan white chocolate doesn’t hold its shape as much as storebought 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, popcorn, and more is fun because you can add colors and it makes things so festive and fun. I found it was best to let the melted white chocolate sit for a minute or two to thicken before dipping anything with 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. I suggest using minimal coloring because too much will impact the texture of the chocolate.
Best White Chocolate Recipes
Here are some of my favorite recipes to use with non-dairy white chocolate chips.
- White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies — using vegan white chocolate chips makes these cookies so amazing
- These Oreo Truffles can have either a dark or white chocolate coating
- Drizzle melted white chocolate over this Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake for a stunning presentation
- These Vegan Cake Pops illustrate how adding a bit of color to white chocolate can be quite festive!
Do I need to temper vegan white chocolate?
To temper or to not to temper, that is the question. Tempering homemade 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 makes it snap when you bite into it or break it into pieces.
I tried it both ways with this DIY white chocolate and I personally found that not tempering the chocolate was fine. Of course, most of what I’m doing with my vegan white chocolate is using it as a coating for other desserts or adding the chips into some other dessert, like these chocolate energy bites or vegan chocolate chip cookies. If you prefer a chocolate bar, you may want to temper the chocolate.
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.
I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!
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 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.
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.