What is vegan chocolate made of?
All chocolate shares the same key ingredient; cocoa. Whether it’s in solid, butter or powder form, cocoa starts its life as a plant and is therefore vegan in origin. The ingredients added later to create chocolate as we know it, for sweetness, taste and texture are what often contain dairy.
Plant-based alternatives such as creamed coconut and hazelnut paste are being increasingly used in place of whey fat to deliver that indulgently smooth and rich chocolate experience. But the label ‘vegan friendly’ can often come at the expense of chocolate’s traditional taste and texture. Well, you’ll be happy to know this is no longer the case!
Is dark chocolate vegan?
The higher the quality of chocolate, the less added ingredients there are. Dark chocolate has a much higher cocoa percentage than milk chocolate but not all dark chocolate is vegan.
So who makes the best vegan chocolate? We tested a range of brands to bring you our favourite vegan dark, milk and truffle chocolate.
All products have been chosen and reviewed independently by our editorial team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small commission for purchases made, but this comes at no extra cost to you and helps us to continue providing top-quality content for our loyal readers.
Best vegan chocolate to buy
Comments: If you’re into sweet chocolate truffles these cocoa dusted organic Booja Booja bites combine the smooth texture of classic ganache with small chunks of roasted hazelnut for added bite; a great gift for someone with a sweet tooth.
Comments: Galaxy launched its first ever range of vegan chocolate bars in November 2019 and has succeeded in recreating its classically smooth milk taste using hazelnut paste in place of dairy. This caramelised hazelnut edition combines small pieces of caramel for crunch with silky milk chocolate. You wouldn’t know it was vegan.
Best vegan dark chocolate:
Comments: Fruity with a complex finish and smooth mouthfeel, this bar delivers in flavour without any of the bitterness you often get with a high cocoa percentage. Buy this for a rich and balanced dark vegan chocolate experience.
Comment: This 70% cocoa slab by Hotel Chocolat came a close second to Divine in depth of flavour and melt. It’s a pricier option and slightly harder in bite but worth the money for dark aficionados.
Other vegan chocolates we tried
Montezuma’s Lordy Lord with Cocoa Nibs, £2.60/100g, Ocado. Buy now
Ombar Coco Mylk Chocolate, £2.10/35g, Ocado. Buy now
Doisy and Dam 70% Maple, Toasted Rice and Pink Salt, £2.50/80g Ocado. Buy now
Chocolate and Love Fairtrade Organic Panama 80%, £3.50/80g Ocado. Buy now
Seed and Bean Organic Dark Chocolate 70% with Cornish Sea Salt, £2.69/85g, Ocado. Buy now
Eat Your Hat Organic with Turmeric and Black Pepper, £3.95/ 91g, Ocado. Buy now
PLAYin CHOC Organic Peruvian Cacao M.lk Chocolate, £5.95/100g, playinchoc.com. Buy now
Discover 55 chocolate recipes here
Testing conducted and written by Anya Gilbert