Homemade Vegan Chocolate (Refined Sugar-Free)

VeganGluten-FreePaleoNut-FreeSoy-FreeRefined Sugar-FreeEasyKid-FriendlyVegetarianDairy Free

A simple 5-ingredient recipe for homemade vegan chocolate that is rich, creamy, decadent and best of all refined-sugar free.  This homemade chocolate recipe is also gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly, dairy-free, hydrogenated oil-free, soy-free and nut-free, making it perfect for all types of dietary needs.  Homemade chocolate is not only easy and allergy-friendly, but it is also perfect for tweaking the flavors to your unique preferences.

homemade chocolate for halloween

With chocolate candy everywhere this month, I have been craving it pretty hard.  So, I started playing around with making homemade vegan chocolate and I’ve landed on the perfect recipe to share with you all. I love making chocolate myself because I can control the ingredients and the level of sweetness, creaminess and richness. I kept this recipe refined sugar-free and naturally sweetened it with a little maple syrup. Best of all, I found that refined sugar-free homemade vegan chocolate doesn’t seem to trigger migraines for me.  That is a huge win for this chocoholic!

homemade dark chocolate kisses - vegan

I thought making homemade vegan chocolate would be difficult and time consuming but it seriously couldn’t be easier. I promise.

The only ingredients for this vegan chocolate that you need are:

  1. cocoa butter
  2. coconut oil
  3. pure maple syrup
  4. unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
  5. salt (just a pinch)

You could also add 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract but that is entirely optional.

homemade vegan chocolate ingredients

To prepare, all you do is melt the cacao butter and whisk in the other ingredients.  Then, pour into silicone molds and chill to harden.  That’s it!

melted homemade dark chocolate

I bought these adorable kisses and pumpkin molds since Halloween is just around the corner.  Feel free to use any type you want.  These would be adorable for Valentine’s Day and these would be fun for St. Patrick’s Day.  And these would be fun for a girl’s birthday party!

candy molds

homemade chocolate kisses candy mold - overhead

homemade chocolate pumpkin candy molds

I’ll be using homemade vegan chocolate for all my homemade halloween candy recipes this month (and from now on).  It is a total game-changer.

homemade chocolate pumpkins

homemade chocolate for halloween - pumpkins

What are the health benefits of chocolate?

Oh, chocolate, what would we do without you to make everything more decadent, rich and luxurious?  Plus, who doesn’t love the health claims that chocolate is actually good for us?

Years of nutrition research has shown that chocolate isn’t just junk food and may actually provide health benefits.  But is all chocolate created equal? Is cacao powder the same as cocoa powder?  Is Dutch-processed cocoa just as healthy as regular? How dark does chocolate really need to be to be considered healthy?  With chocolate coming in so many different forms, it is difficult to know what benefit we are getting and at what cost.

The health benefits of chocolate come from antioxidants called flavanols found in the cocoa solids (as opposed to the cocoa butter). When consumed in large amounts, studies have shown that flavanols in chocolate may:

– Lower high blood pressure and decrease levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol leading to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
– Promote lung health and protect against asthma
– Decrease the risk of diabetes and several types of cancer
– Benefit the brain and preserve cognitive abilities to lower the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease
– Improve mood and feelings of pleasure
– Benefit the vascular system by reducing the risk of blood clots and increasing blood flow in arteries and the heart

Still, many chocolate varieties contain unhealthy additives such as milkfat and sugar.  This is why making it yourself can be so beneficial.

With store-bought chocolate, different types of chocolate have varying amounts of flavanols, making some varieties more beneficial than others. As much as 90 percent of the flavanols may be lost when processing the cocoa bean into cocoa powder and chocolate.  The cocoa beans are fermented to reduce bitterness and roasted to bring out the chocolate flavor and aroma. So, although the processing of chocolate makes it taste better, the nutritional downside is that it reduces the final flavanol content.

Like most foods, eating the least processed and most pure form is the healthiest. When you start to dilute the food with added sugar and unhealthy fats, the overall health of the food is reduced.

Dark chocolate (also known as “bittersweet” or “semisweet” chocolate) has a rich and intense flavor. It contains more than 60 percent cocoa solids and typically has less added sugar than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate provides a number of important minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium. Compared with milk chocolate, you are getting more cacao solids and thus more flavanols.  Flavanols provide a dark pigment, so visually you can look for darker color for more nutritional benefits. The label for store-bought chocolate will also tell you what percentage of cacao it contains. Usually, the greater percentage the better.

What is the difference between unsweetened cocoa powder and unsweetened cacao powder?

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Unsweetened cocoa powder is made by roasting and grinding cocoa beans.  As discussed, that processing lowers its flavanol content.  It contains only cocoa solids (whereas chocolate contains cocoa solids plus cocoa butter and other additives).  Always double-check the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain added sugar, cocoa butter or milkfat.

Many recipes call for Dutch-processed cocoa powder which is cocoa powder that has been alkalized to remove the bitter taste. This actually substantially reduces the flavanols (about 65% of the flavanol content is lost).

Unsweetened Cacao Powder

Cacao powder is similar to unsweetened cocoa powder in that it does not contain added sugars, butter, milk or additives. It is said to be different from cocoa powder in the way it is processed, preserving more flavanols.  Manufacturers of cacao powder say they use low-temperature processing to preserve the enzymes and nutrients.

homemade dark chocolate kisses

Want more vegan chocolate recipes in your life?

If you are a chocolate lover like me, you are always looking for the next best chocolate recipe to satisfy your chocolate cravings.  Here are some of my favorites for you to try (they are all vegan, soy-free and gluten-free):

  1. Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles
  2. No-Bake Brown Rice Crispy Treats with Dark Chocolate Shell and Flaked Sea Salt
  3. Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Flour Cookies with Flaked Sea Salt
  4. Classic Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  5. Protein-Packed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
  6. How to Build a Chocolate Dessert Board
  7. Chocolate Filled Snack Bars (Raw + Nut-Free)
  8. Chocolate Microwave Cake (i.e. Mug Cake)
  9. Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
  10. Instant Chocolate Pudding
  11. Healthy Chocolate Smoothie
  12. Mexican Hot Chocolate
  13. Healthy Chocolate Mocha Smoothie
  14. Chocolate Granola
  15. Salted Tahini Chocolate Date Smoothie
  16. No-Churn Vegan Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
  17. Easy Two-Tier Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake Made in Loaf Pans!
  18. Vegan Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
  19. Vegan and Gluten-Free Olive Oil Sweet Potato Brownies with Almond Butter Swirl and Flaky Sea Salt (refined sugar free)
  20. No-Cook, No-Avocado Vegan Chocolate Pudding (refined sugar free + gluten free + nut free)
  21. Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Chocolate Sweet Potato Frosting (gluten-free + refined sugar-free + nut-free)
  22. Vegan and Gluten-Free Baked Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Ganache Glaze (refined sugar free + nut free)
  23. The Best Vegan and Refined Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate (made in your blender!)
  24. Vegan and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Muffins
  25. No-Bake Flourless Brownie Energy Bites
  26. No-Bake Fudgy Quinoa-Chia Bites
  27. Creamy Chocolate Fudgesicles (vegan + gluten-free + nut-free)
  28. Vegan “Nutella” Fudge Pops
  29. Fudgy Vegan, Gluten-Free and Nut-Free Protein Brownies
  30. Vegan Almond Butter Cups (refined sugar-free + gluten-free)

Now, Let’s Make Some Homemade Vegan Chocolate!

As you might imagine, my three kids have very much enjoyed the recipe development process for this recipe.  It is perfectly rich, sweet, creamy and addictive.  You won’t be able to get over how delicious and easy homemade chocolate is.

I cannot wait for you to give homemade vegan chocolate a try!

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homemade chocolate for halloween

Homemade Vegan Chocolate (Refined Sugar-Free)

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 15


A simple 5-ingredient recipe for homemade vegan chocolate that is rich, creamy, decadent and best of all refined-sugar free.  This homemade chocolate recipe is also gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly, dairy-free, hydrogenated oil-free, soy-free and nut-free, making it perfect for all types of dietary needs.  Homemade chocolate is not only easy and allergy-friendly, but it is also perfect for tweaking the flavors to your unique preferences.


  • 3/4 cup finely chopped cocoa butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup 
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (or unsweetened cacao powder*)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt


  1. In a small pot add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Place a medium-sized glass bowl overtop the pot so that the bottom of the glass bowl is about 1-inch above the top of the water.  Add the cacao butter and coconut oil and use a mini spatula to stir until it is fully melted.
  2. Use oven mitts to carefully remove the mixing bowl from the pot.  Place the mixing bowl on the counter and whisk in the maple syrup, sifted cocoa powder (or cacao powder), vanilla (if using) and salt.  Whisk until well combined and there are no clumps.
  3. Taste and adjust the sweetness to your liking.  Add more cacao or cocoa powder for a darker chocolate.  Add any flavors you like.
  4. Use in any recipe that calls for melted chocolate.  Or, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes to set into chocolate bark.
  5. If making chocolate candy out of the chocolate, pour the chocolate into a large measuring cup with a spout (this just makes it easier to pour the chocolate into tiny molds).  Use your mini spatula to ensure all the chocolate is transferred to the measuring cup.  Now, pour the chocolate into silicone molds (again use your spatula to ensure all chocolate is transferred).  I used this pumpkin mold and this kiss mold and it used up the exact amount made in this recipe.  Place the silicone molds in your refrigerator and allow the chocolate to set for 20 minutes.  Once fully hardened, pop the chocolate candy out of each mold and enjoy at room temperature.


If you are in a hurry you can place the chocolate in your freezer.  If you do, be sure to remove from freezer a couple minutes before enjoying to allow it to come back to room temperature.  You can enjoy them straight out of the freezer or refrigerator but I prefer them when they are at room temperature.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to one month.

*I personally prefer the taste with unsweetened cocoa powder.  Sifting it makes a huge difference in the texture.  Although it takes a little extra time, I find it worth it in the end result.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: stovetop

Keywords: homemade vegan chocolate

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  1. Ariella

    This chocolate was easy to make, refined sugar free, and delicious! I added sliced almonds and p.b. to one of the chocolate bars and also made chocolate chips. I will definitely be making this recipe again, thank you!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Thanks, Ariella! So happy to hear you loved it! I love your additions too!This is a great base recipe to make your own and have fun with for sure! 🙂

    • Debbie

      I’m allergic to coconut and wonder what can be used as a substitute for the oil?

      • Elaine Gordon

        Hi Debbie, I haven’t tried it myself but you could try vegan butter. You need something that is fatty and solid at room temperature. Please let me know if you are able to give this a try and if it works! Best, Elaine

  2. Jean

    Our granddaughter has a dairy whey allergy and I would like to make her some chocolate treats. Where do you buy your ingredients for this recipe?
    Thank you!

  3. Sami

    What are its nutritional facts and calories etc

    • Elaine Gordon

      Hi, Sami – I have not added it for this recipe yet. I hope you enjoy(ed) this recipe… thank you, Elaine

  4. Timothy

    What is the exact yield on this recipe? I have a 24 cavity mold, will that be enough?

    • Elaine Gordon

      Hi Timothy – how big is each cavity in your mold? I believe this recipe yields around 1.5 cups but I would need to test it again to be sure. I apologize I didn’t document it before.

  5. Kim Woodruff Mulligan

    This recipe is excellent!!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Kim! So happy to hear you enjoyed this one! Best, Elaine

  6. Audrey

    I made this keto by subbing xylitol instead of maple syrup. My only tip would be to powderize it first because there is nothing to absorb the crystals and it will be granular. This recipe is delicious and perfect and I am so happy to be able to have little chocolate bits again. Thank you!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you for the five star review, Audrey! And thank you for sharing the keto-friendly version for those who may need that. I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this one and were able to adopt it to your diet! Best, Elaine


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