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.
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!
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:
- cocoa butter
- coconut oil
- pure maple syrup
- unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
- salt (just a pinch)
You could also add 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract but that is entirely optional.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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):
- Homemade Chocolate Candy Bars
- Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles
- No-Bake Brown Rice Crispy Treats with Dark Chocolate Shell and Flaked Sea Salt
- Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Flour Cookies with Flaked Sea Salt
- Dark Chocolate Fudge Blizzard
- No-Nut-Butter Chocolate Eggs
- Classic Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Protein-Packed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- How to Build a Chocolate Dessert Board
- Chocolate Filled Snack Bars (Raw + Nut-Free)
- Chocolate Microwave Cake (i.e. Mug Cake)
- Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Almond Flour Cookies
- Instant Chocolate Mousse
- Healthy Chocolate Smoothie
- Mexican Hot Chocolate
- Healthy Chocolate Mocha Smoothie
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.