How to make vegan white chocolate at home that is creamy and rich with just 5 ingredients. The recipe is dairy-free and super easy to make, perfect to enjoy alone or with your loved ones!
Who doesn’t enjoy chocolate – well, I do for sure! I’ve already shared recipes for The Best Vegan Chocolate Pudding and Double Chocolate Chip Fudge Cookies among many other vegan chocolate recipes – but it’s time to learn how to make white chocolate at home!
Vegan white chocolate is quite difficult to source, however, all you need to make it homemade is just a handful of ingredients – using a creamy base of cashews instead of powdered dairy-free milk (which can be harder to come by).
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I decided to make heart-shaped white chocolate. Though, once prepared, feel free to use this for dipping, drizzling, to cover fruits and cake pop, grating over dessert, etc.
What Is White Chocolate?
Did you know that white chocolate isn’t legally even chocolate? This is because chocolate is meant to contain cocoa solids (the cocoa powder). Instead, white chocolate combines cacao butter with powdered milk (milk solids), sugar, and sometimes vanilla.
So, does white chocolate have cocoa? It has cacao butter, not cocoa solids (the powder). Oh, and if you’re wondering is cocoa butter vegan? Yes, it is- it may have “butter” in the name, but it’s 100% plant-based.
Many commercial chocolate products also contain soy lecithin, which is a fatty substance that can make it easier to temper and mold, improve the shelf life, and stop it from ‘blooming’ as easily. Unfortunately, along with the benefits, lecithin is also to blame for chocolate with a ‘waxy’ consistency (yuck!)
Luckily, this homemade white chocolate is lecithin free and (more importantly) dairy-free – because you should be able to enjoy a creamy, sweet vegan white chocolate at home, no dairy required!
The White Chocolate Ingredients
- Cacao Butter: Make sure to use food-grade cacao butter (or cocoa butter)
- Sugar: Use your favorite powdered sugar OR for a sugar-free white chocolate use powdered Erythritol and adjust the amount to your liking. Don’t use liquid sweeteners, as they can cause the white chocolate to seize.
- Cashew Butter: Or coconut butter. I use this in place of powdered milk to add creaminess and act as a stabilizer.
- Clear Vanilla Extract: This will help to add flavor. If you use colored vanilla then it will also affect the color of your white chocolate.
- Salt: Just a pinch!
- (Optional) Powdered milk: If you want more of the ‘milky’ flavor of traditional white chocolate then feel free to add in 1-2 tablespoons of powdered coconut milk, soy milk, or rice milk.
For the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information, read the recipe card below.
How To Flavor It?
Let’s be honest, as amazing as this vegan white chocolate is alone, homemade chocolate is so easy to customize- Perfect when making white chocolate truffles!
- Avoid water-based ingredients, so the chocolate doesn’t seize.
- Oil-based flavorings (aka ‘candy flavoring’ or ‘chocolate flavoring’) are the best option and come in tons of flavors.
- Alcohol-based extracts can also cause it to seize unless it’s added at the same time as you melt the cacao butter or combined with the powdered sugar (I’ve had success with vanilla extract many times).
- Powdered ingredients will work – like spices (cinnamon, ginger, etc)
You can also mix in or ‘top’ (place at the bottom of your mold before pouring in the chocolate) this white chocolate with various ingredients such as:
- Dried edible petals
- Dehydrated (freeze-dried) fruit/berry powders or pieces
- Crushed nuts and snacks like pretzels
- Crushed biscuits (homemade or commercial like Oreo’s)
- Candy cane pieces
You can also make filled white chocolate truffles. Let me know in the comments what your favorite additions would be!
How To Make Vegan White Chocolate
Step 1: Melt the cacao butter
- Melt the cacao butter in a double boiler over low heat. To do this fill a pan with a little hot water and place a heat-proof bowl over it with the cacao butter inside.
You can also place the bowl directly in the hot water (like I did). However, it’s important that you turn off the heat once the water in the pan starts simmering, to avoid drops of water getting into the bowl which can cause the chocolate to seize.
Step 2: Add the other ingredients
- Continue to stir the cacao butter as it melts then add in the cashew butter (or coconut butter) and stir well.
- Then, add the sifted powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix well to thoroughly combine.
I’ve found it very important to sift in the powdered sugar, otherwise, you can end up with lumps in the chocolate.
Step 3: Pour the chocolate into mold/s
- Use a spoon to pour the prepared melted white chocolate into your molds of choice. I used 2 heart silicone molds.
If you want to top your chocolate with any ‘toppings’ (options listed above) then add them to the bottom of the silicone molds first.
Step 4: Allow it to set
- Transfer your molds to the fridge for between 1-2 hours (or freezer for 20-30 minutes) until the chocolate has set.
- Finally, remove the white chocolate from the mold and enjoy!
How to store?
The leftover vegan white chocolate can be stored in the fridge or freezer. I don’t suggest storing it at room temperature.
In the fridge, it should be fine for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, keep it for between 2-3 months in the freezer.
Can you temper white chocolate? (and why would you?)
Tempering chocolate will change the crystal formation of the cacao butter in the chocolate and is what gives the chocolate a shiny coating, snappable texture, and better consistency. It will also stop your chocolate from melting as soon as it touches your fingers.
When it comes to this white chocolate. Yes, it’s possible – as white chocolate contains cacao butter. I haven’t personally tried to temper my homemade white chocolate though.
However, feel free to try – you’ll need a candy thermometer and the rest is all in the temperatures.
- Heat the chocolate to 110-113 °F (43-45 °C)
- Then remove it from the heat and add the bowl over an ice bath or to the fridge stirring regularly until it reaches 79 °F (26 °C).
- Place it back over the double boiler and bring it up to 84 °F (29 °C) (no higher!) then pour it in the mold. Any higher than 86 °F and you’ll have to re-start the process.
What to do if the chocolate seizes?
If at any point, in the process of making your homemade white chocolate you’re suddenly looking at a grainy, pasty, thick mass rather than smooth chocolate like you’d expect – your chocolate has seized.
This is usually down to water entering the mixture. Once seized, the chocolate will no longer temper. However, it can be saved:
1. By adding more water: This may seem counterintuitive, but it works. Add 1 tsp of boiling water at a time and stir vigorously until it smooths again. You can then use the chocolate as a sauce/drizzle (over baked goods).
2. By adding more fat: Like vegetable shortening. Add 1 teaspoon at a time and mix until it loosens. You can then use it within baked goods that call for melted chocolate (brownies, cakes, cookies, etc.) or continue with this recipe (it should still work fine).
How to fix grainy chocolate?
I suggest mixing the ingredients for longer or even using an immersion blender.
If using powdered milk then you can grind it finer using a coffee/spice grinder.
Recipe Notes & Variations
- Use flexible/ silicone molds unless you plan on tempering the chocolate first – otherwise, it won’t release from the mold (unless you’re lucky!).
- For less ‘rich’ white chocolate: Use a combination of cacao butter and vegetable shortening (or coconut oil) as the base (in a 3:1 ratio of cacao butter to shortening) instead of all cacao butter. Coconut oil will yield softer chocolate.
- Use a rubber/silicone spatula for this recipe rather than wooden (as wooden can suck in water and ruin the batch). Also make sure all of your tools and bowl, etc are 100% dry.
- If you want to use this vegan white chocolate within baked goods, then freeze it for at least 30 minutes before baking (pre-chopped/molded into chips). Then bake immediately. This will help it keep its shape slightly better when baked.
Other Vegan Chocolate Recipes
- Chocolate Salami (Easy No-Bake Dessert)
- Vegan Nutella Recipe
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Pie
- Chocolate Granola Bars
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Muffins
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
If you give this vegan white chocolate recipe a try, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing them.
Vegan White Chocolate
- Melt the cacao butter in a double boiler over low heat, stirring occasionally. I simply added the cacao butter to a ceramic bowl and put the bowl into a pan filled with a little hot water. It's important that you turn off the heat once the water in the pan starts simmering, to avoid drops of water getting into the bowl.
- Keep stirring until it's completely melted, then add the cashew butter (or coconut butter) and stir to combine.
- Finally, sift in the powdered sugar, and also add the vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
- Prepare two silicone molds and use a spoon to fill the white chocolate mixture into the molds.
- Transfer the silicone molds into your fridge for about 1-2 hours (or into your freezer for about 20-30 minutes) until the chocolate firms up.
- Remove from the mold and enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
- Cacao butter: I used small chunks of cacao butter. If you have larger chunks, simply use a knife to chop them into smaller pieces to melt the cacao butter faster.
- Sugar: For sugar-free white chocolate use powdered Erythritol. It's important that the sugar is very powdery. If it's not, grind it in a blender or electric spice/coffee grinder and use a sieve to avoid any lumps in the chocolate.
- Vanilla: I used clear vanilla extract, but you can also use dark vanilla. It will slightly discolor the white chocolate though.
- Optional Add-Ins: Feel free to add 1-2 tablespoons of powdered coconut milk, soy milk, or rice milk to your mixture for a white "milk" chocolate.
- The recipe makes about 225 grams (or 2 bars of chocolate/ 30 chocolate hearts). One serving is 15 grams (2 chocolate hearts).
- The total time doesn't include chill time.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically