The ultimate guide to enjoying chocolate if you’re vegan

6 May 2021

Chocolate Knowledge

Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on delectable chocolate treats!

Whether you’re plant-based for ethical, environmental or health reasons, you can still enjoy deliciously rich and satisfying chocolate treats. So why not indulge? Dark, milk, slab or truffle — whatever takes your fancy, there’s something in our vegan chocolate collection to delight your senses. And the best part? Our dairy-free chocolates are sure to be enjoyed by non-vegans, too!

Is chocolate vegan?

In short, some chocolate is vegan and some isn’t.

You might wonder how chocolate can possibly be smooth and creamy without milk. Isn’t it a crucial ingredient? Well, dairy certainly can add to chocolate’s texture and has traditionally been a key factor for milk chocolate.

However, there’s an increasing demand for dairy-free chocolate and ever-expanding knowledge on plant-based alternatives. Our clever chocolatiers have developed vegan chocolate recipes that are just as luxurious as their dairy-containing counterparts.

Many dark chocolate products are naturally vegan. The higher cacao content gives them depth of flavour, and cocoa butter adds to the melt-in-the-mouth sensation. And, contrary to the name, cocoa butter contains no animal products but comes from the cacao bean. If you do have a hankering for dark chocolate, though, it’s always best to double-check the label. Some products still contain milk, even if they have a high cacao percentage.

If you’ve been vegan for a while, you’ve probably become an expert at skimming labels for those pesky animal ingredients. Here are the main non-vegan ingredients to look out for in your chocolate or confectionary:

  • Milk or cream
  • Butter
  • Whey powder and casein, which are both milk derivatives
  • Shellac
  • Carmine
  • Animal-based lecithin
  • Eggs
  • Gelatine
  • Most vegans also exclude honey from their diets

Chocolate can only be classified as vegan if it contains no animal ingredients and has not been contaminated with any during manufacturing.

Vegan milk chocolate

Now, we adore dark chocolate. With its rich flavours and aromas, it’s ideal for a cacao boost any time of day. But if you’re looking for something a little sweeter or more delicate, you may be partial to a bit of milk chocolate.

But is it possible to get vegan milk chocolate? After all, ‘milk chocolate’ surely says what it does on the tin and contains dairy. Not quite. Fortunately, there are some delicious milk chocolates that use plant-based milk in place of cow’s milk for a velvety texture that’s just as (if not more) satisfying.

Our Nutmilk Chocolate Batons contain hazelnut milk for a creamy, slightly nutty flavour. And with 45% cacao, you get that full chocolatey depth, too.

Even though our nut milk chocolate contains no dairy ingredients, it’s worth noting that it is created in a factory that produces dairy versions, too. So it isn’t suitable for people with dairy allergies. For allergen-free options, read about our Free From Collection below.

vegan dark chocolate next to raspberries

Vegan white chocolate

Smooth, subtle white chocolate is perfect for a little lift when the cacao content in milk or dark chocolate might seem a little too much.

White chocolate’s main ingredient is cocoa butter, but it doesn’t contain cocoa solids, which give chocolate its characteristic dark colour. By law, confectionery can only officially be classified as white chocolate if it has 3.5% milk fat and 14% milk solids.

Vegan white chocolate is considered a ‘white chocolate alternative’ or ‘substitute’, and most producers replace dairy milk with rice milk or palm oil.

Vegan chocolate boxes

If you’re looking for a special gift for your dairy-free friends, a box of luxury vegan chocolates can show them just how much you care. There’s no need to compromise on texture or flavour with the Unbelievably Vegan H-Box and Vegan Sleekster. These carefully curated selections of truffles, batons, and caramels have a bit of crunch, a bit of melt and a lot of flavour.

And if you want to go all out for your loved one (or treat yourself), the All Dark Vegan Chocolate Hamper is the ultimate collection for the vegan cacao connoisseur. Brimming with the best vegan chocolates — elegant bite-sized nibbles, solid slabs, and shareable buttons — there’s a little taste of heaven for every occasion.

Vegan hot chocolate

There’s nothing cosier than curling up with a creamy mug of hot chocolate. And a lack of dairy shouldn’t mean a lack of taste, texture, or comfort.

Drinking chocolate often contains milk powder to give it that extra silky, thick consistency. This is especially true for instant hot chocolate powders you mix with hot water. Nobody wants a bland, watery beverage. So remember to always check the packaging to see if your hot chocolate is vegan-friendly.

Once you’ve found a vegan hot chocolate, you can mix it with whichever plant-based milk you fancy. We’ve got a guide to plant milks to help you find the best one for you. In a nutshell, for a milder flavour, try cashew or soya, or for a bit of a nutty twist, give almond or hazelnut milk a go. Oat milk is particularly good for a sumptuous mouthfeel.

For an insatiably smooth drink that really hits the spot, look for hot chocolates that contain pure chocolate shavings rather than cocoa powder. If you like a more intense cacao flavour, a Dark 85% Hot Chocolate might be just the ticket. Or for something a little mellower, our vegan Hazelnut Hot Chocolate has insatiable hints of praline.

Fancy a little kick? Give your taste buds a tingle with a warming cup of Chilli Dark Hot Chocolate. The blend of super-sleek 70% dark chocolate and a dash of fiery Habanero chilli strikes just the right balance between sweet and spice. What’s more, it contains no dairy, so you can pair it with your favourite milk alternative for an extra special vegan hot chocolate.

Whip up a perfectly whisked hot chocolate at the push of a button with the Velvetiser. In just a couple of minutes, you’ll have a barista-grade beverage ready to go.

Person holding mug of vegan hot chocolate

Vegan chocolate milkshake

As well as brewing up a hot chocolate to warm the cockles of your heart, you can use the Velvetiser to make a refreshing vegan chocolate milkshake.

Start by heating a small amount of oat, almond, or soya milk and stirring in a generous helping of your vegan hot chocolate of choice (a Classic 70% is a great base). You can either pop it straight in the Velvetiser, which does the work for you or whisk by hand on the stove. Then add the chocolatey concoction to a glass of iced plant milk. Et voila, a scrumptious, revitalising dessert-in-a-cup to keep you cool on a hot summer’s day.

Take it one step further and become a shake expert with our tips on making luxury chocolate milkshakes at home.

Free from chocolate

We believe that nobody should have to miss out on delicious chocolate treats. Our Free from Chocolate collection is crafted in a dedicated space to ensure there’s no cross-contamination. Free from dairy, nuts, gluten, and wheat, these batons and slabs are suitable for various dietary requirements.

Whether you’re a fan of traditional milk chocolate or prefer the depth and intensity of dark chocolate with a higher cocoa content, you can enjoy these free from confections with complete peace of mind that there are no allergens. They’re also a great option if you’re looking for a gift for a loved one who usually misses out on chocolate treats.

There’s a whole world of dairy-free delights to suit all tastes and preferences, for vegans and non-vegans alike. After all, we all deserve a little bit of chocolate indulgence sometimes.