Easy Vegan Chocolate

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Stack of circles of our naturally-sweetened easy homemade vegan chocolate

Hey there, lovebirds. Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day. Are you craving something sweet?

Something a little indulgent, but not so off the rails that you need to implement a new workout routine afterwards?

I have just the thing: Easy. Vegan. Chocolate. But no seriously, easy.

Cutting board with vanilla, agave, cocoa butter, cacao, and sea salt for making easy homemade vegan chocolate

I’ve been making chocolate for a while now! My first attempt was chocolate bars, which were delicious and made with a mix of cocoa butter and coconut oil.

Then I went slightly heavier on my cocoa butter : coconut oil ratio in these Raw Double Chocolate Macaroons. So ridiculously good.

And you know what I discovered after all this experimenting? Cocoa butter is king. Here’s why:

Cocoa butter melts like a dream;
There’s zero coconut flavor;
When you add cacao powder, it becomes super velvety and doesn’t separate;
Once it sets, it doesn’t melt in your hands (like coconut oil);
It just tastes better, creamier, more delicious.

Convinced? Good, because you need some cocoa butter in your life.

Stirring ingredients into a bowl for making easy homemade vegan chocolate

This recipe is simple requiring just 3 primary ingredients1 bowl, and less than 30 minutes to prepare!

Plus, it’s customizable. I left mine pretty basic, adding only cacao nibs, a hint of vanilla, and a little sea salt. But you could add dried fruit, candied ginger, toasted nuts, toasted coconut…really anything you’re craving.

Make this chocolate exactly how you like it! It’s the perfect base for experimenting.

Bowl of our creamy and smooth homemade vegan chocoalte

So, why make chocolate at home when you can buy it at the store? Let me tell you.

Homemade is simply better.
It’s naturally sweetened.
No suspicious ingredients.
Vegan, gluten free, guaranteed.
It’s customizable.
It’s fun.

Trust me, homemade chocolate all the way.

Pouring homemade vegan chocolate into baking cups

I hope you all love this chocolate! It’s:

Velvety
Creamy
Rich
Super chocolatey
Naturally sweetened
Simple
& Decadent

Make this chocolate for Valentine’s Day and beyond. I’ve been making a batch and keeping some in the freezer for an after-dinner treat. The mini molds make them the perfect size for indulging without overdoing it.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Circles of our easy homemade vegan chocolate recipe

Easy Vegan Chocolate

Easy, 3-ingredient vegan chocolate! Naturally sweetened, customizable, super velvety and rich, and seriously good for you!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Easy Homemade Vegan Chocolates stacked tall in a bowl
4.60 from 101 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 13
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely chopped cocoa butter* (packed)
  • 3-5 Tbsp maple syrup (or sub agave nectar with varied results)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 pinch sea salt (optional // plus more to taste)
  • Cacao nibs (optional // for topping)

Instructions

  • Arrange 14 (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size)mini cupcake liners on a small baking sheet. Set aside.
  • Add 2 inches of water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Then set a medium glass or ceramic mixing bowl on top, making sure it’s not touching the water (this creates a “double boiler”).
  • To the mixing bowl, add finely chopped cocoa butter and let melt – 2-3 minutes.
  • Once melted, add the maple syrup or agave nectar and use a whisk or wooden spoon to mix until fluid and thoroughly combined. Remove bowl and set on a flat surface. Also, turn off stove-top heat and set saucepan aside.
  • Add cacao or cocoa powder, vanilla (optional), and sea salt (optional), and whisk to combine until there are no clumps.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed. I added about 3 Tablespoons agave total and a pinch more salt (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), but it’s completely up to how sweet you prefer your chocolate.
  • Carefully pour chocolate into 12-14 mini cupcake liners* (or 7 large cupcake liners // amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and top with more sea salt or cacao nibs (optional).
  • Transfer chocolate to the freezer or refrigerator to set – about 10 minutes.
  • Enjoy straight from the freezer, refrigerator, or at room temperature. Store leftovers in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer up to 1 month.

Notes

*You can sub up to 2 Tbsp (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) of the cocoa butter with coconut oil in the recipe. However, cocoa butter is superior! I find that coconut oil tends to separate, get a little oily, and melts easily when touched.
*I tested this chocolate with both raw cacao and cocoa powder and found them both to be delicious! The raw cacao tastes a bit more bitter, while the cocoa was a little less stark and had a more familiar taste on the palette. Cacao wins in health benefits, but cocoa powder wins in taste for me.
*To keep this chocolate raw, use cacao powder and this method (water bath).
*If you don’t have mini cupcake liners, lay parchment paper down on a baking sheet and spread the chocolate into an even layer. Once set, break into bark, or cut into bars (like this).
*If you’re afraid to try cocoa butter, don’t be! It’s so versatile and I use it to make chocolate all the time. I also love it in vegan cheesecake, as well as homemade beauty products. Definitely worth it if you’re a chocolate fan!
*Recipe adapted from my Double Chocolate Raw Macaroons.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 13 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 162 Carbohydrates: 5.4 g Protein: 1.1 g Fat: 16.5 g Saturated Fat: 9.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 12 mg Fiber: 1.8 g Sugar: 2.5 g

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  1. Shelby says

    I discovered this recipe by mistake later in 2018 or very early 2019, going to the gym 2 or 3x’s a week for the latter, sometimes for 2.5 to 3 hours each time.

    Anyways, I haven’t made it in quite a long time; BUT, when I do make it, I do get some likes & compliments for how easy & delish this chocolate is. I did get asked a few times for this particular recipe, too. SO GOOD! Unfortunately, I have not made it in a long while, though: I do want to inquire if there is a way to make this kind of mimic/taste like milk chocolate, but without using any actual milk (if possible, to still keep it vegan friendly; if not, nonfat milk powder, perhaps?). I only ask because my Mum is much more into milk & semi-sweet than dark chocolate (as a treat, of course!).

    Also, if you can source them, use roasted cocoa butter wafers for a richer flavour.

    Happy New Year!🌟🎆

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shelby, we’re so glad you stumbled upon this recipe and enjoy it! We have a vegan milk chocolate recipe here. Hope that helps!

  2. Danielle Hart says

    That looks lovely. I will definitely be making this for Christmas. I’m a bit confused though as to why you would mention that cocoa butter has zero “coconut flavour”… Why would it? It’s fat from the cocoa bean, not from a coconut. 😉

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That was in reference to previous recipes that use both cocoa butter and coconut oil, and pointing out that we prefer cocoa butter because unlike coconut oil it has no coconut flavor. Let us know what you think if you give this recipe a try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Austin, we don’t have a particular brand we always use, but Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods 365 are some of our go-tos!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amber, another reader mentioned this about tempering: “Heat just the butter first to 46 °c then cool it to 27°c with the other ingredients. Then heat back up to 31°c. Works for me.”

  3. Bailey says

    This isn’t the first and will not be the last receipe I’ve appreciated from you. I’m obsessed with making my own chocolate in tiny batches and just came into some cacao butter which is a first. I wanted to share that I prefer rice bran syrup to maple syrup if I can find it–it gives a more luxious texture. Also I’ve tried adding supplements, most are failures, but maca powder makes it malty (milk shakes vs malted milk shakes). The most suprising discovery is that adding 1 tsp of spirulina makes hthe chocolate favor more complex in a way I adore. Thanks again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooo, sounds interesting! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Bailey!

  4. Terry says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I plan on using it as a topping for an energy bar and have a few questions: What is the approximate weight of the cocoa butter needed and is there a difference between cocoa butter and cacao butter?
    I plan on using coconut sugar and wondered if there’s any tip you can give on ensuring it all dissolves. I’ve read that chocolate can be ruined if its left hot for too long. I love your recipes and appreciate your advice. many thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Terry! The weight of the cocoa butter is ~112 g, and typically cocoa butter and cacao butter are the same thing. We haven’t tried this with coconut sugar, and we think it might change the final texture of the chocolate. We also aren’t positive it will dissolve in the cocoa butter without high heat (typically sugar is not soluble in fat at low temperatures) at which point your cocoa powder might burn when added. You could try it, but we cannot guarantee results!

  5. Charlotte says

    Hello!
    Would maple syrup still be the best option or could raw honey or coconut sugar work well also? Thankyou :) super excited to make this!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Charlotte! We haven’t tried it but we think honey would work, though we’re not sure about the coconut sugar. Let us know how it goes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lara! You could possibly add a small amount (1/4-1/2 tsp) of peppermint extract for a nice holiday flavor, and an ice cube tray should work! Let us know how it goes!

  6. SC says

    Hi, I just made this, but the cacao butter separated from the other ingredients after I put it in the refrigerator to set. There was a layer of just cacao butter at the bottom, and it overall had a really greasy texture. Any ideas on what went wrong? I thought I stirred it until combined, but maybe it needs to be stirred really thoroughly?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear that happened! A couple ideas on what could cause that and a solution to fix it: 1) the mixture was heated too long, 2) were you using pure maple syrup or another sweetener?, and 3) you can try an immersion blender to help it mix together more. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rashmi, sorry to hear that happened! A couple ideas on what could cause that and a solution to fix it: 1) the mixture was heated too long, 2) were you using pure maple syrup or another sweetener?, and 3) you can try an immersion blender to help it mix together more. Hope that helps!

  7. Georgie says

    Hi! I made this recipe as a way to get more good fats and stearic acid into my diet. This chocolate is absolutely delicious; the deep flavours of the maple syrup and cocoa go incredibly well together. Definitely recommend!

  8. Nickos says

    Hello, the recipe looks very interesting. I would like to ask something. Can I use this to cover a cake, like a mirror glaze? The thing is that i dont want to use any gelatin or any other non vegan or unhealthy ingredient, thanks in advance!

  9. Isabelle says

    Cocoa has nothing to do with coconuts or coconut flavor. Probably should explain that better or maybe you think cocoa butter comes from coconuts ?

      • Nicole says

        She was talking about the other previous recipes she made that combined cocoa butter and coconut oil. I miss stuff too when I’m tired and stressed reading and not understanding the context.

  10. Danel says

    I absolutely love all your recipes!! I made this for my son who is allergic to dairy. I used ice cube trays to make smaller bites….I have eaten half of it already it’s THAT good. No more regular chocolate for me!! Thank you

    • Denise says

      Simple typo. I believe she means cacao butter and not cocoa butter. It is correct in other parts of the recipe.

  11. Samantha says

    Yummy I first made this recipe following instructions but have since experimented with substituting organic coconut sugar and adding mint flavouring, grated orange zest and grated orange zest with grated ginger is lush! Love to know more flavouring suggestions……thanks for the recipe.

  12. Krys says

    I tried this using coconut sugar and this stays hard at room temp. I also tried it using Xylitol – and that works great too. I didn’t whisk the sugars in – just stirred – so the choc had a bit of crunch to it – which everyone really liked.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Krys! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  13. Dolly says

    Hi there! I’m planning to make some of this chocolate for my family. My brother has quite childish taste buds, however, and likes a more milky chocolate. As well as adding more sweetener, would I be able to add some plant milk or something like cashew butter to his chocolate, or would it seize? He doesn’t like coconut either. love your recipes! Thank you :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I don’t think cashew butter would make it seize – that may actually work. But just know that it will likely affect the texture and make it more like fudge vs. chocolate. Similar to this recipe.

  14. danielle says

    hi, how do I make this chocolate so that I can leave it at room temperature after making? I would even like to send some in the mail to a friend. thanks

  15. Adriana Chan says

    Fantastic chocolate!
    The first time I followed the recipe as is (with cocoa powder) and it was great. The second time I used 1/2 cocoa and 1/2 cacao powder. I also added some cocoa liquor (mass) and it turned out even creamier.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Gida, Due to ingredient availability. You could use that and reduce the amount of cocoa powder, if desired.

  16. Jake says

    I made this recipe… followed it step by step… but the chocolate doesn’t stay solid at room temperature… disappointing

      • Nicki Johnston says

        Absolutely fabulous 😍 I added peanut butter to one (may try tahini next time) and freeze dried berries with carob nibs, so much fun and easy. Getting creative for Christmas since Covid took my job away (another on the horizon). I’ve only recently tried removing dairy which is not easy when you’re gluten free and vegetarian 😂 realizing it’s about mixing it up. Thank you so much.

          • emily says

            Hi there,
            I made this recipe and they are delicious! My only slight issue is that once frozen the edges were a little white/cream, from the cacao butter. Could this be something I am doing when making them? They were a little lumpy too!
            I don’t think it’s the recipe. I think it was my technique!

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

            Sounds like everything didn’t get fully melted / mixed well enough!

        • Nitya says

          Hi, thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.
          I have a couple of questions.
          – will the chocolate set if allowed to at room temperature (instead of refrigerator or freezer)?
          – can I substitute sugar syrup(1 string consistency) instead of maple syrup?

          Thank you.

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hi Nitya! It depends on the temperature of your kitchen, but most likely the chocolate would set up eventually if it is cool enough, using the refrigerator just helps speed up the process significantly. We also haven’t tried this recipe with sugar syrup, but we think it would work! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

    • Nidhi says

      I just made these and they are delightful and even my kids adored them! I made some with cranberries, coconut, and even a bit of peanut brittle and used some left over vegan meringues – a great treat for the whole family! A must try!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Love all your modifications, Nidhi! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed them. Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  17. Rajani says

    Thank you so much! I am not really vegan but this was so so delicious! I made a batch for vegan friends and ended up eating most myself!
    Warmest Wishes
    Rajani

  18. Maaike says

    Thank you for the recipy! Adding a drop of cinnamon, peppermint or wild orange essential oil ( the brand you can ingest!) would be a nice addition to the taste! I usually make fudge this way, also adding a bit of nut butter🤩

  19. Sarah says

    I made this and it worked perfectly the first time! Every time after I’ve had issues with it separating. I’ve tried using an electric whisk like you mentioned in previous comments but it’s still not working and now it’s setting with a white layer on the top as well. Can you help? Where am I going wrong? It was so great the first time and tasted amazing, I just want to be able to try it again

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sarah, we wonder if it’s getting overheated? Try cooking at a lower temp and for less time and see if that helps. Let us know if you’re still running into issues.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, you could try a dry sweetener (such as cane sugar or coconut sugar) – just make sure you really dissolve by whisking it into the melted cocoa butter.

  20. Kayla says

    Hey , I’ve tried twice and my chocolate stays like fudge . It doesn’t harden like chocolate chocolate what should I do differently ?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kayla, it sounds like it might need more cacao butter. We’d say try increasing it for next time and let us know if you are still having issues!

  21. Leesa says

    Hi. Is agave nector the same as agave syrup. When i google agave nector it comes up with agave syrup. I really want to make this recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Leesa, the terms are often used interchangeably. If it’s thick like honey, we’d say go for it!

  22. Nisha Raveenderen says

    Hi! I’ve made these a few times and it’s so easy and the best chocolate! Instead of agave syrup, I’ve used coconut sugar (so good it’s dangerous), and unrefined brown sugar . Thanks for the recipe!

  23. Julia says

    I love this recipe! It tastes like a fresher (& less pricey) of Hu Kitchen or Alter Eco chocolate, two of my fav healthy dark chocolate brands. The cacao butter really makes it creamy. I made a low-sugar version with raw honey and added peppermint extract. Thanks!!!

  24. Tereza says

    Made this recipe this afternoon. YUM. I used the base recipe and popped some freeze dried blueberries in some. Folded some nut butter into others and left some plain with just the vanilla powder and a touch of salt. Used honey to sweeten. This pretty foolproof. Thank you for sharing.

    PS. Not cheap because of the cost of cacao butter. But worth it so that I know what is in the chocolate.

  25. Nicole says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! My son called me the chocolate master lol. Its so decident and one of the best chocolates I’ve had. And we buy a lot of higher end chocolate. This by far beats them all.

    This time I added a tbsp of reishi mushroom powder and used honey in place of syrup and omitted vanilla because I had run out and still SO so good.

    My kids are not fans of dark chocolate and yet they love this chocolate. We use Navita naturals cacao powder and caco butter.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  26. Sarah says

    These are the easiest and most delicious chocolates ever !!
    They are vegan ! So all of my friends can eat them :)
    & they are so fast and satisfying to make .
    #minimalistbaker I love you 💚

  27. Ian says

    Any chance you could provide the weight of the cocoa butter? Since it’s so expensive, I want to be sure I use the right amount. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ian, you can find the weight measurement by clicking “metric” beneath the ingredient header. The cups measurement would likely be more accurate though as we estimate the metrics. Hope that helps!

  28. Sam says

    Can I put this in a melting pot to cover candy and then let is cool? For example, chocolate-covered caramel?

  29. Riley says

    This was absolutely delicious and easy to make! I’ve made it plain and with toppings and it’s always fantastic. So nice that you can taste the chocolate as you make it and adjust sweetness to the perfect amount. I usually use 4 tbsp. Thanks for the recipe. Everything I make from this website is top-tier.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you are enjoying our recipes, Riley! Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  30. Maria says

    Hi! I made this and set it in the freezer. When I took it out, the maple syrup had sunk to the bottom – liquid and completely separated from the hardened cacao powder and butter. What happened?