My FAVORITE DIY Vegan Dark Chocolate! 5 ingredients, naturally sweetened, SO creamy and rich! #vegan #plantbased #dessert #healthy #recipe #glutenfree #chocolate #minimalistbaker
4.94 from 15 votes

5-Ingredient Vegan Dark Chocolate

A healthy, easy 5-ingredient recipe for homemade dark chocolate made with cocoa butter and cacao powder and naturally sweetened with maple syrup!
Author: Minimalist Baker
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12 (bars)
Category: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2-3 weeks



  • 1 1/4 cup finely chopped cocoa butter*
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted // I prefer using half cocoa, half cacao for flavor)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup*
  • 1 healthy pinch sea salt (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional )
  • 3 Tbsp cacao nibs


  1. Add 2 inches of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a rolling simmer over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to medium and set a medium glass or ceramic mixing bowl on top, making sure it's not touching the water (this creates a "double boiler").
  2. To the mixing bowl, add finely chopped cocoa butter and coconut oil and let melt, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or whisk - about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Once melted, carefully remove bowl from heat (turn off stovetop), add the cacao or cocoa powder to a fine mesh strainer (like this one), and sift it over the melted cocoa butter (otherwise, it can be clumpy). Use a whisk or wooden spoon to mix until fluid and thoroughly combined.
  4. Add maple syrup and stir once more. At this time, you can also add the (optional) salt and vanilla .
  5. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. I added about 2 Tbsp maple syrup total (as recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), but it’s completely up to you and how sweet you prefer your chocolate. Add more vanilla to enhance the chocolate flavor and add depth of flavor, salt for saltiness, or more cacao/cocoa powder for intense chocolate flavor.

  6. Pour your chocolate into molds of choice. I like these bar molds, but you can also just pour into paper cupcake liners, or an 8x8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. At this point, sprinkle on your cacao nibs. I also sprinkle on a pinch more salt.
  7. Carefully transfer to freezer (I like setting mine on a baking sheet or plate so it lies flat and is stable while chilling). Remove from molds once the chocolate is set - about 1 hour.
  8. Store covered in the refrigerator for several weeks or in the freezer for even longer. Let come to almost room temperature before enjoying, as it's creamier and the flavors are more pronounced when it's warmed up a bit.


*If you can't find or don't have cocoa butter, you can try subbing it all for coconut oil but I've found the results to be less than ideal as the coconut oil makes the bars too oily and they lack creaminess.
*To keep things naturally sweetened, I go for just a little maple syrup. You could also sub stevia to keep these entirely sugar-free, or agave if you don’t have maple syrup. But for best flavor and subtle sweetness, maple syrup is my go-to.
*Nutrition information is for half of 1 bar (of 6 total bars).

Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 12 bars)