It’s so easy to make your own homemade vegan chocolate bars. All you need are 2 ingredients and about 10 minutes of active time. Use these homemade chocolate bars for s’mores, a dairy-free dessert platter for a party, or to snack on whenever the craving for a chocolate sweet treat hits! Silicone chocolate bar mold optional.
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I learned how to make my own vegan chocolate bars back in 2014, very early into my vegan journey. I had no idea how easy it would be to come up with this vegan recipe, or how necessary.
Back then, it was much harder to find vegan chocolate bars, but fairly easier to find vegan chocolate chips. So, I developed my own way of making my own chocolate bar recipes over the years – perfect for whenever a particular chocolate craving strikes or especially around Halloween or the holidays.
It’s so easy, and I only recently got chocolate molds to make the bars look all pretty, but I included ideas for using whatever containers you might have on-hand.
This is one of my favorite recipes, and I can’t wait to share this vegan chocolate bar recipe with you today so you can start making your own chocolates. So let’s get going!
Why are these the best vegan chocolate bars?
- They require just 2 simple ingredients – that’s all you need! TWO!
- Super versatile – add your favorite add-ins like peanuts or almonds or rice cereal to really customize them to your taste!
- They’re so quick and easy to make. Just melt, fill, and chill!
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Ingredients in Our Dairy Free Chocolate Recipe
Like I said, you only need two ingredients to make this dairy free chocolate recipe:
- Vegan-friendly chocolate chips – Enjoy Life is probably the most popular brand of allergen-friendly vegan chocolate chips, but there are a ton of options out there! Nestle makes “Allergen-Free Semi-Sweet Morsels” that are vegan. We usually use ShopRite’s “Bowl and Basket” store brand of semi-sweet chocolate chips which are “accidentally” vegan (see below!).
- Coconut oil – We suggest using refined coconut oil which has zero coconut flavor or smell. If you want your chocolate bars to have a coconut flavor to them, feel free to use virgin or unrefined coconut oil.
In addition to the ingredients above, try customizing your vegan chocolate bars with some of these optional add-ins:
- Rice cereal for a little crunch
- Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, chopped walnuts, macadamia nuts
- Freeze-dried strawberries or cherries
- Crushed cookie pieces
- Crushed peppermint candies or candy canes
- A generous sprinkle of coarse sea salt or coarse ground coffee beans.
Note: I would stay away from adding excess liquid to this recipe, as it would affect the texture.
Accidentally Vegan Chocolate Chips
We find that a lot of store brand chocolate chips are also vegan (like ShopRite’s store brand “Bowl and Basket”!). Check the ingredients at your local grocery store to get a sense of what’s available in your area! We don’t necessarily recommend unsweetened chocolate chips for this.
Non-vegan chocolate chips will usually have some form of dairy in them. When reading ingredient labels, you’re looking for obvious ingredients like milk or milk fat, but also less obvious dairy derivatives like whey, lactose, and casein. Cocoa butter and cacao butter, though they may sound like a form of dairy, are actually vegan and is a fat taken from the cacao bean.
If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the above ingredients, here are our best substitution tips. Remember though, substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a varied degree of difference in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any subs and how they work out for you!
For the chocolate chips: Peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips could be a fun twist. We got some absolutely delicious vegan peanut butter chips from Choc Zero at Expo East last year. And Enjoy Life now makes vegan white chocolate chips that are delicious!
For the melted coconut oil: Vegan Butter or vegetable shortening could work in a real pinch but would give you a softer texture. We have not tried this, so let us know if you do!
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Bars
This chocolate bar recipe is so quick and easy to make! You only need 10 minutes of active time to prepare them.
Step 1: Melt the chocolate and coconut oil.
First, add the chocolate and coconut oil to a small saucepan on low heat, stirring often. The low heat is important because you don’t want to burn it! Alternatively, you could use a double boiler if you prefer.
When the chocolate chips are almost completely melted, remove from heat and stir vigorously until only a chocolate liquid remains.
Step 2: Fill and chill the chocolate bars.
Now, place your silicone chocolate mold on a flat stable surface like a plate, tray, or cutting board. This will help keep the silicone mold level when you transfer it to the fridge.
We used this chocolate bar mold we ordered on Amazon for under $15! I like it because it comes with 2 different bar options – the small squares for small pieces and the rectangles for larger ones. Check out all of the different shape options here.
Alternatively, if you just want to make a solid bar, you can use one of those rectangular take-out containers or any tupperware. Just fill the bottom of the container with the chocolate liquid to about 1/2 inch depth.
Once you’ve prepped your mold, carefully pour the melted chocolate mixture into your chocolate bar mold and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or (for best results) overnight to set. The freezer could speed this process up, but we’ve seen best results when chilled in the fridge overnight. Rapid temperature changes can cause chocolate blooms.
How to Use These Dairy Free Chocolate Bars
We love to use these dairy free chocolate bars for:
- Vegan S’mores
- Dessert platter with strawberries and apple slices, gelatin-free marshmallows, vegan graham crackers or wafer cookies, peanuts, etc.
- Eaten all on their own for a big burst of chocolatey flavor!
- Re-melt, cool a little, and pour it over vegan ice cream for a homemade vegan “magic shell” chocolate coating any time you want!
How to Store Homemade Chocolate Bars
Store leftover vegan chocolate bars in a well-sealed airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 4-5 months. Usually refrigeration isn’t suggested as necessary for storing chocolate bars, but we do with this recipe because of the coconut oil.
Be mindful of surface condensation on the chocolate usually formed by rapid temperature changes and especially humid environments. This can cause sugar blooms or fat blooms in the chocolate which create little whites spots and a slightly grainy texture caused by sugar degradation of the surface. That doesn’t mean the chocolate is bad.
Vegan Chocolate FAQ
And if you’re a total vegan chocolate fiend, you may still have questions or be wondering about store-bought options. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about vegan chocolate.
A vegan chocolate bar is entirely absent of animal-derived products. That includes all forms of dairy such as whey, casein, lactose, milk, milk fat, or milk powder to name but a few.
Dove chocolates are not dairy free nor are they suitable for vegans. All their offerings contain various forms of dairy.
Mars bars also contain multiple forms of dairy and are not vegan. But the good news is, the company Mars is introducing a vegan chocolate bar to the market under the brand name CO2COA!
Lindt chocolatiers have created a few vegan options over the years. Usually those have been mostly dark chocolate (see below). But in exciting news, Lindt also recently added an oat milk-based milk chocolate bar to the market!
Most of the chocolate offerings from Hershey contain some form of dairy. In 2021, they introduced a limited release oat-based chocolate bar to appeal to their vegan audience. While it had good reviews, I don’t know if Hershey has any plans to reintroduce it to the market.
Vegan Chocolate Bars Brands
- Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both offer store brand vegan chocolate bars.
- Lindt, along with their oat-based bar, offers their dark chocolate line Excellence which, if 70% cocoa or higher, is vegan. That same 70% and above rule can be applied to Lily’s dark chocolate bars.
- Enjoy Life also makes a very popular vegan chocolate bar.
Where to Buy Vegan Chocolate
It’s not not just TJ and WF that are selling vegan chocolates these days. From Publix to ShopRite to Acme to Kroger’s, I have seen vegan chocolates available in many, many markets and grocery stores. Also, surprisingly, even in the checkout lines at Ross and TJ Maxx!
To paraphrase Willy Wonka: “if you want to view vegan chocolate paradise, simply look around and view it.” Vegan candy bars are out there. And they’re becoming more and more popular!
More Dairy Free Chocolate Recipes
When you give this vegan chocolate bar recipe a try, make sure you let us know about it! I’d love to hear what you thought, how you used them, what additional ingredients you chose, and please leave a comment if you have any questions!
Leave a star rating and review below, so we can celebrate all your kitchen wins with you!
- Melt the chocolate: Add the chocolate and coconut oil to a small saucepan on low heat, stirring often. When the chips are almost completely melted, remove from heat and stir vigorously until only a chocolate liquid remains.
- Fill and chill: Place your silicone chocolate mold on a flat stable surface like a plate, tray, or cutting board. Carefully pour the mixture into the chocolate bar mold and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or (for best results) overnight to set. The freezer could speed this process up, but we’ve seen best results when chilled in the fridge overnight.
- To use: Once set, remove the chocolate bars from their molds and enjoy on S’mores, a vegan dessert platter, or all on their own.
- To store: Store leftover chocolate bars in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 4-5 months.
Chocolate Mold Options: We used this chocolate bar mold we ordered on Amazon for under $15! I like it because it comes with 2 different bar options - the small squares and the rectangles. Check out all of the options here. Alternatively, if you just want to make a solid bar, you can use one of those rectangular take-out containers or any tupperware. Just fill the bottom of the container with the chocolate liquid to about 1/2 inch depth.
Vegan Chocolate Chips: Enjoy Life is probably the most popular brand of allergen-friendly vegan chocolate chips, but there are a ton of options out there! Nestle makes “Allergen-Free Semi-Sweet Morsels” that are vegan. We usually use ShopRite’s “Bowl and Basket” store brand of semi-sweet chocolate chips which are “accidentally” vegan. We don't necessarily recommend unsweetened chocolate chips for this.
Coconut Oil Notes: We suggest using refined coconut oil which has zero coconut flavor or smell. If you want your chocolate bars to have a coconut flavor to them, feel free to use unrefined or virgin coconut oil.
Optional add-ins: rice cereal, almonds, peanuts, chopped walnuts, dried cherries, crushed cookies, crushed peppermint candies or candy canes, etc. I would stay away from adding anything liquid to this recipe, as it would affect the texture.
Serving Size:1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 16gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.
Watch our How to Make Chocolate Bars with Chocolate Chips web story!