Is Dark Chocolate Vegan: Your Go To Guide to Vegan Chocolate in Australia

Hi there, chocolate lovers! If you're a vegan or leaning towards vegan choices, or you are avoiding dairy, you might be wondering: is dark chocolate vegan?  Can I still enjoy some of the deliciousness of dark chocolate? Here we explain what makes chocolate vegan, and give you some tips on how to find and enjoy dairy free chocolate of all kinds.  Let's bite into it!

Collection of dark vegan chocolates

What makes chocolate vegan?

Chocolate is made from cacao beans, which are the seeds of the cacao tree. Cacao beans are naturally vegan, as they come from a plant. However, not all chocolate products are vegan, as they may contain other ingredients that are derived from animals, such as milk, butter, cream, honey, or gelatin.

The most common type of chocolate that is not vegan is milk chocolate, which contains milk powder or condensed milk to give it a creamy texture and a sweeter flavour. Milk chocolate can also contain whey, casein, or lactose, which are all derived from dairy.

Dark chocolate, on the other hand, is usually vegan, as it contains a higher percentage of cacao and less or no added milk. Dark chocolate can range from 50% to 100% cacao, depending on how much sugar and cocoa butter are added. Cocoa butter is the natural fat that is extracted from cacao beans, and it is vegan.

However, not all dark chocolate is vegan, as some brands may add milk or other animal-derived ingredients to their products for various reasons. For example, some dark chocolate may contain milk to reduce the bitterness, or lecithin to improve the texture. Lecithin is an emulsifier that can be derived from soy or eggs. Soy lecithin is vegan, but egg lecithin is not.

Therefore, the best way to know if it is vegan chocolate is to check the ingredients list carefully. Avoid any with animal-derived ingredients, such as milk, cream, butter, honey, gelatin, whey, casein, lactose, or egg lecithin. If you see any of these ingredients, the chocolate is not vegan. If you see only plant-based ingredients, such as cacao, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla, or spices, the chocolate is vegan.

How can vegan chocolate be creamy if it has no cream?

Vegan chocolate can be creamy without milk because it uses other ingredients that provide a smooth and rich texture.

  • Plant-based mylks, such as almond, cashew, or oat milk, that mimic the creaminess of dairy milk.
  • Natural fats, such as coconut oil, cocoa butter, or avocado, that add richness and moisture to the chocolate. 


Is there a vegan milk chocolate?

If you love milk chocolate but want to avoid dairy products, don't worry! There are vegan alternatives to milk chocolate that are just as delicious and satisfying. Vegan milk chocolate is made with plant-based milks instead of cow's milk. These milks can be derived from nuts (such as almond or hazelnut), seeds (such as sunflower or hemp), grains (such as oat or rice), or legumes (such as soy or pea).

Vegan milk chocolate can have a similar texture and flavor to regular milk chocolate, depending on the type and amount of plant-based milk used. Some vegan milk chocolates may be creamier and sweeter than others. Some may also have a nutty or fruity undertone.

You can find vegan milk chocolate in many health food stores or online shops that specialize in vegan products. You can also make your own vegan milk chocolate at home by melting some vegan dark chocolate and adding your favorite plant-based milk and sweetener.

Does vegan dark chocolate have caffeine?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant that is found in many plants, including cacao. Caffeine can have various effects on the body and mind, such as increasing alertness, energy, and mood. However, caffeine can also have some negative effects for some people, such as causing anxiety, insomnia, or headaches.

The amount of caffeine in chocolate depends on the percentage of cacao in the product, and dark chocolate generally done has a higher amount. The higher the cacao percentage, the more caffeine there is. For example, a 100 gram bar of

  • 70% dark chocolate contains about 80 milligrams of caffeine.
  • 50% dark chocolate contains about 50 milligrams of caffeine.
  • 30% milk chocolate contains about 20 milligrams of caffeine.
  • white chocolate contains no caffeine.

So, if you are sensitive to caffeine or want to avoid it, opt for lower-cacao dark chocolates, or white chocolates that are made with cocoa butter and no cacao solids.

Can vegan chocolate be melted?

Yes! Vegan chocolate can be melted just like regular chocolate. You can use vegan chocolate for baking, making sauces, dipping fruits.  The Loco Love Dark Chocolate Baking Drops are AMAZING!

There are two main methods for melting vegan chocolate:
- The microwave method
- And the double boiler method.

The microwave method is faster and easier, but you have to be careful not to overheat or burn the chocolate. To melt vegan chocolate in the microwave, follow these steps:

  • Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place them in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Microwave the chocolate for 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval, until the chocolate is smooth and melted.
  • Be careful not to overcook the chocolate, as it can become dry and crumbly.
  • Use the melted chocolate as desired.

The double boiler method is slower and more tedious, but it gives you more control over the temperature and consistency of the chocolate. To melt vegan chocolate in a double boiler, follow these steps:

  • Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place them in a heatproof bowl.
  • Fill a saucepan with some water and bring it to a simmer over low heat.
  • Place the bowl over the saucepan, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
  • Stir the chocolate occasionally until it is smooth and melted.
  • Do not let any water or steam get into the chocolate, as it can cause it to seize and become lumpy.
  • Use the melted chocolate as desired.

How to make homemade vegan chocolate?

dark chocolate for vegans
Making your own vegan chocolate is fun and easy. You only need three basic ingredients:
- Cacao powder
- Cocoa butter or coconut oil
- Sweetener of your choice.

Find a recipe here for How to Make Vegan Chocolate

Can vegans eat chocolate?

Yes! Vegans can eat chocolate as long as it does not contain any animal-derived ingredients.   Throughout this post we've explained the animal ingredients to look out for. You can also look for labels that indicate that the chocolate is vegan certified or dairy-free. 

What ingredients to avoid for a vegan chocolate?

If you want to eat vegan chocolate, avoid any ingredients that come from animals or insects, or involve processing steps where animal remains might be involved.

Some of the most common ingredients to avoid for a vegan chocolate are:

- Milk, milk powder, condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream, butter, whey, casein, or lactose.

- Honey, honeycomb or honey-flavoured fillings.  Find vegan "bee free" honeycomb at Biome by House of Nestar.

- Gelatin, such as in gummies, marshmallows, rocky road, turkish delight and jelly beans. Find vegan marshmallows and Turkish Delight at Biome by House of Nestar.

- Egg lecithin, such as in nougat or caramel.

What vegan chocolates are the best to buy in Australia?

If you are looking for vegan chocolate brands in Australia, you are in luck!  At Biome, we have many options to choose from, whether you prefer dark, milk or white chocolate, or something with nuts, fruits or caramel. 

Loco Love  Vegan chocolate truffles and bars with superfoods, tonic herbs and healing spices. They have flavours like peanut butter caramel, wild orange ganache, black cherry raspberry and hazelnut praline. They also have a higher being tonic powder that is a blend of cacao, adaptogens and mushrooms. Loco Love chocolate is gluten free, soy free and refined sugar free. 

Bahen & Co Vegan chocolate bars with stone ground cacao beans from ethical sources. They have flavours like almond sea salt, Madagascar 70%, cherry coconut and cracked coffee. They also have a cacao brew that is a roasted cacao husk tea. Bahen & Co chocolate is gluten free, soy free and palm oil free. 

House of Nestar Vegan chocolate coated fruits, nuts and lollies with natural colours and flavours. They have products like miss sweetie dark chocolate pineapple, miss sweetie dark chocolate cranberry, miss sweetie dark chocolate ginger and miss sweetie dark chocolate macadamia. The House of Nestar products are gluten free, soy free and palm oil free. 

Pana Organic Delicious vegan chocolate bars and spreads with organic ingredients and no refined sugar. They have a variety of flavours, such as salted caramel, mint, coconut and goji, and hazelnut. They also have a vegan hazelnut chocolate spread that is gluten free and palm oil free. You can buy Pana Organic chocolate from 

Loving Earth Raw vegan chocolate with organic cacao butter, coconut nectar and coconut oil. They have flavours like salted caramel, lemon cheesecake, Turkish delight and raspberry.  Loving Earth chocolate is gluten free, soy free and fair trade. You can buy Loving Earth chocolate

Vego  Vegan chocolate bars and spreads with whole hazelnuts, cocoa butter and cane sugar. They have a classic dark chocolate bar, a white chocolate bar with almonds and blueberries, and a hazelnut chocolate spread. They are gluten free, organic and palm oil free. 

Bennetto  Made in New Zealand - delicious vegan dark chocolate bars with organic cocoa beans from Peru and Ecuador. They have flavours like intense dark 75%, mint & cocoa nibs 60%, orange & chilli 60% and toasted hazelnut 60%. They also have a drinking chocolate powder that is 70% cocoa solids. Bennetto chocolate is gluten free, soy free and fair trade. You can buy Bennetto chocolate from their website or from online stores like Biome and Buy Vegan.

BSKT Wholefoods Vegan chocolate bars with native Australian ingredients such as Davidson plum, Kakadu plum, lemon myrtle and finger lime.  They also have a native superfood bar that is a blend of nuts, seeds, fruits and spices coated with dark chocolate. BSKT Wholefoods products are gluten free, soy free and palm oil free. 

Biome really is the home of the most awesome range of vegan chocolate!  Other brands include Nomu Noms, Kresho and VEGO.  Around Easter, you can also find vegan easter eggs at Biome.  We also try to ensure that our brands use fair trade chocolate.

These are just some of the vegan chocolate brands that you can buy in Australia. 

I hope this blog post has helped you find some vegan chocolate brands that suit your taste buds and dietary needs.  And there are certainly plenty of dark chocolate that is vegan.


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