Dairy Free White Chocolate. (Gluten/Soy/Sugar Free)

by Brittany on November 27, 2012

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I have been trying to solve this mystery for months.. and months. Chocolate is such a tricky thing- and to be honest there is so much yet that I have to figure out. But, today I’m excited to share with you a small victory. This white chocolate is not perfect, but gosh darn it its really close and  I think its yummy!

A few things I learned:

Oil and water do not mix. This seems obvious doesn’t it? It took me a few experiments to figure that out.  Cocoa butter is an oil. Adding liquids like Vanilla Extract, Heavy Coconut Milk etc just were not cutting it. The chocolate would get hard in the freezer and then turn into melty mush the second It landed in my fingers.

There is a reason soy lecithin is used in white chocolate. I’m pretty sure that it acts as a emulsifier. (Don’t quote me on that..)   I avoided it as I know many of you don’t do soy.  I needed some sort of filler ingredient to mix with the cacao butter to bind the ingredients together and to give the chocolate some body. After many different trials cashews proved to be the best fit for the job.

My biggest battle with this recipe has been the sugar! Adding granulated resulted in a gritty texture (Its good- tastes like sugar cookie fudge). But its not the traditional taste/texture. I could not add liquid sweeteners as they would keep the chocolate from staying hard at room temperature.

I settled on two options:  a) use granulated white sugar (or xylitol or erythritol) or b) use powdered sugar (or powdered xylitol etc.).

Note: Xylitol and Erythritol are non-glycemic. A great option for those looking to make the recipe sugar free.

The granulated adds an interesting crunch which again I thought tasted yummy, and the powdered sugar blends into the chocolate  and will give you a texture close to what you would expect of white chocolate.  Both are  yummy, feel free to use either, I’ll leave it up to you!

To make your own powdered sugar place your sugar of choice into a high powdered blender or into a coffee grinder and process until it becomes a powder.

At room temperature this chocolate will soften some.. but it will remain solid.

I use Cocao Butter from Nuts.com! Its great stuff.

Dairy Free White Chocolate

1/2 Cup Melted Cacao Butter
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs Raw Cashews dry. 
1/2  vanilla bean 
3-4 Tbs (to taste) Granulated Sugar OR Powdered Sugar (White Sugar, or Erythritol or Xylitol)

  1. Melt the cacao butter. Pour into a measuring cup to make sure you have exactly 1/2 cup of the melted butter.
  2. Stir into the hot melted oil the raw cashews. Set aside for 1 hour for the cashews to soften in the melted butter.
  3. Cut one vanilla bean in half and using a pointy knife skim out the insides of the bean. Add the fresh vanilla to the cashew/melted cacao butter mix. (This is optional- though highly recommended. The vanilla adds great flavor!)
  4. Pour mixture into a small food processor. Add sugar of choice. Process until extremely smooth.
  5. Pour mixture on to a piece of parchment on a plate or cookie sheet. Place into freezer for 30 minutes until solid.
Chop into chunks! Store in the fridge or freezer. Eat when its chilled for the most white chocolate like experience.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

JEnnifer in PA November 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Thank you for this!!! My oldest dd cannot have gluten or dairy and since most chocolate has dairy we are a bit restricted here. We will have to have this as a treat during the Christmas season. I LOVE your blog. Thanks for all the great recipes.
Jennifer in PA
The Entwife's Journal


A November 27, 2012 at 11:00 pm

What about sunflower lecithin instead of the cashews?


Brittany November 27, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I have never used that product before.. so I can't really say! If you try please let me know how the chocolate turns out.


Sarah W December 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Oh I use this all the time in baked goods that need to last longer. I works really well. I bought mine from http://www.azurestandard.com. I have friends who are soy intolerant. so this product works for them.


Brittany December 2, 2012 at 10:55 pm

That's great!! I have never used it in baked goods before. I'll have to give it a try!


Chef Amber Shea November 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm

"Soaking" the cashews in the melted cocoa butter is a great idea!


Brittany November 27, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I knew they had to be soaked, anddd I knew liquid would throw things off. Hence soaking them in the hot melted butter idea :) These ideas come to me at the most random times. I'm sure you can relate!


Robin S. November 27, 2012 at 11:13 pm

I've been making chocolate for 40 yrs.,I could not in good conscience let my kids eat what's peddled as "choc./candy" .one thing I know about white "chocolate " is that it breaks down easily ,coconut oil or a legal equiv to Wesson,1/2 tsp at a time will re emulsify.i think if you try melting turbinado sugar in coconut manna (I think that's right spelling) it will yield a decent texturely smooth sweetness .Your recipe sounds delish ,Im adding broken peppermint canes to mine ; healthy holidays !


Brittany November 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm

This is wonderful advice! Thank you so much for sharing :)


Cheerfully Vegan November 28, 2012 at 12:33 am

This sounds very good!! I have some powdered vanilla flavoring that would probably work since I don't have vanilla beans. I shall have to try it. :D Thanks for trying so hard to figure this out for all of us.


Brittany November 28, 2012 at 12:40 am

YES! that should totally work. I also have some and considered using it in the recipe but then opted for the vanilla beans since I knew they would be easier for people to track down!


Tracey Brown November 28, 2012 at 1:08 am

Okay I am so excited to have this recipe to try. We are nut free so I am going to try pumpkin seeds instead of cashews. Usually when I use pumpkin seeds instead of nuts I also add a touch of lemon juice to cut down on the green colouring. Do you recommend this or shall I just go with the green and add some peppermint and have green peppermint "white" chocolate? Is there anything else I should know or try instead of the pumpkin seeds? Thank you so much for these countless recipes. Although I can't have nuts, I am usually able to use something else instead and so I still appreciate that you do all the experiments first!


Brittany November 28, 2012 at 1:23 am

Just be cautious not to add any liquid like peppermint extract. Instead I would use crushed candy canes or other peppermint candies. Any liquid will make this chocolate melt in your hands. Ill be curious to see what happens with the pumpkin seeds!


Lex December 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I make chocolate every year for the holidays but I've never tried dairy free. Super excited to see how it turns out. And based on my experiences crushed candy canes, or other mint candies mixed into the white chocolate are just about everyone's favorite variety.

Tracey Brown - I've never tried using pumpkin in place of nuts but it sounds like a brilliant idea. Have you tried this in this recipe yet? I'd love to know how it turns out.


Tracey Brown December 2, 2012 at 10:39 pm

I have to source the cocoa butter first, then I can make the chocolate. I'm hoping to find some locally tomorrow.


Adrienne November 28, 2012 at 1:34 am

Just shared on FB! Yum! I've been meaning to do this for awhile now :) .


Jodi Strassheim November 28, 2012 at 2:46 am

Hi...I just stumbled onto this recipe and your site. Yay! My son has lots of food sensitivities and I usually cook/bake gluten, dairy, egg, soy, garlic free. (Top offenders). I'm not sure if it's correct, but I've read up on Soy Lecithin and here is what I remember: When "they" (whoever they are) process soy to make soy oil from soybeans, they use an extremely high temperature. The grime or gunk that comes out of that process is lecithin and they use it as an emusifier. It smells and tastes and looks so bad they bleach it and do all sorts of stuff so it's "acceptable" for food. Yuck. Apparently, soy lecithin does not carry the protein from the soybean, so many deem it safe and acceptable for those with soy sensitivities/allergies. My son does not ingest soy, but I do allow him to eat things with soy lecithin and I have not noticed a great difference/variation in his testing results or reactions (although he has delayed reactions so who knows). Hope this is helpful. I should read up on it again and see if there is new information...maybe this is old and completely wrong!!! Hope not! Excited about your site....thanks!


Elizabeth Good November 28, 2012 at 3:13 am

Sounds like you really worked hard on this one! Thanks for another great effort. I really appreciate the non-glycemic sweeteners (as you may know)! I have a big bar of cacao butter I bought a year ago from David Wolfe's site when I went paleo-ish, and never figured out what to do with it! I love that others have given cashew-free options to try (those things give me hypoglycemia for some weird reason). This will be fun to try. Thanks again.


Barb November 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I discovered cocoa butter earlier this year and was thrilled! In my version of "chocolate", I add unsweetened carob powder to the melted cocoa butter. You have to play a little to get the right ratio (it's about 3:1 carob to cocoa butter; if you don't add enough carob, it's not sweet enough and you get a two-toned chocolate with the white cocoa butter on the bottom and the carob on the top). The carob adds a natural sweetness with no sugar or caffeine - yum! Even my hubby loves it :) There are also other alternative sweeteners like yacon syrup, luo han guo, etc that you could try, though I haven't experimented myself as the carob chocolate was great as is.


Jody November 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Hey I was wondering if I could use this chocolate in puppy chow instead of regular chocolate.. ? do you think it would work or is it too runny and not solid unless its frozen? Thanks!


Brittany December 1, 2012 at 2:32 am

Actually I think it might work great! At room temp this chocolate is solid- its just a little softer than I had hoped. Out of the freezer it's rock solid like a bar from the store. But in puppy chow I think it would be delish!


Bekah December 2, 2012 at 2:19 am

Thank you for all of the time you put into your recipes...I am so thankful for your website! These look amazing! I have been craving white chocolate, but I refuse to give in and eat the stuff from the store. Where do you find the cacao butter at? and is there a difference between cacao butter and cocoa butter?


Jen December 9, 2012 at 3:00 am

This looks/sounds amazing! Do you know if anyone has used Coconut Palm Sugar and made it into powdered sugar? I'm wondering if this will work...

Thanks for the great recipes!


Brittany December 9, 2012 at 3:20 am

That will make it caramel colored white chocolate with probably a caramel flavor too! Could be good :)
Technically any powdered sugar will work without affecting the texture of the chocolate in a negative way.


Kelsey Lunn December 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Seriously! This is beyond delicious. I'm embarrassed to say I ate the entire batch in less than 24 hours.


Brittany December 13, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Oh don't be..
I did the SAME thing. Good thing it's healthy fats right?? :)


Lina December 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Just wondering if it is ok to mix already blendered cashews into the melted cacao butter. Will it be a differnce? I'm afraid it will be hard to take it from my poor blender :)


Brittany December 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

The warm cacao butter softens the cashews making it easier for the blender to handle!


Marya January 6, 2013 at 12:29 am

I tried this recipe with Brazil nut flour left over from Brazil nut milk I made myself and it was great. I was wondering if coconut flour would work also. I have coconut meal left over from a milk I made from dessicated coconut and wanted to give it a try. What do you think?


Brittany January 6, 2013 at 3:32 am

Thats cool!! Sadly I don't think that coconut would work.. the texture would probably end up weird


Marya January 6, 2013 at 11:47 pm

How would the texture be weird?


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