What Is White Chocolate

What Is White Chocolate

For years, there has been an ongoing debate—is white chocolate really chocolate? White chocolate was labeled a confection rather than chocolate because it doesn’t contain cocoa solids, the part of the cocoa bean that gives dark and milk chocolate its color and flavor. But most chocolate connoisseurs agree that the best white chocolate is, in fact, chocolate when it’s made to a high standard.

So what is white chocolate? Keep reading to learn more about this tasty treat.

Who invented white chocolate?

You may be wondering who invented white chocolate since it is a relatively modern creation when compared to dark and milk chocolate. Nestlé developed white chocolate in Switzerland in 1936 by using up excess milk powder that had been produced for World War I and was no longer in demand.

Nestlé called their new creation Milkybar. It was introduced in both the UK and Switzerland at the same time, where it was called Galak. Both versions are still on the market today.

In the 1980s, Nestlé introduced the Milkybar with Almonds in the United States. The candy bar met with huge success but has since been discontinued.

Why is white chocolate white?

Cocoa butter, which is colorless, and cocoa beans are separated during processing, and only cocoa butter is used to make white chocolate. This gives it a light color.

In addition, cocoa butter is often bleached with clay minerals that absorb color. It is then deodorized through a steam distillation system that reduces the volatile compounds that give white chocolate its scent. Cocoa butter is expensive, and many large-scale manufacturers add fillers such as vegetable oil to deodorized cocoa butter to reduce the cost.

If a white chocolate bar is bright white, it has been bleached and probably deodorized. High-quality craft white chocolate is not bleached or deodorized and has a yellowish tint because cocoa butter is naturally yellow.

What ingredients are in chocolate?

What is in white chocolate? White chocolate consists of cocoa butter, milk solids and sugar. It sometimes also consists of vanilla and lecithin. It does not contain caffeine. Cocoa butter is the fat from cocoa beans and is extracted during the process of making chocolate and cocoa powder.

What is white chocolate according to the FDA? The agency states white chocolate must contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter, 14 percent total milk solids, 3.5 percent milk fat and no more than 55 percent sweetener.

According to craft chocolate makers, white chocolate is “real” chocolate because it contains cocoa butter, which solidifies at room temperature just as cocoa solids do.

“In this debate, it's important to remember that chocolate isn't cacao—it's merely a fat-based product containing cacao that melts around body temperature,” William Marx of Wm. Chocolate said. “In that respect, white chocolate should be called chocolate because it checks all of these boxes.”

Robbie, the head chocolate maker for Ritual Chocolate, explained, “Any food can be made poorly or made well. White chocolate can be made well, usually high quality ingredients, but more often than not it's made as an industrial product with unwholesome ingredients. It's not a matter of if white chocolate is truly chocolate—it's white chocolate. The same could be asked of cheap, industrial style dark chocolate—’is it true dark chocolate?’ Technically maybe, but from a quality perspective, it's just garbage. White chocolate made from good ingredients, like nice single origin cocoa butter, local/organic/free range milk powder, organic cane sugar and high quality whole vanilla bean is truly a high quality food—it's not dark chocolate, but it's mostly pretty wholesome.”

How to make white chocolate

Are you wondering how white chocolate is made?

The cacao bean contains about 54 percent cocoa butter, a natural fat which is the foundation of all chocolate. To make cocoa butter, cocoa beans are ground up to create chocolate liquor, a chocolate paste. Heavy-duty presses can further process and separate chocolate liquor into either cocoa butter or cocoa solids that are then ground to make cocoa powder.

Making white chocolate uses up excess cocoa butter from chocolate production. You can learn how to make white chocolate at home. If you don’t like the sweetness and vanilla taste of store-bought white vanilla, try experimenting with other flavors such as ginger or orange.

You can find white chocolate recipes online, including this one by Stef Pollack from the Cupcake Project: To make white chocolate, melt 2 ounces of cocoa butter in the microwave until completely liquified. Stir in 1/3 cup of powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of milk powder (or soy milk powder for a vegan version). Add flavorings like ginger or vanilla and stir thoroughly until all the ingredients have completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into molds and refrigerate until cool.

Where can I buy white chocolate

Cococlectic features only dark chocolate in our subscription boxes, but we can recommend where to buy white chocolate from two of our craft makers, ChocolateSpiel and BOHO Chocolate.

Angela Pfleiderer of ChocolateSpiel tried for almost two years to make plant-based white chocolate before finding a good replacement for the milk powder. Once she found a solution, she was able to release her white chocolate matcha bars.

BOHO Chocolate began making white chocolate in 2018. They currently produce a white chocolate lemon olive oil bar and a turmeric swirl bar, both of which have won bronze medals from the International Chocolate Awards.


Cococlectic features a different American small-batch bean-to-bar chocolate maker each month. These chocolate makers passionately make chocolate bars from scratch using only three main ingredients: cacao beans, sugar and cocoa butter. The chocolates at Cococlectic are vegan, non-GMO, fair-trade and ethically sourced. They do not contain any soy, gluten, dairy or nut, but they may be produced in a facility that handles these ingredients.

We only sell dark chocolate bars in the chocolate shop, but if you want a chocolate box with a mix of other chocolate bars, you can purchase the Office Box.

Sign up for our chocolate-of-the-month subscription club and join us for a free virtual chocolate tasting with our featured chocolate maker of the month.

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