Is white chocolate vegan friendly?
Traditional white chocolate is not dairy-free, hence not vegan. But for like many other products, there are vegan white chocolate alternatives out there. Moreover, it's not hard to make homemade white chocolate if you can get your hands on cocoa butter.
Dairy-free white chocolate works just as well when baking vegan chocolate chip cookies, so don't let your allergy or diet stop you from enjoying these tasty biscuits.
To make vegan white chocolate, we need to replace the milk powder contained in the classic recipe. We have compared the labels of various vegan white chocolate bars on the market and observed how different producers tackled this problem.
Here is what we found. All dairy-free white chocolate bar we inspected reported one of these two ingredients as a replacement to milk powder:
Rice milk powder. This is the most common option. The powder is made by mixing rice flour, rice syrup, and rice starch until they form a dry paste.
Maize flour mixed with coconut oil. Fewer use this option, although the ingredients are easier to find.
If you fancy making your own vegan white chocolate, we have written a little guide about it below. Check it out!
Can I make gluten-free white chocolate chip cookies?
You sure can! Our cookies recipe is gluten-free. Just follow our method above you'll be nibbling on chewy white chocolate cookies in no time.
To make these cookies gluten-free, we have replaced wheat flour with oatmeal. Oat flour is an excellent choice for gluten-free baking because:
It's naturally sweet
It binds ingredients well
it's rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fibres
You don't have to buy oat flour as you can easily make it yourself from oat flakes or porridge oats. Just blitz them in a powerful food processor until they are finely ground, and you're game.
If you don't have oatmeal at hand, there are other ways to make gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. You could use rice flour, for crispier biscuits. Or consider a 1:1 mix of coconut flour and almond flour for chewy biscuits rich in vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.
Can I make white chocolate cookies without sugar?
There are many ways to make your chocolate chip cookies sugar-free, so you can still enjoy a tasty biscuit without guilt.
In cookies, as for other baked goods, you can swap refined white sugar with healthier alternatives, like honey, maple, or coconut sugar. While 100 grams white refined sugar have 100g of carbs, these other options have a better nutritional profile. Let's have a look at them together:
Raw honey: 80g of sugars in 100g
Coconut sugar: 75 g of sugars in 100g
Maple syrup: 60g of sugars in 100g
This means that when you swap sugar with these alternatives, you are consuming fewer calories and free sugars.
You can also replace sugar with fruits, like raisins, dried berries, and dates. Not only they are naturally sweet, but studies have shown that sugars found in fruit aren't fattening as the added ones as they are slowly released in your bloodstream. Moreover, fruit comes packed with many nutrients like fibres, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Another excellent sugar substitute for your chocolate chip cookies is applesauce. It binds the ingredients and adds sweetness. You can read more about this fantastic ingredient in the FAQ of our vegan applesauce cookies here.
If you want to go completely sugar-free, for example, if you are following a ketogenic diet or have diabetes, then sweeteners make excellent substitutes for baked goods like cookies. For example, you can try stevia, sucralose, monk fruit, and erythritol. They are sugar alternatives with little or no calories.
How do you make vegan white chocolate from scratch?
Dairy-free white chocolate is no longer as difficult to find in a store as it used to be. But if your local market doesn't have any, making vegan white chocolate at home is not difficult. Keep reading if you want to learn how to make it yourself. We will also include tips on how to make sugar-free white chocolate!
Plain white chocolate uses the following ingredients:
dried whole milk
soy or sunflower lecithin emulsifier, to help binding fats and liquids.
vanilla for extra flavour (optional)
To make vegan white chocolate, we have to get rid of the dairy. The other ingredients can stay as is, or swapped with healthier alternatives. To make sugar-free white chocolate, we will exchange the sugar with a zero-carb sweetener: erythritol powder.
We will replace dried whole milk with rice milk powder. The mild taste of this powder will not overtake the flavour of cocoa butter, which is what we want.
To make one bar of vegan white chocolate, we will need:
50 grams of cocoa butter
66 grams of icing sugar (or 70 grams of erythritol for a sugar-free variation)
One teaspoon of rice milk powder. If you can't find this, we saw that some brands of dairy-free white chocolate use maize flour instead. We haven't tried it, but it's worth a shot!
Less than 1 gram of soy or sunflower lecithin (optional).
Half a teaspoon vanilla essence (optional).
Let's start by double-boiling the cocoa butter. We do this by filling a pot with water a bit more than halfway and bringing to the boil. Then we lower the heat to minimum and position a second pot - or a bowl - into the first so that it touches the hot water. Next, we add the cocoa butter to the second pot and wait for it to melt. Add in the lecithin now if you have it. Do not stir the cocoa butter until it's melted.
Now add the icing sugar (or erythritol) to the melted cocoa butter and stir delicately until well incorporated. Proceed with adding the rice milk powder and vanilla essence if you have it. Keep stirring until you get a dense and opaque mix.
Now it's time to pour the blend into chocolate moulds and place in the fridge until solid. If you don't have moulds and don't care about pretty looks, you can pour the melted white chocolate into a small tray lined with parchment paper. If you can, use a tray with a similar size to a chocolate bar (around 18x9 cm or 7x3.5 inches), to get the right thickness.
Well done! Now you can finally turn all your favourite white chocolate recipes vegan. Including white chocolate cookies!