A simple DIY for how to make white chocolate at home using just three ingredients!
I’ve never been a massive fan of store-bought white chocolate, with results ranging from super sickly-sweet, to waxy. Because of that, I hadn’t put much thought into making my own – until I recently learned How To Make Powdered Milk At Home. Now, here I am with a simple, 3-ingredient, white chocolate recipe for you that I personally think is SO much better than store-bought.
What really made me want to make white chocolate originally is because of how versatile it is. We know that dark and milk chocolate can be flavored in tons of different ways (and you can see my dark chocolate & milk chocolate recipes here too). But I’ve always thought of white chocolate as the king of customization.
However, when I first started looking at making this ingredient at home, I came across recipes that were loaded with tons of sugar, and that’s not what I wanted. Indeed, I am still using powdered sugar, but it’s a small quantity. Furthermore, I tested a few different recipes and natural sweeteners (like maple syrup and honey) but powdered sugar always produced the best results.
The resulting white chocolate that I’ve made is creamy and buttery. Perfect for a treat and to add to a variety of dishes! Including grating over desserts, as part of an oatmeal bowl, for a snack, melted and drizzled over dessert, etc.
What Is White Chocolate & What Is White Chocolate Made Of?
I suppose in a way these two questions are linked, so I thought I’d answer them both in a single section. It may or may not surprise you to find out that white chocolate isn’t chocolate at all. Legally, all ‘chocolate’ must contain cocoa solids – and white chocolate does not.
Instead, white chocolate is largely made up of cocoa butter, lecithin, powdered milk, sugar (and lots of it), and sometimes vanilla. Meanwhile, some brands and various vegan chocolates often swap out cocoa butter altogether with hydrogenated oils (hence the waxiness) and fats, including palm oil (eep!) as well as tons of sugar.
So, what is cocoa butter?
Well, it’s the edible fat (basically like the vegetable oil) from the cocoa bean rather than the ‘solids’, which are what is needed to define a ‘chocolate’ product. I know it’s all a bit weird – so let me break it down a bit more for you.
Chocolate all begins with a cocoa pod, which, when ripe, is harvested for its seeds. The seeds are then treated (fermented) and dried to begin roasting. When the shells are removed, that’s where we get cacao nibs. Those nibs are then broken down into ‘chocolate liquor.’
This liquor is then separated into the cocoa solids (which are turned into yummy chocolate products like cocoa powder and chocolate) and the cocoa butter (the fat). Cocoa butter itself doesn’t have much of a chocolate flavor at all – but is often added to chocolate for providing that good ‘mouth feel’ we want.
P.S. when items are named ‘cacao,’ rather than cocoa, these are more natural and less processed. So you may even be able to make raw white chocolate using cacao butter instead of cocoa butter.
How To Make White Chocolate
Making this homemade white chocolate is fairly easy. Best of all, it is just a few simple steps and three key white chocolate ingredients:
- Cocoa Butter OR cacao butter
- Dry Milk Powder (or Coconut Milk Powder for a dairy-free version)
- Powdered sugar
- Optional: Additional ‘base’ flavorings like vanilla from the pod or vanilla powder (or even vanilla extract)
You would also need a chocolate mould and a double boiler.
If you have a large piece of cocoa butter, begin by chopping it down to smaller chunks. You can have uneven chunks but the smaller, more even pieces will melt faster and more evenly.
Set up a double boiler by placing a heatproof bowl over a pan of water. Make sure that the water isn’t touching the bottom of the bowl and set over medium-low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer – don’t boil as this increases the risk of scorching and water getting into your chocolate, which may cause it to seize.
Add the cacao/cocoa butter to the bowl, and it will melt without scorching or reaching temperatures that are too high. Stir or whisk* the butter often during this process to ensure even melting.
Once melted, add the powdered sugar to the bowl. It’s best to sift this into the bowl if you think it may have some lumps, as this can affect the final texture of the chocolate. Stir well to dissolve the sugar dissolves.
Then add the milk powder. Again, you can sift it into the bowl to avoid any lumps.
Turn off the heat before removing the bowl from the pan.
Next, to make extra smooth white chocolate and avoid grainy texture, I recommend pouring the mix into a food processor/blender and blending for 2-3 minutes. Now you are ready to move to the next step.**
Pour the white chocolate into your mold(s) of choice and place it in the freezer to set. This should only take 20-30 minutes, and then they can be transferred to the fridge (or kept in the freezer).
I prefer setting it in the fridge for about 2 hours.
*It’s best to use silicone spatula or whisks for this, rather than wooden spoons. Wood may hold moisture and affect the chocolate.
** If you want to add any additional flavorings, then it’s usually best to do this once the heat is off. You can also sprinkle ‘toppings’ directly into your chocolate molds.
How To Store:
Because this homemade white chocolate is untempered, I keep mine stored in the fridge. It will last for two weeks in the fridge. Alternatively, keep them stored in the freezer for a few months (if they last that long!).
Further Notes & Variations
- Some cocoa butter is sold with cosmetic uses in mind and may not be food-safe. Be sure to buy food-safe cocoa butter for this recipe
- This white chocolate recipe sets very solid. However, as it is untempered chocolate, it is best stored within the fridge. You can temper yours if preferred, but I’ve never found it necessary.
- White chocolate is incredibly versatile and can be flavored hundreds, if not thousands, of ways. From adding natural spices such as vanilla, cardamom, ginger, etc. Flavor oils such as orange, mint, etc. To infuse it with coffee. You can also make large white chocolate bars and sprinkle ‘toppings’ onto it. Use candied fruit, freeze-dried fruit, crumbled cookies, sea salt- the list goes on.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments. I also love seeing your recreations on Instagram, so tag @Alphafoodie.
How To Make White Chocolate
- Double boiler
- If you have a large pieace of cocoa butter, chope it into smaller pieces. You can have it uneven chunks, and I'll often do it this way, but the smaller, more even pieces will melt faster and more evenly.
- Set up a double boiler by placing a heat-proof bowl over a pan of water. Make sure that the water isn't touching the bottom of the bowl and set over medium-low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer - don't boil as this increases the risk of scorching and water getting into your chocolate which may cause it to seize.
- Add the cocoa butter to the bowl to melt without scorching or reaching temperatures that are too high. Stir or whisk* the cocoa butter often during this process to ensure even melting.
- Once melted, add the powedered sugar and stir well to dissolve it.
- Then add the milk powder and stir to incorporate.
- Transfer the melted whited chocolate to a blender/food processor and blend to make the mixture smooth.**
- Pour the mixture into the mould/s of your choice and leave in the fridge or freezer to set. You can then transfer the chocolate to an airtight container in the fridge (or keep it in the freezer).
- Some cocoa butter is sold with cosmetic uses in mind and may not be food-safe. Be sure to buy food-safe cocoa butter/cacao butter for this recipe
- This white chocolate recipe sets very solid. However, as it is untempered chocolate, it is best stored within the fridge. You can temper yours if preferred, but I've never found it necessary.
- If using an alternative sweetener to Honey, i.e. Maple syrup or Agave, this will affect the color of your final white chocolate product.
- White chocolate is incredibly versatile and can be flavored hundreds, if not thousands, of ways. From adding natural spices such as vanilla, cardamom, ginger, etc. Flavor oils such as orange, mint, etc. To infuse it with coffee. You can also make large white chocolate bars and sprinkle 'toppings' onto it - candied fruit, freeze-dried fruit, crumbled cookies, sea salt- the list goes on and on.
- If, at any point, your chocolate seizes then slowly adding a little additional water should help bring it back together but may affect the final texture slightly.