How to Make Chocolate

4.69 from 16 votes

Pouring Homemade Chocolate

Chocolate. What is it with girls and chocolate? You don’t find many of us who are neutral on the subject. I was, though. I didn’t see the point, really. Give me a chunk of goat cheese on nice cracker and call it a day. My eyes, as they say, have been opened. I am interested in chocolate, of course, out of a strictly scientific inquiry into its anti-oxidant benefits. Of course…

Homemade Chocolate, Cocoa Powder and Hazelnuts

Chocolate has long been prized as a fortifying elixir. Montezuma, the Aztec emperor famous for his revenge, said that chocolate was a “divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue.” That’s right…we used to drink the stuff. And cocoa beans were ground with stones. The technology for a Snickers bar was a good 600 years off at that point.

Homemade Chocolate Ingredients

If ‘chocolate’ is synonymous with ‘candy bar’ around your house, you might be surprised to learn that the cocoa bean is crunchy and bitter. You get two fractions from cocoa beans – the cocoa powder and the cocoa butter. Early on, chocolate was simply cocoa powder, cocoa butter and sugar. Technology made chocolate smoother, creamier and shinier; food conglomerates have made chocolate cheaper by substituting yucky vegetable oils, cheap fillers and very little of the precious cocoa bean. Good quality dark chocolate has very rich, complex flavours and cocoa buffs can debate single origin chocolate the way oenophiles can sniff out tobacco notes in a malbec.

Homemade Chocolate, Melting Coconut Oil

Cocoa beans contain a whole lot of biologically interesting substances, namely caffeine and theobromine – they fight fatigue! – and compounds known to evoke the same chemical response in the brain as falling in love. That’s why girls like chocolate! Cocoa is also incredibly rich in compounds called flavonols, which are potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant chemicals. It is for these flavonols that you want to make your own, unprocessed, chocolate. Processing can degrade a lot of these healthful compounds.

Homemade Chocolate Stirring

Making your own chocolate can be inexpensive or a bit pricey, depending on the ingredients you use. If you typically buy good chocolate, you will definitely save money per bar.

Finished Homemade Chocolates

Finished Homemade Chocolates
4.69 from 16 votes

Homemade Chocolate

By: Desiree Nielsen
Making your own chocolate can be inexpensive or a bit pricey, depending on the ingredients you use. If you typically buy good chocolate, you will definitely save money per bar.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 10 servings


  • ½ cup either pure cocoa butter or virgin coconut oil
  • ½ - ¾ cup cocoa powder, raw, ethically sourced
  • 2-3 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp vanilla bean seeds
  • optional – unsweetened dried fruit or raw nuts of choice, plus up to 1/8 tsp of cinnamon and/or cardamom


  • Line a small loaf pan with a piece of parchment large enough that it wraps up two sides. This will make the chocolate easy to remove later on. Alternately, you could use silicone muffin cups for medallions. Sprinkle dried fruit or nuts across bottom of pan, if using.
  • In a small saucepan, melt your fat over low heat.
  • When melted, add cocoa powder and honey and stir to incorporate for 2-3 minutes. ¾ cup cocoa and 3 tbsp honey will give you a seriously dark chocolate. ½ cup cocoa and 2-3 tbsp honey is milder and sweeter.
  • Turn off heat and stir in vanilla bean and spices, if using.
  • Pour into loaf pan or cups and refrigerate until hard, at least 2 hours.
  • Remove from fridge, cut into bars or just devour the whole darn thing. Note that this chocolate will be a bit more melt-y than the store-bought kind.


Because honey is a heavier substance, it may settle to the bottom of the chocolate. This creates a nice, fudgy layer but if you prefer a standard texture, stick to maple syrup.


Calories: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Sugar: 3g
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Wondering whether chocolate passes The Kitchen Test? Here’s Andrew’s #Unprocessed FAQ on Chocolate.

About the Author

Desiree Nielsen is a registered dietitian in Vancouver, Canada who feeds her young child plenty of kale and quinoa and will pretty much talk your ear off about why you should eat more organic food if you let her. She shares her nutrition musings (and occasional rants) on her website,

You can also find her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

A photo of Andrew Wilder leaning into the frame and smiling, hovering over mixing bowls in the kitchen.

Welcome to Eating Rules!

Hi! My name is Andrew Wilder, and I think healthy eating doesn’t have to suck. With just three simple eating rules, we'll kickstart your journey into the delicious and vibrant world of unprocessed food.

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January 16, 2021 2:02 am

I love chocolate

December 7, 2020 9:43 am

can you use vegetable or canola oil instead?

Reply to  sarah
January 16, 2021 2:03 am

Can i use vegetable oil

Reply to  Halimatu
July 11, 2022 6:16 am

Hi yes u can use it

Victoria McMackin
Reply to  sarah
November 22, 2021 9:47 am

You could, but both are extremely unhealthy for you. Both are made by the pressing of the rape seed and is not shelf stable, it goes rancid very quickly so they have to be chemically converted (their molecules messed with) in order to be shelf stable. Here’s a valid resource on the subject to check it out. As an Herbalist for over 10 years, I stay clear of the nasty stuff.

Terry Bird
October 10, 2017 10:12 am

Will almond butter work and will it dramatically change the flavor?

October 27, 2014 11:31 am

5 STARS!! My silicone pan was larger, so I whipped up a double batch using 1 cup Trader Joe’s raw coconut oil, 1.5 cups extra brute cocoa powder, and 4 tablespoons maple syrup. No spices or vanilla. It was divine. I will never buy chocolate bars again. In fact, I will look for some silicone chocolate molds!
For anyone looking for supplies, you can find everything on Amazon. Try Callebaut cocoa powders, they are the best IMO. I like the highest fat one, I don’t recall the name. The extra brute I used is from Cocoa Barry. It’s fantastic, but I look forward to getting through it so I can get some Callebaut again!

September 1, 2013 7:18 am

Once I’ve made this can I use it as cooking chocolate in other things?

October 31, 2012 10:17 am

5 stars
Desiree, I did go ahead and take the plunge with Dutch chocolate and the recipe turned out fabulous! I have already passed your recipe along to my European relatives (who can only get Dutched chocolate unless they pay outrageous prices for shipping), and they are loving it!

Thanks again for another wonderful variation on one of my favorite foods. 🙂

Reply to  Colleen
December 22, 2020 6:25 pm


Reply to  noel
December 22, 2020 6:26 pm

sorry i did not try to do that

Reply to  noel
May 10, 2021 10:11 am

4 stars
Absolutely delicious!!My kids loved it,they ate it all under like 20mins,yummy!!