Is Dark Chocolate Dairy Free? Best Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Brands

While many dark chocolates are dairy-free, it’s not universally true for all dark chocolates. The basic ingredients of dark chocolate are cacao beans, sugar, and sometimes an emulsifier like soy lecithin. This would make it naturally dairy-free. However, some manufacturers add milk-based ingredients to their dark chocolate, making it not dairy-free.

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Ingredients

  • Cacao Beans/Cocoa Mass
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier)
  • Vanilla

Best Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Brands

Endangered Species Chocolate

This brand offers a variety of dairy-free dark chocolates. They are ethically traded, ensuring cacao farmer communities are empowered, and wildlife habitats are protected.


Known for their purity, Pascha’s dark chocolate bars are dairy-free but also nut-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. Their chocolate is made in a dedicated allergen-free facility.

Hu Chocolate

Hu Chocolate offers a selection of vegan, paleo, dairy-free, and gluten-free dark chocolate bars. The brand emphasizes clean, simple ingredients without refined sugars or artificial flavors.

Alter Eco

Alter Eco’s dark chocolates are organic, fair trade, non-GMO, and carbon-neutral. They offer several dairy-free options crafted with care for both flavor and the planet.

Enjoy Life

Enjoy Life specializes in allergy-friendly foods, including dairy-free dark chocolate bars and chips. Their products are free from 14 common allergens.

Taza Chocolate

Taza offers a unique stone-ground dark chocolate that’s minimally processed and dairy-free. Their products are also organic and directly traded with cacao farmers.

Lily’s Sweets

Lily’s dark chocolate bars are dairy-free and low in sugar, making them a favorite among those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet.

Best Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Brands

Percentages in Dark Chocolate and Dairy-Free Status

Percentages in dark chocolate refer to the cocoa content. Higher percentages indicate more cocoa and less sugar. For example, a 70% dark chocolate bar contains 70% cocoa solids and 30% other ingredients like sugar, vanilla, and potentially emulsifiers.

However, the percentage of cocoa does not directly affect the dairy-free status of the chocolate. High-percentage dark chocolate can contain dairy, just as a lower-percentage one might not. Therefore, the specific ingredients, not the cocoa percentage, determine the dairy-free status.

The cocoa percentage can indirectly impact the likelihood of dairy being present. Lower percentages of dark chocolates often have more room for additional ingredients, which could potentially include dairy.

Higher percentage chocolates, with their greater cocoa content, generally have less room for other ingredients and often focus on the purity of the cocoa, making them less likely to contain dairy. But again, this is a general trend and not a rule. The only way to confirm whether dark chocolate is dairy-free is to check the ingredients list.

Percentages in Dark Chocolate and Dairy-Free Status

Tips to Buy Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate

Read the Ingredients List: Always check the ingredients. Avoid any chocolate with milk solids, milk fat, milk powder, lactose, or casein.

Look for Labels: Some chocolates will have labels like “dairy-free,” “vegan,” or “lactose-free.” These can be helpful, but still, double-check the ingredients list.

Check for Allergen Information: The allergen information can indicate if the product was made in a facility that processes dairy, which could be a concern for those with severe allergies.

Choose Reputable Brands: Opt for brands known for their dairy-free products, like the previously mentioned ones.

Higher Cocoa Content: While not guaranteed, choosing dark chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage (70% or more) may decrease the likelihood of dairy being present.

Contact the Manufacturer: When in doubt, contact the company for information about their product’s dairy content.

Tips to Buy Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate

Benefits of Eating Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate

Rich in Antioxidants: Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, which can help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Heart Health: Dairy-free dark chocolate contains flavonoids that can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of clotting, and increase blood flow to the heart and brain.

Lower Sugar Content: Generally, dairy-free dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate. This can be beneficial for those trying to control their sugar intake.

Vegan-Friendly: For those following a vegan diet, dairy-free dark chocolate is a delicious treat that aligns with their dietary restrictions.

Lactose-Intolerance Friendly: Dairy-free dark chocolate is a great option for those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies, allowing them to enjoy chocolate without discomfort.

Benefits of Eating Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dark chocolate vegan?

Not all dark chocolate is vegan. Some brands may use animal products like milk derivatives or honey. Always check the ingredients list.

Is dark chocolate vegetarian?

Yes, most dark chocolate is vegetarian, as it typically contains no meat. However, check the ingredients for potential animal-derived additives.

Is dark chocolate gluten-free?

Most pure dark chocolate is naturally gluten-free, but some may contain additives or be processed in facilities that also process gluten. Always check the packaging.

Is dark chocolate healthy?

Dark chocolate, especially in higher percentages, is rich in antioxidants and has potential health benefits when consumed in moderation.

Is Dark Chocolate Healthy

What does “may contain milk” mean on dark chocolate?

This usually indicates potential cross-contamination in the manufacturing process. It doesn’t necessarily mean dairy is an ingredient, but trace amounts may be present.

Is Starbucks hot chocolate dairy-free?

Starbucks can make dairy-free hot chocolate using plant-based milks, but cross-contamination is possible.

Is Cadbury’s hot chocolate dairy-free?

Some Cadbury hot chocolate mixes contain milk or may have cross-contamination risks. Check the specific product.

Is Bourneville chocolate dairy-free?

Bourneville chocolate is not labeled as dairy-free and may contain traces of milk.

Is milk chocolate dairy-free?

No, milk chocolate contains milk as a key ingredient and is not dairy-free. Some varieties may be made with plant-based milk. It is better to check the ingredients.

milk chocolate

Is white chocolate dairy-free?

Typically, white chocolate is not dairy-free as it contains milk derivatives. However, some brands offer dairy-free versions.

Is Lindt chocolate dairy-free?

Some Lindt dark chocolates are dairy-free, but others may contain milk or have cross-contamination risks. Always check the packaging.

Is Moser Roth dairy-free?

Moser Roth offers some dark chocolates that may be dairy-free, but checking the specific product’s ingredients is crucial.

Is Hershey’s dark chocolate dairy-free?

Some Hershey’s dark chocolates may not contain dairy ingredients, but they may be manufactured in a facility with dairy, posing a risk for those with severe allergies.

Hershey’s dark chocolate

Are m&m dark chocolate dairy-free?

M&M’s, even the dark chocolate variety, contain milk and is not dairy-free.

Is Ghirardelli dark chocolate dairy-free?

Some Ghirardelli dark chocolates do not list dairy as an ingredient, but they may be processed in a facility that uses dairy.

Is Whittaker’s dark chocolate dairy-free?

Whittaker’s offers some dairy-free dark chocolate varieties, but always check the specific product’s ingredients.

Is Green & Black’s dark chocolate dairy-free?

Some of Green & Black’s dark chocolates are dairy-free, but not all. Always verify with the ingredients list.

Is Terry’s dark chocolate dairy-free?

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Dark is not officially labeled dairy-free and may contain traces of milk, so it’s best to check the packaging.


I live in Los Angeles with my better half, Dave, and our child, Corey. Each second with them is the acknowledgment of my fantasies working out as expected — and for that? I am so extremely thankful. Hi! I am Diana Rodriguez, the founder, author, and photographer of ATD.

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