Best vegan chocolate bars 2022: Dark, white and milk varieties



Just because you follow a plant-based diet, doesn’t mean you should miss out on a sweet treat or two.

Thankfully, there is now a wide variety of vegan chocolate available, in all manner of shapes, sizes and cacao percentages, which more than stand up to their dairy counterparts in terms of quality and flavour.

While most dark chocolate is in fact suitable for vegans, many brands are now choosing to use dairy alternatives, such as oat and plant milk, to create their chocolate, so you’ll find milk and white chocolate alternatives on offer too.

How we tested

From decadent truffles to artisan chocolate bars and hefty slabs of chocolate, we tested an array of vegan chocolate, in different styles and cacao percentages.

We paid close attention to overall flavour, texture, quality, ingredients and value for money to make our decision.

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The best vegan chocolates for 2022 are:

  • Best range of flavors – Crosstown yuzu and passion fruit chocolate: £5.95, Crosstown.co.uk
  • Best white chocolate alternative – Happi plain white oat m!lk chocolate: £7, Happifreefrom.com
  • Best smaller chocolate bar alternative – LoveRaw vegan white chocolate cre&m wafer bar: £1.89, Hollandandbarrett.com
  • Best texture – Tony’s chocolonely dark almond sea salt: £3, Waitrose.com
  • Best milk chocolate alternative – HiP salty pretzel oat m!lk chocolate: £3, Fenwick.co.uk
  • Best fruit-flavoured chocolate – Divine smooth dark chocolate with raspberries: £2.20, Ocado.com
  • Best fruit and nut chocolate – Willie’s Cacao pistachio and date 100% dark chocolate: £2.50, Ocado.com
  • Best nutty chocolate alternative – Lindt vegan hazelnut bar: £3, Lindt.co.uk
  • Best coconut-based chocolate – PLAYin ChOC organic Peruvian cacao dark chocolate: £3.30, Playinchoc.com
  • Best variety pack – Hotel Chocolat vegan sleekster: £23.50, Hotelchocolat.com
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Crosstown yuzu and passion fruit chocolate

Best: Range of flavors

Rating: 10/10

Crosstown has been making sourdough donuts since 2014, to rave reviews, and in 2017 the brand went on to create a vegan version, using chia seeds and coconut butter in the dough and oat milk and dairy-free chocolate in its various toppings. On top of donuts, Crosstown has branched out to include ice cream, cookies and most recently, chocolate, inspired by its donut flavors. There are a couple on offer that are suitable for vegans, with the standout for us being yuzu and passionfruit. It features a fresh-tasting zesty and fruity ganache, encased in 72 per cent dark chocolate: utterly delightful.

Happi plain white oat m!lk chocolate, 4x 40g

Best: White chocolate alternative

Rating: 7.5/10

In spite of being dairy-free, this vegan-friendly bar still manages to achieve the creamy notes you’d typically expect of white chocolate, thanks to the inclusion of gluten-free oat powder and dried rice powder in lieu of dairy. It looks like white chocolate, and is laid out in 24 neat little squares, so it can be easily broken off. It’s rich, creamy and tasty, and on the whole it’s quite difficult to tell that it’s vegan. We also like the fact that packaging is fully recyclable and compostable.

LoveRaw vegan white chocolate cre&m wafer bar

Best: Smaller chocolate bar alternative

Rating: 9/10

You’ll find vegan nut butter cups and “m:lk” choc bars in LoveRaw’s repertoire, but it’s the white chocolate wafer bars we particularly rate, which are also available in vegan milk chocolate or salted caramel. Think of it as a vegan Kinder Bueno of sorts: each packet contains two individually wrapped chocolate wafer fingers, covered in dairy-free chocolate and filled with delicious layers of wafer and a hazelnut and almond vegan cream centre.

Tony’s chocolonely dark almond sea salt

Best: For texture

Rating: 9/10

When it comes to texture, it’s hard to beat Tony’s Chocolonely’s, as its bars are impressively chunky. What’s more, the bars themselves are set in an uneven design, so when you break a piece off, you don’t know what size piece you’re going to get (which, for us, meant we kept going back for more).

Each bite of this moresish vegan chocolate bar is filled with a wonderful marriage of chunky almond as well as a clean finish of sea salt. It isn’t just texture that Tony’s Chocolonely gets right either: it excels at flavours, too. Additionally, Tony’s is also a B Corp and Fairtrade certified company, while also being committed to ending slavery within the chocolate making industry.

HiP salty pretzel oat m!lk chocolate

Best: milk chocolate alternative

Rating: 9/10

H!p – which stands for “happiness in plants” – creates a range of plant-based “m!lk” chocolate bars in a variety of flavors including: creamy and smooth, cookies no cream, salted caramel and salty pretzel. Considering how creamy the chocolate is, and its incredibly smooth mouthfeel, it’s impressive to think that it doesn’t contain any dairy at all.

The salty pretzel variety is the brand’s standout flavour. Made with Colombian cocoa, dried gluten-free oat powder and salted pretzels, it’s irresistibly moreish, and tricky to put down. We also love its bright and eye-catching packaging, which also happens to be recyclable and compostable.

Divine smooth dark chocolate with raspberries

Best: Fruit flavored chocolate

Rating: 9/10

Made with quality cocoa from The Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union in Ghana, this certified vegan Fairtrade chocolate bar from B Corp Divine is big on flavor as well as ethics (Divine happens to be co-owned by cocoa farmers too). Made with 70 per cent cocoa and 100 per cent pure cocoa butter, it also contains freeze-dried raspberries, the flavor of which marries perfectly with the dark chocolate. It really is exceptional in flavor and has a silky yet rich taste and mouthfeel. Considering the quality of ingredients used, it’s also great value for money.

Willie’s Cacao pistachio and date 100% dark chocolate

Best: Fruit and nut chocolate

Rating: 8/10

With no added sugar and all-natural ingredients (just cacao solids, pistachios, almonds, cashews and dates), this is vegan chocolate in its purest form, and will particularly appeal to dark chocolate fans. Considering it features 100 per cent Rio Maranon cacao, this bean-to-bar chocolate is not as bitter as you’d expect and still offers a natural sweetness thanks to the light floral notes in the cacao, plus the addition of nuts and dates. With no added sugar, the resulting flavor is rich and nutty with a hint of coffee, and you only need a tiny bit at a time. A real treat.

Lindt vegan hazelnut bar

Best: Nutty chocolate alternative

Rating: 8/10

Popular Swiss chocolatier, Lindt, has been making chocolate since 1845 – and in January 2022, it’ll be introducing two vegan chocolate bars to its range, too. Vegan smooth and vegan hazelnut are the two flavors that are launching, with the latter pipping the former to the post in terms of flavor and texture. Made with gluten-free oat milk, premium coke and crunchy hazelnuts, this is nutty yet creamy, textured yet smooth. In all, it’s utterly moreish and is guaranteed to appeal to non-vegans too.

PLAYin ChOC organic Peruvian cacao dark chocolate

Best: Coconut-based chocolate

Rating: 9/10

Since setting up shop in 2018, PLAYin CHOC has won a flurry of awards. And it’s easy to see why. Made from 100 per cent organic ingredients (just cacao mass, coconut sugar, creamed coconut, cacao butter and vanilla), this is a smooth, creamy and nutty chocolate that, despite being made from creamed coconut and coconut sugar, isn’t overpowered by coconut. Within the cardboard packaging, you’ll find six individually-wrapped chocolates, helping it to stay fresh – and delicious.

Hotel Chocolat vegan sleekster

Best: variety-pack

Rating: 9/10

We couldn’t mention chocolate without including Hotel Chocolat, and its vegan offering is something to rave about. You’ll find an array of hot chocolate, vegan chocolate batons and truffles amongst its offering, but it’s the vegan “sleekster”, filled with 33 chocolates, that stands out for us. Included are a selection of pralines, truffles, caramels and batons, all made with Hotel Chocolat’s vegan “nutmilk” chocolate, made from hazelnuts in lieu of milk. It’s a great selection, especially if you’re looking for an introduction into the world of vegan chocolate, and you’ll find the chocolate impressively creamy too.

Vegan chocolate FAQ

How can chocolate be vegan when it’s made from milk?

Vegan chocolate does not contain dairy milk. It’s often replaced with coconut oil, coconut milk, or other plant-based milk alternatives, such as almond or oat milk. Some bars, like the Love Cocoa avocado 71 per cent dark chocolate bar (£4.50, Libertylondon.com), even use creamy ingredients like avocado to replicate that smooth chocolate texture.

The verdict: Vegan chocolates

With its delectable flavor and mouthfeel, Crosstown’s newly-launched yuzu and passion fruit chocolate comes out on top for us. Given its quality and price point, Divine’s smooth dark chocolate with raspberries is also a must-try.

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For great deals on food and drink (and of course, chocolate), try the links below:

More vegan recommendations:


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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