What Is White Chocolate?

White chocolate is much more than a simple ingredient in a macadamia nut cookie. It provides an indulgent, rich, and complex flavor profile to any sweet dish.

It also adds an element of decadence in terms of appearance and flavor.

This type of chocolate is the preferred option by many chocolate lovers and chocolatiers out there as it balances out the bitterness and harshness of dark and milk chocolate.

What Is White Chocolate?

It’s also easily molded, melted, and colored to fit with any type of dessert. What’s not to love?

From its complex flavor profile to its universal application, white chocolate makes a brilliant treat at any time of year.

If you want to know more about the delicacy of white chocolate, this article will tell you all you need to know. 

White Chocolate: The Basics

Dark and milk chocolate has been around for nearly two centuries yet it wasn’t until the 1940s that white chocolate hit the scene and hit consumer demand.

Swiss candy company Nestlé created white chocolate in 1936 as a way to utilize the leftover milk powder that was made for soldiers during the First World War. 

When it was released into the world, this chocolate type took the world by storm. And almost a century later, chocolate lovers everywhere are still wondering what it is that makes white chocolate so special.

The general production of white chocolate is a little different as it uses only cocoa butter instead of brown cocoa solids. 

What Is White Chocolate Made From?

Unlike milk or dark chocolate, white chocolate does not contain cacao nibs or cocoa solids. Yet it does contain two essential ingredients: cocoa butter and sugar.

In fact, cocoa butter is the most expensive and hefty ingredient in a white chocolate bar. It is also the ingredient that gives white chocolate its classic cream color.

White chocolate is made using a blend of cocoa butter with milk products, sugar, lecithin, and vanilla. However, it can be made using any or all of these ingredients:

  • Antioxidants 
  • Artificial flavorings
  • Coffee 
  • Emulsifiers 
  • Malt
  • Nuts 
  • Salt
  • Spices 

According to the American FDA, a typical chocolate bar should contain 20% cocoa butter, 55% sugar, 17.5% milk powder, and then 7.5% of additional “filler” ingredients such as flavorings or powdered milk. 

This type of white chocolate must contain at least 3.5% milk fat, 20% cocoa fat, and at least 14% of total milk solids. It also cannot contain much more than 55% nutritive carbohydrate sweetener. 

What Does It Taste Like?

High-quality white chocolate contains an almost buttery and overly-sweet taste that emphasizes the flavors of fresh milk, vanilla, or sweet cream.

It typically has a smooth texture that can be easily melted down for confections.

However, manufacturers can use any type of flavoring that they wish aside from anything that remotely resembles the taste of milk, butter, or chocolate.

White Chocolate Vs. Milk Chocolate

The difference between types of chocolate boils down to the way that the cacao bean is properly used.

If you want to officially label a product as being “chocolate” then it must be made from this plant.

White chocolate does not feature the nib component of the plant which is used to give dark and milk chocolate its unique flavor, meaning it can retain its pale color and its sweeter, richer taste profile.

Instead, white chocolate leans toward providing a more delicate flavor that pairs amazingly well with fruity, floral, and citrus elements. 

It also has a much larger fat content than other chocolate types due to the increased amount of cocoa butter used in the chocolate. This may be why it’s so appealing to people everywhere!

Cooking With White Chocolate

White chocolate can hold its shape easier at room temperature as it is higher in saturated fatty acids than dark or milk chocolate.

Many people also use the delicate yet rich taste of white chocolate to decorate ice cream sundaes, drinks, or even as part of certain confections.

You can put white chocolate into any type of dessert. Feel free to try adding chopped white chocolate or chocolate chips to brownies, cookies, or pancakes, or even add melted white chocolate into puddings and sauces.

Due to a lack of cacao solids, white chocolate cannot be processed in powder form like other chocolate types.

So if you’re out and about and see a powdered white chocolate product labeled as such, it’s safe to assume it’s not “real” white chocolate! 

Is White Chocolate Healthier?

White chocolate does have some proven health benefits such as improving your mood and improving cognitive function, yet there is no concrete evidence to state that white chocolate is a solid health food.

After all, the primary ingredient in this delightful treat is sugar which is not good for our bodies in large quantities.

How To Store White Chocolate

Never put white chocolate in an environment where it can melt or is exposed to cold temperatures.

It’s in your best interest to keep it in an airtight container stored out of direct sunlight in a cool environment or a room that is placed out of direct sunlight.

If you want to preserve the freshness of your white chocolate, wrap it in parchment paper or plastic wrap before you seal it.

The Future Of White Chocolate

White chocolate is now much more than just a sweet confection. Now, white chocolate has got a lot of actual substance and can be incorporated into just about any type of dessert dish.

Plus, the fact that its core ingredients sugar, milk powder, and cocoa butter can be manipulated by manufacturers everywhere to create a unique flavor result.


Though white chocolate is technically chocolate, not everyone believes it deserves this title.  Whatever you believe, the appeal of its creamy and delicate taste is something that cannot be denied.

It’s also one of the more useful chocolate types out there and can be used to sweeten up any dish or add a little contrast to dark or milk chocolate.

Rebecca Holmes