White chocolate is a confectionery typically made of sugar, milk, and cocoa butter, but no cocoa solids. It is pale ivory in color, and lacks many of the compounds found in milk, dark, and other chocolates.[1] It is solid at room temperature (25 °C (77 °F)) because the melting point of cocoa butter, the only white cocoa bean component, is 35 °C (95 °F).[2]

White chocolate
White chocolate tablet
Place of originSwitzerland
Created byNestlé
Main ingredientsCocoa butter, sugar, milk solids
Ingredients generally usedVanilla

Like the other two main types of chocolate (dark and milk), white chocolate is used for chocolate bars or as a coating in confectionery.





Recipes for "white chocolate" were published in 1869, 1871, and 1872, but these differed from the current understanding of white chocolate.[3] For example, Henry Blakely's 1871 recipe calls for "white sugar, rice flour, arrowroot powder, vanilla, cocoa butter, and gum arabic" boiled in water, which likely would produce a chewy confection.[3]

Modern version


White chocolate is essentially milk chocolate devoid of cocoa solids. Its base recipe, milk chocolate, was developed in 1875 by Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter.[4]

In the December 1916 International Confectioner, T. B. McRoberts addressed a rumor that Swiss chocolatiers had invented a "snow white" chocolate to reflect the snow-capped mountains of the Swiss Alps. McRoberts denounces the need and health value of a white chocolate:

I never saw snow-white chocolate, but I would rather see than eat it. The only possible way to produce such a thing would be to bleach the cocoa elements entirely with some "bleaching agent," as for instance clorine gas [sic]. This is produced by the action of sulphuric acid on chloride of sodium (common salt). It is the "poison gas" of the trenches which the warring armies jet at each other in order to smother their foes ... It would possibly take more than twenty days to bleach cocoa to "snow white," and I hardly think its flavor would be improved by the process, if indeed any flavor at all remained, which is very doubtful. The Swiss have introduced many novelties in chocolate as I have noted, but I hardly think that they would waste time and effort on so foolish a thing as "snow white chocolate"; a thing for which there can be no good reason existing. Why paint the lily?[5]

1936 ad for Milkybar

In 1936, Swiss company Nestlé introduced the first modern white chocolate tablet: Milkybar (or Galak), launched in Europe.[6] Nestlé was a major player in the Swiss chocolate industry and owner of the Peter-Cailler-Kohler factory.[7] Nestlé is generally credited for the first white chocolate bar, although earlier forms of white chocolate had probably been made before 1936.[8] Making white chocolate was a way to use milk powder and cocoa butter, which were then produced in excess.[9]

White chocolate was first introduced to the United States in 1946 by Frederick E. Hebert of Hebert Candies in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, near Worcester, after he had tasted "white coat" candies while traveling in Europe.[10][11] From about 1948 until the 1990s, Nestlé also produced a white chocolate bar with almond pieces, Alpine White, for markets in the United States and Canada.[6] Other chocolate manufacturers developed their own formulas, such as that developed by Kuno Baedeker for the Merckens Chocolate Company in 1945.[12] As white chocolate became mainstream, white versions of popular chocolate bars appeared, for instance Toblerone in 1973[13] and Hershey's Kisses in 1993.[8]

As of 2022, white chocolate accounted for about 10 percent of the overall chocolate market.[14]


Candies, white chocolate
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy2,250 kJ (540 kcal)
Dietary fiber0.2 g
Other constituentsQuantity
Water1.3 g
Caffeine0 mg
Theobromine0 mg

Percentages estimated using US recommendations for adults,[15] except for potassium, which is estimated based on expert recommendation from the National Academies.[16]

White chocolate does not contain cocoa solids, the primary non-fat constituent of conventional chocolate liquor — chocolate in its raw, unsweetened form. These are, however, replaced by milk solids. During manufacturing, the dark-colored solids of the cocoa bean are separated from its fatty content, as with milk chocolate and dark chocolate, but, unlike with other forms of chocolate, no cocoa mass is added back; cocoa butter is the only cocoa ingredient in white chocolate. White chocolate contains only trace amounts of the stimulants theobromine and caffeine which are present in the cocoa mass but not the butter.[17] Flavorings such as vanilla may be added to white chocolate confectionery.[18]

White chocolate is the type of chocolate containing the highest percentage of milk solids, typically around or over 30 percent, while milk chocolate has only around 25 percent.[19]



Blonde chocolate


Blonde chocolate is made by slowly heating white chocolate, which gives it a golden color and triggers Maillard reactions, which create a range of flavor compounds, contributing to its caramel-like flavor.[20]



Regulations govern what may be marketed as white chocolate: Since 2000 in the European Union, white chocolate must be (by weight) at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% total milk solids, and 3.5% milk fat.[21] As of May 2021, the European Food Safety Authority proposed banning the food coloring agent, E171 (titanium dioxide), used as a common whitener in some white chocolate products.[22]

Since 2004 in the United States, the Code of Federal Regulations defined that white chocolate should contain "not less than 20 percent by weight of cacao fat", "not less than 3.5 percent by weight of milkfat and not less than 14 percent by weight of total milk solids", and "not more than 55 percent by weight of a nutritive carbohydrate sweetener."[23] Acceptable dairy elements when manufacturing white chocolate in the United States include evaporated milk, skim milk, buttermilk, and malted milk. White chocolate products may not contain artificial coloring agents.[23]

Vegan versions

Vegan white chocolate, made with rice milk

Vegan versions of white chocolate chips, bars, and truffles are available from several brands, such as Galaxy and Plamil.[24][25] Some commercial vegan white chocolate substitutes may contain palm oil, which can be an ethical concern for some consumers.[26]

See also



  1. ^ "White chocolate". Bon Appétit. 12 November 2007.
  2. ^ "Physical and chemical information on cocoa beans, butter, mass and powder". www.icco.org. Archived from the original on 7 October 2020. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Before Nestle: A History of White Chocolate". THE FOOD HISTORIAN. Retrieved 7 February 2024.
  4. ^ Collins, Ross F. (2022). Chocolate: A Cultural Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 310. ISBN 9781440876080. Milk chocolate grew to become the standard of what the public thought chocolate should be. The old quest for high-quality cocoa beans became less important. Manufacturers instead considered the quality of the milk.
  5. ^ The International Confectioner. International Confectioner Incorporated. 1916.
  6. ^ a b "The history Of white chocolate". The Nibble. The World's Best White Chocolate. 1 April 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Histoire". Nestlé. Retrieved 24 March 2023.
  8. ^ a b Renee, Alex (27 January 2022). "The History Of White Chocolate". The Recipe. Retrieved 26 March 2023. Nestle is primarily credited for marketing the world's first white chocolate bar. However, history shows that previous white chocolate recipes existed, whether by chocolatiers, home cooks, or intended for "medicinal" purposes. [...] America was also blessed with white chocolate, but not until 1948, when Nestle introduced the Alpine White chocolate bar. [...] Then, in 1993, Hershey's hopped on the competition and marketed Hugs, a Hershey's kisses white chocolate variety!
  9. ^ Sethi, Simran (27 November 2017). "For those who think white chocolate isn't 'real' chocolate, have we got bars for you". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 March 2023. The history of white chocolate is largely unclear, but "the general consensus", says Eagranie Yuh, author of "The Chocolate Tasting Kit" (Chronicle, 2014), "is that Nestlé was the first to develop white chocolate commercially in 1936 in Switzerland. The story is that it was a way to use up excess milk powder that had been produced for World War I and was no longer in demand." [...] White chocolate is also a way to use up extra cocoa butter that is extracted from the cocoa bean when making cocoa powder.
  10. ^ Ann Trieger Kurland (26 June 2017). "Hebert Candies marks 100 years of yum". Boston Globe.
  11. ^ "Where did the first chocolate factory in the U.S. open?". Travel Trivia. 25 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Chocolate-Loving Couple Settled Here" (PDF). Lake Placid News (PDF). Lake Placid, New York. 19 March 1987. p. 8. Retrieved 2 August 2013.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Chrystal, Paul (2013). Chocolate: The British Chocolate Industry. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7478-1074-2. Dark Toblerone was launched in 1969 with White Toblerone following in 1973.
  14. ^ "White Chocolate: Consumers Take Notice". 6 October 2022. Retrieved 26 March 2023.
  15. ^ United States Food and Drug Administration (2024). "Daily Value on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels". FDA. Archived from the original on 27 March 2024. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  16. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Food and Nutrition Board; Committee to Review the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium (2019). Oria, Maria; Harrison, Meghan; Stallings, Virginia A. (eds.). Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press (US). ISBN 978-0-309-48834-1. PMID 30844154. Archived from the original on 9 May 2024. Retrieved 21 June 2024.
  17. ^ Zoumas, Barry; Kreisler, Wesley; Martin, Robert (1980). "Theobromine and Caffeine Content of Chocolate Products". Journal of Food Science. 45 (2): 314–316. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.1980.tb02603.x.
  18. ^ Blumberg, Naomi. "Chocolate". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  19. ^ Beckett, Steve T. (2017). Beckett's Industrial Chocolate Manufacture and Use. John Wiley & Sons. p. 498. ISBN 978-1-118-78014-5. Typical recipes for white bar chocolate
  20. ^ Filloon, Whitney (9 February 2018). "Caramelized White Chocolate Is for People Who Hate White Chocolate". Eater. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  21. ^ "Directive 2000/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 June 2000 relating to cocoa and chocolate products intended for human consumption". 23 June 2000. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
  22. ^ "EFSA considers E171 food additive no longer safe". European Food Safety Authority. 6 May 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  23. ^ a b "Title 21, Chapter I, Subchapter B, Part 163.124 (white chocolate) of the US Code of Federal Regulations". United States Government Publishing Office. 5 May 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  24. ^ Pointing, Charlotte. "Is Vegan White Chocolate a Thing? Yes! (and Here's Where to Buy It)". VegNews.com. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  25. ^ Smith, Rachel (13 April 2022). "We tried Galaxy's new vegan white chocolate and it didn't disappoint!". Vegan Food & Living. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  26. ^ "How to Make Vegan White Chocolate". Santa Barbara Chocolate. Retrieved 2 June 2023.