When we hear the word chocolate we think of the delicious sweet treat we all love. But in reality, the world of chocolate is quite diverse! From dark to milk and all the way to ruby chocolate, how many types of chocolate are there and what’s the difference?

In this ultimate guide we’ll cover how many types of chocolate there are and go into what each of these types of chocolate are made of.

How many types of chocolate are there?

There are three main categories of chocolate. This includes dark, milk, and white chocolate.

However, within those four main categories there are various different types of chocolate types. For example, dark milk chocolate (which we discuss in more detail below) is a crossover between dark and milk chocolate.

100% chocolate is made of 100% cocoa mass.
100% chocolate is made of 100% cocoa mass.

100% chocolate

100% chocolate only has one ingredient which is cocoa mass. What is cocoa mass? It’s a brown, smooth liquid that’s made by grinding cocoa nibs

100% chocolate has an intense flavor, as it doesn’t have any milk or sugar to balance out the bitterness. Some chocolate makers add extra cocoa butter to make the chocolate less bitter whilst also giving it a smoother mouthfeel. 

Dark chocolate contains 65% to 99% cocoa mass and 1% to 40% sugar.
Dark chocolate contains 65% to 99% cocoa mass and 1% to 40% sugar.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate should have no more than 3 to 4 ingredients. This includes cocoa mass (which includes ground cocoa nibs and any added cocoa butter), sugar, lecithin, and sometimes vanilla.

Dark chocolate has a cocoa percentage between 65% and 99%. The flavor of dark chocolate is less intense than 100% because of the addition of sugar. However, it’s not as sweet as milk chocolate because it doesn’t contain any milk powder.Because of the high percentage of cocoa mass and relatively low percentage of sugar, dark chocolate has been accredited to having a lot of human health benefits.

Dark milk chocolate contains 50% to 70% cocoa mass, 20% to 30% milk powder, and 20% to 30% sugar.
Dark milk chocolate contains 50% to 70% cocoa mass, 20% to 30% milk powder, and 20% to 30% sugar.

Dark milk chocolate

Dark milk is a fusion between milk chocolate and dark chocolate. The cocoa percentage of dark milk can be between 50% and 70%.

Dark milk chocolate is similar to milk because it contains milk powder. However, it’s similar to dark chocolate because it has a high cocoa percentage.

Sugar is sometimes added, however, some chocolate makers rely on the sweetness of the milk powder.

Milk chocolate contains 35% to 55% cocoa mass, 20% to 25% milk powder, and 20% to 25% sugar
Milk chocolate contains 35% to 55% cocoa mass, 20% to 25% milk powder, and 20% to 25% sugar

Milk chocolate

Milk chocolate is made of between 35% to 55% cocoa mass, 20% to 20% milk powder, and 20% to 25% sugar. By law in the U.S. a milk chocolate bar needs to contain a minimum of 10% cocoa mass. In the EU the minimum cocoa content is 25% for milk chocolate.

Because of the higher percentage of milk and sugar content, milk chocolate is sweeter than dark chocolate. Good quality milk chocolate should not contain vegetable fats such as palm oil. 

Traditionally milk chocolate is made using cow’s milk. However, there are more and more alternative milk chocolate bars available. These milk (sometimes referred to as mylk) chocolate bars include animal-free milk including coconut, oat, or soy.

White chocolate contains 30% to 45% cocoa butter, 25% to 40% milk powder, and 25% to 55% sugar.
White chocolate contains 30% to 45% cocoa butter, 25% to 40% milk powder, and 25% to 55% sugar.

White chocolate

White chocolate is made of 30% to 45% cocoa butter, 25% to 40% milk powder and 25% to 55% sugar. Although sometimes falsely labeled as not being chocolate, white chocolate is chocolate because it contains cocoa butter, a product of cocoa beans. In fact, around 54% of the weight of a cocoa bean is cocoa butter.

In the US and EU, a bar of white chocolate must contain a minimum of 20% cocoa butter and no more than 55% sugar or sweeteners. Because of the high cocoa butter content, white chocolate is smooth and creamy.

Many white chocolate bars use deodorized cocoa butter – a process where the cocoa butter is stripped of its natural aromas. To make up for the flavor, vanilla or other inclusions are often added which is why white chocolate is often known to be very sweet and artificial tasting.

Good quality white chocolate uses non-deodorized cocoa butter. That means much of the original cocoa flavor is still present.

Ruby chocolate contains 40% to 55% cocoa mass, 15% to 30% milk powder, 15% to 30% sugar, and 1% to 5% citric acid.
Ruby chocolate contains 40% to 55% cocoa mass, 15% to 30% milk powder, 15% to 30% sugar, and 1% to 5% citric acid.

Ruby chocolate

Ruby chocolate was invented and launched by the chocolate company Callebaut in 2017. It’s composition is very similar to white chocolate as it contains around 40% to 55% cocoa mass, 15% to 30% milk powder and 15% to 30% sugar. 

Ruby chocolate is known for its pink color, which Callebaut claims is all-natural with no additional flavors or colors. The flavor has been described as tasting similar to sour white chocolate.

According to Callebaut, the color and flavor comes from a unique process that uses under-fermented cocoa beans.

Gianduja chocolate contains 20% to 40% cocoa mass, 25% to 35% hazelnuts, and 30% to 40% sugar.
Gianduja chocolate contains 20% to 40% cocoa mass, 25% to 35% hazelnuts, and 30% to 40% sugar.

Gianduja chocolate

Gianduja is a chocolate made of hazelnuts and cocoa. In the EU, it must contain a minimum of 32% cocoa mass in order to be labeled as chocolate. 

Gianduja chocolate was invented in Italy in the early 1800s. According to historians, it was created by a chocolatier in Turin when cocoa powder prices were high. He blended ground up local hazelnuts with cocoa powder to dilute the cocoa and came across the delightful treat we now call gianduja.

Because of the hazelnuts, gianduja has a light brown even organe like color. As expected, it tastes of hazelnuts and has a smooth mouthfeel.

Couverture chocolate

Couverture can be found for dark, milk, and white chocolate. The difference between normal chocolate and couverture is that couverture has a higher cocoa butter content.

The additional cocoa butter allows couverture chocolate to melt faster. Because of this, it’s popular with pastry chefs and chocolatiers.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about types of chocolate 

How many kinds of chocolate are there?

There are three main types of chocolate: dark, milk, and white chocolate. However, within those three categories are various subcategories. For example, blonde chocolate is a type of white chocolate where the cocoa butter has been caramelized. It’s impossible to say how many subcategories of chocolate there are.

What is the tastiest type of chocolate?

As with all food, taste is very subjective! The most popular type of chocolate is milk chocolate which is consumed nearly three times as much as dark chocolate.

What are good types of chocolate?

Good chocolate should contain as few ingredients as possible. Moreover, it shouldn’t contain vegetable fats such as palm oil.

7 Comments

  1. Lunding Cannon Reply

    Educative post, learned a lot. So glad I found your blog, and was able to learn new
    things. Keep posting articles that are informative, it is really valuable.

    King regards,
    Lunding Cannon

  2. sòng bạc Reply

    Eat dark chocolate. Though it’s bitter, it has nutrition than sugary chocolate.

  3. The Hershey Company is the largest producer in the US. The actual Hershey process is a trade secret, but experts speculate that the milk is partially lipolyzed, producing butyric acid, and then the milk is pasteurized, stabilizing it for use. This process gives the product a particular taste, to which the US public has developed an affinity, to the extent that some rival manufacturers now add butyric acid to their milk chocolates. Dark chocolate, also known as “plain chocolate”, is produced using a higher percentage of cocoa with all fat content coming from cocoa butter instead of milk, but there are also “dark milk” chocolates and many degrees of hybrids.

  4. I intend to give my ‘Nestle Crunch bar’ boyfriend a taste testing experience of craft milk chocolates vs. the mass produced candy bar. Personally, I’m an 85% cacao craft bar gal.
    Thanks for a very fine reference article!

    • Cacao Magazine Reply

      Hi Deborah, what a great idea! We would love to hear what he thinks of your craft milk chocolate selection compared to his usual treats!

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