Multiple bowls with a variety of chocolates

How to Choose Right Chocolate for Baking?

Chocolate, originating from the seeds of cacao tree, is one of the most cherished baking ingredients.

Chocolates cater to everybody’s taste. From white chocolate to dark chocolate and everything in between, bakers have many options to choose from. They come in several forms – bars, blocks, chips, wafers, chunks, powders, and nibs. We are truly spoilt for choice. When the recipe calls for chocolate, it is imperative to choose the right form. Here are the different types of chocolates and how to choose them in baking.

A bowl with chocolate syrup

Baking Chocolate

This no-sugar solid form of chocolate contains 50-60% cocoa content and is based used for cooking and baking. However, some recipes may call for melting the bar before turning it into frosting, ganache or mixing it to batter. Baking chocolates can come in the form of milk chocolate, semi-sweet, or white chocolate and can be a perfect alternative for chocolate chips. You can easily find these in the baking section of large grocery stores.

a bowl of coco powder

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Sometimes sold as bitter chocolate, this form contains 100% cocoa with no sugar or cocoa butter. Essential for almost every chocolate-based dessert, it adds a rich, chocolaty flavour to desserts and can be found in two forms: Regular and Dutch process.

Regular Cocoa Powder’s light colour and acidic flavour delivers a purer chocolate flavour with bitterness akin to citrus fruit.

Dutch Cocoa Powder’s darker colour and richer flavour offers a mellower overall flavour compared to Regular Cocoa Powder.

A spoon with cocoa powder and some solid chocolates

Dark Chocolate

When a chocolate liquor is fancied with extra cocoa butter, sugar, emulsifiers and flavouring, the result is Dark Chocolate. It contains 65-99% cocoa. The higher the percentage, the less its sweetness. While they have different cocoa-sugar ratios, Dark Chocolate essentially contains no milk solids and hence finds its best usage in Vegan baking.

A variety of chocolate bar squares including white, milk and dark

Semisweet or Bittersweet Chocolate

Generally containing 50-60% cocoa, this form has higher cocoa content and proportionally less sugar. Because Semisweet chocolate has lesser proportion of cocoa compared to Bittersweet chocolate, it becomes a favoured choice for baking, especially in chocolate chip cookies.

milk chocolate bars

Milk Chocolate

Lighter in colour and sweeter in flavour, Milk Chocolates contains as low as 30-45% cocoa and 55% sugar. They are made from cocoa, milk solids, vanilla, sugar, emulsifiers, and extra cocoa butter. Milk Chocolate’s creamier and smoother texture makes it a perfect ingredient for frostings and sauces.

white chocolate bars

White Chocolate

Essentially made of sugar, milk and 30-45% cocoa butter, and no cocoa solids, white chocolates are rich, sweet, and creamy in flavour. The absence of cocoa solids makes it an ideal ingredient for many baked goods. It can also be used in ganache or as a component of icing.

dark chocolate buttons


Couverture contains minimum of 60% cocoa content that includes a minimum of 35% cocoa solids, giving it a more glossy and melty nature. Due to its ability to attain high gloss, couverture finds its usage in candy coating, cake decorating or as garnish. It is easily available in dark, milk and white chocolate varieties.

So, there you have it. Go ahead and choose from a variety of chocolates for your baking needs.

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