It’s challenging to give up chocolate if you have a sweet tooth, but when you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, or intolerance, there’s just no other way. But some chocolates are gluten-free, and you can enjoy these kinds of chocolate yummies with no ill effects.
But what chocolate is gluten-free?
Pure, unsweetened chocolate is gluten-free. Many other brands like Hershey’s, Cadbury, MARS Chocolate, Alter Eco, Dagoba Chocolate, Wild Ophelia, Endangered Species, and Just Born make chocolate candies, bars, and other products that don’t contain gluten or contain only trace amounts of gluten.
Here’s everything you need to know about gluten-free chocolate so you can buy the right brands before your next chocolate craving hits.
What Is Gluten in Chocolate?
The gluten in chocolate is a kind of protein that’s present in the sweet treat when it’s made with a grain like wheat, barley, or rye. Usually, the gluten will be in flavoring agents or emulsifiers that are used to improve the texture and taste of the final chocolate product.
For example, crispy chocolate balls often contain gluten because these candies are made with barley malt or wheat. If a chocolate bar or slab contains cookies or pretzels, it isn’t gluten-free.
Generally, baked chocolate products, such as crackers, brownies, cupcakes, and cakes, that are made using wheat flour are glutenous.
You need to carefully read your product labels to know whether a product is gluten-free or not. Watch out for these ingredients, where the presence indicates glutenous chocolate:
- Wheat flour
- Rye flour
- Barley malt
- Brewer’s yeast
- Malt extract
- Malt syrup
- Malt flavoring
- Graham flour
Depending on where gluten-free chocolate is made, it may not be gluten-free. Cross-contamination is real, and a gluten-free product can easily be contaminated with gluten if it’s made in a facility that also produced other foods that contain gluten.
So make sure that the chocolate you buy is certified gluten-free, especially if you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten.
Chocolate that is pure doesn’t contain any gluten. Unsweetened chocolate made from roasted cacao beans is naturally free from gluten.
Very few people love eating pure chocolate because it doesn’t taste like the sweet chocolate we know and love.
What Is Gluten-Free Chocolate Made out Of?
Chocolate that’s gluten-free may contain few ingredients like sugar, cocoa butter, and cacao beans, or it may contain more ingredients. One essential fact is that gluten-free chocolate doesn’t contain any gluten or wheat products.
What Chocolate Doesn’t Have Gluten?
Pure chocolate that’s unsweetened has no gluten, and there are also a few brands that make gluten-free chocolates.
A List of Gluten-Free Chocolate Brands
Even though we’re listing gluten-free Chocolate brands and even specific chocolate products here that are gluten-free, it’s important that you do your due diligence and check the label or ingredient list of each chocolate product you want to consume.
Some chocolate products do contain trace amounts of gluten, with manufacturers certifying the chocolate bar or candy as gluten-free because the presence of gluten is a mere 20 parts or 10 parts per million.
Then there are some chocolates that don’t contain any glutenous ingredients at all, but there is the risk of cross-contamination, depending on the production methods.
Here are some gluten-free chocolate brands; however, kindly note that not all the products these manufacturers offer may be gluten-free:
- Jelly Belly
- Spangler Candy
- Just Born
- Tootsie Roll Industries
- Necco & Spangler Candy
- Surf Sweets
- Dove Chocolate
- Dagoba Chocolate
- Endangered Species
- Enjoy Life
- Alter Eco
- Scgarffen Berger
- Vosges Haut Chocolat
- Wild Ophelia
- Galaxy Minstrels
- Kinder Chocolate
- MARS Chocolate
- No Whey Foods
A List of Specific Gluten-Free Chocolates
Here are some specific gluten-free chocolate bars, candies, and other products:
- Hershey’s Kisses
- Hershey’s Nuggets
- Hershey’s Extra Dark chocolate bars
- Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
- Hershey’s Special Dark Syrup
- Hershey’s Milk Duds
- ROLO Caramels
- Hershey’s baking chips
- Hershey’s semi-sweet and unsweetened baking bars
- Hershey’s Cocoa
Vosges Haut Chocolat
- Vosges Haut Chocolat Dark Chocolate and Bacon
- Vosges Haut Chocolat Red Fire dark chocolate bar
- Cadbury Caramel Egg, Creme Egg, and Mini Eggs
- Cadbury Chomp
- Cadbury Eclairs and Eclairs Velvets
- Cadbury Flake
- Cadbury Twirl and Twirl Bites
- Cadbury Turkish Delight
- Cadbury Wispa and Wispa Gold
- Cadbury Buttons, Giant Buttons, White Buttons, and Mixed Buttons
- Cadbury Heroes (excluding the Dinky Decker)
- Cadbury Fudge and Fudge Minis
- Cadbury Crunchie
- Galaxy Minstrels Ripple chocolate bar
- Galaxy Minstrels Smooth Milk chocolate bar
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Peanut Butter Cup Minis
- Reese’s Pieces
- Reese’s Eggs
- Kinder Chocolate bars
- Kinder Chocolate mini eggs
- Kinder Chocolate surprise eggs
- Mars Magic Stars
- 3 Musketeers Bars
- Mars Bounty
- Nestlé Aero Mint, Aero Mint Bubbles, Aero Minis, Aero White, and Aero Milk chocolate
- Nestlé Milkybar
- Nestlé Quality Street
- Nesquik ready-to-drink
- Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai and Blueberry
- Brookside Dark Chocolate Goji and Raspberry
- No Whey No Tricks Caramel Cookies Bars
- No Whey Peppermint No No’s
- No Whey Candy Bar
- No Whey Truffles
- No Whey Milkless Chocolate Bar
- See’s Almond Royal
- See’s Bridge Mix
- See’s Dark Butterchew
- Kraft Chocolate Spread
- Nutella Hazelnut Chocolate Spread
- Daim Bar
- Toblerone White, Tiny, and Dark chocolate bars
- Baci Perugina chocolate
- York Peppermint Patties
Does Gluten-Free Chocolate Taste Different?
Gluten-free chocolate tastes pretty much the same as other commercially available chocolate. It’s just when you try unsweetened pure cocoa that you’ll realize it doesn’t taste like the chocolate you know and love.
Unsweetened and pure chocolate is naturally gluten-free, and it has an earthy and bitter taste. Some people love this kind of chocolate, while others argue it tastes like dirt.
My Last Foodie Thoughts
If you follow a gluten-free diet, you can still enjoy chocolate. If unsweetened pure chocolate isn’t your cup of tea, many brands have gluten-free chocolate chips, bars, candies, and other products available.
Remember to read the label to ensure the product is certified gluten-free, but be aware that there may be a risk of cross-contamination.