types of chocolate for baking
Kitchen Helps

Types of Chocolate For Baking And Desserts

Ever wonder about the different types of chocolate used in baking and desserts? Find out what makes them special and how to use chocolate in recipes.

Below are brief descriptions and information on dark chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, sweet chocolate and more.

Types Of Chocolate For Baking And Desserts

Milk Chocolate

This is a wonderful combination of milk chocolate (sugar, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, unsweetened chocolate (known as chocolate liquor), soy lecithin, vanilla) cream, butter, corn syrup, sugar, and salt. It can work well for dessert sauces, fondue, dipping coatings and chocolate garnishes. This is also a favorite chocolate for eating. In the US milk chocolate is made with 10% chocolate liquor and 12% whole milk as a minimum.

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Sweet Chocolate

Used mainly as a garnish and for piping decorative designs around cakes and pies. This chocolate is sweeter than semi-sweet, but the fat content is similar. It has 15% chocolate liquor as a minimum.

Dark Chocolate/ Semisweet Chocolate/ Bittersweet Chocolate

Chocolate liquor to which sweeteners and cocoa butter have been added. Dark chocolate can either be sweet, semisweet, bittersweet or unsweetened. According to government standards, it must contain at least 35 percent chocolate liquor. Its fat content averages 27 percent. Ingredients include: cream, sugar, butter, chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, and salt. Very popular for baking and dessert recipes.

Chocolate Liquor

These types of chocolate are unsweetened chocolates for baking. The liquor is made by grinding the nib (center) of the cocoa bean smooth and into a liquid consistency. The chocolate liquor is then cooled, stored and ready to use in chocolate dessert sauces and other chocolate products.

Unsweetened/Baking Chocolate

Usually in the form of a bar, it is chocolate liquor that has been hardened. It can be melted for use in recipes or grated into shavings or curls and used to garnish a dessert.


A fine powder that is made from the chocolate liquor with most of the cocoa butter removed. Use when you want a true dark chocolate color and flavor. Keep tightly covered for freshness. Works great for chocolate cakes and brownies.

Couverture chocolate

This is used mainly for coating, covering and enrobing candies and fruits. It has about 33% to 38% cocoa butter. This produces a beautiful shine and the coating sets solid so it will snap when a candy is bitten into. It is commonly used to coat truffles, chocolate candies, and chocolate covered cherries. These types of chocolate can be used for hand dipping candies into the melted chocolate or enrobing chocolates, where the melted chocolate is gently poured over the piece of candy.

Decorator’s Chocolate/Confectioner’s Chocolate

This coating is not really chocolate, but produces a quick hardened shell of chocolate flavored candy coating. It is easier to work with than Couverture chocolate, but definitely not the same taste or quality. It is a quick way to dip strawberries and other fruits.

White Chocolate

White chocolate contains cocoa butter but no nonfat cocoa solids. It has an off-white color because it does not contain any nonfat ingredients from the cacao bean. It is mostly used as a candy coating or a Mousse, but now is also being used as a great base for a dessert sauce. Ingredients include: White Chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, milk, lecithin, vanilla) cream, butter, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Flavored juices and oils may also be added for some unique chocolate dessert sauce combinations. Take care to watch this chocolate carefully when melting, as it can burn and scorch easily.

Combination Mixed Chocolate Flavors

Take any of your favorite chocolate dessert sauces and add a complementary flavor and you have an instant hit! These types of chocolates have a base of either a dark chocolate or milk chocolate with an intensely flavored oil added to make a distinct mix of your two flavors through out the chocolate sauce. Most have an ingredient list that would include cream, butter, sugar, chocolate, cocoa, flavored oil and salt.

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AboutLaura Jean Warnke

Laura Jean Warnke is a mom, wife, and Midwest cook that enjoys sharing many of her family's favorite comfort food recipes. She grew up on a farm in Wisconsin and loves to bring that farm-style home cooking to your table.

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