The 13 Best Baking Chocolate Brands, Ranked

Chocolate is a key ingredient in dessert recipes like chocolate chip cookies, brownieschocolate cake, banana bread, and more. Many types of chocolate could be used for baking. While it might be tempting to assume that all of this chocolate is created equal, this isn't the case. There are differences between these assorted baking chocolates.

For example, chocolate chips typically contain less cocoa butter than other types of chocolate. They also tend to be made with emulsifiers — ingredients that help the chips hold their shape — but are not always ideal for baking or melting. Baking chocolate is one of the purest forms of chocolate. It can be made without any added ingredients, including sugar. It can also have a higher fat percentage than dark or milk chocolate. The fat content of baking chocolate is usually between 47% and 49%. By comparison, the fat content of dark chocolate typically ranges from 32% to 40%. If a recipe calls for baking chocolate, you should be sure to purchase a product labeled as such. These products are made with a higher concentration of fat and cocoa butter, as well as less sugar or emulsifiers, which make them more suitable for baking.

If you feel overwhelmed by all of the options for baking chocolate out there, do not worry. We will help you find the chocolate of your baking dreams. Here are the 13 best baking chocolate brands, ranked. 

13. Nestlé

Nestlé is a grocery store chocolate staple. You'll often see bags of the brand's chocolate chips in the baking aisle. While this is fine if you are in a pinch, Nestlé's chocolate chips are not our first choice. These products tend to contain additional unwanted ingredients. Because of supplemental ingredients such as milk, these chips shouldn't be used in recipes that call for baking chocolate. 

In addition to chocolate chips, this brand also sells a baking chocolate bar. However, we do not recommend using it. Nestlé's baking chocolate bar contains only 52% cacao. This is even less than the brand's aforementioned dark chocolate chips. In addition, Nestlé's baking chocolate contains emulsifiers. Plus, the first ingredient on the label is sugar. These ingredients make it less suitable for use in baked goods. Additionally, this baking bar seems pretty hard to find. We would recommend buying a different brand than Nestlé when purchasing baking chocolate. 

12. Hershey's

In the past, this brand might have faired better in our ranking. Hershey's used to sell an unsweetened baking bar. It was 100% cacao and its only ingredients were chocolate products. Sadly, Hershey's no longer seems to be selling this unsweetened baking bar. 

Since Hershey's doesn't sell baking chocolate, chocolate chips are your only option. The go-to choice is Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips, which are made with 45% cacao. The main ingredient in this product is sugar. It has less sugar and a higher cacao content than Hershey's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. 

But both sets of chips are made with added ingredients like milk and emulsifiers. This makes them less than ideal for many baking projects. Since we can't recommend using any of Hershey's chocolate chips for baking, we rank this brand lower on our list. Stay away from Hershey's chocolate chips. Instead, try to find some real baking chocolate. 

11. Equal Exchange

It always feels good to buy from a company that ethically sources its ingredients. We find that this is the case when it comes to chocolate companies since the industry is known for being exploitative. That's why we'd like to recommend Equal Exchange. The chocolate company's goal is to create food systems that benefit its farmers, as well as its consumers. Equal Exchange offers a small, high-quality line of chocolate products.

In the company's baking chocolate category, there are a handful of items to choose from. Equal Exchange sells two types of chocolate chips: semi-sweet and bittersweet. Both items contain only sugar and cocoa products. That's it.

These limited ingredient lists are why we feel Equal Exchange is the better option if you have to purchase chocolate chips instead of traditional baking chocolate. With fewer food additives in each bag, the chocolate will melt better. We also like the fact that Equal Exchange's bittersweet chocolate chips are made with 70% cacao, which is higher than the cacao content of similar products made by competitor brands. However, we still prefer baking chocolate over chocolate chips. This is why we rank other brands above Equal Exchange.

10. Raaka

Raaka is an independent chocolate company based in Brooklyn, New York. It stands apart from other brands by not roasting its chocolate. Instead, Raaka starts with beans that are fermented and dried. This different process allows the chocolate's natural fruity flavors to shine through, according to the company. 

This brand makes a wide selection of bars, in addition to two kinds of baking chocolate: Classic Dark Baking Chocolate and Maple Dark Baking Chocolate. Neither of these are made with 100% cacao, but they will still work for some baking projects. Raaka's Classic Dark Baking Chocolate contains 71% cacao. Its only ingredients are cacao products and cane sugar. Raaka's Maple Dark Baking Chocolate is made with 75% cacao. Its only ingredients are cacao products and maple sugar. In addition to limited ingredients and a somewhat high percentage of cocoa solids, there is more that we like about Raaka's baking chocolate. We like that the origin of the chocolate is listed on each package. We also like the little discs the chocolate comes in. 

One downside of this company is that — due to its unique processing and origin-specific products — Raaka's products each offer a distinct flavor. This flavor may not be ideal for all uses. Additionally, as a boutique chocolate company, Raaka tends to have high prices. Plus, there isn't a 100% cacao baking bar sold by Raaka. For these reasons, we rank them near the bottom of our list. 

9. Belcolade

Belcolade markets itself as a chocolate brand for professionals — a concept that may be enticing to some people. Where competitor brands seem focused on their volumes of sales, Belcolade positions itself as a company for bakers and chocolatiers alike. We like that this brand offers many different types of high-quality chocolate. 

To do this, Belcolade does not sell small amounts of chocolate. Instead, the brand sells large cartons and bags of chocolate. These containers can hold 22 pounds each, making them pretty pricey for individual buyers. Some online sellers may sell them in smaller quantities, but even these come with hefty price tags. 

Aside from the high cost, we have some other issues with using Belcolade as baking chocolate. Our first problem is that the brand doesn't offer a 100% cacao option. The second is that some of Belcolade's chocolates contain emulsifiers and additional flavorings. Both of these facts show how this Belgian chocolate company is more useful to chocolatiers than bakers. While you can use this brand for baking, this is not where Belcolade excels. 

8. Taza

Taza Chocolate is a company based in Somerville, Massachusetts. The brand uses traditional Mexican methods to produce less processed chocolate. Taza Chocolate is less refined because — in addition to omitting food additives or flavorings — the company uses a stone-ground method. This process makes chocolate that has a more gritty texture than most. More famous American chocolate brands have perfectly smooth products, due to heavy processing. But don't let the idea of a sandy texture scare you, because Taza Chocolate is loved by many.

This brand makes a number of baking chocolate products, including its 100% Dark Baking Chocolate bag, as well as its 70% Baking Chocolate bag. While we like these products overall, we have a few issues with them. One issue is the texture of Taza's baking chocolate. It is delicious, but its distinct grittiness is not going to be ideal for certain dessert recipes. The company has tried to respond to this problem by offering couverture baking chocolates. This type of chocolate is designed to be smooth, meaning it's more suitable for melting. 

But our main issue with Taza is that its baking chocolates are only sold in large bags. These containers possess several pounds of chocolate and cost around $100 each. This isn't convenient or affordable for cooks taking on smaller baking projects. 

7. Valrhona

Valrhona has been making chocolate for a while. The company was founded in 1922 in a small French village. Aside from its long history in the chocolate-making business, there are many things to love about Valrhona.  

For one, its chocolate comes in adorable, oval-shaped chunks. Additionally, the chocolate is high-quality. Valrhona makes smooth, creamy chocolate. Even better, the company offers a wide range of chocolate products. But there are a few reasons why we don't rank this company higher. 

The first is that Valrhona doesn't offer a 100% cacao baking chocolate. This is what you want in baking chocolate, so not offering this product is a major blow. The second is the price. Valrhona is pretty expensive. For baking at home, the company's price point may be out of many home bakers' budgets. Finally, some of its chocolate is made with emulsifiers and vanilla. Although it is not present in all selections, this can make it more difficult to find the right chocolate for your baked goods. 

6. Scharffen Berger

Scharffen Berger was founded in 1996 with the goal of making high-quality chocolate. The company seemed to achieve this goal because Hershey's acquired the brand in 2005. This helped the company to expand. This worked out for a while, but Scharffen Berger eventually returned to private ownership in 2020.

We like the idea of using Scharffen Berger chocolate for baking, for a few reasons. For one, the brand sells several vegan products, which means that even people who follow this diet can enjoy Scharffen Berger's chocolate. Additionally, the company offers a wide range of baking products, including 62% Semisweet Dark Chocolate Baking Portions. While there are some emulsifiers in this product, we like that its main ingredient is cacao. Even though Scharffen Berger doesn't make a 100% cacao bar, at least it makes a bar consisting of 99% cacao. Despite the fact that there is some give-and-take with all of these products, we think there are lots of usable options made by this brand.

The only major downsides to Scharffen Berger are its prices and scarcity. You may have a harder time finding this chocolate company's products. However, Walmart carries a few of them.

5. Callebaut

Callebaut has been making luxurious Belgian chocolates since 1911. The company has had a lot of time to perfect its chocolate-making process. These days, the brand makes a little bit of everything. Unlike other companies that make only chocolate chips using a basic formula, Callebaut produces many different types of chocolate. These contain varying amounts of fat, sugar, and cacao.

There are a few things we like about Callebaut. First and foremost, the brand offers a 100% cacao product. Additionally, it offers a selection of dark and milk chocolates that come in different shapes, such as discs or mounds. Callebaut even also makes chocolate sticks. This shape of baking chocolate is ideal for making chocolate croissants. There are a lot of useful baking chocolate products within this brand.

However, we do dislike the fact that many of Callebaut's products are made with emulsifiers. Plus, it's a bit expensive compared to other chocolate companies. 

4. Auro

Auro Chocolate is taking the world by storm. The Filipino brand's name comes from the chemical symbol for gold, which is "Au," as well as the Filipino word for gold, "oro." That is a bold stance to take on your product, but the company absolutely follows through.

This brand offers a wide range of baking chocolate products. Its milk and dark chocolate coins come in just about every chocolate percentage you could want. It also sells bars, which come in many different sizes. With so many options, it is unsurprising that the company has a 100% unsweetened chocolate option. For those looking for something less intense, you can also purchase chocolates with 77% cacao.

We love the variety offered by Auro, as well as its prices. It may not be as cheap as grocery store chocolate, but it's slightly more affordable than other premium brands. The main critiques we have of this brand are its use of emulsifiers in a few of its chocolate products.

3. Baker's

If you are looking for chocolate in the bakery section of your grocery store, you have probably seen Baker's chocolate. The original business was founded in 1780, making it an older chocolate company than most. Baker's is now owned by Kraft Heinz.

In addition to being widely available, Baker's chocolate is also considerably more affordable than other chocolate brands. The company does make a 100% cacao bar which is entirely unsweetened and only contains chocolate. The brand also offers additional sweetened varieties such as semisweet and bittersweet. These varieties do contain emulsifiers. However, they are not made with added dairy. These products come in small blocks which can be used for most baking projects. 

There were a few small drawbacks that we found with this brand. As previously mentioned, some products contain added ingredients. Additionally, some Target shoppers expressed that they were not fans of the brand's packaging. However, we think Baker's is still a top contender, thanks to its price, availability, and unsweetened chocolate options. 

2. Ghirardelli

Ghirardelli was founded by an Italian immigrant during the 1800s. Its offerings have become synonymous with decadent candies and chocolate brownie mixes. Over the years, the company has produced a number of products, including baking chocolate. 

The brand offers several types of baking chocolate. It even offers a 100% cacao baking bar. Ghirardelli is often available at grocery stores, making it quite accessible. While it is more expensive than the store brands, it is usually cheaper than gourmet baking chocolate brands. 

Our biggest issue lies with the fact that while they have a lot of options, the quality of the options varies greatly. For example, the brand's Melting Wafers — which are a type of baking chocolate sold by Ghirardelli — contain more sugar, oil, and milk powder than cacao. This isn't the best, but luckily there are other options that don't have ingredient lists like this. If you opt to buy your baking chocolate from Ghirardelli, just make sure you know what you are looking for.

1. Guittard

Our top choice is the Guittard Chocolate Company. It was founded in 1868 by Etienne Guittard, who learned the value of fine chocolate through his uncle's chocolate factory. Over a century later, the brand is still operated by the Guittard family. 

Guittard puts out quality products. It offers a 100% cacao baking chocolate, which is available in the form of chocolate chips or a chocolate bar. This is exactly what home bakers need. But on top of that, Guittard also offers dark and milk products made specifically for baking. These come as chocolate chips, bars, and wafers. Some of the brand's chocolate is even fair trade certified. Plus, its wafers are all organic, meaning you can feel good about eating them in addition to enjoying their delicious taste.

Most of the baking bars do have additional ingredients, such as emulsifiers and flavorings, in them. But for the price, availability, and quality, we're okay with this. If you're going to purchase some baking chocolate for your next dessert recipe, we recommend first looking for Guittard.