Milk chocolate is the most favourite type of chocolate that people like to eat and it’s also very popular for baking and traditional sweets and chocolate making.
But, what to do if you run out of milk chocolate and you need it for your recipe? Well, fortunately, there are plenty of ways to replace milk chocolate in cooking and baking and here are my favourite ways to do that.
Milk chocolate ingredients
In order to know how to substitute milk chocolate, we need to know what is milk chocolate made of in the first place.
- Cocoa powder
- Cocoa butter (or mixture of other fats)
- Powdered dairy milk
- Powdered white sugar
- Lecithin (to make the chocolate smoother)
If you’ve never tasted cocoa butter (and to be honest, not sure I’d actually recommend it…), is tastes like a high fatty substance with a faint flavour of chocolate.
Good quality milk chocolate would still have cocoa butter in as one of the ingredients, but cheaper brands usually replace all or some of the cocoa butter with other fats (which are cheaper to buy).
The main difference in flavour and intensity of any milk chocolate is the amount of cocoa powder. The more cocoa powder, the more intense the flavour is.
I typically use 33% cocoa solids milk chocolate for my chocolate making classes for enrobing, moulding and chocolate tempering.
For my chocolate truffles, I often use 40% cocoa solids milk chocolate because it’s much stronger flavour and works great with intense infusions, such as coffee or nuts.
Substituting milk chocolate in baking
Replace the milk chocolate amount given in the recipe with the same amount of milk chocolate substitute to make sure your recipe tastes the same as with regular milk chocolate.
Milk chocolate baking chips
In most recipes swapping milk chocolate for the same amount of milk baking chocolate chips will work fine. The only time when it might be a problem is if you need your milk chocolate to melt fully.
Milk chocolate chips are specially made to withstand high oven temperatures so that when you bake them they don’t lose their shape and cool right down without melting.
Milk chocolate eating bar
You can easily swap the milk chocolate in the recipe for any kind of milk chocolate eating bar. Ideally, you want to use plain milk chocolate-eating bar, but you can also use any flavoured ones. Unless there is a lot of chocolate in your recipe, the flavour won’t be noticeable.
Milk chocolate baking or cooking bar
Baking chocolate has a usually higher amount of vegetable or other cheaper types of fat, which not only melts better but it also makes the chocolate more pliable (which is perfect if you are making something like a chocolate mirror glaze).
White chocolate + cocoa powder
Use the same amount of white chocolate as the milk chocolate in the recipe and add about 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder for every 100 grams of white chocolate. I would recommend to melt the white chocolate first or at least soften it and add the cocoa powder in. Taste it and adjust the flavour depending on how strong your want your milk chocolate to be.
You can also use dark chocolate, dark eating chocolate, dark baking callets or hot chocolate drink instead of cocoa powder to make the white chocolate more like a milk chocolate.
Dark chocolate + sugar + powdered milk
Use about 80 grams instead of every 100 grams of dark chocolate instead of the milk chocolate in the recipe and add 1 tablespoon of powdered milk and 1 tablespoon of icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of butter (regular dairy butter, shortening or cocoa butter or it’s substitutes) to the mixture.
Again, I’d recommend to melt the chocolate first and add the powdered milk, icing sugar and butter to the mixture. Taste it and adjust the flavour as needed.
Dark chocolate + white chocolate
You can also make milk chocolate substitute for mixing dark and white chocolate together. This could be any dark type chocolate or dark chocolate substitute (buttons, callets, baking chocolate, cocoa powder etc.) and any white type of chocolate or white chocolate substitute.
The ratio will depends on how strong you want your milk chocolate to be, but usually I’d use something like 70% white chocolate and 30% dark chocolate to give me a very sweet milk chocolate.
For example to replace 100 grams of milk chocolate in your recipe, use 70 grams of white chocolate and 30 grams of dark chocolate.
Or if you need to replace 1 cup of milk chocolate, this would be roughly 2/3 of cup of white chocolate and 1/3 cup of dark chocolate.
Hot chocolate drink
Hot chocolate powder usually has powdered milk, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in, which could work as a good replacement for milk chocolate in baking or flavouring. You might want to add some butter to this mix (either cocoa butter or dairy or plant based butter) to make it into a thick paste and then use it instead of milk chocolate.
Make your own homemade milk chocolate
The next thing you can do is to replace the milk chocolate in a recipe with your own homemade chocolate.
You can make the chocolate first and then use it or just add the ingredients in the recipe, depending on what you are baking or making.
You can also make your own milk chocolate substitution from cocoa powder or any cocoa powder substitute available. To make a homemade milk chocolate, you will also need icing sugar (or very fine sugar), butter (dairy or plant-based) and milk powder.
You can also use coconut milk powder instead of dairy milk powder, but the flavour will be affected (the coconut milk has a very strong coconut flavour).
Depending on where you want to use your milk chocolate substitute, you could use double cream (heavy cream) instead of regular milk in the recipe to compensate for milk powder in the milk chocolate replacement.
Milk chocolate mix
You are welcome to make your own milk chocolate first and then use it. If you are using milk chocolate to blend into your recipe (it doesn’t have to stay whole like a chocolate chips or decorations on the top of a cake) you can easily just use the ingredients for my milk chocolate, mix it together and add it to the rest of the recipe, without actually making the milk chocolate into a chocolate bar.
My vegan milk chocolate recipe can also be used as a great milk chocolate replacement.
To replace 100 grams of regular milk chocolate use;
- 40 grams of cocoa butter or regular dairy butter
- 30 grams of powdered milk
- 20 grams of icing sugar (or fondant icing sugar)
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
- few grains of fine salt
- To make the milk chocolate simply melt the cocoa butter first in the microwave or on a bain marie; slowly and carefully.
- Add few grains of salt and the powdered milk and stir in.
- Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
- Stir until it’s all mixed and the mixture thickens a little.
- Normally you’d pour the chocolate to a chocolate mould (or just on a tray) and leave it to set in the fridge.
- If you are using the chocolate straightaway, you can just leave it in the bowl to set a little, but don’t have to leave it to set completely.
Other alternatives for replacing milk chocolate in cooking, baking and sweet making
Most widely available eating or cooking dark chocolates are actually not that high in cocoa powder, which means that you can easily use them to replace milk chocolate in cooking, baking and sweet making.
The taste will be slightly more intense (chocolate wise), but I dont’ think that’s a bad thing at all. If you use chocolate bars with around 53% cocoa solids, you might even prefer the taste of dark chocolate in your baking or sweet making, because it’s not that strong, but it does have more of a chocolate flavour than when you use milk chocolate.
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