An easy homemade dairy-free chocolate recipe that’s sugar-free and at less than 1g net carbs per piece, it’s keto chocolate too!

This creamy delicious sugar-free chocolate is made with a few simple ingredients and only takes a few minutes to make.

homemade dairy-free chocolate broken on a plate

Easy Paleo Chocolate Bark – sugar and dairy-free recipe

If you love chocolate but are looking for a healthier alternative, decent sugar-free chocolate is hard to find.

They are generally ultra-processed and filled with questionable sweeteners (especially when they only use the sweetener number on the label, not its recognisable common name).

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And if you want dairy-free chocolate, well that’s almost impossible to hunt down.

Luckily my new easy Paleo chocolate bark recipe ticks all the boxes.

  • Acceptable sweeteners
  • Dairy-free
  • No preservatives
  • Raw cacao butter
  • Raw cacao powder – see notes below, cocoa powder can also be used.
  • Nuts, seeds and coconut


labelled ingredients to make homemade dairy-free chocolate

Homemade Sugar-Free Chocolate

Making your own sugar-free chocolate is the safest and cheapest way. I also like the dark taste of Lindt 90%, which is generally my go-to chocolate, but I cannot find chocolate that has that high enough percentage AND a selection of nuts.

So I make my own sugar-free nut chocolate (or rather, my kids do).

homemade dairy-free chocolate broken on a plate

What Is Paleo Bark?

Chocolate Paleo bark is an amazing dairy free chocolate slab, that is sprinkled with nuts and seeds (hence the name because it ends up looking like tree bark). It is allowed to set, then snapped and broken into pieces. Yummy.

You can add any combination of nuts and seeds you prefer, and any flavouring you love. I have since made a chilli Paleo chocolate bark, by simply adding a pinch of chilli in step 1. You can also sprinkle with salt once it has set completely, to make salted Paleo chocolate bark.

There are more options in the notes below.

Why use cacao butter and coconut oil?

Great question. Why do I use cacao butter AND coconut oil? Because cacao butter is generally very solid at room temperature and the addition of coconut oil adds two major benefits.

  1. The amazing health benefits of coconut oil
  2. It softens the hard cacao butter and gives the keto chocolate that “melt in the mouth” melting point and blissful sensation.
Paleo chocolate bark broken on a plate

Keto Chocolate Variations

You can actually press anything into the bark. Macadamias. Coconut. Bacon pieces (yes, I have seen this). Cinnamon. Salt. Spices. Chilli.

Make it your way and experiment with all the flavour options. Just remember to sweeten it to YOUR taste buds. And depending on how strong your cacao powder is, you may or may not require extra flavours such as vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, etc.

homemade dairy-free chocolate broken on a plate

 Cacao vs Cocoa – what’s the difference?

Cacao generally refers to any product that has originated from the raw cacao bean.

The raw cacao beans are processed to remove the fat (cacao butter) and the powder (cacao powder). Think of it in a similar fashion to coconuts. The fat is extracted (coconut oil and coconut cream) to leave you with desiccated dried coconut meat.

Cocoa powder results from roasted cacao beans. Some say there is a loss of nutrition, antioxidants, and enzymes with this roasting. But there are no clear studies on the effect cooking has on raw cacao powder.

You may interchange cacao powder with cocoa powder, but you may need more flavourings and more sweeteners with the raw cacao powder. The cocoa powder (generally found in most reader’s pantries) is roasted, dark and rich.

NOTE: Feel free to use cocoa or cacao powder but please check that your cocoa powder is unsweetened AND not drinking chocolate. Many have made this mistake.

More sugar-free recipes

Paleo chocolate bark broken on a plate

Dairy-Free Homemade Chocolate Recipe

Homemade Dairy-Free Chocolate (Keto Paleo Chocolate). This creamy delicious sugar-free chocolate is made with a few simple ingredients and only takes a few minutes to make.
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Course: Sweet treats
Cuisine: Dairy Free, Egg free, Gluten Free, Grain free, Keto, LCHF, Low Carb, No Sugars, Paleo, Wheat Free
Keyword: Dairy-free chocolate, Paleo chocolate, Sugar-free chocolate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 28 pieces
Calories: 54.4kcal
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  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking sheets – non stick


Paleo Chocolate

  • 100 g coconut oil
  • 200 g cacao butter
  • 2 tbsp powdered sweetener or more, to taste
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened) unsweetened
  • ¼ tsp salt to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract see notes

Paleo Chocolate Bark Toppings

  • 30 g coconut chips unsweetened
  • 75 g mixed nuts chopped see notes


  • On a very low and gentle heat, melt all the ingredients for the chocolate bark together in a pan.  
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. This allows the chocolate bark to thicken and begin to set so if any ingredients have dropped to the bottom, you can mix them back in so they are suspended in the chocolate a little more evenly.
  • Pour the Paleo chocolate into a dish lined with baking parchment. 
  • Allow the chocolate to cool for a little bit longer and "almost" set. You don't want the chopped nuts and coconut to sink to the bottom. You can even pop it in the fridge for a minute or two (just don't forget to go back or it will set solid). Sprinkle the Paleo bark toppings over the surface. 
  • Refrigerate until set. Break into pieces. Enjoy.


  • Nuts – I used pecans, walnuts and almonds.
  • Flavourings – why not try chilli chocolate? Ginger? Cinnamon? Coffee?
  • Remember to add sweetener to YOUR taste. If you are used to regular chocolate, you may need to sweeten this a little more until you lose your sweet tooth.
  • Cacao powder or cocoa powder can be used I this recipe. Adjust sweetener and flavourings to taste.


Serving: 1pieceCalories: 54.4kcalCarbohydrates: 1.3gProtein: 0.8gFat: 5.7gSodium: 21.7mgPotassium: 36.7mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 0.1IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 8.5mgIron: 0.2mg


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  1. Angela Gallagher says:

    Hi Libby, I tried making this and had a bit of a disaster: the ingredients separated out in the fridge – cocoa and sugar at the bottom and cacao butter on the top. Any idea what went wrong?

    1. It sounds like they were too hot when they went into the fridge. I like to allow it to cool to room temperature before popping in the fridge “Allow the chocolate to cool for a little bit longer and “almost” set. You don’t want the the chopped nuts and coconut to sink to the bottom. You can even pop it in the fridge for a minute or two (just don’t forget to go back or it will set solid).” as this ensures the ingredients are all emulsified together. I hope you managed to reheat it and mix them back in together again.

    2. Daniel K Duprey says:

      I had the same issue. I was trying to use the recipe for simple chocolate, rather than bark. After I poured the chocolate into molds the granulated sweetener was still in the bottom of the measuring cup. (My new stove does not have a truly low heat, so I used the microwave.) Today I’m going to remelt the chocolates and try again.

      1. The sweetener (especially erythritol) does have a tendency to clump together sometimes (or sink to the bottom), so maybe try using powdered sweetener or grind it first in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder to make it smoother and easier to dissolve.

  2. Hi
    Do I have to use cacao butter not easily avail or cheap in UK
    Can I use plain butter ???


    1. I’m afraid cacao butter is very different to regular butter. It is very hard and solid with a high melting point. You could try with a higher ration of coconut oil and butter, but that would be an entirely different recipe and I can’t give easy substitutions I’m afraid. How about chilli chocolate salami, that uses just butter and is yummy.

    2. You can use coconut butter which I have found can be less than half the price of cacao butter.

  3. UmaVaswani says:

    You have written any sweetener of your choice
    But it’s the sweetner you said the manufacturer s are not using correctly so which sweetner have you used ?? You need to specify ! As there are so many options !

    1. It’s exactly because there are so many options, that I leave the choice up to the reader. I used to specify what I prefer then I received so man complaints that other people prefer x, y, z …. etc. In this article, I discuss which sweeteners I use and what I don’t. And this article I show the Top 20 Low-Carb Pantry Essentials. And in my Amazon shop, I also show pantry staples which I love and are perfect for beginners. It can be so confusing, especially as there seems to be a new brand of sweetener available almost on a weekly basis.

  4. Questions — Do you use a sheet pan for this? With eating healthier I’d like my chocolate a little thin and was thinking a larger pan would be better. Any thoughts on putting most of your topping ingredients on the parchment paper and pouring the cooled chocolate over top then topping w the reserved toppings? I’m just curious of why you put them on top and press into the chocolate. Or perhaps that’s just preference. You talked about orange zest in the grain free sugar free bar recipe and I wondered if it would be good in the bark too. Maybe sprinkled on the parchment paper w the chocolate poured over it vs adding directly to the chocolate? I’m assuming any flavored extracts used should be alcohol free so they don’t ruin/solidify the chocolate or should the chocolate be cool when adding flavorings and spices?

    1. Great questions Marsha. When I was developing this recipe, I tried a number of methods, they all failed – 1: Adding the nuts etc into the mix then pouring the mixture into the pan ended up with all the nuts sinking to the bottom of the saucepan before I had poured the chocolate bark into the lined tray 2: Placing the nuts etc into the tray first then pouring the paleo chocolate on top, all it did was wash the nuts away and I still had to reposition them SO …. by pouring the chocolate into the lined tray first THEN sprinkling the nuts over the top was an easy way to get them distributed evenly (I’m a neat freak 😉 ). And yes you could add orange zest, wow, that would be wonderful. How about chilli? Salted bark?

      1. That makes a lot of sense. I’ll do it just as the recipe calls for. Then batch 2+ I’ll play w spices and flavors. Thanks so much

  5. Sharon Young says:

    Does Stevia and erythrotol have sugar alcohols in them? I understand eating too much of sugar alcohols can cause dyarhea.

    1. Stevia is from the stevia plant, and so is not a sugar alcohol, but stevia may be found in some brands mixed with sugar alcohols (such as erythritol) because stevia is 200x sweeter than sugar. So many granular stevia products are a mixture (please read each brand for their ingredients). Erythritol is a sugar alcohol, and yes, some people may find themselves with an upset tummy if they overindulge. I like to use sweeteners in the minimum quantity and not rely on sweet baking very often. Part of the ethos of living low-carb is to shy away from our sweet tooth and sweet baking.

  6. Julie Bennett says:

    Hi, I made this and it separated, as in mine is dark on the bottom and light on top. I did have to add 30 grams of butter cos I didn’t have enough cacao butter, and I put it in the freezer for about 30 mins. Would either of those things cause the separation?

    1. Hmm … I wonder if there is something in your butter? The only aspect I can think of that would make this separate into layers, is some water (oil and water don’t mix) but there generally there isn’t any water in butter unless it was a butter blend?

  7. mine separated too sadly so doesn’t taste great, will reheat tomorrow and try again

    1. Remember if it separates, to pop back into the fridge until it is cool and set enough to mix back together, then pour into your prepared tin and sprinkle with nuts/seeds etc.

  8. I’m sure I must have done something wrong – all I can taste is the cacao butter, there is ZERO chocolate flavor or sweetness at all. Just oiliness. I use a food scale in all my cooking so I know the amounts are not wrong. It’s almost cool enough to pour on the pan and top with the nuts, but I don’t think I’m going to bother, because right now it tastes horrible 🙁 I’m so sad. Do you have any ideas of what I might’ve done wrong? I used xylitol – 2 Tbsp / 28g for the sweetener and 4 Tbsp / 24g of valrhona cocoa powder.

    Word to the wise: don’t use allulose, I did that in my first batch but it created sludge in the bottom of the pan, a sort of oily-tasting chocolate taffy!

    1. Oh Sarah I am so sorry to read this. The sweetener, vanilla, salt and cocoa powder (especially the beautiful Valrhona cocoa powder you used) should be enough flavor to make this a delicious nutty chocolate bark. I’m probably too late to give you my best tips, but with all low-carb and keto baking, always taste before baking or finishing the final step. “Remember to add sweetener to YOUR taste. If you are used to regular chocolate, you may need to sweeten this a little more until you lose your sweet tooth.” Everyone has a different sweet tooth to one another and so you may require more or less than the amount shown. The only other suggestion I can give you is that many people find xylitol to be less sweet than the sweetness of sugar so you may require more of it. One final tip that may have avoided your allulose disaster “Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature” this allows the chocolate bark to thicken and begin to set so if any ingredients have dropped to the bottom, you can mix them back in so they are suspended in the chocolate a little more evenly. I have updated the recipe to include this.