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Wonder which chocolate is best for baking? You’ll learn all about the different kinds of chocolate for baking you might come across when making a recipe so you will always have chocolate success!

overhead shot of different kinds of chocolate on wood cutting board with words on photo

What are the types of chocolate?

There are so many different kinds of chocolate for baking: baking bars, chocolate chips, melting chocolate. This post is going to talk about what they all are and what they’re good for.

The one chocolate we won’t talk about in this post is cocoaread my entire post about cocoa here.

Flavors of Chocolate for Baking

Flavors of chocolate are all about percentage, that is, the percentage of cacoa vs sugar.

  • Unsweetened Chocolate which is 100% cacao and no sugar. You don’t want to eat it plain!
  • Bittersweet Chocolate, which is around 70% cacao and 30% sugar (also called dark chocolate).
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate has around 60% cacao and 40% sugar and is also called dark chocolate.
  • Milk Chocolate has under 40% cacao but also contains milk fats and sometimes vanilla.
  • White Chocolate has no cacao at all and often isn’t considered “real” chocolate!
dark chocolate semi sweet and white chocolate baking bars

Baking Bars

Also called baking squares, baking bars are chocolate you use for baking. These aren’t usually bars you’d eat (i.e. a candy bar).

Baking bars are usually melted and added to brownies or other recipes.

You’ll find baking bars in the baking aisle of the grocery store, usually on the top shelf. They come in Unsweetened, Semi-Sweet, White and often German Chocolate (which I think of as close to milk chocolate). The mainstream brands you’ll find in regular grocery stores are Bakers and Ghiradelli.

Baking bars are great for melting and adding to recipes or chopping and adding in place of chocolate chips. They’re also great for dipping chocolate covered strawberries or shortbread, etc.

Recipes using baking bars:

milk, semi sweet and white chocolate chips on marble slab

Chocolate Chips

Chocolate chips are the most common form of chocolate. These are sold in the baking aisle and come in lots of different flavors, and they often come as “chunks” instead of chips.

There are too many brands of chocolate chip to list, but I highly recommend buying one of four brands: Ghiradelli, Guittard, Nestle, or Trader Joe’s. I do not recommend store brand chocolate chips – especially if you’re going to melt them.

Chocolate Chips have a stabilizer in them to keep them from melting completely in the oven – that’s what makes them stay chips – and when they are melted they tend to be a bit cloudy, so they’re not recommended for dipping or bark or things like that.

When adding chocolate chips to recipes, most of the time the flavor doesn’t matter. As long as you’re not melting the chocolate chips into a recipe (i.e. ganache) you can use milk, semi-sweet, bittersweet and white chocolate chips interchangeably in recipes.

Chocolate Chip Recipes

chocolate and white chocolate melting wafers on marble surface

Melting Wafers/Candy Melts

There are two different kinds of melting wafers: chocolate and colorful.

Chocolate Melting Wafers are small disk-like pieces of chocolate that are preferable for melting (over chocolate chips) because they have no stabilizers in them. These are great for dipping truffles and candy or whenever you need to melt chocolate for baking.

Mostly they come in semi-sweet and white chocolate flavor and are sold in the baking aisle of the grocery store where you find the baking bars.

The most common melting wafer you’ll find is Ghiradelli brand (or store brands, if you’re shopping at Walmart). They come in pouches or sometimes a contained cup you can melt in.

Do not confuse chocolate melting wafers with the “chocolate” melts you get in the craft aisle or at the craft store (i.e. Wilton brand). While those melts do have a chocolate “flavor” they aren’t chocolate in the sense of the kind you find in the baking aisle.

Chocolate melts are more often colorful and perfect for making candy or truffles when you want that colorful exterior – but the flavor isn’t deep and rich like true chocolate. If you’re making something chocolatey – stick to the kind in the baking aisle.

Use Chocolate Melting Wafers for:

chocolate and white chocolate almond bark on marble surface

Almond Bark or Candiquik

Also in the baking aisle are large blocks of chocolate that are engineered for melting and dipping, often referred to as almond bark.

Almond Bark isn’t a thing – it’s a brand. Same with Candiquik – these are brands of melting chocolate. These products are perfect for dipping truffles and pretzels, etc., because they melt smooth and without issue.

These blocks are on par with the melts described above, but just a different shape.

You’ll also see store brands of this as well. All of them live on that top shelf, alongside the melts and bars.

Of all the block melting chocolate like these, Candiquik is the best tasting, Almond Bark second. Don’t even bother with the store brand! Candiquik also comes in a handy tray you can use for melting.

Moral of the story: Almond Bark (and candy melts described above) are for decorative or coating purposes. Don’t chop it up in your cookies; these chocolates are engineered for dipping.

Recipes using Candiquik:


Which chocolate is best for baking?

Use what the recipe calls for. If it calls for baking chocolate, that means the baking bars you get in the baking aisle. Use either Ghiradelli or Baker’s brand, they taste the best.

Can all chocolate be used for baking?

It depends on the recipe you’re using. Some recipes call for unsweetened chocolate and you wouldn’t want to use semi-sweet or the recipe might end up being too sweet. Some recipes call for chocolate melts for ease of dipping – just be sure to use what the recipe calls for.

Can chocolate bars be used for baking?

Not Hershey bars or candy bars, I don’t recommend those. Baking bars are a special kind of chocolate that’s been tempered for melting and comes in different cocoa amounts.

Those are all the different kinds of chocolate you’ll see used in any of my recipes. The only one missing is cocoa – read all about cocoa here!

Learn all about the different types of chocolate for baking! Chocolate Chips, baking bars, almond bark, melting wafers and all the different kinds of chocolate you’ll come across in any recipe.

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. This article was very helpful! I like to make ganache for coating cakes and am trying to do it in a more economical way. We have a bulk food store that has melting chocolate wafers at a really decent price. Will that work the same as a bar chocolate to make a ganache? I’m not 100% sure I understand the difference if the bars and the wafers are both semi-sweet or bittersweet, etc. I get that I can’t use chips but are bars and wafers/melting chocolate interchangeable?? Thanks for your wisdom!

    1. No – melting chocolate wafers are more waxy and made for melting to dip (like truffles). Different brands taste different (Ghirardelli is the best I’ve found) but they’re not as good of a chocolate as a baking bar, so for ganache, I’d use the bars.

  2. this was so helpful! Which type of chocolate do you think is best for something like the popular hot cocoa bombs everyone is making now? or if we make hot cocoa cubes attached to a stirring stick to put into hot milk? type and brand preference? thank you!

  3. Ma’am, l like your recipes. Do you have a newsletter? l want to sign up to it. So please let me know about it. Thanks.