The Differences Between Sugar-Sweetened, Coconut Sweetened Chocolate, and Unsweetened Chocolate

The Differences Between Sugar-Sweetened, Coconut Sweetened Chocolate, and Unsweetened Chocolate

Published by Chocolatier Jason Vishnefske on 4th Sep 2022

There are so many types of chocolate that every gourmand of sweet treats can find the perfect one. Thanks to this abundance of different options, it’s easy to experiment and look for atypical pairings and different types of chocolate that could lose against milk chocolate.

Apart from different flavors, we will encounter chocolates with different sugar content. For example, we can find bittersweet, unsweetened, and even coconut-sweetened chocolates. What are the differences between them? Let’s take a closer look.

The Difference Between Sweetened and Unsweetened Chocolate

The main difference between sweetened and unsweetened chocolate can be seen just in their names. The correct assumption is that sweetened chocolate has sugar and unsweetened has none. It all comes down to what chocolate is made of.

Pure chocolate without any added ingredients is essentially cacao solids and cacao butter. Usually, what we buy in the form of a chocolate bar is much more than that - including sugar, milk, or flavoring / seasoning, among other ingredients. Different chocolates will contain a different percentage of pure cacao and sugar.

Dark chocolate, for example, can be made out of 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, or even 90% of cacao, where the rest of the percentage would be sugar. That’s why, although our own experiences may have led us to believe differently (dark chocolates can be bitter in comparison to other types, like milk chocolate or white chocolate), dark chocolate is, more often than not, sweetened!

Chocolate Bar

In contrast, unsweetened chocolate does not contain any sugar. It makes it more of a connoisseur’s treat because it’s way too bitter for most people. It has an application in baking, though. Many cooks choose unsweetened chocolate or pure cacao powder when making chocolate baked goods because they’re not sweet enough to overpower the rest of the ingredients.

What Is the Difference Between Sugar-Sweetened and Coconut Sweetened Chocolate?

Unsweetened chocolate may not have as many devoted fans, but the story looks completely different when it comes to sweetened chocolates! Here you can find many adored types of chocolate like mentioned before milk chocolate, which is probably the most popular chocolate amongst candy enthusiasts.

Like we said earlier, sweetened chocolate contains sugar - that is what makes it sweet in the first place! Apart from regular sugar, there are many different alternatives to what can be used as a sweetener in chocolate. For instance, we can find more and more products with coconut sweetener instead of sugar.

What are the main differences between sugar sweetener vs coconut palm sweetener? Which one of them is better in chocolate? It’s worth starting with the simple fact that coconut sugar is still sugar, so that it can be an interesting alternative, but it won’t necessarily be the “healthy” choice if eaten in copious amounts.

Coconut palm sweetener is produced from palm tree syrup, similar to other natural sugars. The end result is brown-colored sugar that can be added to food. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than white sugar, which means it couldbe safer for people with sugar sensitivities and possibly diabetes. These differences have not been clinically studied, so intake should be monitored by the individual.

Apart from that, coconut sugar is enriched with some minerals, like calcium, iron, or zinc.

So what is the reason for choosing coconut sweetened chocolate? The primary one would probably be the taste! Although regular good quality chocolate already tastes amazing, coconut sweetener gives it a little depth with caramel hints. Many say coconut sugar tastes similar to brown sugar.

Is it worth swapping regular chocolate for the coconut-sweetened one? In this case, it’s a good idea to simply choose which chocolate tastes the best.

Different Types of Sweeteners Used in Manufactured Candy Bars

There are many different types of sweeteners used in the production of candy bars. It’s not a bad idea to learn more about this topic - conscious choices regarding the food we’re eating are the key to a healthy lifestyle and much-needed balance. What are some types of sweeteners we can encounter in our chocolate treats?

White and Brown Sugar

Sugars are the most common sweetener used in manufactured foods, including chocolate and candy bars. High sugar content chocolates are cheap but not really the healthiest choice when it comes to sweet snacks.

Maple Sugar

Maple sugar or syrup is a relatively well-known alternative for sugars. It’s a natural sweetener, and its main components are sucrose and water. It contains minerals and vitamins, so choosing candies with maple syrup might be a little healthier.

Agave Syrup

Agave syrup is probably one of the most popular sugar substitutes for cooking. It’s actually sweeter than sugar (agave nectar contains as much as 92% of fructose). It’s a plant-based sweetener that belongs to the group of modified sugars.


This is also a plant-based sweetener. Stevia tastes similar to sugar when blended properly, but it’s 300 times sweeter. What’s more interesting is that it has zero calories, which makes it one of the most popular sweeteners used in manufactured foods, but again skillful blending is required to make use of stevia.


Honey is very well-known both for its health benefits and unique taste. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we can find candy bars with this delicious sweetener. Honey is an excellent substitute for sugar in baking and overall everyday life.

Organic Chocolate Chips

Chocolate makes our lives much sweeter. If you can, it’s good to find a place for it in your diet. You don’t have to always reach for the sweetened chocolate - there are lots of options for you, including our amazing organic dark chocolate! Explore your chocolate palate with Santa Barbara Chocolate!