Dairy-Free Chocolate Fondue – This easy vegan chocolate fondue recipe is a HUGE hit every time we serve it. Don’t miss our dipper ideas + flavor options below! (Paleo & Vegan))
Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away, and Sophie and Milo are already talking about it. I’m pretty sure its because (like me) they are all about holidays that include special foods. (More specifically, dessert-ha!)
Last year was our first year doing chocolate fondue for dessert and everyone IMMEDIATELY asked if it could become our Valentine’s Day tradition. No need to twist my arm–I’ll happily enjoy chocolate fondue whenever I can get it! I love that it looks fancy but is just about as easy as it gets. Plus, our dairy free chocolate fondue recipe only calls for three main ingredients…
What You Need for Dairy Free Chocolate Fondue:
HIGH-QUALITY CHOCOLATE (PREFERABLY BARS) – I recommend using semi sweet chocolate bars instead of for chocolate fondue, if you can. Chocolate chips (especially the cheapest ones) are often made with stabilizers (to help them keep their shape when baked), so sometimes they won’t melt quite as much.
That said, most allergy-friendly chocolate chips don’t have the same problem because they tend to have fewer ingredients. A few brands I like include:
- Scharffen Berger semi-sweet bars (SUPER amazing quality, definitely on the pricey side)
- Toll House Simply Delicious allergy-friendly chocolate chips (in dark or semi-sweet)
- Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chips
- Guittard semi-sweet or extra dark chocolate chips.
A BIT OF (NONDAIRY) MILK OR CREAM – My preference for this vegan chocolate fondue recipe is the more neutral-tasting dairy free milks, like unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk. I don’t use too much, but feel like I hit the sweet spot of rich and indulgent, while still being thin enough to dip easily.
If you want things more thick or rich, you can go with coconut cream or coconut milk, which are closer to the texture of heavy cream. (Do know that the taste will come through a bit if you go the coconut route.)
A SMALL SAUCEPAN – I have this adorable little “butter warmer” that’s perfect for a small job like this. It’s just the right tiny size for a small batch of chocolate fondue, but you could just as easily use a larger pan. Or, you can pour it into a pretty dish for serving, or get a fancy fondue pot or fondue set if you want to go big.
Tips For Serving Chocolate Fondue:
WATCH OUT FOR WATER – If your pan, serving bowl, etc. has water on it, it can cause your chocolate to “seize,” and turn grainy. You want to be sure everything is clean and DRY before starting (you can’t really rescue seized chocolate).
KEEP YOUR CHOCOLATE FONDUE WARM: You can keep chocolate fondue warm with a portable hot plate, or you can certainly buy a fancy chocolate fountain or fondue warmer like this or this, but I’ve found that this dairy free chocolate fondue goes fast, so I don’t really need to keep it constantly warm. At our house, I warm it up on the stove while I’m getting all the dippers ready, then we move it over to the table and everyone dives right in! (A small slow cooker on the WARM setting can also work, though you’ll want to stir regularly to avoid scorching)
SET OUT SKEWERS – I love reusable kitchen tools whenever possible, but I don’t recommend metal skewers in this case because they’ll likely scratch your pan. For the sake of your pan, I recommend using bamboo skewers. You can even “mark” them with different colors of washi tape if you want!
HAVE PLENTY OF DIPPERS: What makes fondue so fun is adding lots of fun dippers! For lots of gluten free and dairy free ideas, check out all my favorites below!
Dipper Ideas For Dairy-Free Chocolate Fondue:
The dippers are basically the best part (amiright!?), so basically ask yourself: “would chocolate be good on this?” and you’re probably ready to go. Some of my favorites:
- Fresh strawberries or blackberries (raspberries can be a bit too fragile to work well, but blueberries also work!)
- Banana slices – Bananas are so good with chocolate!
- Fresh pineapple cubes or wedges
- Clementine Segments – I love the combination of orange and chocolate.
- Cubed cake squares – I prefer white cakes for chocolate fondue. This is my favorite GF cake mix (it comes with directions for making it dairy-free, too!) Gluten-free pound cake or angel food cake work well!
- Brownie squares – These are my all-time favorite brownies (gluten-free & dairy-free, too!). Otherwise, this boxed mix is delicious!
- Pretzels – We love the Glutino or Snyders pretzel twists or sticks for a GF option. Look for the giant ones if you can find them!
- Gluten-Free Animal Crackers or Graham Crackers – Glutino makes the BEST animal crackers!
- Rice Krispies Treats – I *highly* recommend these Toasted Marshmallow Treats. The flavor is INCREDIBLE.
- Marshmallows – Feel free to get fancy! Make your own, buy some (Dandies brand and Trader Joe’s are vegan), or pick up some flavored ones. Smashmallow also makes some really fun varieties!
- Gluten-Free Oreos – Sophie especially loves little chocolate sandwich cookies. Kinnikinnik and Glutino brands make sandwich cookies that work well (vanilla or chocolate), or you can sometimes find gluten-free Joe-Joe’s (GF Oreo-type cookies) at Trader Joe’s.
Ideas For Flavoring This Vegan Chocolate Fondue:
- SWIRL IN SOME WHITE CHOCOLATE – Dairy free white chocolate (like these or this) is tough to find in stores where I live and tends to be expensive, but you *can* order some from Amazon. It reminds me of the (not dairy free) white candy coating you can buy for popcorn or pretzels. It’s pretty strongly sweet, but sure looks pretty! (And my kids love it)
- ADD SOME PEANUT BUTTER (I love crunchy!) – A spoonful or two will work. I like to warm it up a bit first, then swirl it into the top.
- AMARETTO – I love giving this an amaretto twist with a splash of almond extract. I use about 1/4 tsp, but you can go all the way up to 1/2 tsp if you like.
- COCONUT – You could kick up the coconut flavor with a tiny dash of coconut extract (a little goes a long way!)