Chocolate chips are a staple ingredient in many baked goods, just like eggs. But for those watching their sugar intake, finding tasty sugar-free chocolate chip brands can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are several brands of sugar-free chocolate chips available on the market, offering the same rich, chocolatey taste without the added sugar.
In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best sugar-free chocolate chips brands available on the market, and what makes each of them stand out. There are some more mass-produced options out there, but I've excluded ones like Russel Stover and Hershey's sugar-free chocolate chips for ethical reasons.
Note that five of these sugar-free chocolate chips brands are available on Thrive Market, where I bought them. All chocolate orders ship with ice packs year round. (Click here for a 40% off coupon for your first Thrive Market order!)
Expert's Top 5 Picks
Best Flavor: Hu's Chocolate Chips
Allergy-Friendly: Pascha 100% Dark Chocolate
White Chocolate: ChocZero Chips
Ethical Pick: GoodSam Chips
Cheapest: Lily's Chips
- Expert's Top 5 Picks
- Common Sweeteners in Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips
- Best Brands of Chocolate Chips Without Sugar
Common Sweeteners in Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips
Erythritol: a sugar alcohol that naturally occurs in a variety of fruits and fermented foods. It's around 70% as sweet as sugar and has a low glycemic index, making it a popular choice for sugar-free products. However, like other sugar alcohols, it has a noticeable cooling effect. Erythritol is often disguised in ingredients lists as plant polyols.
Maltitol: another sugar alcohol that's around 90% as sweet as sugar, maltitol is a sweetener with roughly half the calories & a lower glycemic index than sugar. It's remained one of the most popular options for sweetening sugar-free products, thanks to its low cost and ease of extraction, usually from corn.
Xylitol: possibly the most popular sugar alcohol consumed by itself, xylitol is derived from birch trees as well as the fibers of many fruits and vegetables. It has the same sweetness and texture as sugar, but with fewer calories and a lower glycemic index. In larger quantities, erythritol has the same cooling effect in the mouth as other sugar alcohols.
Sucralose: an artificial sweetener that's about 600 times sweeter than sugar, sucralose is more commonly known as Splenda. It's calorie-free and doesn't affect blood sugar levels, but has been contentiously debated for its potential link to cancer, largely based on studies in rats.
Stevia: a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, this calorie-free option has a much sweeter taste than sugar. So while less is needed to sweeten chocolate, it's not without its own drawbacks— many people experience a chemical, bitter aftertaste, similar to how some people think cilantro tastes like soap.
Monk Fruit Extract: an expensive natural sweetener extracted from the monk fruit (luo han guo), this favorite of mine is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar. Because of its concentrated flavor, monk fruit powder is virtually calorie-free and doesn't affect blood sugar levels. It's available in both liquid and granular form.
Allulose: a natural sweetener found in small amounts in fruits, such as figs and raisins, allulose is the new darling of the natural foods world. It's not a sugar alcohol and is expensive to extract, so much like monk fruit, it's not very commonly used. Allulose is 70% as sweet as sugar, has fewer calories, and has a similar texture when in granulated form (it's also sold as a syrup). It doesn't affect blood sugar levels.
Best Brands of Chocolate Chips Without Sugar
Before you buy sugar-free chocolate chips, remember to read the ingredients list and check for any potential allergens or ingredients you may want to avoid. With the right brands of healthy chocolate chips, you can enjoy all the flavor and convenience without the added sugar (& accompanying inflammation!).
Hu's no sugar added chocolate chips are made with organic cacao and sweetened with organic dates and vanilla bean. This means that while they're not keto-friendly, they are fine for diabetics (without overdoing it), as the fiber content from the cacao & dates balances out the sweetness beautifully.
Clocking in at just 60% cacao, they're also not too intense for even those who don't usually enjoy dark chocolate. These refined sugar-free chocolate chips are known for their unique texture, which is a combination of crunchy and chewy.
They have a rich and complex chocolate flavor, making them a perfect option for baking or snacking. Upon opening the bag, you'll smell an aroma of sweet vanilla with a chocolatey undertone, and likely notice that they come in a slightly larger, flatter circular shape than your typical chips.
Despite being sweetened with dates, the chocolate melts pretty nicely in your mouth and taste immediately sweet, thanks to the addition of the dates.
I found that these have the best flavor of all the sugar free chocolate chip brands I've tried for this review, but I'd recommend them more for chocolate chip pancakes, decorating cakes, and any other non-melting recipes you enjoy. All Hu's products are paleo-friendly and vegan.
Lily's brand chocolate chips are sweetened with stevia and erythritol, and come in a variety of flavors including milk, dark and white chocolate. Over the years it’s become a popular choice for keto chocolate chips due to their variety of flavors and chocolate types.
These low-calorie chocolate chips are a bit smaller than the usual, and have a nutty aroma that reminds me of peanut butter, with a mild chocolatey flavor that's almost immediately accompanied by a cooling sensation.
You can definitely taste the sugar alcohols if you eat them by the handful, but these would be great for those who don't like dark chocolate, but can't have sugar or dairy (though they also make a milk chocolate version that's even milder). Note that unfortunately, as of mid-2021, Lily's is owned by Hershey's.
Pascha chocolate chips are made with organic cacao beans and sweetened with vanilla beans and varying amounts of organic cane sugar. They come in a variety of allergy-friendly flavors including milk, dark, and white chocolate, the latter two of which use rice milk rather than dairy.
While they have a 100% cacao sugar-free chocolate chip option, I highly prefer the 85% cacao, which still contains 15% sugar, but is still diabetic-friendly & keto-friendly even in larger portions. The chips' aroma is very earthy and chocolatey, with a matching earthy chocolatey flavor.
They're pretty intense, but not very bitter and would work great for making fudge sauce or even melting in a chocolate fountain. They are also the perfect size for making cookies, however, and look just like the chocolate chips we grew up with. All Pascha products are free from the top 8 most common allergens.
ChocZero chocolate chips are sweetened with plant fiber and monk fruit extract, and are available in mint, butterscotch, milk, dark, and white chocolate varieties. They come in mini chocolate chip size and have a somewhat flat, mild chocolatey flavor, but overall taste good.
These particular low calorie chocolate chips are also known for their smooth texture, making them a popular choice among those following a low-sugar or ketogenic diet. I even munched on the mint chocolate version and then blended some into a chocolate cake frosting— nobody was the wiser!
Beyond chocolate chips, they have a particularly diverse product range and have expanded quite quickly since their 2017 launch. This is likely in part thanks to going so hard with influencer partnerships early in their inception.
GoodSam chocolate chips are sweetened with allulose, a natural sugar substitute that has a low glycemic index. They're available only as dark chocolate chips, but they're slowly becoming known for their creamy texture, which melts more similarly to traditional chocolate chips than those sweetened with sugar alcohols.
Much like some others in this review of ethical sugar free chocolate chips, they're in mini form, great for youngsters and much easier to melt for baking. The overall smell is mild and chocolatey, without a hint of bitterness.
The flavor mirrors the aroma, as they taste very chocolatey but a bit herbal, with the slightest cooling sensation on the tongue (not nearly as strong as those made with erythritol). Unlike most other chocolate chip brands, however, GoodSam sources their cacao directly from farmers in Colombia.
Opting for direct trade like this cuts out the middleman and increases the percentage of profits which go back to the people who actually grow the cacao, which is a sweet story if I've every heard one.
These sugar free chocolate chips are keto-friendly, sweetened with only stevia, inulin, and plant polyols (a generic name for sugar alcohols). They're available in an 80% dark chocolate, known for deep chocolate flavor, making them a great option for baking.
When I opened my bag it smelled like over-roasted cacao; the flavor is strangely crunchy rather than melty, but it tastes like a plain dark chocolate with a mild cooling effect on the tongue. I would use these in chocolate chip cookies, pancakes, muffins, and anything else where you need the chips to stay solid.
However, it's important to keep in mind how tiny they are. Because they're so small, these mini chips are more prone to melting in transit, and clumping together at even a hint of heat, so I'd only order them in cooler months.
You can also buy their chocolate in larger chunks, available in both 80% plain and 80% mint. When I contacted them, the owner told me that they source their cacao from multiple farms all over the world, including a small farm in Tanzania, as well as from Nigeria, Belize, and Puerto Rico.
Lakanto sugar-free chocolate chips are sweetened with erythritol and a touch of monk fruit extract, both of which are natural sugar substitutes. They come only in dark chocolate for now, but the brand has a variety of other chocolate products if you enjoy their chips.
Upon opening my bag, the aroma was like a fruity chocolate pudding, but still somehow flat. They're a bit smaller than the average chocolate chip, but still a decent size; when I had waited long enough for them to melt, I bit down and found an unsatisfying crunch.
There's a weird chemical undertone to the chips, which are mildly salty and leave a strange, almost burning feeling on my tongue. It's like when you add too much citrus extract to baked goods, or when you try tasting vanilla extract by itself.
These would probably do fine in baked goods, but I wouldn't use them by themselves.