Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips vs Milk Chocolate

Are semi-sweet chocolate chips milk chocolate or dark chocolate?

Semi-sweet chocolate does not contain any milk ingredients. It is made up of dark chocolate and sugar. Therefore, semi-sweet chocolate chips cannot be milk chocolate.

Of course, while semi-sweet is the closest thing to a standard type of chocolate chip, grocery stores typically also carry milk chocolate chips, along with many other types of flavoured chocolate chips. If you prefer milk to dark chocolate, you can typically substitute one type for another in cookies, muffins or granola bars where the chips are not melted before use. If the recipe calls for melting the chips, there may be unexpected results – beyond the flavour difference – when using a different type of chip when semi-sweet is called for.

Some other fun facts:

  • Bitter and semi-sweet chocolate chips must contain a minimum of 35% cacao, but most popular chocolate chips available in stores now contain 50-58% cacao.
  • Extra bittersweet or high-percentage chocolate contains more than the average cacao. The amount is usually listed on the label.
  • Chocolate chips are made with less cocoa butter (or cocoa fat) than some other types of chocolate. This is so they hold their shape and do not melt as easily.
  • If you want larger chocolate chunks for use in baking instead of chips – for turning chocolate chip cookies into chocolate chunk cookies – you can use chocolate bars that have been broken into small pieces, or you can use chopped squares of baker’s chocolate, which is typically found near the chocolate chips at the supermarket. The chocolate chunks will likely melt more freely than chocolate chips, so don’t expect them to hold their shape perfectly once baked – different chocolate bars react differently when baked depending on how they’re made. For something different, try turning special bars with flavours added – orange, mint, sea salt, etc. – into homemade chocolate chunks for your cookie baking needs.