How Much Caffeine is in Chocolate?

My Grandma can’t eat chocolate because it contains chocolate. As a young girl, this made me think – “There’s caffeine in chocolate?” It came as quite a surprise, and I still meet people shocked when they find out that chocolate contains some caffeine. But how much?

The amount of caffeine in chocolate depends solely on the type of chocolate. Dark chocolate contains the most, ranging anywhere from 12 to 40 milligrams per ounce. Milk chocolate has much less, with most products containing five milligrams. White chocolate contains no caffeine.

Hey! My name is Michelle, and I like chocolate (not as much as my Mother and Son, though!). I love to learn more about desserts, so I finally figured out how much caffeine is hiding in our beloved chocolate candies and cakes.

I’m here to share how much caffeine is in chocolate!

How Much Caffeine in Chocolate – The Answer

How much caffeine is in chocolate solely depends on the type of chocolate we’re talking about. 

That said, we need to take a closer look at dark, milk, and white chocolate to get a specific answer.

How Much Caffeine is in Dark Chocolate?

Dark chocolate has the highest level of caffeine of all the chocolate goodies. 

In fact, as a general rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the higher the caffeine. 

This is simply due to the fact that dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids – where the caffeine content is found. Some dark chocolate has such a high amount of cocoa solids that the caffeine is as high as 40 milligrams! 

Generally, dark chocolate, with a percentage of cocoa ranging from 45% to 60%, has an average of 12 milligrams of caffeine per ounce. Dark chocolate above 70% will typically have 22 milligrams of caffeine.

How Much Caffeine is in Milk Chocolate?

Milk chocolate is creamy and delicious. Surprisingly enough, it does contain caffeine – as there are cocoa solids present in this type of chocolate.

However, the caffeine content is minimal – and much less compared to dark chocolate.

That’s because milk chocolate doesn’t contain as much cocoa solids. There is also the presence of milk powder, which further dilutes the caffeine (and adds some delicious texture and flavors to the candy).

Generally speaking, a single ounce of milk chocolate has around five milligrams of caffeine.

While this can vary from product to product, you can rest assured it won’t be an incredibly high amount of caffeine. 

How Much Caffeine is in White Chocolate?

Guess what?

White chocolate contains no caffeine – that’s right – zip, zilch, zero milligrams of caffeine.

Now, that’s not to say that it can’t, though. There may be other caffeinated ingredients added to the candy or dessert. So, it’s best to double-check the ingredients if you’re concerned about consuming caffeine.

At this point, you’re probably wondering why white chocolate is called chocolate. Didn’t we learn that the cocoa solid found in chocolate is responsible for the caffeine content?

Well, it’s all because white chocolate is made with cocoa butter rather than cocoa solids, which do not contain caffeine. Yet, it still allows white chocolate to be given its name. Pretty interesting, huh?

A Closer Look at Other Chocolate Products

OK, so we got the “bulk” of the chocolates out of the way.

But, if you’re anything like me, you don’t typically munch on a simple square of chocolate. You reach for other chocolaty items, like cake or ice cream.

That said, I wanted to add some more depth to this article and fill you in on the caffeine content in favorite chocolate desserts.

Let’s go!

How Much Caffeine is in Chocolate Cake?

How much caffeine is in a chocolate cake depends on three factors – the type of chocolate used, the amount of chocolate, and the size of the slice.

So, if you’re making a double chocolate cake riddled with dark chocolate, you can expect to have a much higher caffeine content than a milk chocolate cake.

How Much Caffeine is in Chocolate Ice Cream?

If you sit on the aisle of #teamchocolate in the great vanilla vs. chocolate debate, you might want to know how much caffeine you’re consuming.

Well, like chocolate cake, the amount can vary depending on how much chocolate is used and the kind of chocolate in the frozen dessert. You also have to consider the possibility of caffeinated add-ons, such as coffee beans, which will increase the caffeine content.

Generally, though, a ½ cup of chocolate ice cream will have anywhere from two to ten milligrams of caffeine.

How Much Caffeine is in Hot Chocolate?

Finally, let’s take a peek at hot chocolate.

Hot chocolate caffeine levels can vary depending on the type you’re sippin’ on:

  • Cocoa Powder Hot Chocolate – Typically contains up to five milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce serving.
  • Chocolate Bar Hot Chocolate – If you use real chocolate bars to create your indulgent cup of cocoa, you can expect anywhere from five to 20 milligrams, depending on the type of chocolate used. (Remember – darker chocolate has more caffeine!)
  • Instant Hot Chocolate – Most instant mixes don’t have a whole lot of caffeine, with many brands hovering around five milligrams. That’s not to say they can’t be higher than that, though, so double-check if you’re concerned!


I hope I was able to answer all your questions about how much caffeine is in chocolate, y’all! If you want to keep learning, though, here are some frequently asked questions asked by other fellow readers.

Is chocolate higher in caffeine than coffee?

Not at all! Chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee. For example, most 8-ounce cups of coffee contain around 95 milligrams of caffeine. Even the darkest chocolates only have about 40 milligrams of caffeine, and milk chocolate has much less, hovering around five milligrams.

Is chocolate high in caffeine?

Chocolate isn’t tremendously high in caffeine, but it depends on the type of chocolate you’re eating. For example, white chocolate contains zero caffeine, but very dark chocolate may have up to 40 milligrams per ounce.

How much caffeine is in a Hershey bar?

A Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar contains six milligrams of caffeine per ounce, which is on par with our statement that most milk chocolate contains 5 milligrams per ounce. Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Bars contain 12 milligrams per ounce, which aligns with our stats.

Chocolate – You Delicious, Caffeinated Goodie!

Yup – there’s caffeine in most chocolate (not white chocolate, though). The amount depends solely on the percentage of cocoa solids. The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa solids, and thus, a higher caffeine content.

Did you know that chocolate contains caffeine? Share your thoughts below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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