Chocolate chips make everything more delicious. But are they gluten-free? Read on for good news!
If you have delved into the world of gluten-free baking, you have discovered gluten-free flours that make great substitutes for wheat, but what about the chocolate chips? Are they gluten-free?
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Yes, chocolate chips are often gluten-free! However, it’s important to read the fine print. Some chocolate chips are specifically labeled gluten-free, while others are not, even though they don’t appear to contain gluten-containing ingredients. To be totally safe, look for that “gluten-free” label on your package of chocolate chips.
Are Chocolate Chips Gluten Free?
Have you ever wondered about the origins of the delightful little treat we call chocolate chips? Believe it or not, chocolate chip cookies debuted years before chocolate chips were available for sale. In fact, the cookie inspired the chips!
Today, Nestle chocolate morsels still carry the Toll House name, and Ruth Wakefield’s recipe is printed on every bag. Of course, these days, chocolate chips are produced by many different companies, and varieties have expanded from the original semi-sweet to include milk chocolate, dark chocolate, butterscotch, white chocolate, and others. Plus, every baker seems to have his or her own take on the classic American chocolate chip cookie recipe.
I love using chocolate chips to make our very favorite gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.
Chocolate Chip Ingredients
What’s in a chocolate chip? These are the ingredients you’ll find in a classic bag of Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate morsels:
- Cocoa Butter
- Soy Lecithin
- Natural Flavors
These chocolate chips do contain two common allergens: milk and soy. However, they are labeled gluten-free, so wheat is not a concern.
With any brand of chocolate chips, you’ll want to look for “gluten-free” on the label to make sure cross-contamination is not a concern. Otherwise, it is possible the chocolate chips will contain traces of gluten because of other foods being produced in the same facility.
Which Brands of Chocolate Chips Are Gluten-Free?
Good news: Many of the big brand chocolate chip manufacturers label their products as gluten-free! Here are some brands to choose from:
- Nestle Toll House chocolate chips (morsels) *most flavors are gluten-free, but check packaging on specialty flavors
- Guittard chocolate chips and baking chips
- Enjoy Life chips, chunks, and morsels
- Hershey’s chocolate chips *most flavors are labeled gluten-free, but the holiday varieties (Easter and Christmas) and the “premier white creme chips” are not
- Lily’s baking chips (no added sugar)
- Bake Believe baking chips (no added sugar)
- Pascha chocolate chips (keto friendly, dairy-free chocolate chip)
Are Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips Gluten Free?
Nestle Toll House and Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips are gluten-free, as well as specialty brand Enjoy Life chocolate chips.
Other brands, including generics, may not list any gluten-containing grains on the label, but without a certified gluten-free label, cross-contamination could be an issue. For example, Ghirardelli chocolate chips are NOT considered gluten-free due to gluten contaminants; their label states, “Product may contain one or more of the following allergens: milk, soy, tree nuts, wheat, and/or egg.”
Certified gluten-free products contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, as per the FDA guidelines. These products are considered safe to eat if you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity, or a wheat allergy.
Are Chocolate Chip Cookies Gluten Free?
Typically, chocolate chip cookies are not gluten-free cookies, as they are made from wheat flour. However, chocolate chip cookies CAN be made gluten-free when gluten-free flour and gluten-free chocolate chips are selected and the cookies are made in a gluten-free environment.
You also might like these gluten-free brownies.
Made mostly from naturally gluten-free ingredients such as sugar, chocolate, and cocoa butter, semi-sweet chocolate chips usually do not contain gluten ingredients. However, chocolate chips may be produced in facilities where cross-contamination is an issue, because gluten-containing products could share the same equipment. For this reason, it’s important to check chocolate chip packaging for a “gluten-free” label if you’re following a strict gluten-free diet.
Nestle and Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips are verified gluten-free, but certain specialty and holiday varieties are not, so make sure to check the fine print! Enjoy Life chocolate chips are a great gluten-free option.
White chocolate chips are usually gluten-free, but check product labels to make sure! A “gluten-free” label means that the chocolate chips are produced in a facility where cross-contamination is not an issue. Otherwise, traces of gluten could be present even if gluten ingredients were not specifically used to make the chocolate chips.
Enjoy Life white mini chips are a great option, because their chocolate products are produced free from 14 common allergens, including gluten.
Ghirardelli chocolate chips are not considered gluten-free. While these chocolate chips are said to contain only cane sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, soy lecithin, and vanilla extract, there is a disclaimer to follow.
“Product may contain one or more of the following allergens: milk, soy, tree nuts, wheat, and/or egg.” This tells us that there is a risk of cross-contamination at the facility where Ghirardelli products are produced. For celiacs, this is one brand to avoid, just to be on the safe side.
Yes, Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips (“morsels”) are gluten-free, as are Nestle’s dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips. However, some specialty varieties such as butterscotch and caramel do not state that they are gluten-free, so cross-contamination could be an issue. For celiac-safe morsels, always check labels to verify that the flavor you’re selecting is clearly labeled gluten-free.
And if your dietary needs call for vegan chocolate chips that are free from all 8 major allergens, check out Nestle Toll House’s “Allergen Free Semi-Sweet Morsels,” also available in dark chocolate. These chocolate chips are made from only 100% real chocolate, cocoa butter, and pure cane sugar.
The Bottom Line
Chocolate chips add that special flair to so many baked goods, snacks, and breakfast recipes. And typically, they do not include gluten ingredients. However, it’s still important to check those labels!
If the chocolate chips you’re buying are labeled gluten-free, you’re free and clear. However, the absence of a gluten-free label could mean that there is risk of cross contamination during manufacturing.
Once you’ve determined that your chocolate chips are in fact gluten-free, try them out in one of these delicious recipes!