The United Kingdom has given the world plenty of iconic foods. From fish & chips to Yorkshire pudding and various pies, the food scene in the UK deserves way more recognition than it currently gets. The same goes for UK chocolates! After all, you’ve heard of Cadbury and Maltesers, haven’t you?
From world-renowned chocolates to artisanal creations that will leave you salivating, these are the 12 best UK chocolate brands and what to get from each of them!
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Among all the UK chocolate brands on this list, I’m sure Cadbury is one name that needs no introduction. After all, not only does Cadbury offer some of the best chocolates in the UK, it’s also one of the most confectionary brands in the world!
Recognizable by its iconic purple wrapper, Cadbury began as a humble tea and coffee shop in Birmingham in 1824. Over time, it began selling chocolate drinks and finally transitioned to the famous chocolatier we all know and love today.
Apart from classic chocolate bars, Cadbury also sells a wide range of chocolate beverages as well as unique candies and other sweet treats.
When it comes to the best Cadbury chocolates, you simply can’t go wrong with the classic milk chocolate bar. Even though it looks rudimentary on paper, it is the perfect example of how simple recipes can be the very best desserts.
Cadbury’s classic bars are made with fresh dairy milk from the British Isles. Neatly packaged into bars that fit in most pockets, Cadbury chocolate bars are easy to break apart, making them perfect for sharing too!
Cadbury Roses are one of the rarer forms of Cadbury chocolates. Instead of the iconic purple wrappers, these delicious treats come in bright blue boxes. Each bite-sized piece of chocolate is individually wrapped in brightly colored wrappers inside the box.
As for the chocolates themselves, you could say they are a bit of a variety pack. Apart from classic milk chocolate, you’ll also find chocolate fudge, chocolate caramel, hazelnut chocolate, and more within the box.
Given how elegant it looks as a whole, Cadbury Roses are definitely a great choice when it comes to gifts and souvenirs.
US-owned Mars, Incorporated is easily the biggest confectionery in the world. However, there are certain products that have firmly established themselves as UK chocolate brands in their own right. One such chocolaty treat is Maltesers.
Originally sold in the UK way back in the 1930s, Maltesers are one of the most popular chocolates in the UK. They’re basically chocolate spheres with a rich malted milk center that’s made with sugar, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, and other essential ingredients.
Even though they are sold in a variety of different packaging, they are most famously sold in red plastic wrappers.
Fun fact: Originally, Maltesers were primarily marketed towards women as a “healthier, less calorie-dense” chocolate treat!
Given how each piece of Maltesers is so easy to pop inside your mouth, it stands to reason that you’d want to buy a small bulk of them to ensure you don’t run out too quickly.
While it’s perfectly fine to run to the store to pick up a packet (or two), it’s much easier simply to pick up a bag of Maltesers in one go. Each bag contains six packets of Maltesers, enough to satisfy your sweet tooth for the foreseeable future.
3. Galaxy Chocolate Bars
Another Mars, Incorporated line of products that has evolved into a well-known treat in the UK is Galaxy.
Galaxy chocolates were first made in the UK during the 1960s. Offering a wide range of chocolate bars and flavors (including caramel, fruit and nut varieties, and more), the brand quickly established itself as one of the quintessential UK chocolate brands on the market.
In addition, Galaxy chocolates also come in a variety of unique shapes and forms, such as Galaxy Bubbles (an aerated chocolate bar) and Galaxy Ripple. While they may not be as popular as Cadbury, they certainly offer their own unique twist to classic UK chocolate bars.
The classic Galaxy Milk Chocolate Block is arguably the product that catapulted the brand into the hearts and minds of chocolate lovers in the UK. While it isn’t the most exciting chocolate treat you’ll find on the market, it will still charm you with its fragrance and lovable taste.
In fact, for many who grew up in the UK during the 1960s, the very sound of a Galaxy chocolate bar wrapper being opened is likely to trigger plenty of sweet childhood nostalgia!
A Galaxy Ripple is like a classic chocolate bar that has decided to live life on the wild side. Featuring a soft, velvety ripple texture, Galaxy Ripples are oblong chocolate bars with a rather artistic-looking interior.
Because of the ripples, the smooth and creamy chocolate comes with a crisp texture which then melts in your mouth. There aren’t many ways to make chocolate bars more appealing but this is definitely one of them!
Despite being named after an emperor of the ancient Aztec civilization, Montezuma’s is actually a family-owned chocolate company in the UK. Formed in the year 2000, Montezuma’s is a perfect illustration of a passion for chocolate brought to life.
After taking a chocolate-fueled trip to South America, owners Helen and Simon set up shop in Brighton, handmaking every delicious bar of chocolate themselves using the highest quality, ethically sourced ingredients.
Over the years, Montezuma’s has quickly established itself as one of the best UK chocolate brands in the market. Their well-deserved reputation is backed by their range of innovative chocolate treats, most of which are still produced in the original shop in West Sussex.
Most of the UK chocolates from Montezuma’s are packaged in brightly colored wrappers that are aesthetically beautiful. One look and you will already know that it’s an artisanal brand with high-quality products.
However, my favorite treat from Montezuma’s bucks the trend. Absolute Black is Montezuma’s signature range of dark chocolate bars made with 100% cocoa! For those who prefer milk chocolate, this may not be the type of product for you.
However, if you love chocolate because of the subtle bitterness of the cocoa beans, then you’ll love this range. In particular, I highly recommend Absolute Black with Almonds. Not only do the almonds add a nice crunch, but the fragrance also complements dense dark chocolate.
Apart from their incredible dark chocolate bars, Montezuma’s also offers an impressive array of scrumptious truffles. While any chocolate truffle is a good one if you ask me, I must say that their peanut butter truffles are in a class of their own.
The richness of the dark chocolate combined with the sweetness of the peanut butter center is simply to die for. Whether you like to savor every bite or prefer eating the entire truffle in one, you’re guaranteed a fusion of incredible flavors that will keep you coming back for more.
Thorntons is a UK chocolate brand that has stood the test of time. Established in 1911, this well-known local chocolatier actually started out selling toffees and fudge lines. However, after World War II, this family-owned business pivoted towards making chocolates and I’m so glad they did!
Thorntons specializes in continental chocolates, making incredible Swiss and Belgian-inspired treats that are always in demand. Backed a reputation that was built over a century ago, Thorntons’ flagship store in Derbyshire is always a crowded location, a testament to just how popular their treats are among the locals.
With over 100 years of chocolate making in its history, it’s no surprise that Thorntons has a wide variety of chocolates to offer. That’s why I recommend getting one of their Classic Collection boxes so you can sample a little bit of everything,
Each box comes with milk, white, and dark chocolate truffles. There are 24 pieces in each box, so if you’re in the mood to share (we don’t blame you if you don’t!), you can perfectly savor the chocolates with friends and family.
However, Thorntons’ BEST range of products is their continental chocolates. Recreating the richness of chocolates from famous chocolate-producing countries, Thornstons’ expert chocolatiers have crafted countless classics, all of which are available in their Continental Box.
Unlike the Classics Collection, the Continental Box is slightly smaller, offering only 14 pieces of mousses, truffles, and pralines. That being said, every piece is sure to bring you satisfaction and we won’t be surprised if you ordered another box right after tasting the first piece!
Not to be confused with New Zealand’s Whittakers (note the double T), Whitakers is a chocolate factory in North Yorkshire, England.
Spanning 125 years and five generations, this historical UK chocolate brand evolved from a humble shop making chocolates by hand to one of the biggest confectioneries in the country today. In fact, they are now such a huge enterprise that Whitakers now produces over 10 million chocolates per week!
If you’re wondering what to get, Whitakers is most famous for its chocolate bars (an unchanged recipe since its inception), fondant creams, and luxury truffle spheres (the chocolate mint version is my favorite!).
7. Charbonnel & Walker
Charbonnel & Walker, established in 1875 with support from the then Prince of Wales, is a proud recipient of the Royal Warrant, a designation that recognizes the company as chocolate manufacturers to the Queen of England!
Basically, Charbonnel & Walker is a local chocolatier that produces some of the finest UK chocolates that are even fit for royalty! They specialize in truffles specifically and offer an exquisite range of flavors that will tickle the fancy of any chocolate connoisseur.
In particular, their 007 Series (yes, 007 as in James Bond) comes with the most luxurious packaging I’ve ever seen. If you’re looking for the perfect UK chocolate gift idea, this should easily be your top choice!
8. Willie’s Cacao
With a name like Willie’s Cacao, it should come as no surprise that this artisan UK chocolate brand now only produces its own chocolate, but actually grows its own cacao beans to boot!
Being the only one of its kind in the UK, Willie’s uses traditional machinery to produce and process authentic pure cacao and to turn it into the magical, chocolaty goodness we all know and love. Not only does this give chocolates from Willie’s a more authentic vibe, but it also allows them to staunchly monitor the quality of their products.
Each chocolate bar produced here consists of single-origin cacao beans, enabling Willie’s to retain the natural flavor of each different kind of cacao. What’s more, if you’re ever in the UK, you could also schedule a chocolate and wine tasting experience to fully savor the explosive flavors of Willie’s chocolates.
Duffy’s is another bean-to-bar chocolatier in the UK. The only difference is that, instead of growing their own cacao, they simply import the very best beans from all over the world.
Once the beans arrive though, this UK chocolate shop in Lincolnshire takes over. Roasting and processing the beans before expertly crafting them into delicious chocolate bars.
Their handmade chocolate bars are so good in fact, that Duffy’s boasts several awards for their masterful creations!
Speaking of award-winning UK chocolates, Land is another artisanal chocolate shop that prides itself on being involved with its products from bean to bar.
Using the finest ingredients sourced from the best cacao farms around the world, Land celebrates the complex flavors of chocolate by painstakingly roasting, grinding, and crafting delicious chocolates that best exemplify the joy that a mouthful of chocolate can bring.
Despite being one of the youngest UK chocolate brands on this list (they were only established in 2012!), Land has already…landed (excuse the pun) itself several awards for its incredible range of chocolate treats.
11. Aphrodite Chocolates
There’s something lovely and romantic about handmade chocolates. That was probably what the owners of Aphrodite Chocolates thought as well when they decided to name their brand after the Greek Goddess of Love!
Since its establishment in 1997, Aphrodite Chocolates has continued to stun and delight customers with their luxury handmade chocolates. These creative artisans produce most of their products with minimal mechanical intervention, which makes every piece of chocolate on their shelves the result of a labor of love.
Add to that the promise of using only the finest quality ingredients, and what you have is a range of chocolate treats that will surely have you craving for more!
12. House of Dorchester
The House of Dorchester sounds like something that belongs in Game of Thrones. However, rather than compete for the iron throne, House of Dorchester’s main goal is to deliver premium UK chocolate to those who truly appreciate the artistry behind these sweet treats.
With over 50 years of history, this award-winning artisanal chocolatier operates out of a factory in Dorset. With its tempting range of chocolate bars and truffles, House of Dorchester promises a delightful treat any time of the day.
I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t KitKat produced and sold by Nestle? Yes, you’re right. However, did you know that, originally, KitKat was created by a UK chocolate brand called Rowntree’s in York?
Yes, this famous chocolate-covered wafer actually came from the United Kingdom more than 80 years ago! Of course, most people know KitKat now as a Nestle product that comes in a kaleidoscope of different flavors, especially in Japan. However, if you’re interested in sampling the original UK recipe, try this!
And there you have it lads, the top 12 best UK chocolate brands and what to get from each of them. What’s that? You want MORE chocolates? We hear you! Check out our coverage of Belgian, Swiss, Swedish, and American chocolates too!