Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder Substitute

By Erin Huffstetler | 04/11/2020 | No Comments

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Out of unsweetened cocoa powder or allergic to chocolate? Here’s how to make a successful substitution.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder Substitutes

Unsweetened cocoa powder adds intense chocolate flavor to recipes, without adding a bunch of sugar and fat. Since it’s slightly acidic, it also serves as a leavening agent in baked goods that contain baking soda. Here are some things you can use in its place, when making brownies, puddings, cakes and other tasty treats.

Dutch-Processed Cocoa – Use dutch-processed cocoa as a 1:1 replacement for unsweetened cocoa powder. This will give your recipe a darker chocolate color, but it won’t alter the sugar or fat content. If you’re using this substitute in a recipe that calls for baking soda, add 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar, white vinegar or lemon juice for every three Tablespoons of cocoa powder called for. This will serve as the acid that the baking soda needs to leaven your baked good. Dutch-processed cocoa dissolves easier than unsweetened cocoa powder, so you won’t have to stir for as long as you’re used to to get it to incorporate with the wet ingredients in your recipe. Bonus!

Unsweetened Baking Chocolate – Use one ounce of melted unsweetened baking chocolate for every three Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder called for in your recipe. For the best results, add the melted chocolate when you add your sugar and butter. This substitute won’t add any sugar to your recipe, but it will add some fat. To adjust for this, omit one Tablespoon of butter, oil or shortening.

Carob Powder or Carob Chips – If you’re looking for an unsweetened cocoa powder substitute because you’re allergic to chocolate or sensitive to caffeine, use an equal amount of carob powder. This won’t change the fat in your recipe, but it will add a bit of sugar. Melted carob chips will also work. Use one ounce of chips for every three Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder called for. This will add both sugar and fat to your recipe. To adjust for the extra fat, omit one Tablespoon of butter, oil or shortening from the recipe. Consider making additional adjustments to compensate for the added sugar. For the best results, incorporate the melted chips when you cream the butter and sugar.

Can I Substitute Chocolate Syrup or Cocoa Mix for Unsweetened Cocoa Powder?

Chocolate syrup and cocoa mix are not good substitutes for unsweetened cocoa powder. Chocolate syrup contains water, while cocoa mix contains sugar, powdered milk and other additives. These extra ingredients are difficult to compensate for, and will alter your recipe in unpredictable ways.

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Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder Substitute

Here’s how to successfully substitute for the unsweetened cocoa powder in any recipe.


  • Author: Erin Huffstetler, MyFrugalHome.com
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Ingredient Substitutions
  • Method: Measure
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients:

  • Dutch-processed cocoa powder, unsweetened baking chocolate, carob powder or carob chips

Instructions:

Replace the unsweetened cocoa powder called for with:

-An equal amount of dutch-processed cocoa (If your recipe calls for baking soda, add 1/8 tsp cream of tartar, white vinegar or lemon juice for every 3 Tablespoons of cocoa powder)

-1 ounce of melted unsweetened baking chocolate, for every 3 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Omit 1 Tablespoon of butter, oil or shortening from recipe to adjust for added fat in chocolate

-An equal amount of carob powder

-1 ounce of carob chips, for every 3 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder called for. Omit 1 Tablespoon of butter, oil or shortening from recipe to adjust for added fat in chocolate

Notes

  • Chocolate syrup and cocoa mix are not good substitutes for unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Nutrition facts are based on using Dutch-processed cocoa powder as the substitute.
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