Do you love baking with cocoa powder but don’t always have it on hand?
If so, you’re in luck!
There are plenty of great substitutes for cocoa powder that can help you achieve the same delicious results.
From carob powder to almond butter, these 7 substitutes will give your baked goods a boost of flavor without sacrificing taste or texture.
So if you’re looking for an easy way to switch up your recipes and add some variety, read on to learn more about the best substitutes for cocoa powder!
What is Cocoa Powder?
Cocoa powder is made by grinding cocoa beans into a fine, dark brown powder.
It has a strong and intense flavor that adds richness to desserts and baked goods.
Cocoa powder can be used to make chocolate-flavored drinks, cakes, cookies, muffins, ice cream toppings, and much more.
It’s important to note that there are two types of cocoa powder: regular cocoa powder (also known as natural or non-alkalized) and Dutch-processed or alkalized cocoa powder.
Regular cocoa powder has a slightly acidic taste whereas Dutch-processed cocoa is milder with an almost melted chocolate flavor.
Depending on the dish you’re making, one type may work better than another so it’s best to use the kind specified in the recipe for optimal results.
The 7 Best Substitutes For Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder is an important ingredient in many baking recipes.
But sometimes, it can be hard to find or too expensive for your budget.
Here are seven of the best alternatives to cocoa powder:
1. Powdered Peanut Butter
Powdered peanut butter is a great substitute for cocoa powder when you’re out.
It has a unique flavor that is similar to cocoa but with a nutty undertone, and it can be used in the same way as regular cocoa powder.
Powdered peanut butter is made by pressing peanuts into a fine powder.
This process removes most of the fat and oil content while preserving much of its natural flavor and nutrition.
It’s also low in calories compared to traditional peanut butter, making it an ideal ingredient for baking or adding to smoothies or yogurt bowls.
Its texture makes it easy to dissolve into liquids like milk, almond milk, or even coffee—making it perfect for hot drinks like mochas or lattes.
You can use powdered peanut butter as part of your baking ingredients too; mix with flour, sugar, salt and other spices to make delicious treats like brownies or cookies!
2. Carob Powder
Carob powder is a great alternative to cocoa powder in baking recipes.
It has a sweet, naturally chocolate-like taste that gives all kinds of desserts and baked goods an excellent flavor.
Carob powder comes from the carob tree, which is native to Mediterranean countries like Spain, Italy, and Greece.
The pod of the carob tree is dried and ground into a fine powder for use in cooking or baking.
Unlike cocoa powder, carob does not contain caffeine or any other stimulants; it’s rich in vitamins A and B1, calcium, iron, and phosphorus; it also contains natural sugars such as fructose and glucose that make it naturally sweet without having to add any extra sugar.
When substituting for cocoa powder in baking recipes, you will need to use about twice as much carob because its flavor isn’t quite as intense as cocoa’s.
Also, keep in mind that the color won’t be exactly the same since carob tends to have more of a tan hue than dark brown one like with cocoa.
3. Baking Chocolate
If you’re out of cocoa powder and need a substitute for baking, you can use baking chocolate. Baking chocolate is unsweetened chocolate that comes in the form of blocks or chips.
It’s made from cacao beans that have been processed into cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
The two main types are bittersweet and semi-sweet, but there are also other varieties like milk or white chocolate.
Baking with baking chocolate requires a bit more effort than using cocoa powder because it needs to be melted first before adding it to your batter or dough mixture.
You can melt it on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring until all lumps are gone.
Keep in mind that this type of chocolate has no sugar added so you may want to add some depending on how sweet your recipe should be.
In addition to being used as a substitute for unsweetened cocoa powder, baking chocolate can also be used as an ingredient for making hot chocolates and desserts where extra richness is desired – like truffles, brownies, cookies, cakes and more!
4. Chocolate Chips
If you are out of cocoa powder and need a substitute, chocolate chips may be the answer.
Chocolate chips are small pieces of chocolate that have been shaped into rounded disks. They can be used as an ingredient in recipes or enjoyed on their own as a snack.
The most common type of chocolate chip is semi-sweet, but they also come in dark and white varieties.
Depending on the recipe, any type of chocolate chip will work; however, keep in mind that different types will produce different results.
For instance, white chocolate chips contain more sugar than other types and will result in a sweeter flavor.
When using them to replace cocoa powder, use equal amounts of melted chocolate chips for every tablespoon of cocoa powder called for in the recipe.
Melt the chips slowly over low heat until completely smooth before adding them to your recipe as directed.
This substitution should provide similar baking results compared to if you had used cocoa powder instead.
5. Hot Cocoa Mix
Hot cocoa mix is a dry blend that contains sugar and powdered milk, along with other ingredients like artificial flavoring and sometimes even marshmallows.
It is more convenient than using cocoa powder alone as it already has some sweetness in it.
This makes it an ideal substitute for recipes that need a hint of sweetness in addition to chocolate flavor.
When prepared correctly, hot cocoa mix results into a creamy, smooth beverage with a deep chocolaty flavor. It’s also great for making desserts such as lava cakes or brownies!
To make hot chocolate, all you have to do is combine two tablespoons of the mix with one cup of boiling water/milk then whisk until everything dissolves evenly.
You can also add sweeteners or flavors like cinnamon or vanilla extract if desired.
6. Cocoa Nibs
Cocoa nibs are the raw form of chocolate and they are made from crushed cocoa beans.
They contain the same flavor compounds as cocoa powder, but with a slightly more intense taste and crunchy texture.
Cocoa nibs can be used in baking to replace cocoa powder in recipes or as a topping for ice cream or yogurt for an extra crunchy treat.
When used in baking, it’s best to use them as part of an equal blend of other ingredients such as sugar and butter, otherwise, their intense bitterness could overpower the sweetness and flavor of your baked goods.
Cocoa nibs have many health benefits too – they’re full of antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation, improve heart health and even boost brain function!
They also contain some essential minerals like iron, potassium and magnesium which all contribute to overall well-being.
7. Cocoa Syrup
When I’m out of cocoa powder, one of the substitutes that I often use is cocoa syrup.
Cocoa syrup is a sweet and creamy syrup made from cocoa beans, which makes it an ideal replacement for chocolate-flavored treats when you run out of cocoa powder.
The key difference between cocoa powder and cocoa syrup is that the latter has been emulsified with vegetable oil, making it more liquid than its powdered counterpart.
It also has a deeper and richer flavor profile than regular unsweetened cocoa powder since it’s combined with sugar and other ingredients like glucose or fructose syrup.
When using coca syrup as a substitute for cocoa powder in baking recipes, consider adding just a bit more flour to balance out the moisture content of your dough or batter before baking.
You can also use it to create delicious hot chocolates by simply mixing it into hot milk or water along with some sugar to taste.
The 7 Best Substitutes For Cocoa Powder
- Powdered Peanut Butter
- Carob Powder
- Baking Chocolate
- Chocolate Chips
- Hot Cocoa Mix
- Cocoa Nibs
- Cocoa Syrup
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.