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19 Unique & Amazing Cocoa Powder Substitutes To Know

Who doesn’t love a hot chocolate, delicious chocolate cake, or a tasty chocolate treat in the evening?

Its divine sweet taste that melts in our mouths is hard to beat and we have cocoa powder to thank for it.

Cocoa powder provides most recipes with that rich chocolatey color and flavor we all love. 

If you’re a big foodie that loves to cook with this rich ingredient you’ll know just how much it can enhance a recipe.

However, you might also know how it feels to discover you have none left in the cupboards.

The Best Cocoa Powder Substitutes - What you Need To Know

The fact you’re here may suggest you’ve just found out! If so, don’t worry, we’re here to help. 

In this article, we’ve listed 8 of the best cocoa powder substitutes so that you never have to interrupt your baking.

Today, we’ll tell you what you need to know about each substitute. Keep reading to learn more!

Quick Table: Cocoa Powder Substitutes

SubstitutesCalories (Per 100 Grams)
Carob Powder222
Dutch Process Cocoa208
Unsweetened Cooking Chocolate229
Hot Cocoa Mix76
Hot Chocolate Mix76
Dark Chocolate604
Couverture Chocolate505
Chocolate Chips479
Chocolate Syrup279
Espresso Powder2
Carob Powder222
Black Cocoa Powder229
Nutella 541
Carob Chips540
Raw Cacao Powder309
Chocolate Protein Powder401
Regular Chocolate Bar505
Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa409

Each substitute we will be talking about in this article acts as a good replacement for cocoa powder when you have none left.

However, you should remember that you won’t achieve the same texture or flavor.

As a result, you should try your best to use the substitute that works best for your recipe.

We recommend identifying the substitute that replicates the flavors and textures you need for your recipe best. 

Having said that, if push comes to shove, you could use any of the substitutions in our guide to replace cocoa powder.

You might just have to tinker with the recipe a little to get it right. Let’s take a look at the 8 best substitutions you can make for cocoa powder!

1. Carob Powder

Next up, we have carob powder. Carob powder has a similar appearance to cocoa powder.

It is usually used to sweeten baked goods and desserts as it has a wonderfully sweet taste. 

Despite not having the same bitter taste as cocoa powder, the carob powder’s color and sweetness make it a solid substitute and is one of the best cocoa powder substitutes.

It also comes with some great health benefits that can be used to treat diabetes, diarrhea, and persistent heartburn to name just a few. 

How To Substitute

Similar to Dutch-process cocoa, carob powder can be used on a 1:1 basis. However, you will have to reduce the amount of sugar required for the rest of your recipe. This is because carob powder will provide most of the sweetness your recipe needs.

The Best Cocoa Powder Substitutes - What you Need To Know

2. Dutch-Process Cocoa

The first substitute on our list is Dutch-processed cocoa. This is a fantastic cocoa powder substitute as it dissolves easily. It also has a taste that isn’t quite as bitter.

Aside from tasting quite sweet, Dutch-process cocoa powder also provides that dark, rich chocolatey color most recipes require.

Any recipe this substitute is added to will taste and look just like any normal chocolate-based food.

How To Substitute

Substituting Dutch-process cocoa for cocoa powder is easy. In a recipe that doesn’t contain baking soda or baking powder you first need to add a form of acid. This can be simply done by adding ⅛ teaspoon of lemon juice, vinegar, or cream of tartar to every 3 tablespoons of Dutch-process cocoa.This will help with the leavening process. Aside from that, simply use this substitute as a 1:1 substitution.

3. Unsweetened Cooking Chocolate

Another brilliant and quite common substitute for cocoa powder is unsweetened cooking chocolate.

Effortlessly bringing rich chocolate flavors and colors to the table, this baking ingredient contains high levels of chocolate liquor and cocoa solids. 

However, it isn’t an ingredient that contains any sugars. Therefore it will only add fat and flavor to your recipe, not sweetness.

You will also have to use at least 1 tablespoon of fat less in your recipe. 

How To Substitute

To substitute unsweetened cooking chocolate for cocoa powder, start by melting the chocolate. Once melted, mix the chocolate with butter. This will help to give you a similar texture and taste to cocoa powder. We recommend using 2 tablespoons of melted cooking chocolate for every 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

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4. Hot Cocoa Mix

If you have a hot cocoa mix in your kitchen cupboard, you could use it to make an effective cocoa powder substitute.

Consisting of sweeteners, spices, and milk solids, hot cocoa mix also contains cocoa powder.

Therefore, you can use this substitute to add that cocoa powder bitterness to your recipe as well as the chocolate flavor and color. 

Hot cocoa mix is also easily made. Simply mix the powder with hot milk or water.

Within seconds you’ll have a delicious cup of hot chocolate.

How To Substitute

Despite containing cocoa powder, the flavors provided by the hot cocoa mix won’t quite be the same. However, it’s well worth using. To substitute hot cocoa mix for cocoa powder, we recommend using 2 teaspoons for every 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder your recipe requires for chocolatey taste.

5. Hot Chocolate Mix

The next substitute we want to tell you about is hot chocolate mix. Hot chocolate mix is rich in chocolate flavor like the hot cocoa mix but it offers a much thicker texture.

This mix is also similar to hot cocoa mix in the way that it also contains cocoa powder. 

This is great because it ensures that your recipe will still have a bitter chocolate flavor.

Other ingredients in the hot chocolate mix include milk powder, creamer, and sugar. 

How To Substitute

Substituting hot chocolate mix for cocoa powder won’t take you long at all. In fact, all you need to do is use the right amount and make sure you use less sugar throughout the rest of your recipe. You should use two teaspoons of the hot chocolate mix for every 1 teaspoon you would normally use cocoa powder.

6. Dark Chocolate

If your recipe relies heavily on the bitterness of the cocoa powder, your best alternative is dark chocolate.

Made from cocoa butter, cocoa solids, and sugar, dark chocolate is rich and bitter, just like cocoa powder.

It also has a beautiful dark chocolate color that will look great in your desserts.

It is also worth mentioning that high-quality dark chocolate is very nutritious. You’ll find most dark chocolates packed with antioxidants. 

How To Substitute

Using dark chocolate as a substitute for cocoa powder is pretty simple. All you need to do is melt the chocolate and use the right amount in your recipe. Once the dark chocolate has melted, use 2 tablespoons to substitute 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

Cocoa Powder Substitutes - Dark Chocolates

7. Couverture Chocolate

The second to last substitute on this list is couverture chocolate. Couverture chocolate is a type of chocolate that contains higher amounts of cocoa butter.

You’ll find this type of chocolate most commonly used in the making of professional chocolate bars, barks, candy, brownies, and cakes. 

It is also great dipping chocolate that has a thinner texture than cocoa powder.

However, it will give your recipes that sweet flavor and dark color cocoa powder creates, so you should definitely use it as a substitute if you have no other options available. 

How To Substitute

Couverture chocolate may be ideal for baked goods but when it comes to substituting it for cocoa powder you do need to be careful. There are adjustments you will have to make to the rest of your recipe if you want to avoid an end product full of fat. As a result of the chocolate’s high levels of coconut butter, reduce the levels of fat the rest of your recipe requires.

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8. Chocolate Chips

Finally, we have chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are essentially small pieces of chocolate.

They come in a wide range of different flavors including peanut butter, mint, white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate.

Thanks to their versatility, they work well with most desserts and can also be used in a chocolate fountain.

The most popular desserts chocolate chips are used in are muffins, pies, pastries, cakes, pancakes, and cookies.

They are wonderfully sweet and dark in color so be sure to try them out.

How To Substitute

Chocolate chips contain sweetened chocolate and cocoa butter so making it work with your recipe isn’t difficult. However, they do retain their shape pretty well after baking. Therefore, grounding them first gives you a better chance of bonding them with the other ingredients. When substituting 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, you should use half a cup of chocolate chips.

9. Chocolate Syrup

Chocolate Syrup is the perfect addition to your favorite cocktail, beer, or coffee. It’s made with cocoa powder and natural cane sugar and can be used to make chocolate milk, hot chocolate, and martinis.

The flavors in this syrup are rich and have a nostalgic taste. The color is a beautiful light brown, and the texture is smooth and velvety.

Made from pure, high-quality chocolate, the consistency is silky smooth, and the flavor is unforgettable. It’s perfect for adding flavor and sweetness to coffee, ice cream, and more.

How To Substitute

To substitute chocolate syrup for cocoa powder, one can add the following ingredients to a pot of boiling water: -1/2 cup cocoa powder -1/2 cup sugar -1/2 cup water -1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract -1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Combine these ingredients in a saucepan, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil, and let it simmer for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Please take off the heat, and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Pour into a jar, and store in the fridge.

10. Molasses

Molasses is a thick, viscous liquid from processing sugarcane or sugar beet juice. It is rich in the minerals and trace elements removed from the juice during the refining process and is used in the food industry as a sweetener.

It is primarily used in cooking as a thickener and flavor enhancer. 

It is used as a food ingredient in a wide variety of dishes. For example, molasses is used as a substitute for honey in cooking and producing other foodstuffs such as gingerbread, ginger beer, and licorice. 

Molasses can be eaten raw or used in recipes for sauces, pieces of bread, and cakes.

How To Substitute

In this recipe, molasses is used as a substitute for cocoa powder. Molasses is made from cane or beet sugar sugars and has a higher iron level than the average chocolate. In this recipe, molasses is mixed with milk and used to make chocolate milk.

11. Espresso Powder

Espresso Powder

Espresso Powder is a blend of natural ingredients and aromas that gives your espresso a bold flavor. With this product, you can create a traditional Italian espresso, an Americano, or a Macchiato with just the right amount of flavor.

It is the ideal solution for making a quick, flavorful, and strong espresso. With only two ingredients, you can enjoy an espresso in a matter of seconds.

This powder can be mixed with cold or hot water to make espresso and other coffee drinks. This powder can also be used to flavor many different foods and recipes.

How To Substitute

You can substitute unsweetened cocoa powder with espresso powder, which has a higher concentration of caffeine. To do this, use 3/4 cup espresso powder and 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.

12. Carob Powder

Carob powder is made from ground carob beans and is used in baked goods, smoothies, and some beverages.

Carob powder is a healthy substitute for chocolate with a lower glycemic index and lower levels of fat and calories than chocolate.

An earthy taste similar to chocolate gives a slightly bitter and intense flavor. 

 It is a highly nutritious food containing various minerals, fiber, and vitamins. It is typically used in baking and gluten-free recipes.

How To Substitute

The best substitute for cocoa powder is Carob Powder, made from ground-up carob pods. Carob powder has a rich chocolate-like flavor and is a natural sweetener. Carob powder is also a source of calcium and iron. It can be used in any recipe that calls for cocoa powder.

13. Black Cocoa Powder

Black cocoa powder is simply a cocoa powder that has a smoother and non-bitter taste. As a result, the powder gives a distinctive intense flavor. 

Dark cocoa powder is a fine powder made from the ground cocoa bean. It can be used in various recipes and is typically used as a flavor or coloring agent.

This high-quality cocoa powder is dark, rich, and fragrant, with a subtly sweet flavor that blends well with other ingredients.

The rich, deep chocolate flavor of black cocoa powder is perfect for various recipes, including baked goods, frostings, and hot cocoa.

How To Substitute

To replace cocoa powder, substitute 3/4 teaspoon of Black Cocoa Powder for one tablespoon of cocoa powder. It is a good substitute for dark chocolate, but only 1/4 teaspoon is needed for milk chocolate.

14. Nutella


Nutella is made from roasted hazelnuts, skimmed milk, cocoa, and sugar. The result is a deliciously sweet, smooth, and creamy spread. 

It is a chocolate hazelnut spread perfect for topping your favorite desserts, breakfast cereals, or oatmeal. It is delicious and nutritious and can be used in various ways.

It is a spreadable hazelnut and chocolate-flavored paste made from a base of skimmed milk, sugar, cocoa powder, hazelnuts, skimmed cocoa butter, and vanilla.

It is commonly used as a breakfast food or dessert topping. 

How To Substitute

To substitute cocoa powder for Nutella, you need to replace the cocoa powder with 1/4 cup of Nutella.

15. Carob Chips

Carob chips are a crunchy, chocolate-flavored alternative to the regular chips found in most kitchens. They are made with organic, fair-trade carob, sea salt, and organic cane sugar.

A carob is an ideal option for those on a low-carb diet, as it’s rich in fiber and has a lower glycemic index than many other typical snacks. 

These chips can be used in any recipe for chocolates, such as brownies, cookies, and cakes. Mixed with sugar, you can create a tasty dark chocolate-like taste. 

How To Substitute

Carob chips can be substituted for cocoa powder in recipes. They are similar in taste and consistency to cocoa powder and can be used in place of cocoa powder in a variety of recipes. In addition, carob chips can be purchased in various flavors and colors.

16. Raw Cacao Powder

Raw cacao powder is a fine dark powder made from cocoa beans. Commonly used as a sweetener and flavor enhancer, it is used in baked goods, desserts, ice creams, and more. 

Made from fine beans, the raw, organic, vegan, and gluten-free chocolate powder gives a silky and smooth texture. 

It is used in different recipes and for other uses in the kitchen, giving a slightly bitter taste to the chocolate. 

How To Substitute

You can substitute raw cacao powder for cocoa powder in your baking recipes. Raw cacao powder is made from the ground cocoa bean, while cocoa powder is made from cocoa liquor. The two can be used interchangeably in most recipes.

17. Chocolate Protein Powder

Chocolate Protein Powder

Chocolate protein powder is made from natural cocoa beans. It is a delicious way to add protein to your diet and is a perfect healthy snack or meal replacement that provides the nutrition needed. 

The delicious taste of the recipe has all the benefits and is excellent for everyone allergic to animal products. 

This high protein, low sugar, all-natural chocolate powder can be used to make a protein smoothie, baked into a protein muffin, or added to any recipe that calls for chocolate chips.

How To Substitute

If you want to substitute cocoa powder for chocolate protein powder, you can mix a half-cup of cocoa powder into the recipe instead of using the cocoa powder called for in the recipe.

18. Regular Chocolate Bar

Chocolate is one of the most popular foods in the world. Chocolate is made from cocoa beans and sugar and is usually flavored with vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, coffee, and other spices.

Chocolate bars are one of the most popular snacks that people buy. Chocolate bars can be found in stores and vending machines.

The chocolate bar is rich in dark cocoa powder, sugar, butter, and vanilla. The chocolate is combined with corn syrup and a variety of other ingredients. 

The chocolate is then combined with sweetened condensed milk, which gives the chocolate a soft, velvety texture.

How To Substitute

This recipe calls for cocoa powder, but you can substitute it with a regular chocolate bar. Chocolate is one of the most popular flavors used in various dishes.

19. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa

The chocolate bar has a distinctive taste that is often described as having a “rich, sweet, butterscotch-like taste.” It has a smooth texture and a deep brown color.

This chocolate is perfect for those who want a chocolate that is deep, rich, and dark. It is made with real cocoa and high quality ingredients.

It is available in a variety of flavors and is made from high quality ingredients. Its low cocoa butter content makes it easy to melt and pour, so it’s ideal for dipping or frosting.

How To Substitute

While it is not possible to completely replace cocoa powder with Hershey’s special dark cocoa, you can use the cocoa powder to make homemade chocolate. To substitute cocoa powder with Hershey’s special dark cocoa, use 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in place of the cocoa powder and salt called for in the recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Cocoa Powder Used For?

Cocoa powder is an ingredient used in baking, cooking, and many other products. For example, it can be used in chocolate, candy, and many other desserts, as well as in sauces, ice cream, and other baked goods.

It is made by grinding the cocoa beans and then sifting the powder.

Is Cocoa Better Than Coffee?

Coffee is a popular drink in America, but cocoa has a more intense flavor and more benefits for your health. Cocoa contains flavonoids and antioxidants that help fight inflammation, cancer, heart disease, and aging.

Cocoa is also a good source of fiber and calcium. Coffee is high in caffeine and has fewer antioxidants than cocoa.

Is Cocoa Powder And Chocolate Powder The Same?

Cocoa powder and chocolate powder are different ingredients. Cocoa powder is a processed mixture of cocoa beans, cocoa butter, and sugar, whereas chocolate powder is a processed mixture of cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and sugar.

The Best Cocoa Powder Substitutes – What You Need To Know

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Cocoa powder gives desserts a rich chocolatey taste, but what do you do if you have none? You use one of the 8 substitutes from our guide; that’s what you do!


  • Carob Powder

  • Dutch-Process Cocoa

  • Unsweetened Cooking Chocolate

  • Hot Cocoa Mix

  • Hot Chocolate Mix

  • Dark Chocolate

  • Couverture Chocolate

  • Chocolate Chips

  • Chocolate Syrup

  • Molasses

  • Espresso Powder

  • Carob Powder

  • Black Cocoa Powder

  • Nutella

  • Carob Chips

  • Raw Cacao Powder

  • Chocolate Protein Powder

  • Regular Chocolate Bar

  • Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith

Substitute for Cocoa Powder

Thursday 12th of January 2023

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