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Cocoa Butter vs Cacao Butter: What’s the Difference?

Are you feeling perplexed and overwhelmed by the numerous varieties of butters, oils, and fats available to you? If so, don’t worry!

You’re not alone.

One of the most common questions asked in kitchens today is: What’s the difference between cocoa butter vs cacao butter?

Good news – this blog post will break down all the details on these two amazing ingredients so that you can make a well-informed decision about which one works best for your recipes!

Read on if you’d like to learn more!

Summary of key points

  • The terms “cacao butter” and “cocoa butter” are often used interchangeably to refer to the natural fat extracted from cacao beans during the chocolate-making process.
  • While some sources emphasize a distinction based on processing temperature, with cacao butter being raw and cocoa butter processed at a higher temperature, others assert that they are essentially the same product.
  • Both cacao butter and cocoa butter are rich in fat, with cocoa butter typically containing around 100 percent fat, while butter in general contains about 82 percent butterfat, with the remaining percentage being water and other trace elements.
  • The skin benefits of both butters are often compared, with some asserting that cacao butter is more expensive due to marketing tactics, while others suggest the two have slightly different scents and textures.

What is Cocoa Butter?

Cocoa butter is a type of vegetable fat that comes from cocoa beans.

It is extracted during the process of making chocolate and is used in various cosmetic and food products.

Cocoa butter is known for its smooth texture, mild flavor and aroma, and its ability to melt easily at body temperature.

Cocoa butter has been used for centuries by indigenous people of Central and South America as a natural remedy for skin conditions such as eczema and stretch marks.

Its emollient properties make it an excellent moisturizer, while its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe and heal irritated skin.

In terms of cooking, cocoa butter can be used in place of regular butter or oil as a healthier alternative.

It has more monounsaturated fats than saturated fats, making it a good choice for those looking to reduce their cholesterol levels or maintain a healthy weight.

Overall, cocoa butter has many benefits and uses that make it a valuable ingredient in various industries.

What is Cacao Butter?

Cacao butter is a natural plant-based fat that is extracted from the cacao bean.

It is also known as cocoa butter but the two are not exactly the same thing.

While they both come from the same source, there are some differences between them.

When it comes to processing, cocoa butter undergoes roasting and grinding of the cacao beans along with the pressing process to extract the fat.

On the other hand, cacao butter is made by pressing unroasted cacao nibs which gives it a strong chocolate flavor and aroma.

In terms of flavor and smell, cocoa butter has a neutral taste and mild chocolate aroma while cacao butter has a strong chocolate flavor and aroma making it perfect for use in desserts.

One major difference between cocoa butter and cacao butter is their nutrient content.

Cocoa butter contains only trace amounts of nutrients while cacao butter is high in antioxidants and minerals such as magnesium, iron, and zinc.

To summarize, while both cocoa butter and cacao butter come from the same source, their processing methods lead to different flavors, aromas and nutrient contents.

Differences Between Cocoa Butter and Cacao Butter

Cocoa butter and cacao butter are both derived from the same source, the cacao bean.

However, they differ in their composition, taste, aroma, and texture.

Cocoa butter has a mild chocolate flavor with no distinct smell or aroma.

In contrast, cacao butter has a nuttier taste with a mild fragrance reminiscent of chocolate or vanilla.

Additionally, cocoa butter is lighter in color than cacao butter.

While cocoa butter is often seen as a cosmetic ingredient due to its smooth consistency and moisturizing properties, cacao butter is celebrated for its health benefits that include reducing inflammation and improving heart health when consumed in moderation.

Source: The origin of cocoa beans can be traced back to Mesoamerica where it was used by Mayan & Aztec civilizations.

Today, Ivory Coast has become the largest producer followed by Ghana & Indonesia among others around the world.

Processing Methods

Processing methods play a crucial role in determining the quality and properties of cocoa butter and cacao butter.

Cocoa butter is obtained from roasted cocoa beans, while cacao butter is extracted from raw cacao beans.

The processing methods used for these two ingredients are different, resulting in distinct characteristics.

The first major difference in processing methods is that cocoa beans are roasted to make cocoa butter, whereas raw cacao beans are used for making cacao butter.

Roasting helps develop the flavor and aroma of cocoa, but it also destroys some of the beneficial compounds found in the raw beans that are retained in cacao butter.

Once roasted or raw, both types of beans are pressed to extract their fat content.

However, the level of pressure applied during pressing may differ depending on whether the aim is to obtain regular or superfood quality cacao butter.

After pressing, filtering takes place to remove impurities from the oils.

This process is standard for both cocoa and cacao butters.

Finally, some manufacturers refine their cocoa butter to eliminate any unwanted odors or flavors.

However, this step is not necessary with most high-quality organic products like cacao butter.

Flavor and Aroma

The flavor and aroma of cocoa butter and cacao butter are distinctive, but can be difficult to differentiate without experience.

Both butters have a subtle nutty and chocolate-like aroma, but there are some differences in flavor notes.

Cocoa butter has a milder chocolate flavor compared to cacao butter.

The aroma of cocoa butter is also characterized by its mild chocolate scent.

Cacao butter, on the other hand, has a primary aroma of tropical fruit mixed with chocolate.

Some people also report a slightly floral scent.

In terms of secondary aroma, cocoa butter can have nutty or smoky undertones while cacao butter has nutty or woody notes.

These differences in flavor and aroma make them suitable for different culinary applications.

Overall, the distinct flavors and aromas of cocoa butter and cacao butter allow them to add complexity to foods beyond just their texture and appearance.

Texture and Appearance

When it comes to the texture and appearance of cocoa butter vs cacao butter, there are some noticeable differences.

First off, cocoa butter is typically smoother in texture and appears more uniform in color.

This is because the cocoa beans used to make cocoa butter undergo a process known as roasting which helps to even out the color and texture.

On the other hand, cacao butter has a slightly rougher texture and may have a speckled appearance due to the fact that it’s made from raw cacao beans.

This gives cacao butter a more natural look compared to its processed counterpart.

As you can see, while both types of butter have their own unique textures and appearances, they’re both beautiful in their own way.

Overall, when deciding between cocoa butter vs cacao butter for your next recipe or skincare product, it’s important to consider not just their flavor and aroma but also their texture and appearance.

Nutritional Differences

Cocoa butter and cacao butter might have a few similarities, but there are significant differences in their nutritional content.

While both the types of butter are rich in fat, cocoa butter contains fewer calories than cacao butter.

One tablespoon of cocoa butter contains approximately 120 calories, while one tablespoon of cacao butter has around 130 calories.

This difference might not seem like much on its own, but it can add up over time.

For those who wish to manage their weight or consume fewer calories, substituting cocoa butter for cacao butter might be a wise decision.

Additionally, cocoa butter is rich in healthy monounsaturated and saturated fats, which can help reduce inflammation and support heart health.

Cacao butter also contains some monounsaturated and saturated fats; however, it also includes more polyunsaturated fat than cocoa butter does.

While most people require all three types of fats in their diet, consuming excessive amounts of polyunsaturated fat can have harmful effects on an individual’s health if consumed regularly.

When it comes to vitamins and minerals content though both the types of butter contain some number similar substances such as Vitamin E that benefits the skin , magnesium , zinc that helps with protein synthesis etc we cannot deny that there are some nutrients present exclusively in either one.

For instance, cocoa has caffeine which wakes you up and is low glycaemic whereas raw cacao is superior when it comes to antioxidant content.

Cocoa Butter and Cacao Butter Uses

Cocoa butter and cacao butter are distinguished from one another based on the quality of the beans used in making them, as we discussed in the previous section.

But what are some of their uses? Let’s take a closer look.

Both cocoa butter and cacao butter share common uses such as skincare products.

They can be found in creams, lotions, lip balms and other cosmetics.

The high-fat content of both types of butter makes them an effective moisturizer which helps to maintain healthy skin.

In cooking, cocoa butter is primarily used for baking goods like cakes or cookies given its flavor profiles with sweetness and richness.

On the other hand, cacao butter is mote commonly found in health foods as an ingredient for raw vegan treats due to its nutritional profile.

While they are not usually included in hair care products, they’re occasionally added to conditioning treatment formulations to help improve damaged hair due to their nourishing factors.

Overall it is important to remember that cacao powder is made from fermented beans while cocoa powder isn’t fermenting powdered beans which can affect both texture and taste.

Popular Brands of Cocoa Butter and Cacao Butter

When it comes to buying cocoa butter and cacao butter, there are various brands available in the market today.

You can choose from popular brands such as Navitas Organics, Terrasoul Superfoods, Nutiva, BetterBody Foods, Kiva Health Food, Queen Helene, Garden of Life and Shea Moisture.

Apart from these popular brands mentioned above, there are many other independent artisanal brands that produce high-quality cocoa and cacao butters.

When it comes to choosing between cocoa butter vs.

cacao butter or finding the best brand for your skincare or culinary needs – research plays an essential role in ensuring you get what you want.

By opting for reputable and trustworthy brands like those listed above, you can guarantee quality products that align with your values while contributing positively to sustainable farming practices worldwide.


A proper understanding of the differences between cocoa butter and cacao butter is important, especially for people who are looking to incorporate them into their diets.

From our previous discussions, we have explained that cocoa butter is extracted from cocoa beans while cacao butter comes from cold-pressed cacao nibs.

To conclude, while the difference between cocoa butter and cacao butter can seem small, understanding these variations can lead to a clearer understanding about which one is best for you.

Both types come with their individual health benefits and uses; it all depends on your preference and how you plan to use them.

So go ahead and try out either – or both – products today.

Cocoa Butter vs Cacao Butter: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Curious about the disparity between Cocoa Butter and Cacao Butter? Delve into our comprehensive comparison to discern the dissimilarities between these two similar-sounding ingredients.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Cocoa Butter
  • Cacao Butter


  • Choose between two items based on your preference and availability.
  • Follow the cooking directions for your chosen option, using the appropriate ratio of ingredients.
  • Prepare it according to your desired recipes.
  • Incorporate them into your dish, adjusting the amount to suit your taste.
  • Enjoy the unique taste experience and experiment with different dishes to explore their versatility.
Keyword Cocoa Butter vs Cacao Butter
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