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Gourmet Hacks: 5 Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder Substitutes

Have you ever heard of Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder?

It’s an essential ingredient for baking and provides a deep, chocolatey flavor – one that can truly enhance the taste of your favorite dessert.

If you want to know how to use Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder in your cooking and baking or which substitutes would be best, then read on.

You’ll learn how to substitute it and find out which five substitutes are the most popular.

What’s Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder?

Dutch-processed cocoa powder is a type of pure cocoa created through the process of treating cocoa beans with an alkalizing agent.

It was invented in 1828 by Dutch chemist, Coenraad Van Houten.

This process gives Dutch-processed cocoa a darker color, often referred to as “dark” or “black” cocoa, and also an intense chocolaty flavor.

Compared to natural cocoa powder, it has a milder taste with less acidic notes and a richer chocolate aroma, making it perfect for baking.

It can be used in any recipe that calls for unsweetened cocoa and most recipes advise pairing it with baking soda for best results.

In addition to sweet treats, such as cakes and cookies, Dutch-processed cocoa can also add depth of flavor to savory dishes like sauces and marinades.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder

If you’re looking to swap out Dutch-processed cocoa powder in a recipe, there are several options that can provide similar results.

Here are the 5 best substitutes for Dutch-processed cocoa powder:

1 – Unsweetened Cocoa Powder and Baking Soda

Unsweetened cocoa powder and baking soda are two pantry staples that can be used to achieve different baking qualities.

When compared to Dutch-processed cocoa powder, both of these ingredients have a distinct taste and texture that are unique.

Unsweetened cocoa powder has an intense flavor and is slightly acidic whereas Dutch-processed cocoa is much milder in taste.

Baking soda, on the other hand, acts as a leavening agent, resulting in airy light treats.

To substitute for Dutch-processed cocoa powder when baking, combine one teaspoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder to achieve similar results; however, replace regular flour with an equal amount of self-rising flour for better results.

2 – Black Cocoa Powder

Black cocoa powder is a unique dark chocolate ingredient with a strong, intense flavor and a velvety texture that has been gaining popularity among amateur and professional bakers alike.

With its almost black color, it’s frequently confused with Dutch-processed cocoa powder, but the two are not interchangeable.

While Black cocoa powder contains more acidic cocoa butter, Dutch-processed is better recognized for its mellowed-out taste after the naturally occurring acids have been treated with an alkaline solution.

To recreate the same results while substituting Black cocoa powder for Dutch-processed, recipe creators will need to increase the baking soda in order to balance the additional acidity — a minor adjustment worth making when you consider how much of an impact it makes on recipes like cakes and brownies.

3 – Raw Cacao Powder

Raw cacao powder is a great way to enjoy the delicious taste of cocoa without the added ingredients found in processed alternatives.

Rich and smoky, raw cacao powder has a distinctive earthy flavor with fruity notes that enhance its complexity.

It also has a unique texture, being finer and less gritty than many other natural cocoa powders.

If you want to use raw cacao powder instead of Dutch-processed cocoa powder, just keep in mind that it’s more acidic and bitter which means you may need to adjust your recipe accordingly.

Generally, this could mean adding more sugar or fat or increasing the overall liquid quantity to balance out the flavor.

4 – Carob Powder

Carob Powder is made from ground carob pods, which are native to Southern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

It has a naturally sweet flavor with subtle notes of chocolate, making it an ideal alternative to traditional Dutch-processed cocoa powder in many recipes.

Carob Powder has a much finer texture than cocoa powder, resulting in a smoother consistency when added to drink mix, desserts, or smoothies.

It can easily be added as a 1:1 substitute for Dutch-Processed cocoa powder in all manner of recipes without having to adjust other ingredients such as sugar or fat measurements.

With its subtly sweet flavor and low caffeine content, Carob Powder makes for an excellent addition to your pantry.

5 – Cocoa Nibs

Cocoa nibs are an exciting ingredient that can liven up a dish in an instant.

Made of crushed cocoa beans, these little morsels have a bittersweet taste and crunch with a texture similar to roasted nuts.

If you’re looking for something salty, sweet, and crunchy, you can sprinkle cocoa nibs on your desserts or snacks for a flavorful touch.

They also make a great substitute for Dutch-processed cocoa powder – just grind them into powder using a food processor or spice grinder.

So the next time you want to give your recipes some extra flavor and texture, reach for cocoa nibs – they won’t disappoint.


In conclusion, Dutch-processed cocoa powder is a delicious ingredient commonly used in baking recipes.

If you find that you don’t have any on hand, there are several great substitutes available — from black cocoa powder and raw cacao powder to carob powder and cocoa nibs.

With these alternatives, you can recreate the same flavor profile with a few simple adjustments.

So the next time you’re whipping up a batch of treats and find yourself without Dutch-processed cocoa powder, don’t worry — there are still plenty of options when it comes to finding an adequate replacement.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder

Looking to substitute Dutch-processed cocoa powder in your recipes? We've got you covered! Here's a curated list of the 5 best substitutes to maintain that rich cocoa flavor:
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder and Baking Soda
  • Black Cocoa Powder
  • Raw Cacao Powder
  • Carob Powder
  • Cocoa Nibs


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
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