Chocolate is a staple ingredient in many baking recipes, but what if you’re in a pinch and don’t have any on hand? Or perhaps you’re looking for a healthier alternative to chocolate.
Whatever your reason, there are plenty of substitutes for chocolate in baking that can deliver the same delicious taste and texture.
In this post, we’ll explore 10 of the best substitutes for chocolate in baking and provide ratios and instructions on how to use each alternative.
In short, " What can I use instead of chocolate in baking?" Carob Powder, Cocoa Powder, Cacao Nibs, Milk Powder and Butter, Nutella or Peanut Butter, White Chocolate, Buttermilk, Nutella, Medjool Dates, Coconut Oil and Cocoa Powder.
Best substitutes for chocolate in baking
1. Carob Powder – a good substitute for chocolate in baking
Carob powder is a great alternative to chocolate for those who are sensitive to caffeine or don’t like the bitter taste of chocolate.
Ratio or measurement: To substitute carob for chocolate, use a 1:1 ratio of carob to chocolate.
Carob also has a sweeter taste and can be used with less sugar than chocolate.
2. Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder is a common substitute for chocolate in baking.
Ratio or measurement: Use a 3:1 ratio of cocoa powder to chocolate, meaning for every 1 ounce of chocolate, use 3 ounces of cocoa powder.
Cocoa powder has an additional intense chocolate flavor, so you may need to add extra sugar to balance it out.
3. Try Cacao Nibs in place of chocolate in baking
Cacao nibs are created from crushed cacao beans and have a similar taste to chocolate but with a slightly nutty flavor.
Ratio or measurement: To substitute cacao nibs for chocolate, use a 1:1 ratio.
Cacao nibs also provide added texture to baked goods.
4. Milk Powder and Butter
A mixture of milk powder and butter can be used as a chocolate substitute in certain recipes, such as frosting or ganache.
Ratio or measurement: To make this substitute, combine one cup of milk powder and 1/2 cup of melted butter. Use this mixture in place of 6 ounces of chocolate.
5. Nutella or Peanut Butter – a tasty alternative for chocolate in baking
Nutella and peanut butter are creamy substitutes for chocolate that are perfect for certain recipes, such as frostings or fillings.
Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio of Nutella or peanut butter in place of chocolate.
6. White Chocolate
White chocolate can be used as a substitute for regular chocolate in certain recipes, but it has a milder flavor.
Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio of white chocolate in place of chocolate, but take into account the sweetness of white chocolate and adjust the sugar accordingly.
7. Use Buttermilk instead of chocolate in baking
Buttermilk can be used to substitute for chocolate in recipes such as cakes and brownies.
Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio of buttermilk in place of chocolate, but keep in mind that the texture may be slightly different.
Nutella is a hazelnut spread that has a rich chocolate flavor. It can use as a substitute for chocolate in baking or as a frosting for cakes and cupcakes.
Ratio or measurement: Use 2 tablespoons of Nutella for every 1 ounce of chocolate in your recipe.
9. Medjool Dates – similar taste to chocolate in baking
Medjool dates are a natural sweetener that can use as a substitute for chocolate in baking. They have a caramel-like flavor and are packed with nutrients such as fiber and potassium.
Ratio or measurement: To use Medjool dates in your recipe, soak 1 cup of dates in water for 30 minutes, then puree them in a food processor until smooth. Use ½ cup of the puree for every 1 ounce of chocolate in your recipe.
10. Coconut Oil and Cocoa Powder
Coconut oil and cocoa powder are great substitutes for chocolate in recipes that call for melted chocolate.
Ratio or measurement: Simply melt 1 cup of coconut oil and add 1 cup of cocoa powder, stir until smooth, and use it in your recipe as you would melt chocolate.
Tips on How to Choose the Most Suitable Substitution Option for Chocolate in Baking
When choosing a suitable substitution option for chocolate in baking, consider the following tips:
1. Cocoa powder: If you’re replacing baking chocolate in a recipe, cocoa powder is a common substitute.
Use unsweetened cocoa powder and follow a conversion ratio of 1 ounce of baking chocolate for every 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
Modify the sugar content in the recipe accordingly.
2. Chocolate chips: Semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips can be used as a substitute for baking chocolate. They contain cocoa solids and can provide a similar flavor and texture.
Use a 1:1 substitution ratio by measuring the same weight or volume of chocolate chips as the baking chocolate called for in the recipe.
3. Unsweetened chocolate: Unsweetened chocolate can be used as a substitute for baking chocolate. It has a more elevated percentage of cocoa solids and no added sugar.
Use a 1:1 substitution ratio by measuring the same weight or volume of unsweetened chocolate as the baking chocolate is called for in the recipe.
4. Chocolate bars: High-quality chocolate bars can be used as a substitute for baking chocolate. Look for bars with a high percentage of cocoa solids for a rich and intense flavor.
Use a 1:1 substitution ratio by measuring the same weight or volume of chocolate bars as the baking chocolate called for in the recipe.
5. Flavor variations: Consider the type of chocolate you’re substituting and its flavor profile. For example, suppose the recipe calls for milk chocolate. In that case, you can use semi-sweet or dark chocolate instead for a deeper, less sweet flavor.
Adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe accordingly.
6. Melting properties: Keep in mind the melting properties of the substitute you choose. Different types of chocolate have various melting points, which can influence the texture and consistency of the baked goods.
Adjust the baking time and temperature as needed.
7. Quality and brand: Opt for high-quality chocolate or cocoa powder to ensure the best flavor and results in your baked goods.
Choose reputable brands with good reviews and consider the preferences of your taste buds.
8. Allergies and dietary restrictions: Consider any allergies or dietary limitations you or your guests may have. Choose suitable chocolate substitutes that are free from allergens or meet specific dietary requirements, such as dairy-free or sugar-free options.
What is a substitute for dark chocolate in baking?
When baking, there are several substitutes for dark chocolate that can provide a similar flavor and texture. Here are our top five picks and the corresponding ratios to get the desired outcome:
1. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Replace up to 3/4 of the original amount of dark chocolate with an equal amount of cocoa powder. This will add a rich chocolaty flavor without being too sweet.
2. Carob Powder
Replace up to 1/3 of the original amount of dark chocolate with an equal amount of carob powder. Carob is naturally sweeter than cocoa, so only use it in recipes where you don’t want overly sweet results.
3. Milk Chocolate
Replace up to 1/2 of the original amount of dark chocolate with an equal amount of milk chocolate. The milder taste can be great for desserts like brownies or cookies that need a subtle flavor boost.
4. White Chocolate
Replace up to 1/2 of the original amount of dark chocolate with an equal amount of white chocolate.
This provides a unique sweetness and melt-in-your-mouth texture that pairs well with other flavors like raspberry or mint.
5. Semisweet Chocolate Chips
Replace up to 1/2 of the original amount of dark chocolate with an equal amount of semisweet chips (or chunks).
Since these chips usually have added sugar, you may want to reduce any additional amounts from other sources in your recipe, like syrup or honey, so you won’t end up with something too sweet.
healthy substitute for chocolate
One healthy substitute for chocolate is carob. Carob reaches from the pods of a Mediterranean evergreen tree and offers a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
Unlike chocolate, carob does not include caffeine or theobromine, making it an acceptable option for those with sensitivities to these stimulants.
It also contains high amounts of dietary fiber, which can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time.
Additionally, carob is a great source of several essential vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and B vitamins like niacin and riboflavin.
For those looking for an alternative to chocolate that still satisfies their sweet tooth, carob just might be your answer!
What is a substitute for unsweetened chocolate in baking?
Unsweetened cocoa powder or carob powder can use as a substitute for unsweetened chocolate in baking.
Cocoa powder is produced from the cocoa solids left after cocoa butter is extracted from cacao beans. Carob, on the other hand, is naturally sweet and does not contain caffeine like cocoa does.
When substituting carob for unsweetened chocolate, reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe by about one-third to account for its natural sweetness.
Conclusion on substitute for chocolate in baking
There are plenty of substitutes for chocolate in baking that can deliver the same delicious taste and texture.
Whether you’re looking for a healthier option or just ran out of chocolate, these 10 alternatives are sure to impress.
Just make sure to adjust the sugar and other ingredients accordingly to balance out the flavors. Happy baking!
FAQs on substitute for chocolate in baking
Q1. What is similar to chocolate for baking?
Cocoa powder is a great substitute for chocolate in baking recipes.
Cocoa powder doesn’t have the same sweetness as chocolate, so you will need to increase the amount of sugar used in your recipe to compensate for this.
You can also use carob chips, almond bark or white morsels when substituting for chocolate in baking recipes.
All of these options will bring delicious flavor and texture to your dish without giving it an overly sweet taste like regular chocolate does.
Q2. How do I substitute chocolate for brownies?
If you need to substitute chocolate for brownies, you can try using cocoa powder in place of the melted chocolate. Cocoa powder is produced from ground cocoa beans and has a deep chocolate flavor.
For each ounce (28 grams) of melted semisweet or bittersweet baking chocolate called for in your recipe, use 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon of butter, shortening or oil to make up for the lost fat in the melted chocolate.
If your recipe calls for unsweetened baking chocolate, substitute an equal amount of cocoa powder plus 4-6 teaspoons of sugar for each ounce (28 grams).
You can also use dark or semi-sweet chopped bars instead, but you may need to adjust the cooking time as needed.
Q3. What can I use instead of cocoa for baking chocolate?
An alternative to cocoa when baking chocolate is carob powder.
Carob has a sweet, nutty flavor similar to the taste of cocoa but without any caffeine or theobromine, making it an attractive choice for those who want to avoid these compounds.
Carob can also reduce the amount of fat and calories in a recipe since it is naturally low in fat and sugar-free. Additionally, carob contains calcium, potassium and Vitamin B6 – all of which are beneficial for health.
When baking with carob powder, it is best to use half the amount of sugar that would normally be used with cocoa powder, as carob already has a naturally sweet flavor.
Q4. Can I substitute melted chocolate for cocoa powder?
Yes, you can substitute melted chocolate for cocoa powder in many recipes.
The amount of chocolate you’ll need will depend on the recipe you’re using, but a general rule of thumb is that 1 ounce (28 grams) of melted chocolate can be used to replace 1 tablespoon (5 grams) of cocoa powder.
However, keep in mind that melted chocolate will impart more sweetness than cocoa powder, and if you are looking for a bitter flavor, it might not provide the desired taste.
Additionally, melted chocolate typically contains more fat than cocoa which may affect the texture and consistency of your recipe.
Q5. What can I use instead of chocolate chips in cookies?
One alternative to chocolate chips for cookies is dried fruit or chopped nuts.
Dried cranberries, blueberries, apricots, cherries, and pineapple are all delicious options that add sweetness and texture.
Chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts all pair nicely with the other flavors in cookie recipes. Other alternatives include butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, toffee bits, or M&Ms.
You can count spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to make your cookies even more special. For a healthier option to chocolate chips, you can try carob chips or cacao nibs.
Carob has a naturally sweet flavor and is rich in antioxidants. Cacao nibs are made from cocoa beans and are a great source of fiber as well as minerals like magnesium and iron.