It’s a rainy Sunday night and you’re craving brownies, so you decide to whip up a batch in your kitchen. To your horror you discover you’re out of cocoa powder. As you stare at the scant brown powder in the bottom of the tin, there’s no need to despair. Depending on what other ingredients you have in your kitchen, you may be able to come up with a suitable substitute and indulge in a brownie binge after all.
One ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate equals 3 tbsps. cocoa powder. You’ll also need to reduce any fat in the recipe by 1 tbsp.
Three tbsps. of carob powder equals 3 tbsps. of cocoa powder. Carob is a chocolate substitute made from the roasted pods of the carob tree. The Cook’s Thesaurus recommends using slightly less carob powder because its flavor is stronger than the flavor of cocoa. Baking 911 also recommends decreasing the sugar in the recipe by 2 to 3 tbsps. when using carob instead of cocoa.
Bittersweet chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate or a dark chocolate bar can be substituted for cocoa in recipes in a pinch. One oz. of dark chocolate equals 3 tbsps. of cocoa powder. As with baking chocolate, you’ll need to eliminate 1 tbsp. of fat from your recipe. If your chocolate bar is very sweet you may want to cut the sugar in the recipe by 1/4 cup or so.
You can substitute 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips for 3 tbsps. cocoa powder. You’ll also need to subtract 1 tbsp. of fat and 1/4 cup sugar from the recipe.
References and ResourcesThe Cook's Thesaurus: Chocolate
Baking 911: The Pantry Substitutes—Chocolate and Cocoa