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.

Baking Chocolate

One ounce unsweetened baking chocolate equals 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. If you use this alternative, reduce any fat in the recipe by 1 tablespoon.

Carob Powder

Carob is a chocolate substitute made from the roasted pods of the carob tree. Three tablespoons carob powder equals 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, but the Cook’s Thesaurus recommends using slightly less carob because its flavor is stronger than cocoa’s. Baking 911 also recommends decreasing the sugar in the recipe by 2 to 3 tablespoons when using carob.

Dark Chocolate

Bittersweet, semisweet, or dark chocolate bars can be substituted for cocoa in a pinch. One ounce dark chocolate equals 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. As with baking chocolate, eliminate 1 tablespoon of fat from the recipe. If the chocolate bar is very sweet you may want to cut the sugar in the recipe by 1/4 cup or so.

Chocolate Chips

You can substitute 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips for 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. You also need to subtract 1 tablespoon of fat and 1/4 cup sugar from the recipe.

References and Resources

The Cook's Thesaurus: Chocolate