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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Cocoa Butter Substitutes



If you’re looking for cocoa butter substitutes, you’re not alone. Many people face the trouble of not having cocoa butter easily available in the nearest grocery store.

Whatever the reason may be, not finding cocoa butter doesn’t mean you cannot cook those yummy recipes for your friends and family. To keep the taste alive, we have prepared a list of the best cocoa butter substitutes for you!

Cocoa Butter Substitutes

Cocoa butter is used in both cooking and baking, and its excellent properties make it an amazing ingredient for cosmetic products as well. Although seldom used in baking, it makes the chocolate thin to make delicious chocolate coatings.

So, make sure you read this article till the end to unlock the best substitutes for cocoa butter that will give a yummy taste, and you won’t have to leave making your favorite dishes!

1. Cocoa Powder

cocoa powder in a bowl next to some cocao beans
Cocoa powder in a bowl next to some cacao beans.

If cocoa butter isn’t available for adding the chocolaty taste, why not opt for some cocoa powder? However, you’ll have to be careful with the proportion of other ingredients because the cocoa powder has a bitter taste, and the sweetness level may fluctuate with its addition.

However, cocoa powder does offer several benefits while baking. Apart from giving a chocolaty taste, it also changes the color of the batter and turns it reddish-brown.

Thus, opting for cocoa powder as a substitute for cocoa butter will bring a deep chocolate flavor and rich color to your cookies and desserts.

2. Coconut Oil

organic coconut oil next to a halved coconut on a palm leaf
Organic coconut oil next to a halved coconut on a palm leaf.

Coconut oil is believed to be a much better substitute for cocoa butter. It is because both of them contain fats as their major composition.

Coconut oil also gives almost the same consistency as that cocoa butter. So, giving it a try as a substitute won’t be a problem.

However, several people say that coconut oil melts to a more liquid consistency as compared to cocoa butter. Even if you put it in the fridge, it won’t harden like cocoa butter, which makes it a better option as well.

Many people may think that coconut oil may spoil the taste of the recipe because of the taste of coconut in it. But, don’t worry about that!

When added along with the other ingredients, the taste will neutralize. Although it won’t give the exact taste as that of cocoa butter, the option is still suitable because it does have a tropical sweetness.

3. Cottonseed Oil

cottonseed oil in a small bottle near cotton plant flowers
Cottonseed oil in a small bottle near cotton plant flowers.

As the name suggests, cottonseed oil is extracted from the seeds of cotton plants. When it comes to baking, you can use cottonseed oil as a substitute for cocoa butter because it has a rich and creamy texture.

Unlike coconut oil, it doesn’t have a thin consistency and will mix well to provide a creamy texture to your batter.

However, we would still recommend limiting its use and using cottonseed oil only when you don’t have other options. It is because cottonseed oil is rich in saturated fats. If consumed more than required, it can be harmful to your health.

4. Palm Oil

palm oil in a bottle next to some palm kernels
Palm oil in a bottle next to some palm kernels.

When it comes to cocoa butter substitutes, you’re more likely to find the name of palm oil on the top of the list. It is because palm oil is a frequently used substitute for cocoa butter.

The best thing about using palm oil as an alternative is that it gives a glossy appearance to the chocolate. So, you can use it to add a shiny chocolate coating to your favorite desserts and recipes.

Apart from desserts, palm oil is an excellent addition to make the dishes spicy because of its earthy taste.

5. Kokum Butter

32 oz. / 2 lb. Unrefined Raw Kokum Butter. Great for Skin, Body and Hair. 100% Pure I Natural I Cold Pressed I Thickener for Body Butters, Sunscreens, Soaps, Deodorants and Lotions.

Kokum butter is another excellent alternative if you don’t have cocoa butter in hand. It is obtained from the seeds of the Kokum tree.

Due to its amazing properties, it is often used in making lotions and creams. The best thing about Kokum butter is that it has a similar texture to that of cocoa butter.

Although Kokum butter isn’t commonly used as an alternative, it has several health benefits compared to other substitutes of cocoa butter.

Also, it helps retain the dense and hard texture of the chocolate, helping you make the perfect chocolate coating for your desserts.

6. Butter

butter on a cutting board
Butter on a cutting board.

When none of the cocoa butter substitutes are available at your home, pure and unsalted butter always comes to the rescue.

We have it in the fridge all the time. So, if you want the right alternative to cocoa butter, you can give it a try.

The high amount of pure fat in butter is much similar to that of cocoa butter. That’s why you’re most likely to experience the same result while using butter as an alternative.

While using butter, you’ll have to replace it in a 1:1 ratio to get the best results for the dish you’re baking. Apart from that, you’ll also retain the softness and smooth texture of the dish with unsalted butter.

7. White Chocolate

a bar of white chocolate
A bar of white chocolate on a white background.

While using white chocolate as a replacement for cocoa butter might seem odd, it can be a good idea if you have nothing else in hand.

However, you can only use it to get the same flavor. Due to the higher sugar contents in white chocolate, it might not be the best choice to use in many recipes.

The plus point of using white chocolate as a substitute for cocoa butter is that both have the same texture and will melt in the same way.

8. Mango Butter

scoop of mango butter in a bowl
A small scoop of mango butter in a bowl.

If you want to make chocolate and cannot find cocoa butter, we would recommend going for mango butter as an alternative. It is frequently used in chocolate production due to its ability to become semi-solid.

When you make chocolate using mango butter, it won’t melt easily. Thus, it can be the ideal choice to make the perfect chocolates.

9. Coconut Butter

organic fresh coocnut butter with fruit halves
Organic fresh coconut butter with fruit halves.

While many people might confuse coconut butter with coconut oil, the two are different from each other. Coconut butter is obtained from the entire coconut.

Although it can be highly beneficial, coconut butter still contains fat as a major portion of its composition. That’s why it can be a better substitute for cocoa butter.

However, many people consider that coconut butter is a better alternative to cocoa butter than coconut oil. It is because of coconut butter’s strong flavor and the almost same texture as coconut oil.

10. Soy Lecithin

a bowl of soy lecithin
A bowl of soy lecithin.

Soy lecithin is used as an alternative in chocolate products due to its thick texture. When added to chocolate, it also gives a glossy appearance.

It also helps the other contents in chocolate to stick together. While it does offer many benefits and is also used in chocolate bars, soy lecithin isn’t that healthy.

Therefore, it’s not recommended to use it too much as an alternative. However, if you use a small quantity of soy lecithin in the recipe, it’s fine.

11. Cocoa Paste

cocoa paste in a black plate on a black surface
Cocoa paste in a black plate on a black surface.

The cocoa paste is an excellent alternative if you want the exact flavor of chocolate that comes with cocoa butter. It is because the paste form is also obtained from processed cocoa beans, which retains the rich chocolaty flavor you get from cocoa butter.

Also, you can find cocoa paste in grocery stores easily, so it can be an excellent option if cocoa butter isn’t available.

12. Olive Oil

olive oil being poured into a bowl
Olive oil being poured into a bowl.

Well, olive oil is there in almost every home, right?

So, when no alternative to cocoa butter comes to mind, remember that olive oil will always be there. Just like coconut oil and palm oil, olive oil will give a smooth consistency and glossy look to your chocolate coating.

However, you’ll have to be careful with the proportion. Make sure that 80 grams of oil are equal to 100 grams of butter.

This ratio will help you add the right amount of olive oil to make a perfect consistency. If you think that the taste of olive oil may spoil your desserts, you can also use palm oil or vegetable oil as an alternative to cocoa butter.


What is cocoa butter used for in baking?

In baking, cocoa butter is used for thinning chocolate and making chocolate coatings like chocolate ganache. However, it isn’t used in other baking applications because cocoa butter becomes hard when left at room temperature.

Is cocoa butter the same as cacao butter?

While cocoa butter and cacao butter sound the same, they have a slight difference. Most people often use the two terms interchangeably.

The only difference is that during the pressing process of cocoa beans, cacao butter undergoes some heating. On the other hand, cocoa butter is obtained from the cold-press method of cocoa beans.

Final Words

While cocoa butter isn’t frequently used in baking applications and cooking, its nutty taste and glossy finish make it worth a try. Still, getting a substitute with the same qualities is difficult.

However, we have still tried our best to find the most suitable cocoa butter substitute for you! So, make sure you choose the one that suits you better and is also readily available to make the best of desserts!

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Adeena Tariq

Adeena is a freelance content writer and cooking enthusiast from Pakistan. She is currently a business student, and when she wants a break from her studies, writing on her favorite topics and cooking yummy dishes are her favorite things to do.

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