substitute for cocoa butter in baking

Cocoa butter is a key ingredient in baking, known for its unique texture and rich flavor. However, circumstances may arise where alternatives to cocoa butter are sought after. Exploring these substitutes allows for flexibility in baking while still achieving desirable results.

Purpose of Cocoa Butter in Baking:

  • Texture Enhancement: Cocoa butter contributes to a smooth and velvety texture in baked goods.
  • Flavor Enrichment: Its distinct cocoa flavor elevates the taste profile of chocolate-based recipes.
  • Structural Support: Cocoa butter aids in binding and solidifying ingredients in confections.
  • Mouthfeel: Its melting point gives baked goods a delightful melt-in-the-mouth sensation.
  • Appearance: Cocoa butter lends a glossy finish to chocolate coatings and decorations.

Why Replace Cocoa Butter in Baking:

  • Dietary Restrictions: Individuals with specific dietary needs may require alternatives.
  • Availability: Cocoa butter might not always be readily accessible in certain regions.
  • Cost: Cocoa butter can be expensive, prompting the search for more affordable options.
  • Flavor Variation: Some substitutes offer unique flavor notes that can enhance baked goods.
  • Experimentation: Exploring alternatives can lead to new and exciting baking discoveries.

Substitute: Coconut Oil

Details: Coconut oil is a versatile and readily available substitute with a mild coconut aroma.

It maintains a similar texture and can enhance the flavor of chocolate-based treats.

Nutrient Amount per 1 tbsp
Calories 120
Total Fats 14g
Carbohydrates 0g
Proteins 0g

How to Make: Use solidified coconut oil as a 1:1 replacement for cocoa butter in recipes.

Substitute: Cacao Powder + Oil

Details: A combination of cacao powder and a neutral oil creates a texture akin to cocoa butter.

It offers a rich cocoa flavor and a smooth consistency.

Nutrient Amount per 1 tbsp
Calories 20
Total Fats 2g
Carbohydrates 1g
Proteins 1g

How to Make: Mix cacao powder and a neutral oil, such as vegetable oil, until well combined.

Substitute: Nut Butters

Details: Nut butters, like almond or cashew, lend a rich and nutty flavor to baked goods.

They offer a unique taste and potential added nutritional benefits.

Nutrient Amount per 1 tbsp
Calories 98-104
Total Fats 8-9g
Carbohydrates 3-4g
Proteins 3-4g

How to Make: Combine nut butter with a small amount of oil to achieve a cocoa butter-like consistency.

Substitute: Shea Butter

Details: Shea butter has a similar texture and is often used in skincare, but can also be used in baking.

It has a neutral flavor that won’t overpower other ingredients.

Nutrient Amount per 1 tbsp
Calories 120
Total Fats 14g
Carbohydrates 0g
Proteins 0g

How to Make: Use solidified shea butter as a substitute for cocoa butter in recipes.

Substitute: Avocado

Details: Avocado’s creamy texture can mimic the richness of cocoa butter.

It adds a unique green color and provides healthy fats to baked goods.

Nutrient Amount per 1/2 avocado
Calories 120
Total Fats 10g
Carbohydrates 6g
Proteins 2g

How to Make: Blend ripe avocado until smooth and use it as a 1:1 substitute for cocoa butter.

Nutritional Facts Summary Table:

Substitute Calories Total Fats Carbohydrates Proteins Source Works Best In
Coconut Oil 120 14g 0g 0g Coconut Baking recipes requiring cocoa butter
Cacao Powder + Oil 20 2g 1g 1g Cacao beans, Neutral oil Chocolate-based baked goods
Nut Butters 98-104 8-9g 3-4g 3-4g Nuts Recipes with nutty undertones
Shea Butter 120 14g 0g 0g Shea nuts Baking and confections
Avocado 120 10g 6g 2g Avocado Baked goods with a unique color and texture


Q: Can I use coconut oil in recipes that require cocoa butter for tempering chocolate?
A: While coconut oil can be used, it may have a slightly different melting point and affect the tempering process.

Q: Is shea butter safe for consumption?
A: Yes, food-grade shea butter can be used in baking and cooking.

Q: Will avocado flavor be noticeable in baked goods?
A: Avocado’s flavor is subtle and generally not overpowering, especially in chocolate-based recipes.

Q: Can I use nut butters in recipes that require a solid cocoa butter texture?
A: Nut butters can work well in recipes where a softer texture is acceptable.


Substituting cocoa butter in baking opens the door to a realm of creative possibilities. Whether you opt for coconut oil’s versatility, cacao powder and oil’s rich flavor, nut butters’ nuttiness, shea butter’s neutral profile, or avocado’s creamy texture, each alternative offers its own unique contribution to your baked goods. By exploring these substitutes, you can adapt recipes while still achieving delightful and satisfying results.

Ji Eun Kim

Written by Ji Eun Kim

Don't listen to anyone who says you can't be vegan and do well in sports and fitness. Vegans can do great, look good, and feel awesome!

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