What Chocolate Substitutions Can I Make in Cookie Recipes?

Chocolate substitutions in cookie dough can be a cookie lifesaver. Nothing is more frustrating for The Elf than to be ready to bake chocolate cookies and to find a specific ingredient missing from the cupboard. Baking chocolate, chocolate chips, and powdered cocoa … they all can be substituted with other ingredients.

Q. Can I substitute chocolate chips for chopped chocolate as an added ingredient – and vice versa?

Yes, substitute them in equal parts.

Q. Can I substitute chocolate chips or another type of baking bar for unsweetened baking bars in cookie recipes?

Yes. Just be aware of the differences in the products. For instance, by substituting semi-sweet baking chocolate or German baking chocolate for unsweetened baking chocolate, you will add more sugar to your recipe.

Q. Can I substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips for semi-sweet baking chocolate in cookie recipes?

Yes, but be aware that chocolate chips contain paraffin (melting wax) where baking chocolate does not. Chips melt less evenly than baking chocolate. In addition, melted chocolate chips may bulk up a recipe that may have a smoother, richer texture when prepared with baking chocolate.

Q. Can I substitute cocoa powder for unsweetened baking chocolate in cookie recipes?

Yes – with 3 tablespoon cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter for each baking chocolate square (one ounce.)

Q. Can I substitute baking chocolate for cocoa powder in cookie recipes?

Yes. Baking chocolate is cocoa solids combined with cocoa fats, so in order to replace the baking chocolate, you need to reduce the amount of fat in the recipe accordingly. Add 1 ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate for each 3 tablespoons of cocoa called for in the recipe. For each ounce of unsweetened chocolate you use to replace the cocoa, omit 1 tablespoon of the fat called for elsewhere in your recipe. Add the cocoa with the recipe’s dry ingredients.

Q. Can I substitute Dutch process cocoa for natural cocoa powder – and vice versa?

Yes. Although pastry chefs prefer to use dutched cocoa’s smoother, richer flavor, you can choose which type of cocoa based on your personal taste. Because of its alkalinity, Dutch cocoa will not interact with baking soda. If you replace natural cocoa powder with Dutch process cocoa and your recipe calls for baking soda as a leavener, be sure to substitute baking powder in its place.

A Special Baking Tip from The Elf

When it comes to chocolate substitutions, remember that different kinds of chocolate react differently to heat and moisture, changing your cookies’ taste and texture. While it’s best to use the type of baking chocolate or cocoa powder that the recipe calls for, when you have a cookie emergency by all means give one of these a try.


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