Have you ever wondered how to get a beautiful dark brown or even black color to your cakes, cupcakes or cookies? We’re talking all about black cocoa powder today. Read about when and how to use it!
What is black cocoa powder?
Black cocoa powder is a highly processed form of cocoa powder. It is ultra-dutch processed, meaning it is treated with an alkaline solution to reduce acidity. It is smooth and super dark. Much darker than light brown natural cocoa powder (which is not as processed). (read more about this process here)
What is black cocoa powder used for?
Black cocoa powder is used most often for presentation. If you want a cake, cookies or other baked good that are more black than brown, this is for you!
What is really great about black cocoa is that it won’t turn your mouth crazy colors after you eat it. You’ll get a gorgeously dark color without a ton of food color.
Can I substitute black cocoa powder in place of regular cocoa powder?
If your recipe calls for less than ¾ cup of cocoa powder, you can usually do an even exchange without any issues.
A few things to remember:
- Black cocoa powder has almost no fat. This can cause your baked goods to be drier. If you are afraid this will happen, maybe add a heaping tablespoon of sour cream or Greek yogurt to add some fat to your baked goods.
- Black cocoa powder will not react with baking soda. Because of the dutch processing, it will not work with baking soda to make your cake rise. If your recipe has more than ¾ cup of cocoa powder, you’ll want to help give rise to your cake by adding baking powder. Start with 1 teaspoon and add up to 2 teaspoons if you need to.
Can I use black cocoa powder in frosting?
Yes! If you need a black frosting (one that doesn’t turn your mouth weird colors), you can make a chocolate frosting and use this black cocoa powder in place of the regular cocoa powder. Then add black food gel coloring to get the exact black color you want. Starting with the dark brown frosting will allow you to use way less food color than if you start with white
Does black cocoa powder taste different?
Black cocoa powder does taste differently than regular cocoa powder. It is a strong flavor, but the dutch process prevents it from being bitter. You’ll find that it doesn’t taste as “chocolately” as regular cocoa powder.
How much black cocoa powder should I use?
Because black cocoa powder is so black, you don’t need to replace all of the regular cocoa powder in a recipe with the black powder. We love the look of using half black powder and half regular powder. It gives a deep, dark brown color to the cake. Plus, you still have some of that delicious chocolate flavor from the regular cocoa powder.
Where to Buy Black Cocoa Powder
Do I have to sift cocoa powder?
Because cocoa powder is so finely textured, it can clump. While those clumps may be tiny, they may not come out when you mix up a batter. That’s why it is recommended that you sift cocoa powder before adding it into your cake batter.
How do you store cocoa powder?
Store cocoa powder in a sealed container in cool, dry place. Can you store it in the fridge or freezer? These are both quite high in humidity, so only store it in the fridge if you have the package sealed really well.
Can I dust a pan with cocoa powder instead of flour?
Yes! If you are making a chocolate cake, this is a GREAT way to prevent flour buildup on the top of the cakes. Grease the cake pans with shortening, then dust them with cocoa powder just as you would cakes.