Cocoas with Boxes jpg

Welcome to Cocoa Powder 101! Confused by recipes that call for Dutch-process cocoa and wonder how on earth it is different from “regular” or natural, unsweetened cocoa powder? Never fear! I’m here to help unravel the mystery behind cocoa powder in plain terms.

Let’s get started. I’ve called in (er, quoted) a few experts to help us along since heaven knows, I don’t have a degree in cocoa powder philosophy.

There are two main types of cocoa powder called for in baking: 1) Dutch-process cocoa and 2) natural unsweetened cocoa. I’m guessing that if you are like me, far and away, most of you have natural, unsweetened cocoa powder residing in your pantry. Common brands are Hershey and Nestle, among others. Dutch-process is a bit more expensive than natural, unsweetened cocoa and is widely heralded in foodie circles as “the” cocoa powder to use if you want deep, dark chocolate flavor.

What is Dutch-process cocoa and how is it different than natural, unsweetened cocoa powder?
Both Dutch-process and natural cocoa are made from cocoa beans. The difference is that with Dutch-process cocoa, the cocoa beans are soaked in a low-acid solution (alkaline) before being dried and ground. Natural, unsweetened cocoa is made from cocoa beans that are roasted and then ground (no soaking required). Because Dutch-process cocoa goes through the soaking process to lower the acidity, it a) results in a darker cocoa powder and b) mellows the flavor of the cocoa making it less harsh, and according to some cocoa connoisseurs, makes a stronger, definable chocolate flavor. For years, I was skeptical that Dutch-process cocoa could really make a difference in flavor, but when I finally tried it, I realized that true to the data, it really does have a less bitter chocolate taste than unsweetened cocoa powder (see below for my own taste-test results with cocoa brownies).

Dutch Cocoa jpg

Can Dutch-process and natural, unsweetened cocoa be used interchangeably?
The main issue to bring up with substitutions in any recipe is that if you make changes of your own to a written/published recipe, the results can’t be guaranteed. Sure, it may turn out ok, but it may not. So baker beware. As far as cocoas go, because Dutch-process has lower acidity, it is usually used in combination with baking powder in recipes, whereas, natural, unsweetened cocoa powder is usually used with baking soda (which is alkali and requires an acidic ingredient – like the natural cocoa powder – in a recipe to properly activate). Having stated that, I also see many recipes out there that use cocoa powder without any leavening (think: fudgy brownies), in which case either cocoa powder could be used, based on preference (my preference is detailed below).

According to my favorite cooking and baking resource, Cook’s Illustrated, Dutch-process and natural, unsweetened cocoa are mostly interchangeable. They found this after doing a myriad of taste testing and test baking and concluded that because Dutch-process cocoa wins out over and over and over in taste tests, it is the only cocoa a home baker needs to keep on hand and they can sub it whenever natural, unsweetened cocoa is used (they didn’t notice a difference in their baked results based on the cocoa used, even with the leavening issue of baking soda and baking powder).

What’s my rule of thumb, you ask? Well, my opinion first and foremost is to: follow the recipe! There’s definitely no harm in that if you want the best results. However, in the interest of staying honest, I will admit that many, many times, I have subbed in natural, unsweetened cocoa for Dutch-process but not the other way around – and I’ve never had quirky results (except for perhaps a slight dip in chocolate flavor). I haven’t fully converted to Cook’s Illustrated’s recommendation to only use Dutch-process cocoa for the simple reason that it tends to be more expensive than my beloved Hershey’s and which gets me to my next question (read on).

Hersheys Closeup jpg

What cocoa powder(s) do I keep on hand?
Because Dutch-process cocoa is exorbitantly priced in my local grocery stores (we are talking break-the-bank prices), I never, ever buy it locally. Which means if I’m plumb out and a recipe calls for it, I’ll swap in the natural, unsweetened cocoa, like I mentioned above. However, when I’m on top of things, I order Dutch-process cocoa online, usually the Droste brand (came in second to Callebaut in Cook’s Illustrated taste testing) and usually from amazon.com (free shipping, baby). I always have the Hershey’s brand of natural, unsweetened cocoa in my pantry (because I can buy it in large cans at Sam’s Club).

Two Cocoas Unlabeled jpg

Is it worth keeping Dutch-process cocoa on hand simply because “experts” believe it tastes better?
Good question! If you really, really enjoy putzing around with fine-tuned, impeccable baked goods, then yes, get yourself some Dutch-process cocoa ASAP. However, if you consider yourself a non-fussy home cook (and a good one, no less!), then natural, unsweetened cocoa powder will probably do the trick for you (I could very well get slaughtered in the food-snob world for encouraging this, mind you).

I used natural, unsweetened cocoa powder exclusively for years and years and was none the wiser…and let me tell you, I am a self-proclaimed food snob. Chocolate cupcakes and brownies made with my good ol’ Hershey’s tasted fantastic (and still do) to me and my taste buds. But when I did venture into Dutch-process cocoa waters a few years back, I have to admit that the chocolate flavor imparted in brownies, in particular, is deeper, darker and even more decadent than if using natural, unsweetened cocoa.

Case in point: I have a recipe for all-cocoa powder brownies (meaning, there isn’t any melted chocolate in the batter). The recipe is shockingly delicious (I’ll be posting soon!) and the fudgy texture reminds me of the boxed brownie mixes, which means my brownies-from-a-box-craving husband looooves them. Over the years, I’ve made them with either natural, unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch-process, whatever I get the hankering for and they are delicious either way; however, I’ve never made them side-by-side with both cocoa powders for my own taste testing…until now. The other day I made two batches – one using natural cocoa powder and the other using Dutch-process cocoa powder. The Dutch-process brownies naturally came out darker, which I had noticed when making them on their own before. While I have always been fine with the result of natural cocoa powder in these brownies, I have to admit that after tasting the brownies side-by-side, the natural cocoa powder didn’t stand a chance next to the Dutch-process cocoa powder. In fact, after taking a taste of the Dutch-process brownies, I could hardly stand the taste of the ones made with natural cocoa powder – they had a sharp, bitter taste where the Dutch-process brownies had a mellow, deep, dark flavor. As a dark chocolate lover, the Dutch-process brownies completely overwhelmed the natural cocoa powder brownies in chocolate flavor.

Basically, I affirm that Dutch-process cocoa really does have a more mellow, deeper chocolate flavor. And I’ll continue to use it exclusively in all cocoa-powder recipes like the brownie one I just referred to. But natural, unsweetened cocoa powder also has it’s place in the baking world, so I, for one, will continue to keep them both on hand and will probably start following Cook’s Illustrated recommendations and experiment using Dutch-process cocoa in more recipes.

I hope this helps sort out the difference between natural, unsweetened and Dutch-process cocoa powders! Feel free to leave any questions or your own cocoa powder experience in the comments.

74 Responses to Mel’s Kitchen Tip: Cocoa Powder 101

  1. Jodi says:

    Thanks for writing this…I have been wondering the difference since Christmas when I was baking some cookies that called for the dutch processed cocoa! I will keep both on hand as well! My family loves no bake cookies (w/ oatmeal, cocoa, peanut butter) and I think I will continue using the hersheys!

  2. Heather says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I bet that something like Hershey’s Special Dark powder would be a good bridge between the two in flavor and price, since it’s a blend of “regular” and Dutch process.

  3. Misty says:

    My favorite part is the photo of the brownies side by side – I just pinned it!

  4. Kim in MD says:

    I love this post! I have to admit that I only use Dutch-process cocoa powder, having discovered years ago that I prefer it over regular cocoa. I love the photo of the two brownie recipes, Mel! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

  5. Charlotte Moore says:

    I have never bought the Dutch process. I also wonder what in the world is raw cacao? I see this a good bit on healthy and GF blogs. I have no idea what to buy.

  6. Kadie says:

    Thanks for this post! I have wondered about the difference for a long time but have never heard much on the subject. I have cooked with both and don’t have a preference but your comparison sure settles the debate! Thanks again for the info!

  7. Heather says:

    Thanks for posting this. I recently moved to Holland where “Dutch cocoa powder” is all that is available. Imagine that! I wondered about the difference and what it would mean with regards to my baking. Now I get the science of it all-kinda.
    I will have to admit-and I’m a total Hershey girl-that I now prefer dutch cocoa. I brought some Hershey’s cocoa powder with me. I ran out and had to use the Dutch stuff instead and it made a total difference in the rich chocolatiness of this one cake that I make regularly. It is sooooo much better!
    Thanks again!!

  8. Tanya says:

    Where does Hershey’s special dark fall into the categories? I have stopped using regular Hershey’s cocoa powder and only use the special dark now because I think it has more of a chocolate taste. Thanks for the information!

  9. Ruchita says:

    Thank you for this post! I keep both Hershey’s and Dutch-process cocoa in my pantry. The chocolate cake recipe on the back of the Hershey’s can is quick and declicious for when you need a chocolate fix. :-) However, I have a favorite chocolate cupcake recipe that uses Dutch-process cocoa powder.

    For those that live in the midwest (I’m in Ohio) I found Dutch-process at my local Meijer’s store. Looking forward to the brownie recipe!

  10. Renee says:

    If you have an Amish store around you that sells bulk products, you might ask them if they carry Dutch-processed cocoa. I have a store about 40 minutes away and I stock up on things when I go there. I asked them one time and they said it was Dutch-processed although it only says cocoa on the printed label that they make. It is very reasonably priced. That is probably the only way I would buy it and not break the bank. :)

  11. Jaclyn says:

    Thank you for writing this. I had always wondered about the difference and now I know. I can’t wait for your brownie recipe!

  12. Allison says:

    Thanks Mel! You are awesome at knowing what we need to know and what we’ve always wondered. I’m just checking out the prices on Amazon for dutch processed and they have one with subscribe and save that isn’t too bad.. http://www.amazon.com/Frontier-Dutch-process-Certified-Organic-16-Ounce/dp/B001VNFHLC/ref=pd_sim_gro_3 Anyway! Thanks again, and happy Wednesday! :)

  13. Kirsten says:

    Funny I was JUST at the store this weekend wondering (again) what the difference between these two products was. This post could not have timelier! Now I wish I would have gone with my gut and gotten the dutch processed kind. Oh well, maybe if I see it on sale I’ll be inspired.

  14. Dawn says:

    Thanks for this information! I have long wondered about this and have never taken the time to investigate it and have just used my Hershey’s Cocoa Powder! Will have to pick up some dutch processed and give it a try! Love your blog!

  15. Stephanie says:

    I use a cocoa powder (from the grocery store) that is a blend of natural and Dutch cocoa. It’s the SACO brand, and comes in a 10 oz. container.

  16. Brinestone says:

    I use Saco brand cocoa, which claims to be a blend of both kinds. I like it, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t more expensive than Hershey’s or I wouldn’t have bought it.

  17. Amanda_in_AB says:

    Thank you! I live in Canada and I’ve never seen cocoa labelled as natural unsweetened, so I’ve always wondered what it was. Now I know it’s just regular cocoa.
    I usually buy Dutch process cocoa from Costco. Quite a good price and a huge container.

  18. Rachel says:

    I definitely agree on the price of the dutch process cocoa. That being said, my mom has a recipe for a Brownie Cake and it was my favorite cake growing up, and I would always ask for her to make it for me on my birthday. The cake calls for regular unsweetened cocoa powder. I was feeling fancy one day and decided to switch to the dutch process cocoa (the cake and icing only calls for 6 tablespoons of cocoa altogether). The cake went from amazing to mind blowing! Cocoa powder has a long shelf life so I like to keep both kinds on hand. :)

  19. Teresa R. says:

    Great post! I will absolutely be buying some Dutch process cocoa from Amazon or Sam’s. I can’t wait to make some brownies using the Dutch process.

  20. Barbara says:

    If you have a Penzeys anywhere near you, they also have Dutch-processed cocoa. I’ve replaced ALL my herbs and spices with their products – they are that good. I have to drive 70 miles to a store, but for a once a year treat, a visit to their Winter Park, FL store is just delightful! Also get their catalog from their web site, and you’ll get a coupon for a full-size product several times a year. You can buy small sizes or bulk bags and keep the extra in the freezer.

    If you have to be on a low sodium diet, their salt free blends are a god-send. I especially love Arizona Dreaming, so I buy it by the POUND. Really! Just don’t put it in your cocoa…..lol!

  21. Linda says:

    FYI:Last night I was at Winco and they have Dutch processed cocoa in the bulk bins. I thought the price was just over $4 pound. I haven’t tried it yet but I thought that was a good way to try it out.

  22. Keri says:

    I have a lame question…how do you measure cocoa powder? It compacts and often has lumps in it. If I lightly spoon it in, then there are lots of places with air because of the lumps. If I compact it in, I’m afraid I’m using too much. Any advice?

  23. Mel says:

    Tanya – I think Hershey’s Special Dark is a blend of dutch-process and natural unsweetened cocoa but I’m not 100% sure.

    Keri – I measure cocoa by spooning it into the measuring cup. When I add each additional spoonful of cocoa to the measuring cup, I kind of fluff/stir the cocoa in the measuring cup to get rid of air bubbles. I know – not very scientific but it seems to do the job ok.

  24. Laurel says:

    Wow! Amazing! I loved this post. Mel, you’re so great. For years I’ve been complaining about Hershey’s cocoa producing a bitter, non-chocolate flavor. My mother and sisters called me picky and ridiculous! Now I know I just have a more sophisticated palate. Thanks for the amazon tip. I never thought about purchasing food there. My tiny little town doesn’t sell the good stuff. You’re the best!!

  25. Leslie says:

    I had no idea that there was a difference! I made a chocolate cake a bout a month ago that called for Dutch Processed, but I substituted unsweetended, and then I accidentally went over board on the baking powder. I think it caused the problem of my cakes overflowing in the pans! It was also not very good in flavor without adding sugar and lots of frosting! I think the recipe called specifically for Dutch on purpose and I had no idea why until this post! I am going to try that recipe again once I get me some Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder! Thanks!

  26. Alice C. says:

    So looking forward to your brownie recipe! I LOVE box mix brownies… I came across a recipe that claims to mimic them, but I haven’t tried it yet because it requires all sorts of different chocolates and I haven’t bought a scale yet.

  27. Darci says:

    Great post!
    I love your blog and use it ALL THE TIME, you really need to publish a recipe book!

  28. Nisha says:

    Hi, first time here. Saw this post shared by Haniela’s on Facebook.
    Some time back I read the differences between these two powders, and your post explained it quite clearly too.
    I only wish I had not omitted the prefixes on cocoa powders in the recipes I’ve noted in my book so far. Now I have no idea which needed Dutch processed and which meant Natural Unsweetened! Anyway… :D

  29. Mel, you´re like our own personal tester and recipe developer! All those homemade stuff you constantly devise, they are super! Thank you

  30. Leigh Anne says:

    Thx so much for this Mel! I’ve always wondered about this “life mystery”….and now I know!!

  31. Chris says:

    Thanks so much for this post. I have been wondering about this for a long time. I have never tried Dutch Process Cocoa Powder before, clearly I need to. I can hardly wait to get my hands on some and test it out myself!

  32. Christy says:

    Thank you so much for explaining this! I thought this was just one of the mysteries of cooking that I would never understand or have the time to figure out. This has enlightened my day!

  33. Debra Kapellakis says:

    Cool! thank you

  34. Cammee says:

    Ok, I confess, I am totally confused. I am not a chocolate lover, but sometimes can tolerate a milk chocolate taste (I tasted dark chocolate once and thought I was going to die!). So when you say a more mellow, deeper taste, does that mean more chocolatey tasting? I know I’m a freak, but remember, we can still be friends because you have your little Snickerdoodle quirk. I also have a suspicion you don’t like raisins :).

  35. Mel says:

    Hi Cammee – well, yes, I can safely say that the dutch-process cocoa is akin to dark chocolate. It definitely makes the chocolate taste deeper, darker and more like dark chocolate. I still love you even though we’ll have to disagree on the chocolate factor. And yes, you are right – I’m not a raisin lover, especially in my baked goods or oatmeal. Ick!

  36. wow – this was very informational!
    thanks

    xoxo from Trinidad

  37. Michelle Barber says:

    Oh Mel should I dare make your Unbelievable Chocolate Cake made with Dutch-process? I can’t really fathom it tasting any better. But there’s only one way to find out…

  38. Cara says:

    I have to agree with the earlier comment by Barbara. You MUST try Penzeys. Their Natural High Fat Cocoa is awesome and not a bad deal at $9.50 for a one pound bag. They simply have the best seasonings ever….you will not be disappointed! http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeyscocoapowder.html

  39. Tracee says:

    Just a heads up…if anyone has a store called World Market close by, I bought the Droste Cocoa is the same size box this past weekend in their Austin, TX store for $4.40 a box! I only bought two boxes because we were there on vacation and now that we are home, I cannot locate it on their website. I live in a one-horse town so I go nuts when I’m in a big city and take advantage and stock up. However, this time, we took only one suitcase for the 3 of us and we all know the TSA rules about carryon’s and checked baggage weights! I had to ditched two cans of tomatillos because they made our suitcase too heavy! Boo! They also had all their amazing spices on sale for 30% off and I picked up some extremely expensive spices for a song! I love that store for their food selections and their kitchen/dining selections.

  40. Kelie says:

    Seriously need that brownie recipe! The picture made me want to eat my screen:)

  41. Jennifer says:

    I, like you, had always used Hershey’s cocoa. Then, a few years back, I ordered some Guittard cocoa(both dutch and natural) in bulk. Once you have used this you can never turn back! Even the natural Guittard cocoa made everything chocolate so much better! My husband now calls me a cocoa snob. You can usually find it at your local kitchen store for not too much more than Hershey’s. The only time I have had trouble with dutch processed cocoa was with homemade hot fudge. It doesn’t thicken. Thanks for all you do, I love your blog!

  42. Madonna says:

    This is a great article/post. Thank you.

    I checked my Art & Soul Baking from Sur la table. On page 6 they have a weight conversion for cocoa. It is in oz. – I now use grams because it is so precise. My baking has improved with the use of a scale.

  43. Rebecca says:

    Mel, I can’t wait for the brownie recipe! Living in the UK I can easily get Dutch Processed Cocoa but NOT Semi sweet chocolate!
    My inlaws just came back from US with 4 bags of Semi sweet chips but these will have to be for cookies! We’ve already made one batch :)
    We have a sweet dark chocolate here but my eldest DD (I have 4 kids – 2 girls, 1 boy, little girls!) doesn’t like it, and I don’t like milk chocolate in my cookies :)

    Thanks for all the great recipes.

  44. Petra says:

    I keep coming back, hoping to see the brownie recipe on here:-) I found some other ones online, but I want to try yours. Every recipe of yours I have tried was great, so I will patiently wait until you post it.

  45. Roger says:

    Damned fine looking brownies. However, I have to be a party pooper and say that a more accurate evaluation of Natural vs Dutched cocoa in brownies would be to use the same brand for each. That way you eliminate two big variables: source and quality of beans.

    Understandably, it’s hard to locate a brand’s full product line especially when it comes to higher quality ‘specialized’ ingredients. Hershey’s natural vs Hershey’s dutched would probably be doable though.

  46. heather-mae celins says:

    I don’t cook with cocoa, I drink it. I swapped from strong black unsweetened coffee to the equivalent in cocoa, and I love it, my favorite is Hershey’s however it’s only available in Costco in Melbourne, and they have run out of it. Any suggestions as what brand would be a good one to buy? Heather-mae

  47. sally says:

    Dear sir
    our Iranian company as an importer food & beverage is interested of your cocoa productions
    you are requested to send us your samples plus the price list
    I’m looking forward hearing from you

    best regards Sally
    +98 21 55809580
    +912 1862127
    assari brothers unique trading co.

  48. Dee says:

    I get Dutch processed cocoa at Prepared Pantry in Idaho– I order online. They have it on sale once in a while — http://www.preparedpantry.com

  49. Jnl2211 says:

    My favorite everyday cocoa powder is Hershey’s special dark. Oh my word they make special dark chocolate chips too! Otherwise I use mostly natural, raw, organic cacao.

  50. SewCrafty1 says:

    Thanks for the comparison! I’ve always wondered what adjustments were needed for each type of cocoa. A born choco-holic, I’ve developed a sensitive, although adventurous palate. A good, smooth chocolate is a treasure. But there is something truly wonderful about a dark chocolate that bites you back just a bit! No, the terms “white chocolate” are an oxymoron in the least and a dreadful lie at most! I always say, “If it aint black, it aint chocolate!” Add a little strong, black coffee and my eyes roll back in my in pure joy!

  51. [...] unsweetened beverages and extreme sugar/no sugar reduced treats – it may not be for everyone. Mel’s Kitchen Cafe has a great post taking the confusion out about different types of cocoa [...]

  52. Nicky says:

    Best explanation Ever! I read so many on line, one after the other, trying to make sense of all this. Your explanation was clear and made sense! Thank you! Found a recipe for Crock Pot Hot Fudge Sundae Cake and it called for both cocoas. I was so confused. Not anymore! thanks to you! on my way to the store to pick up stuff for dinner and special baking cocoa :)

  53. Mochatte says:

    I am a huge mocha fan and trying to create the right type of cocoa powder from scratch. Is anyone aware of a way to “dutch” cocoa powder at home? I have seen multiple people mention that you should add a pinch of baking soda for every 3 tablespoons but I am looking for a way to replicate the Alkali process at home. Anyone have suggestions?

  54. Cherrie says:

    Can I sub Dutch Coco for Natural unsweetened for a chocolate cookie recipe?

    • Mel says:

      Cherrie – it really depends on the cookie recipe…without knowing the exact recipe I don’t want to say yes or no. You’ll probably have to experiment. Good luck!

  55. Cherrie says:

    Hi Mel, it’s actually the white chocolate chipper cookie recipe that you have here. Is it ok to sub it w/ thw Dutch processed cocoa because of its lavor even w/ using a baking soda? I actually just made my first chocolate cookie chip from scratch last week & I felt so proud of myself. I love to cook & not much to bake :( Your website is really very helpful for people like me who wants to bake but have been having 2nd thoughts.
    Thanks for responding right away. I’ve been wanting to bake a chocolate cookie since last week & the only ingredient I haven’t bought is the coco powder. I can’t decide. Help! :0)

    • Mel says:

      Hi Cherrie – ok, that helps. Thanks! Yes, you could use the Dutch-process cocoa for the cookies. Usually it’s more finicky baked goods like cakes that you need to be careful subbing Dutch-process for regular. The Dutch-process will give those cookies a pretty deep, dark cocoa flavor so if you like the chocolate a bit more mild, I’d stick with the recipe and use the natural cocoa powder. Good luck!

  56. Cherrie says:

    Hi Mel,
    Thanks a lot. We do likea deeper chocolate flavor. Another question, how do I make the cookies not crumbly?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Cherrie – have you made those cookies in the past and had them turn out crumbly? Be careful not to overflour the dough (measure by scooping and sweeping the flour) and it should be ok.

  57. Cherrie says:

    Hi Mel! I finally realized it was w/ the way I stored the cookies. After 5-7 days they became crumbly. I tried melting the butter & chilling them & I didn’t like the results. I like them room temp butter & bake them right after. They turn out soft. Do you have any ideas how to make them like the Keebler soft & chewy? Any more ideas on how to store them & keep them soft longer? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Cherrie – I always freeze my cookies if they will be left out for longer than a day or two. Then they taste fresh out of the freezer and warmed up slightly in the microwave or just at room temperature.

  58. Kathleen says:

    I made your chocolate zucchini cake recipe using Dutch processed cocoa and it was fabulous. But even more fabulous was the discovery of the reason my tried and true chocolate birthday cake recipe has not turned out as expected the last few times I made it. I must have been using the wrong cocoa. But the chocolate zucchini cake had that deep chocolate flavor. I recognized it at the first bite and even before from the color. Thanks for the tip and for solving my puzzle!

  59. Ivan E. says:

    The articles that I have been reading say that dutch processed chocolate in not as health wise as natural unsweetened cocoa.

  60. Margie Spenser says:

    To the person who would like to know a way to use an alkali to change “regular”cocoa to Dutch cocoa –think about whether you could use boiling water to change a plate of scrambled eggs into hardboiled eggs so you could dye them for Easter. Once you take the first big step you can’t go back.

  61. Jennifer says:

    I ordered some Guitarrd cocoa in bulk(both dutch and reg.) I was a Hersey’s user until then. After usung the reg. Guitarrd cocoa, I can’t go back to using Hershey’s. There is a huge difference in taste. Once when making homemade hot fudge, I was out of the reg. cocoa and used my dutch cocoa. It didn’t thicken up at all, but still tasted great. My husband now calls me a cocoa snob.

  62. Those Dutch processed brownies LOOK like they taste better too. Thanks for inspiring me to pop over to Amazon and buy some.

  63. Karen says:

    Mel, I have brownie recipe calling for 2/3 c Dutch process cocoa and 1/2 tsp baking powder…but I only have natural cocoa available. Do I need to adjust to baking soda instead of powder because of that?

    • Mel says:

      Karen – Since it’s not one of my recipes, I can’t be totally sure, but usually natural cocoa powder is used with baking soda (or many brownie recipes don’t use any leavening – just a lot of eggs). I hope that helps.

  64. marty says:

    Mel,
    Is there a way to reduce the bitter flavor that cocoa has when baking or making candies.
    Thank
    Marty

    • Mel says:

      marty – Dutch process cocoa has a more mild, less bitter taste so that may help (but be sure to make the necessary adjustments as noted in the post with baking soda, etc. if subbing dutch-process in for natural, unsweetened).

  65. Sonya says:

    This was soooooooooooooooo helpful! I’ve been researching this on a rampage since last night, ever since I saw the America’s Test Kitchen video on this and read their article, and your article (and taste test!) just very nicely summed up everything that I was reading and learning. You are truly helping us bakers!!! Just wanted to say thank-you :)

  66. Sonya says:

    P.S. Since I have Callebaut (dutched), Droste (dutched) and Hershey’s (natural) in my cupboard, I think I’ll do a personal taste test with my next few recipes, just for fun and to see what my husband and I prefer, and to see if any of my recipes that call for natural cocoa powder with mostly baking soda are negatively affected by the dutched. I send all leftovers to his co-workers so no one will mind all the chocolate :)

  67. suzabelle says:

    Really helpful webpage, thanks!
    Do you have any advice about subsitutions?
    RE if I substitute natural cocoa in a recipe with the Hershey’s Specialized Cocoa? (it’s both dutch processed & natural cocoas)
    The cake recipe uses the natural unsweetened cocoa and baking soda, and buttermilk. If I use the Hershey’s specialized coca, would I perhaps use half baking soda and half baking powder ? not sure about the buttermilk.
    Suzabelle

    • Mel says:

      Hi Suzabelle – it’s hard to say for all recipes especially since I’m not super familiar with the blend of dutch and natural coca you are using; you’d have to experiment a little bit. The baking soda works with the buttermilk (acidity) to create leavening so I’d probably keep that in and play around with the baking soda/baking powder equivalents. Good luck!

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