Can carob powder be substituted for cocoa powder? (+3 substitutes)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can carob powder be substituted for cocoa powder?”, and what are the other substitutes for cocoa powder?

Can carob powder be substituted for cocoa powder?

Yes, Carob powder can be substituted for cocoa powder, especially in baking. It is important to remember that carob is higher in carbs and sweeter, so use a lesser amount as compared to cocoa. It also burns easily, thus it is recommended to lower the temperature while baking.

Read on if you want to know more about carob and the other substitutes of cocoa powder.

What is a carob?

Carob is a flowering tree that belongs to the Fabaceae family it has edible pods and is also deployed for its ornamental properties. Ripe carob pods are dried and sometimes toasted and then ground into a fine powder. This powder is sold as is or in the form of carob bars or carob chips as a substitute for chocolate bars and chocolate chips, respectively.

Carob is used as a cheap alternative to cocoa powder. Carob powder has a sweet taste, unlike unsweetened cocoa powder that states somewhat bitter.

The seed is removed from the pod before making carob powder. Carob powder can be used as a sweetener in cakes and cookies. It can also replace chocolate in baking. Carob syrup is sold as Kharrub; a sweet and cold beverage, in Egypt.

Carob powder vs cocoa powder

A Tbsp of unsweetened carob powder contains 25 calories and only 6g of carbohydrates. In addition, it is saturated fat and cholesterol-free. On the other hand, a Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder has about 12 calories and 3g carbohydrate. It has 1g of fat and is saturated fat and cholesterol-free.

Carob powder has 3 times more calcium than cocoa powder and is caffeine-free. A chocolate bar made with cocoa powder and one made with carob powder has the same number of calories and fat content. But they differ in taste, texture, and flavor.

Why substitute cocoa powder with carob powder?

Caffeine-free substitute

Yes, you heard us right. Cocoa is packed with alkaloids like ethylxanthines, caffeine, and theobromine which can lead to insomnia, anxiety, and addiction due to its stimulant properties. On the other hand, carob is caffeine-free. So, use carob powder for baking cakes and desserts if you have stress, anxiety, frequent headaches or migraines, and adrenal fatigue.

Promotes digestion

A Tbsp of carob powder provides 11% of the RDI for dietary fibre. Fiber promotes bowel movements, flushes out carcinogens from the gut, and keeps you full for longer, thus, regulating hunger patterns.

Packed with anti-oxidants

Carob powder is loaded with polyphenolic compounds like gallotanins, gallic acid, quercetin, myricetin, cinnamic acid that have powerful antioxidant properties. They protect the cells from oxidative stress and prevent lipid peroxidation in the body.

Helps in weight loss

Unsweetened carob powder is fat and cholesterol-free or contains negligible amounts. While an ounce of chocolate contains about 15g of fat. So if you are watching out for weight gain, go cocoa-free and choose carob.

Economical substitute

Organic cocoa powder made with dark chocolate costs a lot more than organic carob powder. Choose carob powder over cocoa powder if you prefer something more nutritious and inexpensive at the same time.

What are the other alternatives to cocoa powder?

Unsweetened dark chocolate

Use dark chocolate in place of cocoa powder to get a deep chocolate flavor and color with a rich and velvety mouthfeel. Dark chocolate has more cocoa solids than cocoa powder and also has milk, vanilla, additives, and cocoa butter added to it to enhance flavor. Due to the added cocoa butter, dark chocolate is a high-calorie substitute for cocoa powder.

Instant coffee of espresso powder

To enhance flavor and add bitterness to your desserts, you can use instant coffee or espresso powder in place of cocoa powder. It is not a good substitute in baking cocoa powder makes up a considerable portion of the dry ingredients of the batter or dough.

Cupuacu fruit

Cupuacu is a rainforest tree that belongs to the cocoa family. The pulp of Cupuacu fruit is used in making ice-creams, snack bars, and other related products.

The pulp of this fruit is white in color and has a taste similar to chocolate and pineapple. This explains the frequent use of this fruit in desserts, juices, and sweets. It can be used in place of cocoa powder to provide an earthy taste to the end product.

Other FAQs about Cocoa Powder that you may be interested in.

Does cocoa powder go bad?

Can carob powder be substituted for cocoa powder?

What is non alkalized cocoa powder?


In this article, we answered the question “Can carob powder be substituted for cocoa powder?”, and what are the other substitutes for cocoa powder?