How to Convert White Cake Recipe to Chocolate

In this brief article, we will be discussing how to convert white cake recipe to chocolate. So if you already have a delicious vanilla cake recipe that you want to convert to chocolate,  we’re here to solve your problem!

How to Convert White Cake Recipe to Chocolate?

Here’s what you need to convert a white/vanilla cake recipe to chocolate. 


  • A pack of vanilla cake box mix OR your trusted vanilla cake recipe
  • 1/4th cup of cocoa powder
  • Substitute the milk with hot water OR hot coffee
  • Substitute the butter with vegetable oil

Converting Vanilla Box Cake Mix To Chocolate

  1. Pour the vanilla cake mix into a large bowl. 
  2. Add the 1/4th cup of cocoa powder to the cake mix and the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix using a whisk till evenly combined.
  3. Carry on making the cake mix as per the instructions on the box. 
  4. Bake at the required temperature, let the cake cool and decorate with your desired frosting.  

Converting Vanilla Cake Recipe To Chocolate

  1. As you combine the dry ingredients in the recipe, add 1/4th cup of cocoa powder. Mix everything using a whisk till evenly combined.
  2. Substitute half or all of the milk in the recipe with hot coffee or hot water. These replacements enhance the overall flavor of the cocoa powder in the recipe.
  3. Substitute the butter with ½ a cup canola or vegetable oil. Oil provides a more neutral flavor to the cake as compared to butter and also lets the chocolate flavor bloom through.
  4. Carry on with the remaining instructions of the original recipe. Bake the cake according to the original recipe. Bake at the required temperature, let the cake cool and decorate with your desired frosting.  

Additional Tips and Tricks

Now that you know the basics, here are a few additional tips to make your white-to-chocolate cake recipe taste even better.

  • Two types of cocoa powder are available: Dutch-process and natural cocoa powder. Dutch-process cocoa powder contains an alkalizing agent which reduces its acidity and gives it a more chocolatey flavor. If your vanilla cake recipe contains baking powder, you can use any cocoa powder. But if there is no baking powder, it’s better to use the natural kind. 
  • Dutch-process cocoa powder doesn’t react with baking soda, hence the two cannot be substituted with each other.
  • If you don’t have cocoa powder, use a packet of instant chocolate pudding mix to make the cake extra fluffy with an enhanced chocolate taste.
  • Adding 1/4th cup of sour cream, or three ounces of melted unsweetened or semi-sweet baking chocolate helps improve the moisture content of the cake.
  • Adding some hot coffee or hot water to the cake batter also enhances the chocolate flavor. 
  • Carefully substitute 1/4th to 1/3rd cup of flour with 1/4th to 1/3th cup of cocoa powder. Both these ingredients have different effects on the recipe, and replacing flour might spoil the texture of the cake. 

What is the Role of Cocoa Powder in Cakes?

Cocoa powder gives cakes an intense chocolatey flavor and its characteristic dark color. 

It is also used in recipes along with other chocolates, unsweetened or dark, resulting in cakes with a dense chocolate flavor as opposed to when cocoa was not present.

How Much Flour Should You Replace with Cocoa?

You can replace 1/4th cup (four tablespoons) cocoa with two tablespoons of general-purpose flour. This works especially well in recipes for cookies or nut bread. 

If you’ve sifted the flour, mix the cocoa with the moist ingredients, particularly if your recipe starts by combining sugar and creaming butter together.

Why Use a Cake Mix?

There is no special reason to use a cake mix when converting a white cake to chocolate, it’s just that using cake mixes is more convenient.

All the dry ingredients are already mixed, and simple addition of cocoa is all that is required. 

Other FAQs about Cake that you may be interested in.

What do you eat Christmas cake with?

When should you eat Christmas cake?

Can you eat Christmas cake?


In this brief article, we answered the question of how to convert white cake recipe to chocolate. Using only a few additions and replacements, you can make a chocolate cake recipe from a conventional vanilla cake mix or recipe. And it’s not only super easy, but it’s also a delicious dessert!

If you have any more questions or comments please let us know.