Chocolate Baking Substitutions


Don’t keep chocolate on hand? No worries! Thanks to brilliant mathy people like Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Cake Bible, bakers have access to substitutions perfect for your recipes when you don’t keep that kind of chocolate collateral about the house.

Chocolate substitute math (My favorite kind. The kind you eat):

For every ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate:
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter

For every ounce of semisweet chocolate:
1.5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 Tbsp sugar equivalent + .5 Tbsp unsalted butter

for every ounce of sweet baking chocolate 
1 Tbsp cocoa powder + 1/2 tsp sugar equivalent  + 1/4 tsp unsalted butter

Directions:

If you need a melted product, carefully microwave (no more than 15 to 20 seconds at a time) or slowly melt ingredients together over low heat on the stove for perfect results every time.

Otherwise, for something akin to a cake recipe, you could simply add ingredients to the recipe as they are.



Nutritional information for every 4 ounces of chocolate substitute used:

unsweetened baking chocolate: 
Nutritional Information per 4 ounces of substitute: Calories: 647, Carbohydrates: 36 g,  Fiber: 12g, Net Carbohydrates: 24 g, Fat: 52 g, Protein: 12g

semisweet chocolate:

Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 324, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 4g, Net Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fat: 26 g, Protein: 6g

sweet baking chocolate
Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 147, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Sugar Alcohols: 12, Fiber: 1g, Net Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fat: 10 g, Protein: 4g 

Print Friendly

Comments

  1. Ladyred56 says:

    Thanks Jamie!
    I have always wandered about this and if there was any way for me to make my own. Now I can!
    I just have a question about the carb counts why does the unsweetened have so many more carbs then the others?

  2. cleochatra says:

    Good morning! It's because cocoa has carbohydrates (2 net carbs per Tbsp), and there's a greater amount of cocoa in the unsweetened conversions.

  3. seadrake says:

    Oops. Jamie, hon, your maths have done a number.

    Check out the following 'edits' on your Chocolate subs…(sorry, you know I love you, don't you?).
    —-
    For every *ounce* of unsweetened baking chocolate:
    3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter == 4 Tbsp total or *1 Ounce by volume*
    [139 Calories; 14g Fat (71.9% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 31mg Cholesterol; 5mg Sodium.]

    For every *ounce* of semisweet chocolate:
    1.5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 Tbsp sugar equivalent + .5 Tbsp unsalted butter == 3 Tbsp total or *3/4 Ounce by volume*
    [69 Calories; 7g Fat (71.9% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 2mg Sodium.]

    for every *ounce* of sweet baking chocolate
    1 Tbsp cocoa powder + 1/2 tsp sugar equivalent + 1/4 tsp unsalted butter == *<1.33 Tbsp or 0.3325 Ounce by volume*
    [38 Calories; 4g Fat (67.0% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 8mg Cholesterol; 2mg Sodium.]

  4. cleochatra says:

    Hey there! Thanks so much for calculating out the measures in weight! I truly appreciate your effort and totally see where there appear to be discrepancies.

    I don't think the weight differences would affect recipes much, or the Cake Bible lady would have amended?

    The nutritional values were calculated for 4 ounces of chocolate conversions (even when the amounts weigh less than 4 ounces), using fitday and nutritional information I input into the software. It's possible that the coca I use is carbier and higher in calories than others (I used Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa)which would account for my numbers being higher than yours.

    I am going to look at your information again. Which cocoa did you use for these values?

    Thanks again!

  5. seadrake says:

    I thought it was kind of mean of me to not check the calcs myself after noticing some kind of logical disprecancy, so here they are, recalc'ed.

    It's not the cocoa ('generic' usda unsweetened cocoa powder, close enough for most brands) that's a bit off but mostly all the other proportions. I used the wiki for cocoa/choc subs and then scaled down to get the 1-ounce equivalent. Also switched all Tbsp to Tsp equiv making the cals simpler (MUCH simpler).

    Of course, if sweetener is used, that changes a few carb counts of course, 24g per C (1.5g per Tbsp) of Splenda granular, for example. And who uses unsweetened chocolate without some serious sweetener?

    Here's the finals (unfortunately, rounded to nearest G):

    Sub for every ounce of UNSWEETENED baking chocolate:
    3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter [original
    139 Calories; 14g Fat (71.9% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 31mg Cholesterol; 5mg Sodium.]
    NET 4G.

    Sub for every ounce of SEMISWEET chocolate:
    1.5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 Tbsp sugar equivalent + .5 Tbsp unsalted butter [original, corrected to 1.5 Tbsp cocoa, 3.5 Tsp sweetener, 0.5 Tbsp butter
    69 Calories; 7g Fat (71.9% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 2mg Sodium]
    NET 1G before sweetener.

    Sub for every ounce of SWEET baking chocolate
    1 Tbsp cocoa powder + 1/2 tsp sugar equivalent + 1/4 tsp unsalted butter [original, corrected to 3.5 tsp sweetener and 2 tsp butter
    80 Calories; 8g Fat (82.3% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 21mg Cholesterol; 2mg Sodium.]
    NET 1G befORE sweetener.

  6. cleochatra says:

    Thanks for running your calculations!

    There are three teaspoons in a Tablespoon. How did you get 3.5?

    I went with Tbsp since most folks are subbing up to 8 ounces of chocolate per recipe, and it's easier to multiple 1.5 X 8 than to try and figure out the tsp's. (I know you didn't ask–I just wanted to share my reasoning). I plan to put a table together but haven't yet.

    I appreciate how concise you are, to be honest! It's great seeing how they different numbers suss out.

    I feel confident that the number values I reached are correct. I've double and triple checked them using fitday.

    Thank you for being amazingly wonderful and for shooting me comments to help!

  7. seadrake says:

    Lots of detail there, sorry…basically, the sweeter chocolate subs had less sweetener and butter than cocoa, proportionally, than the unsweetened in your original post, and I just couldn't make sense of that.

    Especially the last one, the sweet baking chocolate with the 1/2 tsp sweetener and the 1/4 tsp butter?

    Oh joy. Fun with numbers when you'd rather be playing in the kitchen, as would I. ☀

  8. seadrake says:

    reasonings used:

    Some of the subs I used were to get either 6 or 4 or 1 final ounce of baking chocolate equivalent. I converted all the INput Tbsp to Tsp by multiplying by 3 as usual. With the final numbers divided by 6 or 4 (depending on the final result being 6 or 4 ounces of course) to get the ONE ounce equivalent as you originally posted. Basic calulator stuff there, hence 3.5 Tsp in there in one place.

    We foodies have to stick together ★ so no thanks needed. I'm positive your Fitday calcs and nutrition cals are fine. I can't get past there being less sweetener in a 1 ounce equivalent for Sweet chocolate than in Semisweet…

    Ta!

  9. cleochatra says:

    I agree it totally sounds crazy, right?

    I'm so like you. I've cross checked, double checked and triple checked, and then checked again, and keep getting the same breakdowns of cocoa to butter to sugar for the chocolates.

    I even checked with Better Homes and Gardens. I had the same huh factor you're having.

    Apparently, although the nutty values are–well–nutty, they're ok substitutions for those recipes.

    I think it's good we're asking those questions, because it does seem incredibly unusual, doesn't it?

  10. cleochatra says:

    It's good to see you and talk to you. It's been awhile. {{{you}}}

  11. seadrake says:

    BTW, the one book I don't have is (I think!) is The Cake Bible…and I've also been going on at excessive detail, please forgive me (it's my analyst side of the skull sponge). The only one that's really out of whack is your Sweet Chocolate, when I back away and look at it again, and it's probably supposed to be Tbsp instead of Tsp in your post.

    ★★★

    ps: off to poke around in my Pastry Chef guidebook…assuming they even LOOK at cocoa poweder in there.

  12. seadrake says:

    Aw shucks, didn't think you knew it was me, {{{ hugs }}} back! Haven't been to LCF in ages…

    I was poking around in my dusty but extensive floor-loaded library and came across one more reference, in Shirley Corriher's Cookwise. She references Beranbaum's semisweet sub at 1 Tbsp + 1.75 Tsp cocoa, 1 Tbsp + 0.5 Tsp sugar, and 1.5 Tsp unsalted butter. Huh.

    Strange days in the chocolate factory!

    I await the final cheesecake base/variations and will be putting it head to head against yours, it'll be so much fun! I shamelessly scoff your 3-nut crust, though, to play with. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM and thanks, hon.

  13. cleochatra says:

    I've totally noticed you haven't been around! I come and go. Sometimes I forget to go. I didn't forget you, though! It's nice being able to catch up!

  14. Hey Cleo I see you're back in action, and making my favourites!!!

    CHEESECAKES

    Thank you for the tips I will have to remember that for those times I am out of my precious… (lindt)

    I find pure cocoa powders vary in carbohydrate content usually in relation to fat content like everything else (e.g. cream). The one I buy has around 11.4g per 100g

  15. Oh and PS: Cleo 2 more things, one you post too much because I had to go to the next page to find this post again :p and two, I wanted to reply to your stevia and your sweetener posts but comments weren't available.

    I wanted to say that I like to use stevia and erythritol for most things but with lemony things I replace the erythritol with xylitol. On the stevia post I hated stevia too until I ordered some from the US, the brand was Nu Naturals. First I started using their stevia and maltodextrin blend (by accident as I thought I bought the stevia and erythritol blen) but now I get their pure stevia extract and I blend it with the erythritol, I grind them down in the grinder to an icing sugar consistency so they mix well and so the erythritol dissolves better. Can't give you amounts because I go by taste.

    Before that I used to buy stevia here in Australia and every one I tried was yuk.

  16. Can you use unsweetened cocoa for sweet baking chocolate?

    • You can, but you want to make sure to up the sweetener and add fat in the form of coconut oil or butter to emulate the chocolate.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Please see this post for standard cocoa conversions for semi sweet chocolate, depending on how you plan to proceed (with low carb products or with unsweetened cocoa). This recipe will require a full 8 ounces of ganache. [...]

  2. [...] Please see this post for standard cocoa conversions for semi sweet chocolate, depending on how you plan to proceed (with low carb products or with unsweetened cocoa). This recipe will require a full 8 ounces of ganache. [...]

Leave a Reply