What's the difference between Dutch cocoa and regular cocoa?

Dutch cocoa vs. regular cocoa: What's the difference, and can they be substituted for each other in a recipe? Learn more about the difference between these two ingredients!

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What is the difference between cocoa powder and Dutch cocoa powder?

Although they look quite similar, Dutch cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder are two very different products. When it comes to baking, it’s usually important to use the right one because the end result can be quite different.

What is natural cocoa powder?

Natural cocoa powder hasn’t been treated, so it is highly acidic, more bitter and has a strong chocolate flavour. Because it’s acidic, it can be mixed with bi-carb soda to create a raising effect in baked goods. Its colour is also much lighter than Dutch cocoa powder.

What is Dutch processed cocoa powder?

Dutch cocoa powder has been processed to remove its acidity. The powder is neutral after it's been treated. Recipes with Dutch cocoa powder usually use baking powder as the raising agent, not bi-carb soda. When compared to natural cocoa powder, Dutch cocoa powder is much darker and richer in colour.

When should I use natural or Dutch cocoa powder?

If you’re cooking or baking and the recipe doesn’t include either baking powder or bi-carb soda, then you can use either type of cocoa. If you use a different cocoa powder to the one stated in the recipe, it will still work but the end result may taste slightly different.

If the recipe does use baking powder or bi-carb soda, always use the type of cocoa powder stated in the recipe, or you may not get the fluffiness and rise that’s expected.
If your recipe doesn’t specify which type to use, use this is a good rule of thumb: 

  • Natural cocoa powder should be used with bi-carb soda.
  • Dutch cocoa powder should be used with baking powder.

Recipes with cocoa powder

Ready to make some delicious sweets with cocoa powder? Check out the videos and recipes below for ideas to use cocoa powder in your cooking!

Get the recipe: Dark Cherry Chocolate Crackles

Cherry Ripe meets chocolate crackles, when two Aussie classic mix you know it has to be good!

Get the recipe: Kid's Party Chocolate Crackles

Add a bit of colour to this kid's party and bake sale classic. Classic chocolate crackles with extra chocolate candies, what's not to love?

Get the recipe: Cherry Coconut Cheesecake with Chocolate Crackle Base

This decadent cherry cheesecake has a delightfully smooth filling contrasted with a crunchy crackle crust. The best of both worlds!

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