Tips for Baking with Cocoa Powder

Showcase America's most popular dessert flavor in your artisan cakes and pastries. Many bakery formulations rely on cocoa powder to achieve their rich, dark color and decadent chocolate flavor.


To get great results when you bake with cocoa:

  • Use alkalized cocoa to intensify color and flavor. The alkalization process neutralizes acidic components in the cocoa, removing some of its astringency and contributing to a more well rounded flavor profile. Alkalized cocoa also has deeper color and more intense flavor, which allow you to use less cocoa to achieve the rich taste and appearance you want in your chocolate baked goods.
  • Bake with high-butterfat cocoa. Cocoa butter helps give greater body and richer flavor to your cakes and pastries. Progressive Baker® Cocoa Powder has a high cocoa butter content (22% to 24%), which makes it perform well in gourmet baking applications.
  • Add more liquid. Because it's high in fiber and starch, cocoa powder absorbs moisture. To formulate a chocolate cake from a white cake base, you'll need to replace some flour with cocoa and increase the liquids. As a general rule, alkalized cocoa absorbs more water than non-alkalized cocoa.
  • Adjust your leavening system. When you add cocoa powder to a formula you may need to adjust the leavening system to achieve the correct pH balance:
    • For formulas using natural cocoa, increase baking soda and decrease acids to compensate for the cocoa's low pH.
    • For formulas using alkalized cocoa, decrease baking soda and increase acids to achieve the right pH balance.