If you have never tried making brownies with cocoa powder instead of using multiple chocolate bars, you are missing out. Brownies made with the right cocoa powder may be the best treat you have ever tried.
But what is the best cocoa powder for brownies? Brownies turn out good if you make them with unsweetened cocoa powder. Here is the list of the best cocoa powders you can buy to make brownies.
- Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Powder
- Navitas Organics Cacao Powder
- BetterBody Foods Organic Cocoa Powder
- Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Rodelle Dutch Processed Gourmet Baking Cocoa Powder
- The Cocoa Trader Black Cocoa Powder
- Hershey’s Special Dark Baking Cocoa
- Nestle Toll House Cocoa
- Guittard Cocoa Rouge Cocoa Powder
In this article, you will learn why cocoa is actually better for brownies and what cocoa powder varieties you should use for the best results. You will also get a closer look at the best cocoa powder options we have picked.
Why Cocoa Powder Is Best for Baking Brownies
Cocoa powder is an ingredient that makes or breaks brownies. The success of this dense and fudgy dessert largely depends on this ingredient. Many people consider brownies made with cocoa powder just as good as the ones made with chocolate.
You just need the right recipe, and of course, the right kind of cocoa powder.
Another thing that makes many bakers choose cocoa powder over a bar of chocolate is that it saves time. They don’t have to worry about melting chocolate in a double boiler and still achieve a perfect flavor.
Using cocoa powder, in most cases, is a healthier option than using chocolate bars. Chocolate often contains sugar, stabilizers, and a few other ingredients you may fail to notice. The reality is that you don’t need all of these in your dessert.
The 9 Best Cocoa Powders for Brownies
If you are yet to try making brownies with cocoa powder only, here are the top 9 best options to choose from.
|Rank||Cocoa Powder Brand||Dutch-Processed or Natural?|
|1.||Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Powder||Natural|
|2.||Navitas Organics Cacao Powder||Natural|
|3.||BetterBody Foods Organic Cocoa Powder||Natural|
|4.||Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder||Natural|
|5.||Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa Powder||Dutch-Processed|
|6.||The Cocoa Trader Black Cocoa Powder||Dutch-Processed|
|7.||Hershey’s Special Dark Baking Cocoa||Natural|
|8.||Nestle Toll House Cocoa||Natural|
|9.||Guittard Cocoa Rouge Cocoa Powder||Dutch-Processed|
1. Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Powder
If you enjoy baked treats like brownies but feel guilty after indulging in them, you should certainly try making your desserts with the Viva Naturals cacao powder.
Produced using the highest quality Criollo cacao beans, this ingredient will be responsible for the rich chocolaty flavor in your dessert.
Here are a few facts you should know about this cacao powder:
- Due to the type of bean it is made from, Viva Naturals cacao powder lacks the bitterness you may want to exclude in your desserts.
- This product doesn’t undergo processing. This means you still get the minerals, fiber, and protein that is in original cocoa beans.
2. Navitas Organics Cacao Powder
Navitas Organics cocoa powder is a best-seller and there is more than one reason for it.
This product is the healthiest alternative to the regular cocoa powder you are currently using.
What makes it convenient to use for not only brownies but a range of other cooking tasks is that the substitution ratio is 1:1.
Navitas Organics Cacao Powder provides a deep chocolate flavor for baked goods. This product is also:
- Gluten-free and vegan
- With no GMOs
- Rich in antioxidants, minerals, and fiber.
3. BetterBody Foods Organic Cocoa Powder
If you are all about organic food, the BetterBody cocoa powder will be your best bet.
It is a good option if you are trying to keep your chocolate intake at bay and substitute it with cocoa powder at least in such desserts like brownies.
This cocoa powder is a nutrient-rich alternative for chocolate and has fewer calories and very little fat.
If you are still wondering why you should pick BetterBody cocoa powder, here are some reasons:
- It is organic and gluten-free.
- It has a simple ingredient list – the first indicator of high-quality cocoa powder.
- It is a superfood rich in antioxidants, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
4. Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
The thing that makes it so worth using cocoa powder to make brownies is that you know that there is only one ingredient in them, and that is cocoa.
The roasted cocoa beans will provide the richest flavor and velvety texture for your fudgy dessert. Here is what makes it so good:
- It is 100% unsweetened non-alkalized cocoa powder.
- It is a single ingredient product for premium-quality baked goods.
5. Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa Powder
If you want Dutch-processed cocoa for your brownies, go with Rodelle cocoa powder. Being alkalized, this powder has reduced acidity and the bittersweet flavor of regular cocoa is toned down.
Made from 100% cacao, this ingredient will be your key to the fudgy brownies you won’t get enough of.
Here is why you should choose Rodelle baking cocoa powder:
- You will get good use of this product as most dessert recipes call for Dutch-processed cacao powder.
- It will give your brownies the mouth-watering deep color often achieved by adding black cocoa powder.
6. The Cocoa Trader Black Cocoa Powder
If you are on the hunt for black cocoa powder to take the look and taste of your brownies to the next level, The Cocoa Trader’s Miracle Cacao Powder is the best option.
This is a Dutch-process cocoa powder with a velvety taste.
While there are brownie recipes that call only for black cacao powder, it is best to use it sparingly in conjunction with regular Dutch-processed cocoa. The result will be an epic dark brown dessert with a rich taste.
Here is what makes this powder so good:
- It is made from 100% authentic cocoa beans.
- It is packed with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
- You can use it to color your brownies in all different shades, from red to deep brown and black.
7. Hershey’s Special Dark Baking Cocoa
Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder is a well-loved kitchen staple for avid home cooks keen on baking.
The container is made just right to store this product in your pantry and use it in baking recipes that call for cocoa powder, including brownies.
Here is what makes it so good.
- It is 100% cacao.
- It doesn’t contain sugar.
- There is no sodium or saturated fat in this product.
8. Nestle Toll House Cocoa
A cost-effective and yet one of the best cocoa powder options for brownies.
This unsweetened cocoa powder is a special blend of beans that create the very necessary rich chocolate flavor for brownies.
What makes Nestle Toll House Cocoa one of the best choices for bakers is that:
- It is 100% pure cocoa.
- It is versatile and can be used for not only baking such desserts as brownies but also making chocolate frostings.
9. Guittard Cocoa Rouge Cocoa Powder
Another option for those looking into unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder varieties is Guittard Cocoa Rouge Cocoa Powder.
With this cocoa powder, all aspects of your brownies will make it reminiscent of desserts made by professional chefs. It will provide the right texture, flavor, and color for your brownies.
When buying Guittard cocoa powder, you can expect it to have:
- A prominent bittersweet character that provides an intense yet smooth flavor for brownies.
- A deep red-toned color for the best fudgy brownies.
More Reasons To Use Cocoa Powder In Brownies
The reason you may consider switching chocolate for cocoa powder is that cocoa powder leaves the dessert soft even when it has cooled down.
There is cocoa butter in chocolate bars you use to make brownies. Once the dessert cools down, cocoa butter becomes firm.
When making brownies with cocoa powder, butter is used instead of the fat contained in chocolate. Butter remains soft at room temperature, keeping your chocolatey dessert moist and soft. Brownies don’t get all crumbly when made with cocoa powder.
There are, however, different types of cocoa powder. If you choose the right one, your brownies will turn out impeccable.
You can choose between natural cocoa powder and Dutch-processed cocoa powder. There is another cocoa variety that can be used for brownies – black cocoa powder.
The latter is ultra-Dutched cocoa powder that has a strong flavor and provides a deep color for baked goods. It is often used in conjunction with other types of cocoa powder.
Dutch-Processed Vs Natural Cocoa Powder
Dutch-processed and natural cocoa powders are interchangeable in many baking tasks, including making the ultimate fudgy brownies. So long as your brownie recipe doesn’t call for a leavening agent and you are not making a cakelike brownie, you can use either one of these cocoa powder varieties.
For recipes that include a leavening agent, such as baking soda, natural cocoa powder is used unless stated otherwise.
But what is the difference between Dutch-processed and natural cocoa powder?
Natural cocoa powder is also known as regular unsweetened cocoa powder. Unlike the Dutch-process cocoa powder, it is not alkalized.
The process of alkalizing cocoa powder for Dutch-processing includes washing it with a potassium solution, which makes the powder darker in color and softer in flavor. It balances out the acidity of the cocoa powder leaving it only faintly acidic.
Natural cocoa powder has a strong bittersweet flavor and a higher acidity than Dutch-processed powder.