Black Cocoa Powder Vs. Regular For Cookies: Which Won The Taste Test?


I was poking around online and I started running across recipes that mentioned black cocoa powder. I hadn’t used this specific ingredient before, so I decided to get some to see if it was something I should pay attention to.

And wow, yes, if you’re wondering whether the black cocoa powder tastes different, it does gives you a different flavor than regular cocoa powder, and it’s definitely worth using.


black cocoa powder taste test

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What is black cocoa?

Dutch processed cocoa powder is cocoa that’s been treated with an alkaline solution to make it less acidic. Most cocoa powder that we buy at the grocery store is Dutch process.

Black cocoa has been Dutched to the max, so it turns black and doesn’t have much acidity at all.

It bakes a little differently because of that, since it won’t react with the alkaline ingredients in recipes. If you substitute it for regular cocoa in your favorite recipe it you might need to increase the leaveners a little bit, but depending on the other ingredients it might not require any adjusting.

You can usually get a good, dark chocolate color if you use regular cocoa powder, but black cocoa will give you a dark color that you can’t imitate using regular cocoa powder, there’s no substitute for it.

The flavor is also different, it’s dark and more complex than regular cocoa powder without being bitter. The flavor of Oreos is a good example of how your cookies will taste when you use the black cocoa.



Making cookies the fast way.

I grabbed a cookie mix at the store to use as the base for this experiment since I was being lazy about it.


cookie dough mix package showing the other ingredients you need

This was the Betty Crocker brand (click here to see it on Amazon) and it takes 1 egg and 1 stick of butter to add to it to make the cookies.


cookie dough mix package showing the baking instructions

You can also make it with vegetable oil using the substitutions on the back of the package, but I stuck with butter for the ones that I made.


Three cookie dough balls

I mixed the cookie dough up and then divided it into three balls so that I could mix the cocoa into two of them.

If you wanted to add some additional ingredients like extra chocolate chips or nuts, you could do that before you add in the butter and egg.


For a list of the cake decorating and baking supplies that I recommend, click here to see my Amazon shop list.


Adding cocoa to the cookie dough.

black cocoa powder and regular cocoa powder

I used some King Arthur black cocoa powder and some regular Nestle cocoa powder.

The black powder is definitely darker and has a stronger fragrance than the regular powder does.


cocoa podwer in the cookie dough

I put 2 Tablespoons of each into two of the cookie dough balls and left one alone. You could use more or less depending on what flavor you want, but I wanted to use the same amount for each to be consistent for this test.


mixing the cocoa podwer in the cookie dough

The cocoa powder will dry out your cookie dough, so pay attention to that. If it’s too dry it will affect the way that the cookies bake, and the cookies could also be more dry than you want.

Mix the powder into the dough thoroughly. If you’re doing the entire batch using one type of cocoa, you can add it to the dry ingredients so that it’s easier to mix up.



Bake the cookies.

different cocoa powder in the cookie dough

It’s pretty obvoious, but the black cocoa is in the cookies that are on the tray at the top of the above photo.

This was a huge difference visually, but how did the flavor stack up?


cookies with different cocoa powder in them

The cookies baked in the time that the instructions said they would, so the cocoa being added in didn’t change anything, and now it was time for the taste test.


For a recipe for molasses crinkle cookies, click here. And for classic oatmeal cookies, click here.


The finished cookies.


three types of chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack

Here are the finished cookies on a cooling rack…You can definitley tell which one is which.


black cocoa powder cookie

The black cocoa cookies tasted a lot like the chocolate flavor of Oreo cookies. The color made a nice, dark jet black cookie visually, and the flavor was excellent!

These were the winner as far as I was concerned, but I do like dark chocolate better than milk chocolate.


regular cocoa powder cookie

The cookies with the regular cocoa did have a chocolate flavor, but it wasn’t nearly the same as the black cocoa ones.

If you like a lighter chocolate flavor, the regular cocoa might be what you’re looking for because the black version doesn’t mess around.


three types of chocolaet chip cookies

The difference between the three versions was really dramatic, both in looks and flavor.

I really like the black cocoa flavor and how it made the cookies look and taste. I don’t think that you’d be able to get them as dark by using more of the regular cocoa, it’s nowhere near the same thing.

It would be darker if you used a lot more of the regular, but the black cocoa gives it something that you can’t copy with the regular cocoa.


black cocoa powder

I’ll be making more of my standard recipes with black cocoa powder to see how it changes them. The flavor is such a deep, dark chocolate flavor there’s no comparison to regular cocoa powder.

You can see the black cocoa on Amazon here: Black Cocoa Powder.


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