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Get to Know all the Great Cocoa Butter Substitutes and their Many Uses!

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

cocoa butter substitute, cocoa butter substitute baking, what is cocoa butter

Substitutes for cocoa butter have been used in cooking and cosmetics for a long time. The benefits of cocoa butter are incredible: it can make recipes taste fantastic and, being an emollient and moisturizer, can make your skin shine.

But its price is continuously increasing, making it not so attractive an option for casual cooking. That’s when you should consider excellent cocoa butter substitutes that won’t hurt your wallet or your health!

You can use these alternatives in the same way as regular cocoa butter. But keep that in mind that they have individual characteristics. These can change the taste or consistency of your recipes and have different nutritional values. They can also be an excellent option for anybody allergic to chocolate to get that sweet fix they are always craving!

Let’s have a look at what cocoa butter is, what its substitutes are, and how to pick the right one for you!

What Is Cocoa Butter?

So, are you still wondering which cocoa butter alternative is right for your needs and tastes? First, we need to look at what cocoa butter is and its nutritional values.

Cocoa butter, or Theobroma oil, is an edible fat naturally created within cocoa beans and, when tempered, is one of the main ingredients of chocolate. It has similar components to natural fatty acids, with high percentages of Oleic and Stearic acids. It has 884 calories for 100g or 40 calories for 1 teaspoon (4.5g). While cocoa butter is not unhealthy, it will add to your daily caloric intake.

theobroma oil, oil for bakingIf used in cooking, cocoa butter will make your recipe healthier than if utilizing butter derived from an animal and add a slight chocolate flavor to your food. Alternatives include cocoa butter substitutes, equivalents, and replacers. We will have a look at the best ones and how to use them properly!

Cocoa Butter Replacements

Cocoa butter replacements are substances that act similarly to cocoa butter but are extracted from other sources. The similar consistency or taste of these products makes them excellent cocoa butter alternatives.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil, like cocoa butter, is solid at room temperature and offers a similar consistency. It is widely accessible, and you can find many types and brands in the local supermarket. It is one of the cheapest substitutes of cocoa butter in cooking and can be found at $9 for 250g for medium quality. For higher quality products, the price will rise, but you can be sure that you are using a sustainable and healthy ingredient in your cooking.

coconut oil, coconut oil benifitsThe coconut butter that gives the best results is raw or homemade. In recipes, these two types are fabulous and give a great taste to the food! In Asia, coconut butter has been used for a long time in local cuisine. It is currently the most used oil for cooking purposes. Coconut butter has a high number of nutrients that make it a superfood you must add to your diet!

While it has some other therapeutic uses, introducing coconut butter in epileptic patients’ diets has been found helpful in reducing seizures. It is rich in healthy fatty acids, which help boost concentration and raise good cholesterol. Also, it promotes fat burning and reduces the feeling of hunger. It can suddenly turn into your best friend if you are looking for a cocoa butter alternative that helps you lose weight!

Shea Butter

Shea butter is an excellent cocoa butter substitute for cooking if you need to implement some compounds and vitamins that you feel you are lacking! It is an edible fat extracted from the seeds of the fruit of the shea tree (Karite) and has been used in Africa for a long time due to its health benefits. 

In many countries, it has mainly been utilized in cosmetics and beauty products for hair and skin due to its UV protection and collagen production abilities. However, you may not know that you can use Shea butter for cooking purposes. It has vitamins A, E, and F. Also, Shea butter has healthy fatty acids such as linoleic, oleic, and stearic, which are also very beneficial.

shea butter, shea oilWith its similar consistency, it is an excellent cocoa butter substitute in recipes. However, keep in mind that it could lead to a slightly different flavor than the one you wanted!

Organic edible unrefined shea butter can be found online at the price of $5 for 225ml. It has been found great for cooking by many consumers. However, remember that the unrefined product is characterized by a smoky taste that might take time to get used to. Add it to your recipes in small quantities when cooking your healthy or vegan food!

Mango Kernel Fat

Mango butter, or mango kernel fat, is an oil extracted from the mango seed that is semi-solid at room temperature and edible after refining. It is richer than cocoa butter in fatty acids, such as oleic and stearic. It is an excellent cocoa butter substitute for chocolate manufacturing, but it needs to be mixed with palm oil to have the consistency needed for the process.

Mango butter has the same physical, chemical, and thermal characteristics as cocoa butter, and it can be used successfully to make chocolate. Also, using mango kernel, you will have a chocolate bar more resistant to heat that won’t melt in your pocket!

The two by-products of the mango kernel are olein and stearin. The first one is optimal for skincare products, as the semi-solid butter melts when it touches the skin. The second one, however, is perfect to substitute cocoa butter to make chocolate! Mango kernel has high nutritional potentials and you can also use this in many recipes to enhance the flavor. 

Cottonseed Oil

Cottonseed oil is a non-lauric edible fat extracted from the cotton plants. It is also one of the most popular vegetable oils, and it’s a perfect cocoa butter substitute in recipe making.  We must use processed Cottonseed to eliminate the gossypol toxin, which occurs naturally in the cotton plant.

cottonseed oil, what is cottonseed oil

Due to its consistency, cottonseed oils help in the preparation of creamy and moist baked goods. The oil’s fat index helps in the shortening process and makes it an excellent cocoa butter alternative for baking. It is one of the cheapest options on the market, but consider that it is a refined product high in saturated fats. It’s not the healthiest alternative to cocoa butter. 

Consumers that have been using cottonseed oil have proven what a great alternative to cocoa butter this oil is in home baking and cooking. It has a neutral flavor so you can use it in both savory and sweet recipes. However, while being extremely versatile, you should use it in moderation.

Kokum Butter

Kokum butter is extracted from the seeds of the Kokum tree. Some call it Goa butter. It is edible and used, especially in India, to prepare drinks that help digestion. However, it is the best substitute for cocoa butter to prepare natural skincare creams and masks. Due to its healing properties, it is helpful in alleviating signs of aging, such as wrinkles.

It is also a natural moisturizer and emollient, which makes it the perfect ingredient to regenerate damaged skin cells. You can use it as a great alternative to cocoa butter in recipes for skin lotions. And you can mix it with shea, cocoa, and coconut butter.

Kokum butter is not as popular as cocoa butter or shea butter. But it started to become more popular with the green skincare movement. Also, this butter can be a mother’s best choice for their baby since it is very gentle on skin. 

Its potent compounds make it a great alternative.

palm oil, what is the palm oilIt has double the stearic acid as cocoa butter and the same amount of oleic acid. It is also low in calories and contains no saturated fats, which makes it perfect for a healthy diet. To make chocolate, this is an excellent option as its clean fats increase the chocolate’s hardness and density.

Palm Oil

Palm oil is an edible oil and is extremely well-known and widely available from any store. It is an incredibly cheap option, and you can use it in a wide range of recipes. However, it is not as healthy and presents high levels of saturated fats. It can not substitute cocoa butter entirely, but only up to 60%.

According to many bakers, it is the perfect cocoa butter substitute in baking due to its shortening capabilities. It promotes weight loss and is incredibly versatile. You can use it in a variety of recipes as well as in cosmetics and lotions. Its accessibility and price make it an excellent option for baking on a large scale; however, make sure you are buying an ethical product.

It will always be cheaper than other options but aim for palm oil that comes from organic and sustainable plantations. You will have a better product that is better for you and the environment!

The Best Cocoa Butter Substitute

best baking oil, baking oil substituteThe best substitute for cocoa butter is the one that works best for you! The many options on the market can accommodate any dietary requirements, tastes, and consistencies.

So, are you looking at the healthier substitutes for cocoa butter? And you are willing to invest slightly more? Then shea butter or coconut butter are the perfect options for you. They have many similarities to cocoa butter, with only a slight change in flavor, so you will love them!

Cottonseed and palm oils will be helpful as alternatives for cocoa butter for baking tasty baked goods at a lower price. If you love making confectionaries, an excellent replacement for cocoa butter for chocolate is mango butter. Lastly, if you want to make your skin shiny, look no further than kokum butter!

Bottom Line

You might be looking for a cheaper substitute for cocoa butter, but always remember that nothing is more important than your health. Do not buy an alternative just because it is cheap. Do your research first and find out which is the best option for your health. Coconut butter and shea butter are excellent cocoa butter substitutes that offer incredible benefits for your wellbeing and help you create tasty recipes.

Try all these options using the brands you prefer and let us know what you thought of them!

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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