Last Updated: Oct 18, 2021 @ 10:49 am.

What is the best black cocoa? And what exactly is black cocoa anyway? To find out, we tried out several brands of black cocoa in cookies and frosting recipes. We also asked our parent readers for their favorites. Here are the ones we'd recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


Black Cocoa: Tips & Tricks

Let’s talk black cocoa powder.

First, it’s important to understand exactly what black cocoa powder is and how it is made. Typically, cocoa powder is referred to as either “natural” or “dutched.”

Natural cocoa is processed the least—it’s just the solids separated from cocoa butter and ground up. “Dutched” cocoa powder is processed by first soaking the beans in an alkaline solution. This neutralizes cocoa’s natural acidity and darkens the cocoa.

Black cocoa is “super-dutched” and is even darker than dutched cocoa. Oreo cookies and ice cream sandwiches are made with black cocoa. You can use it to make your own sandwich cookies, create “black velvet cakes,” color frosting to make it black for special cake decorations and more.

Here are some tips for using black cocoa in your cooking.

• During processing, black cocoa has most of its fat removed. Unlike regular and dutch cocoa, this powder is very dry. You may want to add a tablespoon of sour cream or Greek yogurt to your cake recipes if you use black cocoa.

• Black cocoa will not react with baking soda, but will react with baking powder. Bottom line: avoid using black cocoa powder in recipes with baking soda as the main leavener—your cake will not rise!

• It doesn’t have much flavor on its own. Seasoned bakers recommend using 1/2 regular cocoa and 1/2 black cocoa in most recipes (including in frostings). You’ll get the look of black cocoa with more flavor.

• Be patient when working with black cocoa powder. When making frosting, you may not think your frosting is dark enough—but just wait a few hours or overnight. Frosting made with black cocoa powder will continue to darken if you give it more time.You can still add a few drops of black food coloring if it isn’t as dark as you need. 

After trying out several brands of black cocoa powder, here are the ones we recommend:

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Best for Black Icing

Beautiful deep, rich color
Loved this cocoa for cake icing. Works best in combination with regular cocoa. Wonderful, Oreo cookie-like flavor. Caveat: we wish the package had a better seal!
$13.99 ($0.87 / Ounce)

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Best Bulk Container of Black Cocoa

Very dark brown color
Perfect for making huge batches of cookies or cake. Great flavor but beware of the allergy alert: this cocoa processed in plant with common allergens.
$14.99 ($0.94 / Ounce)

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Best Organic Black Cocoa

Allergy free processing
Wow! This cocoa is great for coloring icing and cakes. Full-flavored, single origin cocoa from Peru. USDA organic and Kosher.
$17.99 ($1.28 / Ounce)

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Best for Ice Cream Sandwiches

Jet-black color
Makes awesome brownies, cupcakes and Keto-friendly candy. Rich color is impressive.
$12.99 ($0.81 / Ounce)

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We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability. When we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money. 

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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