Can I Substitute Cocoa Powder for Espresso Powder – Here are 6 Best Substitutes for Espresso Powder

Are you planning to make a delicious chocolate cake for your loved ones?

If you regularly make chocolate based baking recipes at your home then you must be using an espresso powder in it.

For some reasons, some folks do not want to use caffeine based ingredients in their recipes.

If you are supposed to be one of those folks, then I am sure you are actively looking for good non-coffee substitutes for espresso powder.

And today I am going to discuss whether you can use cocoa powder as a non-coffee substitute for espresso powder.

The short answer is “Yes”. Yes, you can certainly use cocoa powder as a substitute for espresso powder in your baking recipes.

Espresso powder is mainly used to add the flavor in your cake recipes. You can definitely replace it with unsweetened cocoa powder.

If you still feel that your recipe is lacking some flavor, then I recommend adding some vanilla or ginger into it and it will enhance its overall taste and flavor.

Table of Contents

What is Espresso Powder?

I was checking out this article from to learn more about the best baking recipes in which espresso powder is frequently used.

And here I learned more about what is espresso powder made up of.

Many people confuse about the espresso powder being the same as instant coffee.

But in reality, they both are different ingredients.

Espresso powder is a highly concentrated powder as compared to instant coffee.

And it is actually derived from darkly roasted coffee beans which then ground, brewed, dried and then reground to prepare very fine granules.

Your chocolate recipes and other baking recipes are actually enhanced in terms of rich chocolate like flavor due to the use of espresso powder.

However, you only need to add few teaspoons of this powder due to its higher concentration.

What is the Best Espresso Powder for Baking?

King Arthur, Espresso Powder, Certified Kosher, Reusable Plastic Jar, 3 Ounces (Packaging May Vary)

After a lot of research and trying hands on different brands, I found 3 best of the best espresso powder brands online.

These 3 espresso powders are best for baking purposes and will definitely improve the overall flavour and taste of your recipes.

No. 1: King Arthur Espresso Powder

No. 2: Delallo Baking Espresso Powder

No. 3: Java and Co. Espresso Powder

All three of these powders are actually hand crafted and made from premium coffee beans.

This powder quickly dissolves in your baking recipes which makes it easier to mix and bake.

Just a teaspoon or two is enough to add in your different types of chocolate recipes.

If you are looking for an espresso powder that is made from natural baking ingredients and has no sodium, no MSG, no sugar or any other fillers, then I strongly recommend to check out these espresso powder brands.

6 Best Substitutes for Espresso Powder

In some cases, people do not have espresso powder at their disposal.

Even if you don’t want to add espresso powder in your baking recipes, there are still some good alternatives you can add to make your chocolate cake more delicious and tasty.

Some of the good substitutes for espresso powder are as follows.

  1. Cocoa Powder
  2. Dark Roasted Instant Coffee Powder
  3. Brewed Espresso Coffee
  4. Espresso Coffee Grounds
  5. Cacao Powder
  6. Roasted Grain Coffee Like Powder

All these are best substitutes for espresso powder which you can add in all your baking recipes.

You can adjust the quantity of these ingredients depending upon how much flavor or taste you require to enhance your recipes.

Can I Substitute Ground Coffee for Espresso Powder?

Yes, you can definitely use ground coffee powder as a substitute for an espresso powder.

But you probably have to add more quantity of ground coffee because espresso powder is highly concentrated in nature.

Espresso powder makes your chocolate recipes richer and more intense in terms of their overall flavor.

But if you grind your coffee powder properly at home with the help of a good quality coffee grinder, then I am sure you can replace an espresso powder with it in your baking recipes.

The only important thing to remember here is you need finely ground coffee and not coarse or medium ground coffee.

To improve the texture and flavor of your recipe, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of ground coffee.

Along with it, you can add a little sugar, butter, ginger and vanilla to enhance its overall taste and flavor.

What are the Non-Coffee Substitutes for Espresso Powder?

Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa, 8 Ounce

As mentioned earlier, there are about 6 other ingredients you can add to your baking or chocolate recipes instead of espresso powder.

Out of them, 4 are different forms of coffee powders only.

But if you are looking for non-coffee substitutes for espresso powder, then the best options are to use either cocoa powder or a cacao powder.

If you want to use a good quality cocoa powder for baking purpose, then the best one I can recommend you is Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa Powder.

This cocoa powder is perfect for getting delicious chocolate flavour for your recipes.

With the help of this cocoa powder, you can easily make unsweetened and texture rich baking recipes at home.

And the best thing is it is made from 100% natural cocoa and there are no extra additives.

If you are looking to add best quality cacao powder in your recipes, then the one I recommend for the same is Viva Naturals Certified Organic Cacao Powder.

This cacao powder is highly beneficial to add in your baking recipes because it helps you to create rich and bold chocolate flavor without any extra sugar and unwanted additives in your recipe.

Making healthy and tasty brownies, muffins, cookies and delicious chocolate cakes is super easy with this cacao powder.

Can You Use Espresso Powder to Make Coffee?

The regular answer to this question is Yes. Yes, you can make coffee out of any espresso powder.

But if you ask me, then I will not recommend it.

Because these instant espresso powders will not make a flavourful coffee in comparison to your regular fresh ground coffee powder.

The espresso powder is a highly concentrated form of finely grounded coffee beans.

The taste and flavour of the coffee made from espresso powder will not be that great and fresh as compared to your freshly grounded coffee powder.

So, when it comes to making your daily coffee, I only recommend using either freshly ground coffee powder or an instant coffee powder.

It is best to use an espresso powder for baking purpose only and not for your daily coffee.

Final Thoughts

Using Espresso powder is great for our daily baking recipes and chocolate cake recipes.

It improves the overall chocolate flavor of your recipes.

But if you want to use other non-coffee substitutes for espresso powder, then the best options to use are either cocoa powder or a cacao powder.

For regular coffee substitutes, yon can certainly use dark roasted instant coffee, freshly ground coffee, brewed espresso coffee and roasted grain coffee like powder.


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