Cocoa has many variations and provides options to deliver us a nice sweet, chocolaty dish. Cocoa nibs are one of those. They are commonly used in baking, some pastries, and many more recipes.
Cocoa nibs are small pieces that are crushed from the cacao beans. They have a chocolatey and bitter taste which is perfect for making many sweet recipes. The cocoa beans are dried after harvesting and fermented to make these small dark nibs.
Further, some of the cocoa nibs may be roasted and some are not. The unroasted ones are also known as raw cocoa nibs which are also used in cooking.
The powerful taste and the healthy nutrients that the cocoa nibs provide, will be perfect for your diet and your recipe. However, if you have no cocoa nibs and your recipe requires them, is there a way to make a swap.
Can I substitute cocoa nibs? Of course, you can. For the purposes of helping you and your recipe to be perfect even without the cocoa nibs, we have placed the best alternatives that you can find.
The best Substitutes for Cocoa Nibs include Chocolate chips, Cacao Beans, Cocoa powder, Callets, Dark chocolate, Carob Chips, Toasted Walnuts, Chocolate liqueur, and Vanilla beans.
Substitute for Cocoa Nibs
Make a suitable replacement based on other ingredients in your recipe and find out more about each substitute below.
1. Chocolate chips
Something that is commonly used in cooking and would serve as a great replacement for cocoa nibs, would be chocolate chips. They are usually added in cookies or in baking doughs to create the perfect chocolaty result.
They are made with less cocoa butter and they hold their shape and do not melt when they are used in baking. Chocolate chips are bigger than cocoa nibs. Thus, when making the swap make sure to adjust the quantity and add less.
They are typically used to make chocolate chip cookies. However, you can also add them in some baking goods, pastry, cakes, and many other ways.
2. Cacao beans
The second replacement on our list would be cacao beans. They are good to replace the cocoa nibs. They are enjoyable and good for many recipes.
The bitter and earthy taste is similar to the cocoa nibs’ taste. You can sprinkle the beans on top of different yogurts, cereal, baking goods, and fruit salads. Make sure to use proper amounts when making the swap and add it in most recipes that call for cocoa nibs.
3. Cocoa powder
Even though cocoa powder has a different texture compared to cocoa nibs, you can use it to make a good substitute in your cooking. It may be a bit challenging, but the cocoa powder is healthy and good to use in many ways.
It is made by pressing unroasted cocoa beans, removing the fat, and turning it into powder. The rich cocoa taste would be good for cakes, some beverages, brownies, and even cookies.
Another semi-sweet cocoa-based alternative to cocoa nibs would be the callets. Although they might not be very popular or some people might never have heard of them, they would be good for many recipes.
They melt and fit perfectly with the other ingredients nicely. They are made from 100% pure cocoa and have slight traces of sweetness in their taste.
You can use them for baking, making cookies, brownies, and recipes that call for cocoa nibs. You can find them in bars or squares at the market. Make sure to adjust the quantity, meaning weigh before baking, and do not measure in volume.
5. Dark chocolate
A very healthy variant that is good to replace the cocoa nibs in cooking, is dark chocolate. Very easy to find and will add some health benefits to you and your dish. Actually, dark chocolate is bitter because of the high amount of cocoa in its texture.
Even though the taste may not be the same, you can add more sugar if the dark chocolate provides you more bitterness. Make sure to adjust the quantity before making the recipe. Add it to baking, cakes, muffins, and many more recipes that call for cocoa nibs.
6. Carob chips
Similarly to cocoa nibs and a good substitute would be the carob chips. They are made of carob powder and have a cocoa taste. These chunks are nutritious and are a good substitute for cocoa nibs in many recipes.
The sweet chocolate taste would work for muffins, cakes, candies, or other baking goods. Keep in mind that the carob chips have more sugar and less fat, contain fiber, and are good for many uses.
7. Toasted walnuts
A good replacement for cocoa nibs is toasted walnuts. Actually, the walnuts go through a toasting process which makes them even more delicious and good for many recipes.
They have a sweet nutty flavor which makes them good for both sour and sweet meals. You can replace the cocoa nibs at any time in almost every recipe.
8. Chocolate liqueur
Close to the taste of cocoa nibs, would be the chocolate liqueur. It is good for many recipes. Even though the texture is different, meaning it is a liqueur, you can adjust the quantity. You will add extra flavor and aroma and make a nice dish out of it.
The chocolate liqueur is made of ground cocoa nibs, so it is ideal for replacement. You can adjust the quantity and use almost equal amounts, but be careful not to ruin the texture.
9. Vanilla beans
Even though they are not the same and might have a different taste, vanilla beans can be used to replace cocoa nibs in some recipes.
They are very commonly used in many recipes as they give a nice aroma and taste to your dish. Vanilla beans are sweet and have a smokey flavor with a lovely scent. You can replace it in many recipes that call for cocoa nibs from pastries to sauces and baking goods.
Can you substitute cocoa powder for cacao nibs?
Of course. Cocoa powder is a good replacement for cacao nibs. But keep in mind that they have a different texture, so they may not be suitable for every recipe.
Are cacao nibs the same as chocolate chips?
They are not the same, since the cocoa nibs are smaller than chocolate chips. The nibs feature a more complex flavor that is weaker than the chocolate’s flavor. Thus, when you are substituting them, you might get different results on the taste.