Go Back
How to Convert Vanilla Cake Recipe to Chocolate
Pin Recipe
Share on Facebook
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

How To Convert Vanilla Cake Recipe To Chocolate

Wanting to make chocolate cake, but you only have a vanilla cake mix? Already have a trusty vanilla cake recipe you want to make chocolate? Knowing how to convert a vanilla cake recipe to chocolate will solve this problem.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How To Convert Vanilla Cake Recipe To Chocolate
Author: cakedecorist.com



With Vanilla Cake Mix Box

With Your Favorite Vanilla Cake Recipe

  • Your favorite vanilla cake recipe
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • Replace the milk with hot water or hot coffee
  • Replace the butter with vegetable oil


With Vanilla Cake Mix Box

  • Pour Cake Mix Into Large Bowl - Pour your cake mix into a large bowl. Add your 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk until fully combined.
  • Prepare the Ingredients According to Instructions - Continue making your cake mix according to the instructions on the box. Bake the cake according to the instructions. Allow the cake to cool fully before decorating with your choice of frosting.

With Your Favorite Vanilla Cake Recipe

  • Add the Cocoa Powder to the Flour Mixture
  • When combining the dry ingredients for your recipe, add in the cocoa powder. Mix the dry ingredients with a whisk until combined.
  • Replace The Milk With Hot Water of Coffee - Replace all or half of the milk with hot water or hot coffee. Hot water and hot coffee both allow the cocoa powder to bloom, which means the flavor will come through more.
  • Replace the Butter With the Oil - Substitute the butter out for 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil. Oil has a more neutral flavor than butter and will let the chocolate flavor shine through.
  • Continue Recipe As Original Instructions State - Follow the instructions of the recipe after making the substitutions. Bake the cake according to the original recipe. Allow the cake to fully cool before decorating with your choice of frosting.


There are two main types of cocoa powder, Dutch-process, and natural cocoa powder. Unlike natural cocoa powder, Dutch-process cocoa powder has been made with an alkalizing agent. This lowers its acidity level, make makes it have more of a chocolatey flavor.
If your recipe contains baking powder, you can use either kind of cocoa powder. However, if it does not have baking powder, use natural cocoa powder. Dutch-process does not react with baking soda, so the two can’t always be substituted for each other.
Instead of cocoa powder, you can use a package of instant chocolate pudding mix. This will give the cake a fluffy consistency with a chocolate taste.
Adding a small amount of sour cream, like 1/4 cup, can help with the moisture of the cake. You can also add three ounces of melted unsweetened or semi-sweet baking chocolate to your batter instead.
Adding hot coffee to your cake batter will not make it taste like coffee. Instead, it will enhance the chocolate flavor of the cake. Hot water will also work just fine and will still result in a delicious, chocolate cake.
Though some places may say to substitute 1/4 to 1/3 cup of flour out for 1/4 to 1/3 cup of cocoa powder, you need to be careful. Cocoa powder and flour do different things in the recipe and taking flour out can mess up the texture of the cake. It is better to add cocoa powder and if needed, some additional liquid.
Want more recipes?Check out Our YouTube Channel!