Chocolate Substitution Chart

Need a quick substitution for chocolate?  

Here are some chocolate substitutions, but remember not always do they work as well as the original recipe ingredient

Chocolate Substitution


Chocolate, Bittersweet:

(1-ounce) square semi-sweet baking chocolate for 1 (1-ounce) square bittersweet baking chocolate.

Bittersweet and semisweet chocolate may be used interchangeably in recipes, but there may be slight differences in flavor and texture.


Chocolate, Semi-Sweet:

3 tablespoons chocolate chips for every 1-ounce semi-sweet baking chocolate.

1-ounce bittersweet baking chocolate for every 1-ounce semi-sweet bittersweet baking chocolate.

1-ounce unsweetened baking chocolate and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar for every 1-ounce semi-sweet baking chocolate.

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon butter, margarine or shortening for every 1 ounces of semi-sweet baking chocolate.


Chocolate Chips, Semi-Sweet:

1 ounce semi-sweet baking chocolate for every 1 ounce of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

1-ounce sweet baking chocolate for every 1-ounce chocolate chips.

1-ounce unsweetened chocolate plus 1 tablespoons sugar for every 1-ounce chocolate chips


Chocolate, Sweet Baking (German):

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 4 teaspoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon butter, shortening or vegetable oil for every 1-ounce German’s sweet baking chocolate.

1 ounce dark sweet chocolate for every 1 ounce German’s sweet baking chocolate.


Chocolate, Unsweetened:

3 level tablespoons unsweetened cocoa and 1 tablespoon butter, margarine or shortening for every 1-ounce unsweetened baking chocolate.

3 level tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa plus 1 tablespoon shortening, butter, or oil for every 1-ounce unsweetened baking chocolate.

3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or morsels – plus cut sugar by 1/4 cup and shortening by 1 tablespoon in your recipe.


Chocolate, White:

Substitute 1-ounce milk chocolate or white chocolate chips for every 1-ounce white chocolate. (Color and flavor will vary.)


Cocoa, Unsweetened:

Substitute equal amounts of Dutch-processed cocoa for unsweetened cocoa. Leave out any baking soda called for in the recipe.

3 tablespoon carob powder plus 2 tablespoons water for every 1-ounce unsweetened cocoa.

Do not substitute instant cocoa mix for unsweetened cocoa in any recipe.

        1 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, then remove 1 tablespoon sugar from the recipe.


Dutch-Process Cocoa:

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus a pinch (1/8 teaspoon) baking soda for every 1-ounce Dutch-Process Cocoa.

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda (reduce fat in recipe by 1 tablespoon).

3 tablespoons carob powder for every 1-ounce Dutch Process Cocoa.


Mexican Chocolate:

1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon ground Mexican cinnamon for every 1-ounce Mexican Chocolate.

In mole sauces, substitute 1 tablespoon cocoa powder for every ounce of Mexican chocolate called for in the recipe.


Milk Chocolate:

Substitute equal amounts of sweet chocolate OR semi-sweet chocolate for milk chocolate.


Do not substitute chocolate syrup for melted chocolate in any recipe.


More interesting and education chocolate articles to help you use chocolate in your baking:

Chocolate Glossary – Types of Chocolate
All chocolate is not created equal.  When shopping for your chocolate look at the label to find the percent of cocoa butter contained in the bar.  The cocoa butter is where all the flavor and texture is.  The higher the percent, the better the chocolate.


Dark Chocolate – Dark Chocolate is Healthy Chocolate
It’s The Best Medical News In Ages! Studies in prestigious scientific journals say dark chocolate is healthy chocolate

Learn about the History of Hot Chocolate – There is a difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate.  The terms are often used interchangeably, but technically they are as different as white chocolate and bittersweet chocolate.


Hot Chocolate Recipes – These delicious and easy-to-make hot chocolate drinks are a must to serve your family and friends.


Chocolate Recipes – Lots of candy, cookies, cakes, pudding and more chocolate recipes.


How To Melt and Temper Chocolate
Melting chocolate is not the same as Tempering Chocolate.  It is not necessary to temper chocolate when it is used as an ingredient in a recipe.  Tempering is necessary if the melted chocolate is to be used in a baked items or in a candy center that contain other ingredients.


Learn about the history of Milk Chocolate – The development of milk chocolate by Daniel Peter changed the flavor of chocolate around the world.  In 1887, Daniel Peter adopted the original formula for what was to become the first successful milk chocolate in the entire world.


Chocolate Clay Roses
These delightful chocolate roses can be used as edible decorations for a cake or to create a basket of blooms.  So easy to make that even children enjoy making them.


Dutch-Process Cocoa vs. Unsweetened Cocoa
Learn about the differences between different types of cocoa


Comments and Reviews

22 Responses to “Chocolate Substitution Chart”


    I noticed something peculiar in the substitutions listed for semi-sweet and sweet chocolate, and wondered if there was a typo. According to the formulas above:
    To replace 1 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate, you should use 3 tablespoons—the equivalent of 9 teaspoons—of sugar to 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. (That looks right to me; the 1:1 ratio of unsweetened chocolate or cocoa to sugar seems consistent with the other semi-sweet formulas.)
    But to replace 1 oz. of sweet (German) baking chocolate, you add a mere 4 teaspoons of sugar to 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. I’m guessing that you’d actually need to add 4 tablespoons—not 4 teaspoons—of sugar to approximate sweet baking chocolate. -pj

    • Linda Stradley

      Your chocolate substitution questions prompted me to do some additional research on chocolate substitutions in case I made a mistake on the article. I could find nothing to dispute what I had written on semi-sweet chocolate. If you have some information to share with me, I would definitely welcome it. Unfortunately, I do make mistakes once in a while! Also German baking chocolate is sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate (that’s why less sugar). – Linda Stradley

      • Mike

        I’m gonna have to agree with the other guy on this one, your cocoa substitution for semi sweet and German sweet chocolate don’t line up. Semi sweet you have as a 1:1 ratio of cocoa to sugar, but German sweet chocolate is 9:4, less than half as sweet as semisweet when it’s supposed to be slightly sweeter. I did find one other reference that uses the same ratio as listed here for the German sweet; I’d guess you share a common source that made the same error, especially considering that to sub semisweet for german you need to add sugar to the semisweet chocolate.

        • Linda Stradley

          Can anyone help me with this problem? I agree that German Sweet Chocolate is a little sweeter than Semi-Sweet Chocolate. How much sugar do we need to add to the Semi-Sweet Chocolate to equal and substitute it for German Sweet Chocolate? I have also researched this and can not come up with the correct answer. Thank you in advance. – Linda Stradley

  2. Kate

    Hi, I’m not sure this makes sense under “Chocolate, unsweetened”: “1/2 cup (3 ounces) unsweetened chocolate chips or morsels – plus cut sugar by 1/4 cup and shortening by 1 tablespoon in your recipe.” Shouldn’t this be instructing us to use 3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (plus cutting the sugar and shortening), rather than unsweetened? Thanks!

    • Linda Stradley

      You are absolutely right! Thank you for making me aware of my error. I made the change on the Chocolate Subsitution Chart.

  3. Lauri McClure

    I agree with the other posters about the German sweet chocolate. I found another substitution which said you can use semi-sweet 1 oz and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar for 1 oz German sweet chocolate. I would say that would make it 3 1/2 tablespoons of sugar to 3 tablespoons of cocoa and 1 tablespoon of butter.

  4. Kathy

    I need to know how much semi sweet chocolate squares are equal to 1/2 cup cocoa

    • robyn

      Kathy, did you ever get a reply? I need to know also!

      • Whats Cooking America

        1 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate – (remove 1 tablespoon sugar from the recipe)

      • Toni Buys

        My mom’s recipe for fudge (not the one with condensed milk) said 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate and for years I bought Hersheys unsweetened chocolate and used the 2 squares. They stopped making that and Baker’s has the squares but it takes 4 squares of Baker’s chocolate for 1 ounce so I had to use 8 squares for 2 oz. which is what I finally figured out was the correct amount (2 oz). The recipe said you could also use 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa but increase butter from 2 tab to 3. My favorite fudge recipe.

  5. Denise

    I need a less expensive option to Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips. My recipe calls for 25 pounds (obviously a commercial batch size). Ideas?

  6. laura

    this makes no sense to me? I did a search and a lot of places keep sending me back here. I just wanted to see if a recipe called for 1/4 cup cocoa how many chocolate squares would you use. No junk about mixing this stuff. Waste of effort to look.

    • Rhonda

      I need similar information. What is the substitution of unsweetened baking squares for 1/2 cup unsweetened Hershey cocoa?

  7. Leni

    My recipe calls for 2 oz. (56.70-grams) unsweetened chocolate. I want to use 72% chocolate. How much extra chocolate and how much less sugar should I use?

  8. Janis McDonald

    I grind dark chocolate buttons and sugar, then adding butter and flour, in a processor to make shortbread. I can also swap out the buttons for nuts in this recipe with great results. I would like to make a white chocolate version, but am not sure how or if I can formulate the recipe given its different properties. Any ideas? 4-ingredient recipes?

  9. Cheryl Berg

    I need to have some melted dipping chocolate and all I have is semi-sweet chocolate chips will those melted work?

  10. Sarah D

    The chart says for unsweetened cocoa “1 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, then remove 1 tablespoon sugar from the recipe”. What is the ratio? Is it 1.5 oz bitter or semi per tablespoon of cocoa?

  11. Kathleen Garms

    I have a recipe that calls for 4 bars of ambrosia chocolate. How many ounces is that. I am using Ambrosia chocolate chips and need to know how many ounces.
    Thank you

  12. Rhonda Ward

    Tony Buys would do you share your recipes? I would love to have your fudge recipe. Also did you ever get a answer

  13. Sarah Watson

    Can dark chocolate be substituted for semi-sweet in a mousse recipe ?

  14. Valora

    Yes, dark chocolate can be substituted for semi-sweet chocolate any time. Semi-sweet chocolate itself is considered a ‘dark chocolate’.


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