What Can I Use Instead Of Coconut Oil In Chocolate? | CoachSweetTooth

What can you use instead of coconut oil in chocolate? What are the possible substitutes? These are questions that may have popped into your head if you are trying to make chocolate.

There could be any number of reasons you may not want to use coconut oil. From allergies to simply not having coconut oil on hand, sometimes you just need a substitute that’ll get the job done.

There are three main substitutes for coconut oil when making chocolate. These include butter, olive oil and neutral oil. A fourth, less common option is cocoa butter. The ratio of each of these remains approximately 1:1 to coconut oil and using either one as a replacement will bring about the same results.

But while they produce mostly the same results, there’s no real guarantee that the end product would be exactly the same. Therefore, you should at least know how these substitutes affect the chocolate if you’ll be using them instead of coconut oil.

We looked into the different chocolate preparation methods to see what ingredients experts use and how you could use any of these as replacements for coconut oil.

Table of contents


Why is Coconut Oil Used in Chocolate?

Chocolate needs to stay solid at room temperature, because otherwise most people would consider it ‘melted’ even if the chocolate was technically always liquid. That is why many chocolate recipes call for coconut oil as a binding agent.

Coconut oil is an edible oil that comes from the milk of coconuts. The oil is solid at most temperatures, having a melting point of about 25 degrees Celsius. Because this is usually room temperature in most areas, the coconut oil – staying frozen – will also keep the chocolate together. Coconut oil also comes with a number of benefits for your body, which makes it a popular ingredient for many things – not just chocolate.

However, while coconut oil is excellent for your chocolate bar, you don’t necessarily always have access to coconut oil. Because of its high value, coconut oil definitely does not come cheap, and may be out of your budget. And, even worse, you may even be allergic to it! Then what do you use as an alternative?

Substitutes for Coconut Oil in Chocolate


One of the most obvious alternatives for coconut oil in chocolate is butter. Butter is arguably even more common as an ingredient than coconut oil, so you definitely wouldn’t have trouble finding it.

On top of having similar functionality, butter also has a melting point around the same range. This means that if you take the chocolate held together with butter out of the fridge, it’ll start melting after some time, rather than immediately.

Butter also has a decent nutritional value, but since it is high in calories and fat, you should probably monitor how much of it you’re consuming.

Butter is probably one of the best alternatives available, since the chocolate you get at the end has the same texture as when you use coconut oil, and in some cases, a better texture. On top of that, the chocolate itself may actually be richer!

But the taste of the chocolate you make if you replace coconut oil with something else will be slightly different, regardless of what alternative you choose, so this is unavoidable.

Another important thing to remember is that while the butter is acting as a binding agent, it will be slightly looser than coconut oil.

Olive Oil

Another commonly used oil is olive oil, which is extracted from olives. Unlike coconut oil, olive oil is liquid at much higher temperatures, which is why it is not highly recommended as a substitute for coconut oil. However, it performs its job well enough, even if used in the same ratio.

Olive oil is also very nutritious, having benefits for blood pressure and the cardiovascular system as well. Of course, one chocolate bar will not have these benefits in very high quantities since the ratio of oil to other ingredients is generally very low.

Still, it will at least bring the unhealthiness of the chocolate down to some degree, even if it’s not very much. For some people, that might just make them feel better about eating the chocolate!

At the same time, olive oil does have a very strong flavor which is not ideal for baked goods, especially sweet ones. This is why olive oil is used much less frequently than butter. Still, it is not a bad option and can be used for chocolate just as well as coconut oil.

Neutral Oil

Neutral oil is the word used for oils that don’t have much taste. This means that there could be multiple types of neutral oils, with grapeseed and sunflower being the most common types. Neutral oils are extracted from vegetables and do not have a very strong taste.

With this in mind, neutral oils are probably much better than olive oil as a replacement in baked goods, since they do not become overwhelming. At the same time, they are not very nutritious and have barely any value when it comes to your diet.

For the purpose of acting as the binding agent in chocolate, though, neutral oils work well as a coconut oil substitute, and can be used in the same ratio as the original recipe.

Cocoa Butter

Another option to use as a replacement for coconut oil would be cocoa butter. Most chocolate recipes involve the use of cocoa powder, which is then added to coconut oil and other ingredients to make the ‘paste’ which is frozen into a bar.

However, cocoa powder is pretty much just the cocoa solids in very fine, powder form. Since chocolate naturally has cocoa butter (which, in cocoa powder, has been removed) then the easiest solution is to get some cocoa butter and add that in.

However, cocoa butter is generally expensive, since the process to separate it from the cocoa solids is pretty heavy duty. On top of that, it is also a very calorie dense fat, which may not be the best idea if you’re trying to make a healthier version of chocolate. On top of that, some recipes deliberately use cocoa powder so as not to add cocoa butter to the end product, in which case you probably shouldn’t add cocoa butter instead of coconut oil.

Regardless of which substitute you use, each of these will act as binding agents to make a firm chocolate bar at the end of the day. While cocoa butter is the ‘natural’ option, the best of all of these is coconut oil, so if you can get your hands on it without risking an allergic reaction, you should opt for this one.



Lori Gilmore

Lori Gilmore

Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.

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