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These rich, fudgy cocoa powder recipes are made for chocolate lovers! From triple chocolate loaf cake to the best crinkle top brownies, these cocoa powder desserts are deeply fudgy with rich chocolate flavor thanks to my favorite pantry staple: cocoa powder.
What is cocoa powder?
Cocoa powder is a product of cocoa beans. The beans are fermented and roasted, and then pressed to remove the fat (cocoa butter). Once processed, the remaining dried solids are ground into powder (what we know as cocoa powder).
Dutch process vs natural cocoa
Natural cocoa is made from pure cocoa beans that have been roasted and ground into powdered form. Light in color and bitter to the taste, natural cocoa is also known as non-alkalized cocoa powder, meaning it has not been chemically processed.
I use Ghirardelli 100% Cocoa Unsweetened Cocoa Powder for recipes that call for natural baking cocoa. Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa is also a natural cocoa.
Dutch process cocoa is chemically processed to remove the natural bitterness and acidity of cocoa. The cocoa beans are washed or soaked in an alkalized solution and then dried. Once dried, the beans are ground to a fine powder.
Dutch cocoa is darker in color than natural cocoa, with a more intense chocolate flavor. In recipes that call for Dutch process cocoa, I personally use and recommend Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa.
Which cocoa powder is best for baking?
In many baking recipes, Dutch process and natural cocoa can be used interchangeably. Unless a recipe states otherwise, I recommend baking with Dutch process cocoa whenever a recipe calls for unsweetened cocoa powder.
Dutch-processed baking cocoa (also called Dutch cocoa or alkalized cocoa) contains higher levels of cocoa butter than basic grocery store brands.
The rich, intense chocolate flavor of Dutch process cocoa results in darker, fudgier chocolate desserts than natural cocoa powder.
Pro tip: More fat equals more flavor, so look for cocoa powder with at least 1 gram of fat per tablespoon serving.
Best Cocoa Powder Recipes
And now, some of my favorite dessert recipes with cocoa powder! From fudgy homemade brownies to the richest chocolate sheet cake, you’ll find plenty of inspiration in this collection of chocolate desserts.
Everyday Cocoa Powder Brownies
Easy cocoa powder brownies made from scratch in one bowl! These homemade brownies bake up perfectly fudgy, chewy and chocolatey with a thin shiny crust. Ready in just 40 minutes!
Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake
Triple chocolate loaf cake is a chocolate lover’s dream! Rich and fudgy from a triple hit of chocolate, top with chocolate chips while the cake cools for even more indulgence!
Rich Fudgy Brown Butter Brownies
Melted browned butter is the most magical ingredient — and when used in the right ratio it adds incredible depth of flavor to these rich and fudgy brownies.
Salted Brownie Cookies
The BEST salted brownie cookies! With shiny, crackled tops and rich, fudgy centers, these are the ultimate brownie cookies for chocolate lovers.
Dark Chocolate Sheet Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
Rich and decadent dark chocolate sheet cake topped with swirls of perfect chocolate buttercream frosting makes the best chocolate cake!
Double Chocolate Bundt Cake
This decadent double chocolate bundt cake is dressed up with a simple chocolate glaze for a chocolate lover’s dream!
Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Cookies
Perfectly soft and chewy, these rich dark chocolate cookies stuffed with Nutella are a must bake!
Ultimate Crinkle Brownies
Ultimate crinkle brownies are the best rich and fudgy brownies! With perfect crinkle tops, these taste like a homemade version of box mix brownies!
Chocolate Pecan Tart
This double chocolate twist on classic pecan pie features a chocolate crust and filling. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!
How to Make Homemade Thin Mint Cookies
Learn how to make chocolate-coated thin mint cookies at home! Recipe inspired by the classic thin mint Girl Scout cookie you know and love.
Fudgy Homemade Turtle Brownies
Turtle brownies are decadent crinkle brownies topped with homemade salted caramel sauce, pecans, chocolate chips, and flaky salt! You’ll love this homemade brownie recipe!
Chocolate Ganache Loaf Cake
Rich and fudgy, you’ll love this easy chocolate loaf cake made with simple ingredients and topped with glossy chocolate ganache!
Fudgy Double Chocolate Mint Cookies
Pairing chocolate with mint makes such a classic cookie! Follow these steps at home to make these festive, fudgy double chocolate mint cookies studded with chopped Andes Mint.
Classic Chocolate Layer Cake
The best recipe for classic chocolate layer cake! This easy chocolate layer cake topped with perfect chocolate buttercream frosting is perfect for birthdays and celebrations.
Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Dark chocolate crinkle cookies are a holiday classic! Rich, fudgy, and perfectly crackled, you’ll love these fudgy chocolate crinkle cookies.
Love baking with chocolate? Don’t miss my full collection of chocolate dessert recipes!