Cacao Powder versus Cacao Paste

Hello friends,  we got recently repeat questions how to use cacao paste… and, why would I use paste when there is powder?

That’s a good question and I decided to add this post, hopefully to inspire some of you to try more paste… our company Transition Nutrition, as you might now, distributes both, but our paste is superdelicious.

Raw Cacao Paste (also called Cacao Liquor) is made by crushing raw cacao beans into a liquid. This liquid quickly solidifies at room temperature and the result is Cacao Paste. Because no heat is used in this process, Cacao Paste retains its natural properties. Cacao paste is naturally about 55% cacao butter and is an extremely smooth product great for use in any chocolate recipe. If you are looking for true dark chocolate, this is it. Not 80% or 90%, but 100% pure organic cacao. No additives, sweeteners or anything else. This product is essential for true cacao chefs who are looking for chocolate creations that are firm and silky at room temperature, or one-of-a-kind homemade healthy chocolate fudge.

CACAO Powder is made by applying  a cold-pressing process to the cacao bean, so that most of the fat (cacao butter) is removed. With the fat removed, cacao powder becomes hydroscopic (= it will dissolve  in liquids). Therefore, if you are looking for smoothies, hot or cold drinks, cacao powder is the most convenient solution. When it comes to prepare chocolate, cacao powder might not be the smartest solution. You will have to add cacao butter or any other oil (like coconut oil as a lot of raw food recipes ask for). However, if you use a household blender your chocolate result will be more of a fudge and will need refrigeration to stay firm. This is a huge difference to the Paste, — with the paste you can create room temperature chocolate.

More tips how to use Cacao Paste:

Very simple and healthy:

  1. Chip into small pieces and mix with nuts, dried fruits, dates to create your own healthy trail mix.
  2. Grind or shaving for ice cream, cakes, morning cereal, morning fruit salad.

Use in a Real Chocolate smoothie:

Melt (gently warm in a double boiler) then add water, coconut water/coconut milk or nut milk, keep on low temperature, add vanilla and your favorite sweetener and a pinch of salt.

Serve warm or: Mix in a Vitamix with ice cubes for a chilled chocolate smoothie. Add a handful of fresh strawberries, raspberries, ripe mango or zest of orange.

Chocolate Bark:

This is one of my favorite recipes, and i promise i put it also into our recipe page with a picture soon…. maybe somebody will remind me :). Please go ahead and modify it, but will give you a good idea about the superior use of paste instead of powder for any chocolate or truffle.

¼ cup of raw coconut oil, melted*
¼  cup cacao butter, shaved*
¼ cup cacao paste, melted*
¼ cup of maple syrup or agave* or coconut blossom sugar* (try our’s of course, it has the consistency of honey and tastes amazing, we got in a new batch)
pinch of ground Vanilla*
¼ cup of ground hazelnuts*
¼ cup of Himalayan raisins* or mulberries*
First melt the chocolate: place the cacao butter with the paste in a water bath, add coconut oil and stir as it melts.
Add the sweetener and extracts, take away from the heat and let cool down for about 10 minutes. Then place it back and heat again to melt it a second time (cacao butter crystals need 2 different temperatures to align).
Add the raisins, hazelnuts and stir until coated.
Pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet and spread about ¼ inch thick. Let it cool down. You may use the fridge if you like. Break down into chunks. Store cool.
If you like your chocolate darker or firm use more of the cacao paste and reduce the coconut oil. If you are living in a very hot climate, keep the bark in the freezer.
Another option is to add: shredded coconuts, more nuts, almonds*, gojiberries* or a tablespoon of Maca powder* to give the chocolate bark a toffee flavor.
All * ingredients can be purchased from our website:


10 thoughts on “Cacao Powder versus Cacao Paste

  1. I use 2 tablespoons of Raw Cacao Paste in my coffee each morning. I buy the cacao paste in big chunks that I have to chop in my Ninja mixer to make it powdered. Where can I buy the Cacao Paste already powdered?

  2. Your assistance would be appreciated – I just tried cacao paste to make my homemade chocolates (melted paste in double boiler, added sweetener and raisins, etc.) and it’s still very soft and immediately starts to melt at room temperature. What do I need to do to get it to stay firm at room temperature? Thanks!

  3. I am in the middle of a school project and believe I have messed up! The recipe for Mayan Hot Chocolate called for “8oz Maya Kakaw or Xocoalt (chocolate paste) orMexican unsweetened chocolate ) and I could only find raw organic cacao powder. I used 8 oz of the powder, but the hot chocolate is terrible and I am wondering if it because I was supposed to use paste only or nibs, or a version that would have the butter in it. (i.e., not powder)
    Any suggestions on how to redeem this recipe? I know it is supposed to be very rich, but what I have here isn’t what I would consider rich. The texture as well as flavor seems off. Any help much appreciated ….

    1. Hi Lori, sorry to hear that you have “messed up”, what you have learned in the hard way is that cacao paste is somehow different than powder. I do not know your recipe neither do I know the products you are stating, but i think in order to fix your recipe you have to get the cacao paste. My personal suggestion is, however, a test cacao: Bring 4-6 oz of water to the boil, add 3 TBSP of your cacao powder, add sweetener and spices (except cinammon, add at the very end), boil for 3-5 min and stir it during the process.
      Let cool down a little, and try your result (more sweetener maybe required) and add coconut milk or thick raw almond milk (or dairy if you do, of course).
      We had posted a very delicious hot chocolate a while ago, which also prefers the cacao paste: here it is

      good luck!

      1. Thank you for your help- I also found a website that discussed powder vs. unsweetened chocolate ( which helped me adjust my ratios. Extra sweetener and water helped along with adding just a little shortening – who new? We wanted to stick with the ancient Mayan water base – no milk. And next time I will try it with paste and read my recipe more closely! This will at least get us through the project due in the morning!
        I look forward to trying your recipe, too. Thanks for responding so quickly.

  4. hi.i want to make chocolate with cocoa paste…but i dont have cocoa butter.can i use coconut oil or standar butter?doesnt cocoa past ehave butter inside?i am so confused but i want so bad to make chocolate to use in my dairy free-sugar free cooking.and thats what we have bought is we found it cheaper.cocoa paste…..but we dont have cocoa butter here.thanks

    1. Great idea to try your own chocolate, you are right – there is the cacao butter embedded within the paste, in its natural ratio: when you look at a piece of cacao paste closely and try a bite you will experience, that cacao paste in its state will lack smoothness and even be hard and brittle. Cacao butter adds shine and the delicious consistency of good chocolate. You cannot replace it.
      You may, however, add coconut butter to the paste: for an easy and perfect frosting, because the coconut butter will allow that the frosting is thin and easy to spread or work as a dip!. If you take the cacao-paste-coconut-oil mix from the fridge it will melt in your fingers very soon at room temperature. Therefore if you use coconut oil for your “chocolate” it will be more a truffle, it will not be chocolate (but it can still taste great, specially if you add more good nuts, berries, etc!)
      I have never used standard butter (i am vegan and you mentioned you are also dairy-free) –it would also produce a truffle you will have to refrigerate and then it melts fast at room temperature. If you are interested into chocolate making you will need cacao butter. You can experiment with sweeteners, but the cacao is the base.
      You may order online cacao butter either from our company (divine organics) or of your choice. Our butter as well as our paste is raw and has a very high quality. Hope, this helped. Good luck and success… i am sure, whatever you will make, it will put a smile on your face and friends, and will be delicious!

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