Best Cacao Powder Recipes | Healthy Recipes with Cacao (2024)

Published · Modified · by Alexis Joseph · 20 Comments

The ultimate round up of healthy cacao powder recipes to make all your chocolate dreams come true! Muffins, quick breads, cookies, brownies, smoothies and beyond.

Best Cacao Powder Recipes | Healthy Recipes with Cacao (1)

Want to make a smoothie? Add cacao. Want to make a dessert? Start with cacao. Want to make a savory pasta dish? Recipes with cacao powder to the rescue!

What's the difference between cocoa and cacao powder?

There must be no way cacao powder is good for you if it tastes so amazing, right? Wrong. While the word may sound like the cocoa powder for baking you buy at the store, the two are quite different both in processing and in nutrition.

They both come from the cacao plant but cacao is closest to the raw state after harvesting the seed while cocoa has been processed with high heat. Now the cocoa powder you know and love still contains great nutrients, just not nearly as many as raw cacao does.

Cacao contains a high concentration of phytochemicals, the potent anti-cancer compounds found in plants. The most abundant antioxidants in our diet today come from flavonoids.

Lucky for you and me, these anti-inflammatory gems help combat damage by free radicals and improve cardiovascular health, thus preventing chronic disease.

Can you use cacao and cocoa powder interchangeably?

Not always, but in my recipes it's a sure YES, so feel free to use cacao in all the below recipes! If a recipe calls for dutch processed cocoa, I would not sub cacao.

Eat more plants. Decrease inflammation. Reduce risk of disease. Easy! Moving on from all that science stuff... I always buy this cacao powder because it's organic, affordable, and because Terra Soul is a family run company that I love.

Time for recipes with cacao powder!

Recipes with Cacao

Healthy Brownies (flourless and fudgy!)

Skip the flour, these Healthy Pumpkin Brownies are unbelievably rich and fudgy thanks to canned pumpkin and almond butter. Many readers have confirmed these are their favorite healthy brownie recipe ever.

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Nourishing Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Rich and creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats, a healthy oatmeal breakfast that tastes like a peanut butter cup! Spend 5 minutes and wake up to a scrumptious, lower-sugar, protein-packed breakfast you'll keep coming back to.

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Chocolate Lover's Blueberry Smoothie

Also known as my daily smoothie, this creamyChocolate Blueberry Smoothiewith frozen blueberries, avocado, dates, and cacao is the smoothie I always come back to. It tastes like a dreamy chocolate milkshake and is actually satisfying thanks to all the healthy fats.

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Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread (gluten free!)

Deliciously moist and rich Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread! This easy gluten-free and dairy free treat made with almondand oat flour will become your new favorite snack or breakfast.

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Ultimate Healthy Zucchini Brownies

Easy Healthy Zucchini Brownies are fudgy, decadent, and low in sugar--made in 1 bowl and so delicious! Flourless, vegan, grain free and gluten free.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Zucchini Smoothie

Creamy Zucchini Smoothie that tastes like a chocolate peanut butter cup milkshake! A nutrient powerhouse with 9g of protein and 8g of fiber.

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One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Banana Bread

This 1 bowl Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Banana Bread is a super moist, 100% whole grain treat packed with chocolate goodness! Great for breakfast or dessert. I made three loaves of this before I was happy enough to share the recipe. I won't be grating another zucchini for a hot minute, I'll tell ya that. This

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Healthy Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Light and fluffyHealthy Chocolate Cream Cheese Frostingmade with Greek yogurt and sweetened maple syrup for a lower sugar option. Lightly sweet, tangy, and irresistible on brownies, banana bread, or as a dip for strawberries. Tastes like no-bake chocolate cheesecake!

If you'd like sweeter frosting, use vanilla yogurt. You can also beat in 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time. Adding more maple syrup will make it too runny.

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Healthy Hot Chocolate

Thick and creamy Healthy Hot Chocolate sweetened naturally with dates! An amazingly rich and delicious dairy free hot cocoa perfect for chilly weather. No added sugar and 5 grams of fiber per mug!

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Banana Brownies (Grain Free!)

Incredible 8-ingredient Banana Brownies! Moist, rich brownies with a hint of banana flavor. Made with peanut butter and sweetened with maple syrup, these better-for-you-brownies come together in no time. One bowl, simple to make, and gluten free.

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Healthy Chocolate Muffins

The best tall and fluffy Healthy Chocolate Muffins made with whole grains and naturally sweetened! Moist and not overly sweet to conquer chocolate cravings, plus 5g of protein per muffin. These taste like classic chocolate cupcakes!

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No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Easy no-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars make the perfect healthy snack or treat that you can keep in the fridge and enjoy all week! Vegan and gluten-free.

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Healthy Chocolate Banana Muffins (no added sugar!)

Healthy Chocolate Banana Muffins sweetened with dates and banana for a tasty, satisfying snack with no added sugar! Free of eggs, dairy, and gluten.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Amazing Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites made in 1 bowl, no food processor required! The ultimate healthy and tasty snack to power you through the day.

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Vegan Peppermint Chocolate Skillet Cookie

The most epic Vegan Peppermint Chocolate Skillet Cookie with a gooey center and crisp edges, just like the classic! This festive treat is guaranteed to conquer all your chocolate cravings. I made one gigantical cookie for your face and maybe that of a friend. A reeeeeeeal good friend. One that picks you up when you're

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Creamy Tart Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

Satisfy your chocolate cravings with this thick and creamy Tart Cherry Chocolate Smoothie! It tastes like dessert and is perfect for a nourishing breakfast.

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Mint Chocolate Energy Bites

No Bake Mint Chocolate Bites with the best texture! One bowl (no food processor), packed with protein and low in sugar for an amazing healthy snack.

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Sweet Potato Brownies (naturally sweetened!)

Thick and fudgySweet Potato Brownies that are good for you! Naturally sweetened with dates, they're a perfect snack or dessert with 7g of protein and 5g of fiber per brownie. Gluten free!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cups

These easy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cups with chocolate are the perfect healthy breakfast or whole grain snack on the go! Low in sugar and packed with 6g protein each. Great for kids and adults alike!

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Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Super moist 100% whole grain Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins with no oil and packed with veggies! Whip up a batch for easy healthy breakfasts on-the-go.

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Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Cozy homemade Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate is rich, creamy and made with real pumpkin for the ultimate Fall drink! Try it with a splash of coffee or bourbon for an fun twist.

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Vegan Double Chocolate Cookies

Soft and decadent Salted Double Chocolate Cookies made in one bowl with whole grain oat flour! A vegan and gluten free treat everyone will love.

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Fudgy Vegan Raspberry Almond Butter Brownies

Flourless Fudgy Vegan Raspberry Almond Butter Brownies are rich, chewy, and EASY to make! Only 8 ingredients. Gluten-free, too! BROW KNEEEEEEEES. I keepimagining brows on my knees. Like eye brows but knee brows. Brow knees. Brownies! Now let me tell you how this madness was birthed. I wanted to make you something special for Valentine's

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Fudgy Avocado Brownies

You'd never guess these amazingly rich and decadent Fudgy Avocado Brownies are packed with avocado and whole grain flour! Guaranteed to become your new favorite brownie.

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About Alexis Joseph

Best Cacao Powder Recipes | Healthy Recipes with Cacao (26)
Oh HEY there! I'm Alexis Joseph, food writer, blogger, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), new mama, and co-founder of local restaurant group, Alchemy. I use my passion for cooking and wellness as fuel to help others ignite a more freeing and happy relationship with food. Learn more about Alexis!

Reader Interactions

    Please leave a comment & star rating!

  1. Denise says

    Alexis! CONGRATULATIONS on baby boy #2. Very excited for you, Jeff and Max:)

    On a foodie note.....Please know, I would absolutely LOVE IT if you published a cookbook that included all of your delicious recipes! I would buy multiple copies for myself, family and friends:)

    Reply

  2. Val says

    Love this recipe roundup so much!! And also LOVE Terra Soul cacao! The only one I use and the flavor is so, so good and one of those bags lasts a while which is so nice! I can say (with PRIDE lol) I've made every single brownie recipe on this list! 🙂 They're all unique in their own way but all legit amazing - I love that it gives flexibility to whatever you have on hand and then no matter what you choose, it's a guaranteed hit! Can't wait to see what brownie you come up with next!!

    Reply

    • Alexis Joseph says

      Hahaha this is the best! And YES isn't that cacao everything?!

      Reply

  3. Dylan says

    All of these recipes are so good! Definitley keep these in my rotation, and always have cacao powder on hand!

    Reply

    • Alexis Joseph says

      Yay Thanks!!

      Reply

  4. Emily says

    This is so great!! Easy and delicious! My family ask me for this all the time. We definitely include it in our rotation!!

    Reply

    • Alexis Joseph says

      Awesome!

      Reply

  5. Jeremy says

    This hot chocolate is the BOMB! A must every winter. Tastes as good as the classic.

    Reply

    • Alexis Joseph says

      Agree!

      Reply

  6. Doreen says

    no chocolate cake or chocolate frosting recipes?? the horror ;D

    Reply

    • Alexis Joseph says

      LOL I need to make some!

      Reply

  7. Nanci says

    Oh my goodness!! Every single recipe looks AMAZING!!! I’ve been so good waiting for December to bake and I’ll start with #1 and I’ll work my way down your list. YUM!! Thank you!!!!!
    Happy Holidays!!

    Reply

    • Alexis Joseph says

      Wonderful, thank you!

      Reply

  8. NancyHope Major says

    I am looking forward to trying several of these recipes.

    looks yummy

    Reply

  9. Andy Bishop says

    Wow, Alexis! The pictures look amazing! I can't wait to try these recipes. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  10. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite says

    Umm...this round-up was meant for me!!!! YUM. I've tried many of these recipes in the past...the flourless zucchini brownies, chocolate banana muffins, double chocolate cookies, fudgy no bake bars...seriously love all of them!! 🙂

    Reply

  11. Alexis says

    Yessssss enjoy!

    Reply

  12. Julia Mueller says

    Giiiiirl these recipes look amazing! I've been craving chocolate like crazy lately, so I'm thinking I need to make every last one of them!

    Reply

    • Alexis says

      Chocolate sisters from another mister!

      Reply

  13. Alexis says

    Yayyy enjoy!

    Reply

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