9 Substitutes for Cacao Nibs You Can Find Easily

Yesterday I was all set to make my usual raw cacao nibs brownies but then I realized I was out of cacao nibs. Frenzy set in as I realized that I had no other time to make them and I needed something to take to work tomorrow.

After frantically searching the internet for a cacao nibs substitute, I realized that there are actually quite a few.

So, today I’m sharing with you a comprehensive list of substitutes for cacao nibs. In this article, we’ll explain the differences and similarities between the substitutes.

We want you to be able to easily swap for an alternative that tastes the same or similar. So whether you’re out of cacao nibs or are looking for a healthier option, this list is for you!

Substitutes for Cacao Nibs:

  1. Cocoa powder
  2. Dark chocolate
  3. Chocolate liqueur
  4. Vanilla beans
  5. Chocolate chips
  6. Callets
  7. Carob chips
  8. Cacao beans
  9. Toasted walnuts

Cocoa powder

Cocoa powder can be used as a substitute for cacao nibs in many recipes. When substituting, use an equal amount of cocoa powder as you would cacao nibs. This substitution will work well in dishes that do not require the extra crunch that cacao nibs provide.

Nevertheless, cocoa powder has a deep cocoa flavor and was made from ground and roasted cacao beans. Using it as a 1-to-1 substitute for cacao beans will add a deep chocolate flavor to your dish without the added texture.

Plus it is also a good source of phytonutrients and can help relax your muscles after a long day. This is due to the presence of theobromine, a substance that has been shown to have serotonin-like effects and acts as a mild stimulant.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is such a versatile ingredient that can be used in sweet and savory dishes alike. And while many recipes call for cacao nibs, dark chocolate can readily be used as a substitute for them.

In fact, some chefs prefer dark chocolate for its more bitter flavor. It can also be easier to find, as it is readily sourced from most grocery stores.

When substituting dark chocolate for cacao nibs, use a 1:1 ratio. However, keep in mind that dark chocolate will melt more quickly than cacao nibs, so it’s best to use it for baking or other dishes where quick melting is desired.

In addition, dark chocolate can help to fight coughs and is even said to be a tasty medicine for PMS. It is exceptional when used as a replacement in Molten Lava Cake, muffins, and Fudge Brownies

Chocolate liqueur

In terms of a similar taste to cacao nibs, chocolate liqueur is the best match. It’s aromatic and has a similar intensity of flavor.

Chocolate liqueur is also rich in polyphenols and flavonols, which have been linked to heart health benefits. In addition, chocolate liqueur can help to improve blood flow and circulation. For these reasons, chocolate liqueur is an excellent substitute for cacao nibs.

You can use it in any dish where you would normally use cacao nibs, or you can get creative and use it as a replacement in other recipes.

Either way, you’ll be getting all the benefits of chocolate liqueur without sacrificing flavor.

Vanilla beans

Vanilla beans are another suitable swap for cacao nibs. These little beans pack a huge flavor punch and can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes.

While there is a difference in taste between the two ingredients, vanilla beans are beautifully aromatic and give a smoke-like flavor to baked treats and sauces.

Plus, they’re vanillin rich, so you’ll get all the flavor without the bitterness.

Chocolate chips

Chocolate chips are a great 1-to-1 substitute for cacao nibs. They are reduced in cocoa butter and larger in size. Plus, they are perfect for cookies and desserts.

However, the benefits of using chocolate chips don’t stop there.

They also contain flavanols, which have been shown to provide numerous health benefits and increase blood flow.

So not only are chocolate chips a delicious substitution for cacao nibs, but they are also good for you!


Callets are little button-shaped chocolates that work great as a cocoa nibs substitute in many recipes.

One of the benefits of using callets is that they melt evenly, which makes them ideal for cookies, brownies, and other baked goods.

They also have a lower fat content than cocoa nibs, so they’re a good swap if you’re looking to cut down on calories.

Plus, they’re rich in antioxidants and have been shown to protect the skin from damage caused by UV rays.

Carob chips

These little chips are a great substitute for cacao nibs! Here are some cases where you can use them as a replacement:

Firstly, when you want something sweeter: Carob chips are sweeter than cacao nibs, so if you’re looking for a sweeter taste, they’re a great option.

Secondly, when you want a chocolaty taste: Carob chips have a richer, more chocolaty taste than cacao nibs. So if you’re a chocolate lover like myself, carob chips are the way to go.

Thirdly, when you want something more nutritious: Carob chips are lower in fat and calories than cacao nibs, and they’re also a good source of fiber.

Additionally, these dynamite chips have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and help treat diarrhea in children. So if your child is suffering from diarrhea, carob chips may be a helpful treatment option.

Cacao beans

Cacao beans, more commonly known as cocoa beans, can be used as a 1-to-1 substitute for cacao nibs. In fact, many people find that the two substitutes are interchangeable in recipes.

Generally speaking, there are several reasons why you might want to use cocoa beans as a substitute for cacao nibs.

For one, cocoa beans are more readily available than cacao nibs and they can also be less expensive. Additionally, cocoa beans have a higher fat content than cacao nibs, which can make them more flavorful.

Finally, cocoa beans are a good source of fiber and healthy flavonoids. You can add them to your Fudgey Gooey Chocolate Brownies or my favorite Cocoa Tonka Bean Spirals.

Toasted walnuts

Toated walnuts make a nutty, delicious substitute for cacao nibs.

They have all the same benefits as cacao nibs and they’re full of healthy fats that help improve brain function and boost your mood.

Plus, they’re a great source of antioxidants.

But what makes toasted walnuts the superior choice is their flavor. Cacao nibs can be quite bitter, but toasted walnuts are nutty and toasty, making them the perfect addition to any recipe.


Are cacao nibs the same as chocolate chips?

No, they are not the same, chocolate chips are larger and more bitter than cacao nibs.

What is the best cacao nibs substitute?

This depends on what you are looking for.

If you want something sweeter, then chocolate chips or carob chips are a good choice.

If you want something with a nutty flavor, then toasted walnuts are a good choice.

If you want something more nutritious, then cocoa beans are a good choice.

Do cacao nibs have health benefits?

Yes, cacao nibs have many health benefits.

They are full of healthy fats that help improve brain function and boost your mood.

Plus, they’re a great source of antioxidants.

What is the difference between cacao nibs and cocoa beans?

The main difference between cacao nibs and cocoa beans is that cacao nibs are less processed than cocoa beans.

Cocoa beans are roasted and then ground into a powder, while cacao nibs are simply dried and crushed cacao beans.

Cacao nibs have a higher fat content than cocoa beans, which can make them more flavorful.

Are cacao nibs vegan?

Yes, cacao nibs are vegan.

They are made from cacao beans and do not contain any animal products.

In Conclusion

Now that you know all about cacao nibs and their substitutes, you can easily swap them out in any recipe. Just remember to use the right substitute depending on what you’re looking for.

Whether you want something sweeter, more chocolaty, or more nutritious, there’s a cacao nibs substitute that will fit your needs.

So go ahead and experiment with different substitutes until you find your perfect match!