Wondering what to make with cocoa powder that’s been sitting in your pantry? Well, HERSHEY’S Cocoa is more versatile than you may know! Lending a rich taste and velvety texture to any recipe, it’s a handy staple for delighting friends and family. Discover our best tips for how to use cocoa powder in your baking creations.

How to Use Cocoa Powder

Whether you’re entertaining at home or fixing yourself a quick cup of hot chocolate, the HERSHEY’S Cocoa in your pantry has so many uses! Its smooth texture and flavor make cocoa powder an irreplaceable ingredient in a range of recipes from truffles to brownies to tortes. But there are some tricks you should know about how to use it. Here are five of our best tips and cocoa powder uses:

1. Use It Right from the Box

Coconut Sugar
Cocoa powder can actually be enjoyed on its own, like with these Rich ’n Good Chocolate Truffles. Unlike their American counterpart, which refer to any candy with a chocolate shell and creamy center, French truffles are basically balls of pure chocolate ganache. This gives them some melting potential, which is why it’s customary to roll them in nuts or cocoa powder. Achieve these bakery-ready truffles with HERSHEY’S Cocoa. (You can also do this with matcha powder!) GET THE RECIPE

2. Make Hot Chocolate (without Clumps)

Hot Chocolate
Impress your next guest with this hot cocoa tip: You might have noticed that cocoa powder dumped into hot water or milk tends to form clumps. This is a bit of food science, but it's because the powder is more attracted to itself than the H2O. To get a smooth blend, you want to add a bit of your beverage to the cocoa powder until it becomes a muddy (but delicious) mixture. Then you’re safe to add in the rest of the liquid. Clink! GET THE RECIPE

3. Make Brownies Stay Softer

Agave Nector
There are a few ways to make something chocolatey. You might be familiar with brownie recipes that get their chocolate from a chocolate bar, chopped and melted into the batter. The reason to use cocoa powder instead is because it gives brownies a uniquely velvety texture and a rich, intense taste. It’s what makes this literally our best brownie recipe! GET THE RECIPE

4. Use Different Cocoas for Different Things

Hot Chocolate
Cocoa powder is rich and semi-sweet, but it’s not exactly what you’d call “dark.” For recipes where you want the depth and complexity of dark chocolate, use HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa. It’s perfect for bringing out the brightness of berries or the sweetness of caramel. These “Especially Dark” Cupcakes double the indulgence with homemade “Especially Dark” Chocolate Frosting. GET THE RECIPE

5. Make Cream Into Chocolate Cream

Hot Chocolate
HERSHEY’S Cocoa is the star of this Triple Chocolate Torte recipe. It’s in the chocolate cake batter, of course — and it’s also in the dreamy layers of chocolate cream filling. And if that weren’t enough, it all gets covered in a decadent fudge glaze. Top this torte with a trio of tart berries. Or try your hand at decorating it with homemade chocolate leaves! GET THE RECIPE

Bake something special with HERSHEY’S Cocoa.

Now it’s time to show off your knowledge of cocoa powder! Make a day of it and bake one of the above recipes with your family. But these five recipes are just the tip of the iceberg: For more ideas about what to make with cocoa powder, explore all our delicious recipes.