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Can you put cacao butter in coffee?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can put cacao butter in coffee. Cacao butter is the fatty component of cacao beans, which are used to make chocolate and cocoa powder. Adding a small amount of cacao butter to coffee can give it a creamy, chocolatey flavor without overpowering the coffee. Some key points about adding cacao butter to coffee:

  • Use about 1 teaspoon of cacao butter per 8 oz cup of coffee.
  • Stir vigorously to emulsify the cacao butter, or use a milk frother.
  • Cacao butter has a subtle chocolate flavor that complements coffee nicely.
  • It makes the coffee richer, creamier and more velvety.
  • Cacao butter contains antioxidants and healthy fats like oleic acid.
  • Be sure to use food-grade cacao butter, not cosmetic-grade.
  • Start with less cacao butter and add more to taste if desired.

While uncommon, adding a bit of cacao butter can be a tasty way to get an indulgent, creamy chocolate note in your morning coffee. It’s also a neat way to get some nutritional benefits from cacao. Just be careful not to add too much, as the flavor can become overbearing.

What is Cacao Butter?

Cacao butter (also sometimes called cocoa butter) is the naturally occurring fat component of cacao beans. Cacao beans are the seeds from the fruit of the cacao tree, which grow in tropical regions around the world.

Once harvested and fermented, the cacao beans are roasted and cracked open. Inside are the components that can be made into chocolate – cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

Composition of Cacao Butter

Cacao butter consists almost entirely of fats, about 99% by weight. The main fatty acids found in cacao butter are:

  • Oleic Acid: 35%
  • Stearic Acid: 34%
  • Palmitic Acid: 25%
  • Other Acids: 6%

Oleic acid is a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that is also found in olive oil. Stearic and palmitic acids are saturated fats. But stearic acid has been shown in research to have a neutral effect on cholesterol levels.

Overall, the fat composition of cacao butter is quite healthy compared to many other animal-based fats.

Appearance and Properties

Cacao butter is solid at room temperature, with a creamy ivory color and mild chocolate aroma. It melts at just below body temperature, around 94°F (34°C).

When melted, cacao butter has a luxurious, silky texture. It can be used as a moisturizer for skin and hair. Food-grade cacao butter is sometimes called “white chocolate” due to its color and mild chocolate flavor.

The melting properties of cacao butter give chocolate its characteristic smooth, creamy mouthfeel. It also allows chocolate to solidify into solid forms and holds the cocoa solids together.

Nutrition Profile of Cacao Butter

A 1 tablespoon (14g) serving of cacao butter contains approximately:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 126
Fat 14g
Saturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g

As you can see, cacao butter is very concentrated in fat, providing 126 calories per tablespoon. The predominant type of fat is saturated fat. But it also provides high levels of heart-healthy monounsaturated oleic acid.

Cacao butter contains minimal amounts of protein, carbs, fiber or other micronutrients. Its main nutritional contribution is its fatty acid composition.

Potential Health Benefits

Some potential health benefits associated with cacao butter include:

  • Heart Healthy Fats – Oleic acid may improve cholesterol profiles and lower heart disease risk.
  • Antioxidants – Cacao contains polyphenols and flavanols with antioxidant activity.
  • Bioactive Compounds – Cacao may have benefits for blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and skin quality.
  • Skin Moisturizer – The fats in cacao butter help hydrate and soften skin when applied topically.

However, more research is still needed on the specific health effects of cacao butter itself. Eating chocolate provides similar benefits due to its cacao components.

Using Cacao Butter in Coffee

Adding a small amount of cacao butter to your coffee is an easy way to give it a creamy, chocolatey twist. Here are some tips for using cacao butter in coffee:

  • Use food-grade cacao butter, not cosmetic grade.
  • Start with 1 teaspoon per 8 oz cup of coffee.
  • Add to hot coffee and stir vigorously to emulsify.
  • A milk frother can emulsify the cacao butter very effectively.
  • For iced coffee, melt the cacao butter first before mixing.
  • Add less if you want just a hint of chocolate flavor.
  • Add more (up to 2 teaspoons) if you want a intense chocolate taste.
  • Top with whipped cream or chocolate shavings for extra decadence!

The small amount of cacao butter adds a lovely silky, creamy mouthfeel to coffee reminiscent of a mocha. But unlike using cocoa powder, the flavor is much more subtle and nuanced.

Cacao butter also makes the coffee richer without thinning it out like milk or cream can do. The fat content gives the coffee a more luxurious, velvety texture on the tongue.

Potential Benefits of Cacao Butter in Coffee

Adding a nutritional boost of cacao butter to your coffee may provide some potential benefits including:

  • Healthy Fats – Extra intake of monounsaturated fats from the oleic acid.
  • Antioxidants – Chocolatey antioxidants not found in plain coffee.
  • Bioactive Compounds – Additional cacao flavanols and polyphenols.
  • Skin Quality – Hydrating fats that may benefit hair, skin, and nails.
  • Satiety – The fat content helps promote fullness and curb hunger.
  • Taste and Texture – Makes the coffee creamier and more velvety.

By adding nutritional elements not found in coffee alone, cacao butter can boost the tasty beverage into a more satisfying, indulgent treat.

Potential Downsides of Cacao Butter in Coffee

There are a few potential downsides to keep in mind when adding cacao butter to coffee:

  • Calories and Fat – Cacao butter significantly increases the calorie and fat content per cup.
  • Saturated Fat – Majority of fats are saturated, which should be limited.
  • GI Symptoms – The high fat content may cause stomach upset in some people.
  • Allergies – Those allergic/sensitive to chocolate may react to cacao butter.
  • Taste – Some find even small amounts make coffee too chocolatey.
  • Slickness – Cacao butter can coat the inside of mugs in a slimy film.

To mitigate these downsides, use cacao butter sparingly in coffee. Start with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per cup and adjust to taste. Too much cacao butter can overpower the coffee flavor or cause an unpleasant greasy feel.

Those with chocolate allergies or GI sensitivity to fat may want to avoid adding cacao butter to their coffee.

How Does Cacao Butter Coffee Compare to Mocha?

Mocha coffee combines coffee with chocolate sauce or cocoa powder. So how does adding cacao butter compare to having a traditional mocha coffee drink?

Some key differences between mocha coffee and cacao butter coffee:

Mocha Coffee Cacao Butter Coffee
Uses cocoa powder or chocolate syrup for flavor Uses cacao butter for subtle chocolate taste
Much stronger chocolate flavor More delicate chocolate essence
Often uses sugar to sweeten chocolate No added sugar needed
Can use milk, cream, foamed milk No dairy needed
Higher in carbs from cocoa and sugar Almost zero net carbs
Lower in fat if made with low fat milk Significantly higher fat content

The takeaway is that cacao butter coffee provides a subtler, purer chocolate flavor without any added sugars. But the tradeoff is a higher fat content than typical mocha coffee drinks made with milk.

Cacao Butter Coffee Recipes

Once you have some high quality cacao butter, try out these tasty cacao butter coffee recipes:

Basic Cacao Butter Coffee

  • Brew 8 oz hot coffee
  • Add 1 teaspoon cacao butter
  • Froth or whisk vigorously to emulsify
  • Enjoy the chocolatey goodness!

Adjust cacao butter amount to your preferred flavor and richness. Add a dash of cinnamon or cayenne pepper for extra flair.

Iced Cacao Butter Coffee

  • Make cold brew or iced coffee
  • Heat 1 teaspoon cacao butter until melted
  • Mix melted cacao butter into coffee
  • Pour over ice and top with whipped cream

This luxurious spin on iced coffee is refreshing on hot days but still feels decadent.

Frothy Cacao Butter Latte

  • Make espresso or moka pot coffee
  • Heat 2 teaspoons cacao butter until liquid
  • Froth hot coffee and melted cacao butter together
  • Top with foamed milk or light cream
  • Dust with cocoa powder or cinnamon

Frothing helps emulsify the cacao butter into the coffee for a light, airy, and silky latte treat.

Finding Quality Cacao Butter

When purchasing cacao butter, be sure to choose a food-grade product made for consumption, not cosmetic-grade. Food-grade cacao butter should have only one ingredient – pure cacao butter.

Look for organic and fair trade certified cacao butter for a more ethical and high-quality option. The flavor and aroma will be better than conventional cacao butter.

You can find cacao butter from specialty chocolate makers, health food stores, and online retailers. Just a small container will last a long time since you use less than a teaspoon per serving.

Store cacao butter in a cool dry place away from direct light. It can last for 2-5 years without spoiling. Melted cacao butter will solidify again at room temp.


Adding a dash of cacao butter is a unique and delicious way to enhance your daily cup of coffee. The cacao butter provides a creamy mouthfeel and just a hint of rich chocolate flavor. It makes coffee feel like more of an indulgence without overwhelming the coffee essence.

Just be mindful of the extra calories and fat when adding cacao butter. Moderation is key to enjoy the benefits without overdoing it. Cacao butter coffee makes for a satisfying occasional treat for chocolate lovers and coffee aficionados alike.