This is a recipe for a dark chocolate cake. It calls for 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate. But I made a mistake and bought the 70%. The recipe also calls for 1.25 cups sugar. I don't want it to be too sweet, so by how much should I decrease the sugar?

The last time I baked this cake, I used 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate and it was perfectly dark. I want to get the same results. Help!

3 Answers 3


This is a challenge because not only will the different chocolate change the sweetness of the cake slightly but it will change the texture slightly. One thing you can do is subtract the amount of sugar from the recipe that is in the chocolate. In your case 30% of the three ounces of chocolate is roughly one ounce. This should work for you.

  • Good points, Questie760 - nut I'd caution that care should be taken in reducing the sugar by that much since it also plays a role in the texture of the cake. I've interchanged chocolate types in cakes before without any real detriment to the texture. I'd reference an ingredient substitution website to give myself some reassurance. Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 17:18
  • But, not nut! :-) Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 17:28
  • Thanks for the advice. I'm glad I didn't try to substitute it. I actually gave in and went to the store to get unsweetened chocolate. The cakes turned out beautiful. I will be stacking and frosting them tomorrow.
    – Nel
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 3:51
  • Is it the case that for chocolate marked with a percentage, that the remaining percentage will be all or just about all sugar? Not any other ingredients such as fats or oils or milk products? (I ask as a naive but interested chocophile.) Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 7:31
  • No - the 70% figure is cocoa solids. The other 30% will be sugar, cocoa butter, possibly other fats (depending on the quality of the chocolate) - so reducing sugar by 30% of the weight of the chocolate is probably too much. Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 18:50

Cocoa butter is a cocoa solid. 70% chocolate means that 30% is sugar. The 70 % is made up of cocoa and cocoa butter (and usually a bit of vanilla).

  • 1
    That's almost, but not quite correct. Vanilla would not be in the 70%, nor would lecithin (if the chocolate has any), milk or milk fat, salt, or anything else that isn't in cocao.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 17:52
  • I too would disagree with the statement of 30% is sugar, if you've ever eaten 70% Chocolate you'd understand it certainly does not have 30% sugar content:- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate#Blending will give you a pretty good run down of the actual properties.
    – Doug
    Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 21:49
  • @Doug - I'm not sure what you mean when you say tasting 70% chocolate made you assume the rest isn't sugar. Certainly the vanilla and soy lecithin is in that 30%, yet they're also fairly minuscule proportions of the chocolate by mass. The remainder should be sugar, all ~29.5% of it. Milk solids and other inclusions (flavorings) would be taken out of the 30%, I suppose, if they were in the chocolate - but such are usually labelled on the chocolate bar, and at 70% it is usually safe to assume plain dark chocolate.
    – Megha
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 5:22

Just look at the sugar content. It should give you a fair idea。 For example, Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate has 5 g of sugar per 14 g of product, ~35.7% sugar.

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