In the recipe here: enter link description here the chef requires a mixture of sour cream and dutch process cocoa because they neutralize each other, creating a leavener. There is no dutch process in Israel though, so i need to use regular cocoa.

What to do?

I am making a devils food cake.

  • 2
    That makes no sense, dutch processed cocoa is PH neutral and non-dutched (aka natural) cocoa is acidic. No cocoa is going to neutralize sour cream.
    – GdD
    Jan 26, 2018 at 12:52
  • @GdD Later in the recipe he adds a tsp of baking soda to the batter. Does that change anything?
    – Bar Akiva
    Jan 26, 2018 at 15:03
  • 2
    Yes, baking soda is a base which will react with the acid from the sour cream and non-dutched chocolate (provided that's used).
    – GdD
    Jan 26, 2018 at 15:05
  • 1
    @GdD: your last comment isn't a comment: that's an answer! So of you answer and ping me, I'll come back and upvote...
    – Fabby
    Jan 27, 2018 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


It's all about whether you should be using baking powder or baking soda. Cocoa is acidic, thus you don't need to use baking powder while using it, you can just use baking soda directly and they will react.

On the other hand, dutch-processed cocoa is almost ph-neutral you need to add some acidity for baking soda to react, which is provided through the tartaric acid in the baking powder; thus you should use baking powder instead of baking soda.

  • 1
    Generally, I agree, but since the original recipe has sour cream in it, there's another source of acid to react with the baking soda in the first place. For this particular recipe, using natural cocoa powder shouldn't require changing things elsewhere.
    – kitukwfyer
    Nov 3, 2018 at 3:24

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