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The 5 Best Substitutes for Chocolate Liqueur

Chocolate liqueur elevates the flavor of many cocktails and desserts. If you don’t have any on hand, there are several substitutes that can be used instead.

1. Creme de Cacao 

Cocktail made with creme de cacao

If you are looking for a chocolate liqueur substitute, you’d want something very similar to it. That makes creme de cacao one of the best alternatives. 

What’s the Difference Between Creme De Cacao and Chocolate Liqueur?

Many might think that creme de cacao and chocolate liqueur are interchangeable terms. However, they differ in texture, consistency, and flavor

Creme de cacao tends to be less sweet and thick than a chocolate liqueur. It is also known as crème liqueur and is a type of chocolate liqueur. Despite the name, it does not necessarily have cream all the time. It may also be light or dark. 

Because creme de cacao is a type of chocolate liqueur, they share many qualities. This makes it an optimal substitute for the latter. 

How Do You Use Creme De Cacao as a Chocolate Liqueur Substitute?

There is no recommended ratio for using creme de cacao instead of chocolate liqueur. Since their flavors are similar, the measurements won’t be far off. However, you must remember that creme de cacao is less sweet, so you might need to add more. 

Always remember that you can adjust according to your preferences. You can add a bit more or less, depending on your taste

Popular Creme de Cacao Brands 

Certain brands of creme de cacao are popular among bartenders and other avid users. Here are some of them: 

  • De Kuyper. De Kuyper Creme de Cacao Dark is a liqueur from the Netherlands. Its distinct sweet taste and aroma are from exotic and high-quality ingredients, including African cacao and vanilla from Madagascar. 
  • Tempus Fugit. The Tempus Fugit Spirits Crème de Cacao is a highly recommended creme de cacao. The cacao and vanilla used for this liqueur are sourced from Venezuela and Mexico, respectively, giving it a luscious, rich, and sweet flavor.  
  • Giffard. Giffard’s White Creme de Cacao is unique for being transparent, hence the name. This white creme de cacao does not just have a chocolate taste but also hints of coffee, vanilla, and caramel. 

2. Chocolate Syrup

Young woman pouring chocolate syrup

For a quick and easy substitute, I have an excellent suggestion: good, old chocolate syrup. While it may not have the alcoholic kick you’re looking for in chocolate liqueur, it is a dependable and convenient hack for many.  

Best Non-Alcoholic Substitute for Chocolate Liqueur

Chocolate syrup is the best non-alcoholic substitute for chocolate liqueur. It has the strong and sweet chocolate flavor we need from chocolate liqueur, minus the alcohol. Moreover, it’s convenient. You may have it at home, or if not, you can always make a quick trip to the grocery store. 

How Do You Use Chocolate Syrup as a Chocolate Liqueur Substitute? 

According to Gourmet Sleuth, around three tablespoons (15 ml) of chocolate syrup would substitute for creme de cacao. Since creme de cacao and chocolate liqueur are more or less similar, that would be a good amount to start with.

You can use a few tablespoons of chocolate syrup to substitute for chocolate liqueur. A good number of tablespoons would be three (14.79 ml), more or less. Adjust according to your preference or sweetness level of the syrup. 

Popular Chocolate Syrup Brands 

These are the best-selling chocolate syrup brands available on

  • Hershey’s. Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup is a household name. It is also gluten-free, fat-free, kosher, and comes in an easy-to-pour bottle. 
  • Fox’s. Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Flavor Syrup (available on Amazon) comes only next to Hershey’s. It is sold in a pack of 2 and is an original American product.  
  • Nesquik. Nestle has its own Nesquik Chocolate Syrup. It is fat-free and does not have high fructose corn syrup.

Related 15 Best Substitutes For Alcoholic Beverages in Recipes.

3. Chocolate Extract

Another recommended non-alcoholic alternative to chocolate liqueur is chocolate extract. It is alcohol infused with cocoa beans. Thus, it has an intense chocolate flavor and aroma, making it an excellent substitute for chocolate liqueur. 

How Do You Use Chocolate Extract as a Chocolate Liqueur Substitute?

To use the chocolate extract as a chocolate liqueur substitute, mix less than one teaspoon (4.93 ml) of the extract with a few tablespoons of water. You can do the recommended ¾ teaspoon (3.7 ml) extract for three tablespoons (44.4 ml) of water. Adjust to your tastes.

Popular Chocolate Extract Brands

These are the best-selling chocolate extract brands available on

  • Nielsen-Massey. Nielsen-Massey Pure Chocolate Extract is a gluten-free and kosher product made from the finest cacao beans. Aside from that, it is also GMO-free, allergen-free, and made only from natural water, cane alcohol, and cocoa extractives. 
  • Olive Nation. OliveNation Chocolate Extract is a PG-free, kosher, Non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan extract.  

4. Kahlua

Kahlua bottle laying on its side

Kahlua is a brand of Mexican coffee liqueur. While coffee may seem like a far-off substitute for chocolate, it is a well-recommended suggestion for a chocolate liqueur substitute. It has a hint of vanilla, similar to most chocolate liqueurs. 

Kahlua Variants 

These are the different variants of Kahlua:

  • Coffee Liqueur. Kahlua coffee liqueur has a rich, black coffee flavor with traces of chestnuts and sweet butter.
  • Mint Mocha. Kahlua mint mocha is a mix of coffee, dark chocolate, and mint. It provides a curious and refreshing experience.
  • Salted Caramel. The Kahlua salted caramel has that distinct sweet and caramel flavor that goes with many drinks and recipes. 
  • Chili Chocolate. Milk chocolate, hot chili peppers, caramel, and vanilla all come together in this unforgettable mix. It brings you both heat and sweetness. 
  • Kahlua Especial. The Kahlua especial is based on intense, bold flavors that are standard of espressos and roasted coffee. It is made from the famous and premium Arabica coffee beans, truly making it one of a kind.  
  • Blonde Roast Style. The Kahlua blonde roast style combines citrus, coffee, caramel, and toffee flavors. It is also made from Arabica coffee beans.
    • Vanilla Coffee Liqueur. This Kahlua classic brings together the best of vanilla and coffee. It offers a rich, lustrous, and smooth experience. 

How Do You Use Kahlua as a Chocolate Liqueur Substitute?

Each variant provides unique flavors and is suited for various applications. It is up to you which is the best substitute for your recipe. 

You can try using Kahlua as a direct substitute (1:1) for the chocolate liqueur. However, it may depend on the flavors and sweetness that you are aiming for. There are subtle differences in Kahlua types so you’ll need to pick what suits your tastes. However, a direct substitution is a good basis.

5. Chocolate Cream Liqueur

Chocolate Cream Liqueur in Small Glasses

Like creme de cacao, chocolate cream liqueur is another type of chocolate liqueur. However, it comes in a wider variety of flavors and has cream. It makes a great substitute if you are looking for sweet, chocolatey, and creamy flavors.  

How Do You Use Chocolate Cream Liqueur as a Chocolate Liqueur Substitute?

A direct substitution using chocolate cream liqueur in place of chocolate liqueur can be done. That is, you can start with a 1:1 ratio. Then, you can adjust according to your preferences in taste or consistency.

Best Substitute for White Chocolate Liqueur

There are many kinds of chocolate cream liqueur, with white chocolate cream liqueur being particularly popular. However, if you can’t get your hand on some there are some good alternatives.

By far, the best option, if you have no white chocolate liqueur available, is to make it yourself! As difficult as that might sound, it’s actually a relatively quick process. If this sounds like something you’d like to try, Masala Herb has a wonderful recipe.


Here are a few best substitutes for chocolate liqueur:

  1. Creme de Cacao 
  2. Chocolate syrup 
  3. Chocolate extract 
  4. Kahlua
  5. Chocolate cream liqueur

Thanks for stoppin’ by!

For more, don’t miss Do Liquors or Liqueurs Need to Be Refrigerated?