What is Creme de Cacao

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The sweet flavor of creme de cacao is known around the world, and if you’ve never sampled this indulgent alcohol, you’ve definitely been missing out!

What is Creme de Cacao?

Creme de cacao is a sweet liqueur flavored with chocolate beans and vanilla. It contains no cream and has an average ABV of 20%. According to the book ‘The New Taste of Chocolate‘ by Maricel E. Presilla, white creme de cacao is almost transparent and very sweet. Dark varieties are dark brown, with more caramel flavor. This liqueur is both gluten-free and vegan, making it appropriate for almost anyone to enjoy. It differs from the chocolate liqueur, which can be thicker and much sweeter. A two-ounce serving of creme de cacao contains around 200 calories.

A glass of crème de cacao, garnished with marshmallows, in a festive background

Crème de cacao Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How to Make Creme de Cacao?

It is very easy to make creme de cacao, let us take a look.

A glass of crème de cacao, garnished with marshmallows, in a festive background

Homemade Creme de Cacao Recipe

Give into your temptations by sipping this sinfully good chocolate cocktail!
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Course: Alcoholic drink
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: creme de cacao
Author: Ishani Bose

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/3 cups of vodka
  • 2/3 cups of cocoa nibs
  • 1 cup of water (filtered)
  • 1` and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean split open
  • 2 tsp of real vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces of cocoa butter

Instructions

  • To make creme de cacao, first, in a large airtight container, combine 2/3 cups of cacao nibs, 1 and 1/3rd cups of vodka, vanilla extract, and 1 split vanilla bean.
  • Let the mixture sit in a cool spot for at least two weeks, shaking the mixture every few days.
  • When ready, strain the liquid, removing all the nibs and vanilla beans.
  • Dissolve one cup of sugar in one cup of water. Re-bottle the liquid, and let it sit for two days before serving.
  • To make white creme de cacao instead of dark, use 8 ounces of cocoa butter instead of cacao nibs.
  • Since it has such a high alcohol content, this popular liqueur can be kept in the refrigerator, for as long as you want, as long as it is tightly sealed!

Creme de Cacao Substitutes

There are many creme de cacao substitutes, they include the following:

  • Chocolate Liqueur: Chocolate liqueur is a popular substitute for this alcoholic beverage. It will not work in recipes where white varieties of this liqueur are called for.
  • Kahlua: Kahlua is a coffee liqueur that is strong, dark, and sweet, and can adequately replace this liqueur.
  • Non-alcoholic chocolate flavoring: Non-alcoholic chocolate flavoring can be substituted in most recipes, although you will also need to change the ratios in your recipe to account for the lack of liquid.
  • Non-alcoholic chocolate powder: The non-alcoholic chocolate powder can be used as a substitute, but it is best to add the powder to the appropriate amount of liquid that is called for, in order to keep the recipe intact.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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