Crème De Cacao vs. Kahlua: Differences & Which Is Better

Crème De Cacao vs. Kahlua Differences
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If you have a sweet tooth and don’t mind getting a little fuzzy, Crème de cacao and Kahlua might be the perfect drinks for you. I am not a huge fan of the taste of alcohol, so these two sweet liqueurs are my go-to guys when I want a chocolaty drink with a little bit of an edge.

Similar but different, you may not like them both, so stick around to learn more about the differences and choose the one that fits you best.

Differences Between Crème De Cacao and Kahlua

Crème de Cacao offers a sweet, chocolatey experience with a smooth texture, making it a great addition to both cocktails and desserts. Kahlua, with its robust coffee flavor and rich aroma, is ideal for those who enjoy the depth and intensity of coffee in their beverages and culinary creations. 

Let’s hear more details.

Taste and Aroma

Before I get into the taste, I must remind you that taste is a highly personal matter and that it all boils down to whether you like it or not. Both of these liqueurs are incredibly delicious!

Crème de Cacao has an expressive chocolate flavor, which often tastes like a cake in a glass. Since I love the mellow side of alcohol, I often add whipped cream, strawberries, or cherries on top. 

It is often available in two varieties: white and dark. The dark Crème de Cacao is more to my liking, but the white is also delicious, so if you can’t decide, give them both a chance. 

This drink is recognizable for its sweet and rich chocolate flavor, often accompanied by subtle hints of vanilla, which are only there to boost the chocolate flavor even more. 

What I particularly like about Crème de Cacao is that it lacks the harshness of alcohol, making it perfect to sip on its own or add it to a cocktail or a mix. It has a smooth and gentle texture with an expressive chocolate aroma. 

I strongly recommend Crème de Cacao if you want to add a layer of luxury to your drink, softening the overall drink without suppressing the flavor. 

Kahlua, on the other hand, is a slightly different but a similar story. While Crème de Cacao has an exploding chocolate flavor, Kahlua will conquer your heart with its vibrant coffee flavor.

On its own, it isn’t as satisfying as Crème de Cacao. Still, when mixed with sharper alcohol, it infuses it with the flavor and aroma of Arabica coffee and the sweetness of sugar cane, resulting in a decadently delicious drink. 

If you like dark chocolate, you will enjoy Kahlua’s flavor profile. It is a balance between sweet and bitter, combining coffee’s natural taste with sugar cane’s sweetness. 


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Color and Consistency

When it comes to color and consistency, both Kahlua and Crème de Cacao are very appealing to the eyes. 

Even before tasting them, you can predict the flavor, and if you predicted silky texture and rich flavor, you were right!

The color of Crème de Cacao depends on the variety, since there are white and dark. The white version is milky but transparent. It has a frozen appearance that may trick you into thinking that it is a harsher alcohol, but don’t worry, it is pretty gentle. 

The dark variety boasts a deep, chocolatey brown color. If you don’t know that it is Crème de Cacao, you can quickly think that it is coffee or cocoa or even hot chocolate. 

In terms of consistency, Crème de Cacao is smooth and somewhat syrupy but not overly thick, so it glides smoothly down your throat. When you mix it in a cocktail, it creates a velvety texture and a very rich sensation. 

Much like dark Crème de Cacao, Kahlua has a deep, rich brown color you can easily mistake for coffee. With its rich shades of brown, it seduces the eyes long before it touches the palate.

Its consistency is similar to Crème de Cacao, syrupy but pourable and easily mixable with other alcoholic drinks. 

What I appreciate most is the viscosity, which creates a rich mouthfeel and a slightly sticky sensation on the throat.


Both Crème de Cacao and Kahlua are very popular in mixology as parts of many cocktails and mixes. They are also renowned members of numerous dessert recipes from chocolate mousses to cakes, with a subtle chocolate or coffee flavor without the bitterness of alcohol.


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Crème de Cacao is a popular choice in cocktails such as the Chocolate Martini or the Brandy Alexander. At the same time, Kahlua’s coffee flavor makes it a preferred ingredient in cocktails like the White Russian or the Espresso Martini. 

Alcohol Content

Typically, Crème de Cacao has an alcohol content ranging from 20% to 25% ABV, which works perfectly for me since I get to enjoy the flavor without getting fuzzy. This moderate alcohol level makes Crème e Cacao an ideal choice for you if you prefer a less alcoholic flavor in drinks or desserts. 

On the other hand, if you like the flavor of Crème de Cacao but prefer your drink on the stronger side, you can always mix it with a more potent drink and enjoy the best of both worlds. 

A little sharper in flavor, I was very surprised when I discovered that Kahlua is milder than Crème de Cacao in terms of alcohol content. With about 20% ABV, it is a really gentle drink you can enjoy without worrying about getting fizzy too soon. 

Still, if you prefer a stronger drink, the mixing possibilities are endless, so you can make yourself a nice cocktail and enjoy the waves of rich coffee interspersed with notes of sharpness. 


Since Crème de Cacao is a type of drink produced by different brands, the prices are very variable depending on the particular brand. You can find it for under $10 but also for over $50. 

Generally, Crème de Cacao is an affordable drink, and even the pricier varieties are still priced within reason. 

I usually go for a price that is between $20 and $40 to ensure that I am buying a good quality drink. I don’t advise you to get the cheapest one because chances are it won’t be good. 

Kahlua, on the other hand, is a globally recognized brand, and it is more standardized than Crème de Cacao. It is priced slightly higher than some varieties of Crème de Cacao, which is understandable, but it is still quite affordable. 

Depending on the size and store, you can find it within a price range of $15 to $50. 

Which Is Better, Crème de Cacao or Kahlua?

If you like a sweeter chocolaty flavor, Crème de Cacao is better suited for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a slightly sharper note, mixing bitter and sweet, you should choose Kahlua. 

The only question is, which one do you prefer? When choosing Kahlua or Crème de Cacao, personal preference is everything.

Crème de Cacao and Kahlua are both excellent drinks with multiple uses. You can enjoy them in cocktails or add some to your coffee and desserts. They are both rich and very flavorful, mild in alcohol, and they don’t have a strong alcoholic flavor. 

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