Brown Sugar Substitutes 8 Alternative for Your Recipes

Brown Sugar Substitutes 8 Alternative for Your Recipes

Brown Sugar Substitutes: 8 Alternatives for Your Recipes

Brown sugar contains sucrose and is prepared by adding molasses to white sugar, giving it a brown color. Substitutes for brown sugar include coconut sugar, muscovado sugar, palm sap sugar, and others.

Brown sugar is commonly used in dishes, especially desserts, and is easily identified by its unique color. Here, we explore some alternatives to brown sugar and how to use them.

Brown sugar is made by boiling brown sugar syrup or adding molasses to white sugar. The shade of brown varies based on the molasses content.

Light brown sugar is used in baked dishes and sauces, while the darker variety is used in beans, gingerbreads, and barbeque dishes. More molasses gives brown sugar a strong flavor.

Due to its high moisture content, brown sugar clumps together. This is why it is used in baked goods to create a chewy texture and retain moisture.

However, there are several alternatives to brown sugar that can sweeten desserts and other dishes. Many of these alternatives are naturally sweet and healthier.

As people become more aware of the importance of reducing sugar intake, knowing about these alternatives is essential.

Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is made from the sap of the coconut tree and resembles brown sugar in appearance. It is rich in minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium, as well as vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. It has the same calorie content as table sugar (16 calories per teaspoon) and can be used in various desserts and savory dishes.

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However, coconut sugar is similar to regular sugar and can contribute to conditions like obesity and diabetes. It’s important to be mindful of your coconut sugar intake.

Muscovado sugar

Muscovado sugar, also called Barbados sugar, is unrefined cane sugar that retains its natural molasses. It has a darker color and a distinct molasses flavor. The crystals are coarser and stickier compared to regular brown sugar. Muscovado sugar is used in cereals, puddings, fruit cakes, marinades, sauces, and beverages like tea and coffee.

Palm sap sugar

Palm sap sugar is obtained from the sap of palm tree flowers and is used extensively in Southeast Asian countries. It adds a sweet flavor, color, and aroma to dishes. It has a low glycemic index and contains minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Turbinado sugar

Turbinado sugar, also known as demerara sugar or raw cane sugar, is less processed than other sugars and retains natural molasses. It has a golden color and a mild caramel taste. Turbinado sugar is ideal for hot beverages and as a finishing touch for pastries, cookies, and cobblers.

Date sugar

Date sugar is made from dehydrated dates ground into powder or granules. It is high in fiber, vitamins B and C, antioxidants, and minerals like selenium, magnesium, potassium, and copper. It adds sweetness to dishes and gives them a liquid consistency.


Honey is a natural sweetener made by bees from flower nectar. It is used in wines, beers, breakfast cereals, and baked dishes. Honey has a long shelf life and remains fresh for decades or even centuries when stored properly.

Maple syrup

Maple syrup is prepared from the sap of sugar maple trees. It is used to sweeten various dishes and comes in different grades and colors. Maple syrup can also be turned into maple sugar, which is a substitute for cane sugar and is used in products like cotton candy, creams, seasonings, and barbecue sauce.

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Liquid sugars

Liquid sugars like golden syrup and treacle are used in their liquid form, adding moisture and extending the shelf life of baked goods. Golden syrup has a caramel-toffee flavor, while treacle has a darker color and a rich flavor with hints of licorice and smoke.

The best substitute for brown sugar

If you run out of brown sugar, you can substitute it with maple syrup, honey, date sugar, palm sugar, or coconut sugar. Each of these alternatives adds a unique flavor to your dishes.

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