Best Substitutes For Brown Sugar
When you see a great new recipe, its natural to want to try it right away. But it can be frustrating to find that youre out of one of the pantry staples you need, like brown sugar. Luckily there are some substitutes you can use in place of brown sugar, but its important to understand which is best.
Brown sugar is essentially sugar that still has some sugar cane juice or molasses in it, though some has evaporated. Granular sugar has all of the molasses removed from it, and light brown sugar has had up to 10% molasses by weight added back into white granular sugar, per King Arthur Baking. There are more differences between white sugar and brown sugar that dont make them exactly interchangeable, though.
Brown sugar is acidic and can lower the pH of a recipe. This means that baking soda is often added as a leavening agent because the reaction between the low pH brown sugar and the high pH baking soda help baked goods rise. White sugar does not have the same pH as brown sugar, which can lead to uncertain results. Some baked goods might be fine, while others might not spread or rise correctly if you use white sugar as a substitute. However, The Pioneer Woman claims that its still possible to make a swap. Fortunately, there are plenty of brown sugar substitutes that will make your baked goods turn out well every time.
Alternatives For Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is a mixture of sucrose table sugar and molasses. Brown sugar is used in baking and confectionery because it contains about twice as much moisture as white sugar. Brown sugar is available in granular form, liquid form, and powdered form. Granulated brown sugar is the least expensive and easiest to use. Liquid brown sugar is generally used for making candies and sauces. Powdered brown sugar is used in baked goods and desserts. Nutrition Facts: Answer: Sugar is a carbohydrate that comes from plants. Sugars are made when plant cells break down starch into glucose. Glucose molecules link together to form long chains of sugar molecules. These chains are known as polysaccharides. Sugars are found in many fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, honey, maple syrup, molasses, and dried fruit. Table sugar is a combination of two types of sugar: sucrose and fructose. Sucrose is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Fructose is sweeter than glucose. Sucrose is the main sweetener in table sugar. Other common sugars include maltose, lactose, and trehalose.
Can Diabetic Eat Brown Sugar
Despite slight differences in taste, brown and white sugar have a very similar nutrient profile and effect on blood sugar levels. Therefore, brown sugar does not provide any benefits to people with diabetes. Everyone but especially people with this condition should moderate their sugar intake for optimal health.
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Can I Substitute Jaggery For Sugar
Jaggery is a type of unrefined sugar obtained from palm sap. It is used in many Indian sweets and desserts. Jaggery is usually sold in blocks and comes in different colors such as white, yellow, black, and red. It is available in granular form as well. Jaggery is popular among diabetics because it contains no refined sugars and does not affect blood glucose levels. It is low in calories and rich in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, sodium, copper, manganese, and selenium. It is recommended for people who are diabetic, pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children.
White Sugar With Maple Syrup
Maple syrup can also be used to increase the moisture level of white sugar and this combo is another flavor packed substitute for brown sugar.
If you havent baked with maple syrup you are in for a pleasant surprise! The flavor pairs incredibly well with most types of cookies, and the texture is soft and chewy.
Much like honey, the structure is a bit flatter than when brown sugar is used, but the flavor more than makes up for it.
Go with real maple syrup as the imitation variety just doesnt produce the same results.
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1 cup of white sugar combined with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup equals 1 cup of brown sugar
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Can You Just Use White Sugar
The short answer is, yes. You totally can use white sugar!
One word of warning, though. While substituting white sugar for brown wont alter the taste of your recipe, it will change the consistency.
If, for example, you like your cookies on the softer side, you may prefer to use brown sugar. Cookies baked with white sugar tend to turn out a bit crispier.
If you do decide to use white sugar instead of brown, use an equal measurement.
Cons Of Brown Sugar Substitutes
Changing recipe ratios. If a recipe is written with a brown sugar substitute in mind, you dont have to make adjustments. But if youre trying to bake something that calls for brown sugar, you may have to adjust the ingredients to get the right consistency.
Overeating. Its still possible to over-indulge in foods that dont include sugar. Check nutrition labels when you consider brown sugar substitutes. Not all of them make foods healthier, and you should still eat them in moderation.
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Why You Should Lower Your Added Sugar Intake
Its good to bear in mind that eating too much added sugar may harm both your physical and mental health.
For example, diets high in sugar are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver (
All the same, you dont have to avoid added sugar at all costs.
Instead, make an effort to follow a healthier diet, only eating foods high in added sugar sparingly. A balanced diet that consists mostly of whole, nutrient-dense foods especially vegetables and fruits provides the nutrients that your body needs for optimal health.
Given that a high sugar diet may harm your physical and mental health, its best to minimize your added sugar intake. However, dont be afraid to occasionally enjoy treats that contain added sugar as part of a well-rounded diet.
Healthy Substitutes For Brown Sugar
For 1 cup brown sugar, substitute 1 cup organic brown sugar, coconut sugar, or date sugar, or substitute up to half of the brown sugar with agave nectar in baking. Keep in mind: Sugar substitutes replace sugar and omit carbs and added sugar, while sugar substitute blends replace half of the sugar and reduce added carbs and added sugars by half.
Discover more healthy ingredient substitutions here.
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How To Get More In Diet
Getting more natural sweeteners in your daily diet isnt hard if you completely stop using refined table sugar and use healthier sugar substitutes instead. Plus, you also can look for food products that are sweet thanks to ingredients like stevia rather than refined sugar.
To find your best sugar substitutes, youll likely have to test out a few. You might end up liking one for your morning coffee but a different one for your baking needs.
Even when using natural sweeteners, like raw honey, you still want to be mindful of your overall sugar consumption.
How much natural sugar should you have a day? According to The American Heart Association , you should limit the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance.
For most American women, this is no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men . The AHA defines added sugars as any sugars or caloric sweeteners added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation.
So added sugars include refined sugar as well as natural sweeteners like honey.
If you are being treated for any ongoing health concern, especially diabetes, check with your doctor before incorporating any new sweeteners and sugar substitutes into your diet.
White Sugar With Honey
Honey is another great way to add moisture to your white sugar, and this combo is flavorful way to replace brown sugar in any type of cookie recipe.
Honey has a wonderful flavor that goes incredibly well with cookies. The texture it produces is soft and only a little flatter than when using brown sugar.
I recommend using local, organic honey, but any type will work when baking cookies. And as long as you enjoy the flavor of honey, you will love how your cookies turn out.
1 cup of white sugar combined with 1 tablespoon of honey equals 1 cup of brown sugar
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Can I Use Brown Sugar Instead Of White Sugar In Pudding
In most baking recipes, you can substitute brown sugar for white sugar in a one-to-one ratio. The sweetness level will be exactly the same, but the brown sugar may change the texture of your baked goods. Youll likely notice a more robust flavor and the color of the finished baked good may be darker as well.
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Purecane Zero Calorie Brown Sugar Substitute
Purecane puts it best: “It’s like brown sugar, only better.” It’s non-GMO, gluten-free, and keto-friendly. All your classic family recipes can still taste just as sweet with this brown sugar substitute. Give your baking a little twist, have your cake, and eat it too!
This alternative is considerably sweeter than brown sugar, meaning you dont have to use quite as much in the kitchen. It also keeps a similar consistency in your recipe.
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Converting Regular Recipes To Low Carb With Brown Sugar
If you have a regular recipe and you just want to switch out the regular brown sugar for your homemade sugar free brown sugar, youre not going to do it equally. I repeat, do not just swap them out, cup for cup.
Its best to start with just a little more than half of what the recipe calls for, taste test it, and tweak from there. This homemade brown sugar alternative is a bit sweeter and you may not need as much.
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Nature’s Besti Brown Monk Fruit Sweetener
Here’s the secret to alluloseit’s a natural sugar that we can’t metabolize, meaning it tastes and acts like sugar without actually spiking our blood sugar. Nature’s Besti brown sugar sweetener contains monk fruit and allulose, providing bakes goods with that iconic fluffy texture and brown-sugar smell without all the carbs and calories.
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Can I Substitute Jaggery For Brown Sugar
Jaggery is a type of unrefined cane sugar that has a higher moisture content than refined white sugar. Is it possible to replace jaggery with brown sugar in recipes?Jaggery is a natural sweetener derived from palm sap or coconut juice. It has a high moisture content about 80% compared to other types of sugars such as granulated sugar 50%, honey 40%, molasses 30%, and corn syrup 10%.Jaggery is often used in Indian cuisine because it adds a unique flavor and sweetness to dishes. If you want to try using jaggery instead of brown sugar, you should follow these guidelines: 1. Use equal amounts of jaggery and brown sugar.2. Add less water to the recipe
The 6 Best Brown Sugar Substitutes You Can Use When Baking
Out of brown sugar? We’ve got you.
We’ve been there. You’re frantically baking awaywhisking egg yolks and butter, sifting flour, measuring butterwhen you go to the pantry to pull out the brown sugar, and you’re out.
How on earth are you going to make those perfect chocolate chip cookies without the brown sugar? Well, don’t panic. We have a few substitutions that will likely do the trick in replacing it.
Brown sugar is just white sugar without the molasses extracted out. That’s what gives it the moist, sandy texture and brown color with the deep, nutty flavor. So to replace brown sugar, you’re going to need some of the same sweetness and nuttiness.
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Is Coconut Sugar As Sweet As Brown Sugar
Coconut sugar unfortunately is not as sweet as brown sugar, and you may find that it doesnt make the desserts as tasty as you expected. If you are used to the flavor of the recipe with brown sugar, you may find that the coconut sugar version is not as enjoyable, depending on how sweet you like your baked goods.
Some people counteract this by adding more coconut sugar than they would brown sugar, but this can cause problems with the texture, because the ratio of dry ingredients will have been increased. You should therefore be cautious about doing this, unless you also increase one of the wet ingredients to counter the effect.
In general, its best to accept that coconut sugar isnt as sweet as brown sugar, and slowly adapt your tastes to it if you can. You can often adjust by swapping part of the brown sugar for coconut sugar, and increasing this ratio over time, until you are used to the coconut sugar.
Can You Substitute Brown Sugar For White Sugar
The main differences between brown and white sugar are their taste and color. Swapping white sugar for brown in recipes will affect the color of foods, giving a light-caramel or brown hue.
Contrarily, baking with white sugar will result in a lighter-colored product. Thus, whichever you choose will depend on your desired end result.
Brown and white sugar also have unique flavor profiles. Brown has a deep, caramel or toffee-like flavor due to the added molasses. For this reason, it works well in chocolate cakes and cookies, as well as rich fruit cakes.
On the other hand, white sugar is sweeter, so you can use less of it to attain your desired taste. Its neutral flavor makes it a versatile ingredient in baking, working well in fruit sponges and sweet pastries.
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The Absolute Best Brown Sugar Substitutes
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It’s time to make the cookies! Out comes the flour, the granulated sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, and wait! Where’s the brown sugar? It’s not in the pantry like it should be. Maybe someone accidentally put it in the cupboard with the cereal. No, not there either. The inevitable truth sets in: You’re out of brown sugar!
While you may consider skipping the addition altogether, resist that temptation. The wet sand-like mixture of granulated sugar and added molasses is responsible for sweet, robust, and caramel-like flavors in a recipe. Whether you’re using light or dark brown sugar it will caramelize to create a rich flavor profile, a balanced crunch, a gooey center, or a richer sauce.
When it comes to baking, brown sugar offers the perfect balance between crunchy and chewy in a cookie. Granulated sugar gives us crunchy edges, but brown sugar is key to a chewy center. In quick bread recipes like banana bread, it offers moisture to your loaf. For more savory recipes like Asian garlic noodles, adding brown sugar to the sauce will offer sweetness and a robust flavor.
Now, back to the problem at hand if you’re out of brown sugar, not to worry. Your pantry is likely stocked with other ingredients that can be used in its place. Let’s take a look at the best brown sugar substitutes.
Light Brown Sugar Substitute
To make light brown sugar, you will need:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
Combine the sugar and the molasses together in a bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the two ingredients together until they are well combined and the sugar is brown.
You can now use your substitute in any recipe calling for light brown sugar or store it for later use.
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Honey Syrup And Nectar Oh My
If youre feeling a little more adventurous, you could always try a liquid substitution instead, and use either honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar as a brown sugar substitute.
There is however a problem with these delicious infusions of sugary flavor, which manifests itself in the form of the increased liquid content of whatever it is that youre baking.
Its a potential minefield of mistakes and timing errors, so youll need to be incredibly careful with the amount of each that you use.
The main issue is the amount of reduction that youll need to do in order to preserve the sanctity of your bake. Youll need to reduce the amount of each that you add to the mix as a replacement, and as youre adding extra liquid to your bake, youll also need to reduce the quantities of the other liquid ingredients that it includes.
We wish that we could give you some precise measurements, but as youll need to use different amounts of honey, nectar, and syrup in your bake, the only way to really get to grips with how much you need to use and how much you need to reduce, is through trial and error, and by baking from the heart.
Its tricky and time-consuming, but it is worth doing as all three can produce a myriad of wonderful flavors that everyone should try at least once in their lives.
Recipes Using Brown Sugar
When using an ingredient substitute it is important that you understand how the ingredient you are subbing is used in the recipe. If using the recommended molasses substitute you can use it in any recipe that calls for brown sugar and the recipe should come out with the same result. If the brown sugar is only adding sweetness you can use any of the substitutes.
Some of my favorite recipes featuring brown sugar:
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