7 Best Substitutes for Coconut Sugar

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

There are times when you will need a coconut sugar substitute while finishing a recipe. Not every kitchen will have coconut sugar available, so having alternatives on hand is wise!

Coconut Sugar Substitute

The main coconut sugar substitutes include Stevia extract, date sugar, xylitol, and maple syrup, among others.

Raw Honey

One of the easiest replacements for any palm sugar is raw honey. However, since palm sugar is granulated and honey is a liquid, be sure to only use 1/4 the amount of honey to keep the recipe balanced. Raw honey also has a number of antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory benefits. [1]

Maple Syrup

In terms of flavor, maple syrup is a logical alternative to coconut sugar, and for every cup of sugar the recipe calls for, use 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Maple syrup can have more of a saccharine taste than coconut sugar, so be sure not to add too much, else it will overpower the flavor of the dish or dessert. [2]

A wooden spoon and a bowl of coconut sugar with a whole and halved coconuts on a wooden table

Adding coconut sugar to your tea helps to improve its flavor. Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Sucanat is a natural cane sugar that has a very similar consistency to coconut sugar. In fact, it can also be used in a 1:1 ratio of coconut sugar, making it easy to replace in a recipe. [3]

Stevia Extract

Compared to the glycemic index of coconut sugar, stevia extract is a logical choice if you are substituting for health reasons. It will have much less of an effect on your blood sugar but still produce the same sweet taste. It can also be used in a 1:1 ratio of coconut sugar. [4]

Blackstrap Molasses

This type of molasses comes from the third boiling of cane sugar and is extremely potent. Only a small amount will be necessary to have the same effect as coconut sugar, and again, use in moderation so you don’t overpower the dish. [5]

Date Sugar

Date sugar is another type of palm sugar and provides a similar sweetness to desserts. It also shares some basic nutritional similarities but does have a higher glycemic index than coconut sugar. [6]


This sugar alcohol sweetener has a low glycemic index and can also be used as a coconut sugar substitute. [7]

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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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