Using brown sugar substitutes may be necessary for some recipes if you’re making baked goods and come up short!
Brown sugar is a variety of traditional white sugar that contains 4-10% molasses, which provides the brown color. The addition of molasses changes the flavor slightly, making it sweeter than normal sugar, possessing a burnt or caramelized flavor to your recipes. However, if you don’t use brown sugar very often, or if your brown sugar has become dried out and hard as a rock, you may need to use some of these brown sugar substitutes.
Substitutes for Brown Sugar
The best alternatives to brown sugar include molasses, muscovado sugar, coconut sugar, maple sugar, honey, and white sugar, among others.
In most cases, using brown sugar instead of white sugar only improves the flavor of a recipe, but substituting white sugar for brown sugar can diminish the spice and bite from desserts and baked goods. However, for recipes that call for small amounts of either sugar, they can be used interchangeably. One can also use granulated white sugar in place of brown sugar.
This is an unrefined or partially unrefined variety of sugar that has a higher molasses concentration than normal brown sugar. These crystals are dried in the sun, rather than in a centrifuge and tend to be stickier than normal brown sugar.
As the key ingredient of brown sugar, it only makes sense that molasses can be used to substitute in a recipe. However, remember that brown sugar is only composed of about 4-6% molasses, so don’t add too much of molasses, or you will overpower your recipe. You could also make your own brown sugar if you have white sugar and a good supply of molasses.
Light Brown Sugar
Light brown sugar is a pale version of brown sugar that is considered more subtle in sweetness and is used in more delicate baked goods and sweets.
Maple sugar has a slightly different flavor than brown sugar, but it can add the sweetness that you may be lacking in your recipe; only use in moderation, as maple sugar is a very concentrated form of sugar.
Although not the most common ingredient in every kitchen, coconut sugar can be traded out in equal proportions for brown sugar.