I was making a recipe that called for brown sugar, but I am out. What can I use if I don’t have brown sugar?
That is a great question. There are several other substitutes you can use in place of brown sugar. One of the best substitutes to use is white sugar. We will go through the 10 best substitutes to use in this article.
Best Substitutes For Brown Sugar
1. White Sugar
The best and easiest substitute would be white sugar. Whenever I am making a recipe that calls for brown sugar and I am out, I will just use white sugar. Plus we usually have white sugar in our house.
One thing to keep in mind is that you might notice a difference in texture especially with your baked goods as brown sugar tends to add more moisture.
Substitute 1 cup of brown sugar for 1 cup of white sugar.
2. Coconut Sugar
My second favorite substitute to use is coconut sugar. I find it has a similar sweet taste to brown sugar. Coconut sugar like white sugar does not hold moisture like brown sugar, so once again this can affect the texture in baked goods.
This can make them denser so that is something to keep in mind. You can add extra butter or oil to help with that problem. I like to melt the coconut sugar before adding it to my recipes.
Substitute 1 cup of brown sugar for 1 cup of coconut sugar.
3. Make Your Own Sugar
It is easy to make your own sugar if you have the right ingredients. Technically brown sugar is granulated sugar that has molasses.
To make your own sugar you would mix 1 cup of granulated white sugar with 1 teaspoon of molasses. This will create light brown sugar. Mix 1 cup of granulated white sugar and 2 teaspoons of molasses to make dark brown sugar.
4. Muscovado Sugar
Another great substitute to use is muscovado sugar. It also contains molasses just like brown sugar. It has a dark brown color like brown sugar and it is very flavorful.
Substitute 1 cup of brown sugar for 1 cup of muscovado sugar.
5. Honey or Agave
Honey and agave can be used as a substitute for brown sugar. Since honey is a liquid you need to keep that in mind when adding to your recipe. This may cause your baking goods to have too much moisture, so you might have to reduce some of your liquid. Reduce your liquids by 1/4 cup for every 2/3 cup of honey used.
Substitute 1 cup of brown sugar for 2/3 cup of honey.
Substitute 1 cup of brown sugar for 3/4 cup of liquid sweetener.
6. Raw Sugar
Raw sugars can be used as a substitute. The most common ones used are turbinado and demerara. They have a similar color and flavor to brown sugar. Something to keep in mind is that raw sugar is drier and coarser than brown sugar so this can affect your recipe.
It is best if you can grind the sugars into a smooth texture before adding them to your recipe. You can also try adding the sugars to a small amount of warm liquid to dissolve them before adding them to your recipe. Butter, oil, and water work well.
Substitute 1 cup of brown sugar for 1 cup of raw sugar.
7. Date Sugar
If you are looking for a healthier option I would try date sugar. The date sugar is grounded dehydrated dates that are made into sugar. It is less processed than the other sugars. Date sugar adds a great sweetness to your recipes.
Substitute 1 cup of brown sugar for 1 cup of date sugar.
8. Palm Sugar
Another option is to use palm sugar. This sugar is sold as a big paste or cone, so it will need to be cut or shaved before using it.
Substitute 1 cup of brown sugar for 1 cup of palm sugar.
9. Maple Syrup
This substitute works best in non-baked foods. I like to use it in glazes and sauces that I make if I don’t have brown sugar.
Substitute 1 cup of brown sugar for 2/3 cup of maple syrup. You will need to reduce liquids in your recipe by 2 tablespoons.
10. Maple Sugar
The last substitute I added to the list is maple sugar. I use this one less commonly if I am making granola or to add to oatmeal. It has a strong maple flavor so may not be the best suitable for some recipes. This sugar has a different texture than brown sugar.
Substitute 1 cup of brown sugar for 1 cup of maple sugar.
What is brown sugar?
It is basically regular sugar combined with molasses. It is great for using in baking as it adds sweetness and moisture to the recipe. Gives cookies their chewy texture.
What can I use if I don’t have brown sugar?
You can use white sugar, coconut sugar, make your own sugar, muscovado sugar, honey or agave, raw sugars, date sugar, palm sugar, maple syrup, or maple sugar. They are all great alternatives to substitute in place of brown sugar.
Is there a substitute for brown sugar in baking?
The easiest and best substitute to use in baking would be plain granulated white sugar. Substitute 1 cup of brown sugar for 1 cup of white sugar.
How do you make homemade brown sugar?
To make your own brown sugar mix 1 cup of granulated white sugar with 1 teaspoon of molasses. This will create light brown sugar.
For dark brown sugar mix 1 cup of granulated white sugar with 2 teaspoons of molasses.
How do you make brown sugar without molasses?
To make brown sugar without molasses mix 1 cup of granulated white sugar with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
If you are making a recipe and you have run out of brown sugar don’t panic just yet, there are several substitutes you can use in its place like white sugar.
Depending on what recipe you are making one substitute might work better than the other. If your recipe has additional liquid and you are using honey, agave, or maple syrup you will need to reduce some of the liquid.