Clever Substitutes for Brown Sugar

Few things are worse than getting halfway through a recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie and realizing you’re out of brown sugar. However, there are several practical substitutions you can use in a pinch many of which you may already have sitting in your cupboard.

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Clever Substitutes for Brown Sugar

Few things are worse than getting halfway through a recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie and realizing you’re out of brown sugar. However, there are several practical substitutions you can use in a pinch many of which you may already have sitting in your cupboard.

Here are 7 clever substitutes for brown sugar.

White sugar plus molasses

To make your own brown sugar, mix 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of molasses with 1 cup (200 grams) of granulated white sugar.

White sugar plus maple syrup

Combine 1 cup (200 grams) of granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of maple syrup to make an almost-perfect brown sugar substitute.

Coconut sugar.

Coconut sugar may be evenly swapped for brown sugar, but it can make certain baked goods drier or denser than intended.

Honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar

You can use liquid sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, and agave nectar to replace brown sugar — but you’ll likely need to adjust your recipe.

Raw sugars

Raw sugars like demerara or turbinado can be substituted for brown sugar in equal proportions. Still, because raw sugar crystals are very coarse, they don’t always mix into batters and doughs as uniformly as brown sugar would.

Muscovado sugar

Muscovado is a minimally refined dark brown sugar that can be used as a regular brown sugar substitute. It’s stickier than brown sugar, so it may require some extra work to mix it into your recipe — especially if you’re using it for baking.

Plain white sugar

White sugar can be used to replace brown sugar, producing only slight changes in texture and flavor.