9 Interesting Substitutes for Brown Sugar


White sugar, muscovado sugar, coconut sugar, maple sugar, turbinado sugar, honey, nectar or maple syrup alone, white sugar and molasses and castor sugar are some of the interesting brown sugar substitute.

What is brown sugar?

Brown[1] sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown colour due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content (natural brown sugar), or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white sugar.

Brown sugar is often produced by adding sugar cane molasses to refined white sugar. Brown sugar prepared in this manner is often much coarser than it’s unrefined equivalent and it’s molasses may be easily separated from the crystals by simple washing.

It is mostly of four types:

  • Light brown sugar– It contains 3.5 percent of molasses by weight.
  • Dark brown sugar– It contains 6.5 percent of molasses by weight.
  • Sugar in the raw– It is a natural brown sugar which still contains the residues of molasses left over from the refining process.
  • Liquid brown sugar– It is made by combining one part of water to three parts of light brown sugar and heated to dissolve it properly.

Benefits of brown sugar

Some of the most important benefits of brown sugar are listed below.

Prevents obesity It contains fewer calories as compared to white sugar and is quite healthy.


Eases menstrual cramps – The mineral potassium helps in relaxing the uterine muscles and eases contractions during menstruation.

Free of chemicals – Brian sugar is contains molasses which is composed of essential minerals such as calcium, iron etc.

Boosts energy naturally – It gives temporary strength or boosts energy for a short period of time.

Improves digestion – Drinking boiled water with ginger and brown sugar will help improve digestive problems.

It is antiseptic – It helps in healing minor cuts and bruises. It also has anti inflammatory properties that prevents infections from occurring in the cuts.

Beneficial for pregnant women – It is helpful for women to recover fast after delivery.


Provides relief from cold – Having some boiled water with slices of ginger and some brown sugar will provide relief from cold instantly.

Prevents asthma – Helps to fight asthma and other allergic reactions.

Provides skin protection – It hydrates and moisturiser the skin and prevents swelling. It is rich in vitamin B and protects the skin from aging and cell damage.

9 Must Know Substitute for Brown Sugar

brown sugar substitute

White sugar

White sugar is an easily available substitute for brown sugar. It is the most used variety of sugar and is usually used in double quantity than brown sugar. It makes the final product dry and makes things crispy.

Muscovado sugar

It is basically unrefined sugar cane that still has plenty of molasses in it, which makes it A good substitute for brown sugar. It comes from Africa and is darker than the usual brown sugar. Therefore it is much rich in flavour, sometimes a bit like caramel with a smoky aftertaste. So it can be used in cookies and even barbecue dishes. It is more moist than the other varieties of sugar.


Coconut sugar

The coconut sugar comes from the palm of the sugar which is boiled and dehydrated. It has almost the same amount of calorie count as white sugar however it is lower in fructose and therefore often called as a healthier option. It’s colour and taste both are equal to brown sugar and therefore it’s a much healthier replacement

Maple sugar

Maple sugar comes directly from maple syrup and therefore adds a sweetness and maple taste to any dish. It is commonly used to top off dishes but it can easily be used as a substitute of brown sugar in baking pies and cookies.

Turbinado sugar

It is minimally processed and has a very mild molasses flavour added to it and can be used as a brown sugar alternative. It does not contain much moisture so for some recipes, it can cause the end product to be a little dry. Thus it should be used for liquid batters. These are large sugar crystals and can be broken down into a powder.

Honey, nectar or maple syrup alone

These ingredients can be added to white sugar to make a kind of brown sugar, they can also be used as a replacement. However, using these ingredients alone should be the last resort because they are sweeter than brown sugar and should be used half or one third of the amount of brown sugar.

White sugar and molasses

Brown sugar is made of white sugar and molasses therefore combining the two ingredients is the best way to get a suitable brown sugar substitute. One tablespoon of molasses should be used for every cup of white sugar to make it light brown sugar or two tablespoons for dark.

Castor sugar

It is also known as caster sugar or superfine sugar. It is granulated sugar ground to a super fine consistency but not into a powder. Castor sugar is somewhat between granulated sugar and powdered sugar and can be made at home. It can dissolve without heat unlike granulated sugar and can be used to sweeten drinks.


Brown and white sugar are the most widely used varieties of sugar however these are some of the substitutes readily available which could be used in place of brown sugar in our daily life in cooking, baking, flavouring, icing etc.

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