Whether you've run out or you're just looking for an alternative.
Picture this—you’ve found the perfect recipe for that family gathering you’ve been dreading. Or, maybe you’re excited to bake that sweet treat for your new neighbor. Whatever the case is, you know your recipe calls for brown sugar. Aware that it’s a common ingredient, you’re confident that there’s plenty of it in the kitchen. You open one cupboard after the next, only to find there is absolutely no brown sugar in sight.
Whether you’re in a pinch or looking for a healthier option, there are numerous brown sugar substitutes that are sure to save your recipe. We’ve created a list of substitutes for brown sugar that any at-home baker should keep on hand. So whether you’ve squandered the last of your brown sugar on body scrubs or marinades, there’s no need to worry when you can’t find any in your pantry.
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Before you anger the culinary gods, read through our list of 46 brown sugar substitutes to find an ingredient that is sure to keep those critics at bay. Some alternatives can be found in your cupboard while others are less known but add a unique twist to any recipe.
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45+ Brown Sugar Substitutes
1. Granulated sugar + molasses
This is basically all brown sugar is. For every cup of brown sugar that your recipe calls for, use 1 cup of white sugar and 2 teaspoons of molasses.
2. Granulated sugar + maple syrup
This combination will give your recipe a very similar taste compared to using brown sugar. The color might differ slightly, but the texture and flavor should remain consistent.
A great alternative to brown sugar with a slightly different flavor. It is a natural sugar made from coconut palm sap and is a healthier choice based on sucrose and nutrient levels.
While different in texture, honey can still add that dark sweetness your recipe calls for. Use ¾ cup of honey for every 1 cup of brown sugar.
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5. Maple syrup
While you can mix maple syrup with white granulated sugar to create a similar texture to brown sugar, you might not have any sugar on hand. In this case, maple syrup will do the trick!
6. Agave nectar
Another liquid alternative to brown sugar is agave nectar. Because brown sugar is moist, you don’t need to worry about reducing the amount of liquid too much.
Raw sugars like turbinado can be equally substituted for brown sugar. However, turbinado might not mix into batters and doughs as uniformly as brown sugar would.
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Another type of raw sugar, demerara is darker still without the molasses taste. It has larger crystals that will affect the texture of your recipe.
If you’re looking for an alternative that has the same molasses kick as brown sugar, muscovado is your best bet. Plus, it’s slightly better for you due to its minerals and antioxidants.
10. Granulated sugar
If you only have white granulated sugar, it will do just fine as a substitute. The texture might be affected slightly, but your recipe will still taste delicious!
The main difference between Jaggery and brown sugar is the way it’s made. While it is relatively less sweet than brown sugar, it is rich in minerals and considered a slightly healthier option.
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Purecane puts it best: "It's like brown sugar, only better." It's non-GMO, gluten-free, and keto-friendly. All your classic family recipes can still taste just as sweet with this brown sugar substitute. Give your baking a little twist, have your cake, and eat it too!
13. Maple sugar
This alternative is considerably sweeter than brown sugar, meaning you don’t have to use quite as much in the kitchen. It also keeps a similar consistency in your recipe.
You better believe it! As long as the brown sugar doesn’t define the consistency of your recipe, applesauce can be used roughly at a 1:1 ratio if there is no sugar on hand.
This is a whole grain sweetener that’s half as sweet as refined sugar. The consistency is similar to molasses, so you’ll want to use 1 ½ cups of barley malt syrups for every cup of sugar.
16. Brown rice syrup
This vegan and gluten-free syrup can easily be used as a brown sugar substitute. Bonus: It has fewer calories than brown sugar, too!
While amazake is fermented rice, don’t be fooled. Its name literally means “sweet” in Japanese! Used in baked goods as an alternative to brown sugar, it never browns and keeps things from tasting tooth-achingly sweet.
18. Palm sugar
Palm sugar isn’t as sweet as brown sugar, but their profiles are surprisingly similar. You can use a ratio of 1:1 for this substitute, and the only thing that might noticeably change about your recipe is the color.
19. Date paste
Dates are a great alternative to most sugars and provide a healthier option since they include some fiber. Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting brown sugar with date paste.
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20. Date molasses
Date molasses and date syrup are actually one and the same! Either can be used as a substitute for more sugary syrups, and they provide a less sweet, healthier option for your recipe.
21. Date sugar
If you’re opting for dates but want a similar texture to brown sugar, date sugar is a thing! It might not be an ingredient you keep in your kitchen, but it can be found at most natural grocery stores.
Monk fruit is not only a sweetener alternative, but it's also historically used in elixirs to increase chi, or life energy. It lacks the mentholated effect of pure erythritol and doesn't contain any sort of bitter aftertaste. We guarantee that no one will taste the difference should you choose to step up your baking game with this healthy brown sugar substitute.
23. Erythritol + molasses
This combination makes for the best sugar-free brown sugar substitute. Using ½ teaspoon of molasses per ¼ cup of erythritol for a strikingly similar consistency.
24. Maple butter
Who knew maple came in so many forms? While not as commonly found in your kitchen, it provides a sweet alternative that makes baked goods quite fluffy.
25. Stevia + molasses
Stevia is an intense natural sweetener and sugar substitute that has no calories, carbohydrates, or artificial ingredients. When mixed with molasses, it creates that moist texture that's able to substitute brown sugar.
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26. Sukrin Gold
Enjoy the texture, smell, and sweetness of brown sugar without all sugar. Sukrin Gold is all-natural—made of Erythritol, stevia, malt extract, and tagatose. With a 1:1 sugar ratio and the ability to retain flavor at high temps, this brown sugar lookalike will have you baking low-sugar treats in no time.
Swerve is a perfect replacement without the bitter taste some might associate with other natural sweeteners. Tastes, bakes, and measures just like brown sugar, and it's non-glycemic. Best of all—this substitute for brown sugar caramelizes just like its sugary counterpart!
You've probably heard of Truvia—but did you know they offer a 1:1 brown sugar alternative? Truvia Brown Alternative is calorie-free, sugar-free, kosher, vegan, keto, the list goes on. Made with Erythritol, molasses, and stevia extract, this substitute is perfect for all your baking needs. It's even great in coffee if you're looking for something sweet to add to your daily dose of caffeine.
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Another monk fruit sweetener, Namana in its purest form is 250-300 times stronger than table sugar. It's great for those who are calorie conscious or looking for a low-sugar lifestyle. Add it to your baked goods, fruit bowl or protein shake for a healthier twist.
Opt for a plant-based substitute next time you're looking to bake a sweet snack. There's a low glycemic index and zero net carbs, but all you need to worry about is how delicious it tastes. A 1:1 ratio makes Whole Earth brown sugar easy to use in any recipe that normally calls for brown sugar.
31. 1/2 cup Splenda + 1 tablespoon yacon syrup
Another great brown sugar alternative—especially for those watching their sugar intake—yacon syrup is a prebiotic natural sweeter that has 1/3 the calories of sugar or honey and a low glycemic index. Another great brown sugar alternative, this unique ingredient is a prebiotic natural syrup.
So Nourished—tastes like sugar without all the negative side effects. Bake your holiday treats guilt-free this year with this substitute derived from monk fruit. Everyone will be amazed when they learn that this brown sugar substitute has all the flavor, without all the sugar.
Keystone Pantry sets itself apart, having created a brown sugar substitute without the molasses or fake caramel colorings. Made instead with allulose, this completely sugar-free alternative has a 1:1 ratio that makes the swap incredibly easy. You can use Keystone Pantry in everyday baking where you would normally use brown sugar.
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There's no doubting this brown sugar substitute—it states it right on the bag! Health Garden's Monk Fruit Sweetener browns just like brown sugar and is a great choice for recipes that call for large amounts of sweetener. Best of all, it doesn't cause cavities, so don't worry if you're eager to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Step aside, sugar. Anthony's Monk Fruit Sweetener is here to take center stage with a transparent golden blend brown sugar substitute. They're very open about the ingredients used in their substitute, making it an easy switch for those looking to make more health-conscious choices when cooking or baking.
Sweet Logic raves about their sugar substitute made of allulose, and the amount of research they've put into creating makes it very easy to trust them. While they recommend a 1:1 table sugar ratio, you may find that you use a little more substitute, as allulose is only 70% as sweet as sugar. However, it still bakes, caramelizes, and browns to crave any sweet tooth.
Made from tasty, vine-ripened monk fruit, this brown sugar alternative is an easy swap for regular brown sugar. One cup of Monk Fruit In The Raw equals the same sweetness of one cup of regular sugar—problem solved! The cherry on top is that each serving contains less than one calorie, which is considered dietetically zero according to the FDA. Add a dash of blackstrap molasses to give it the dark and fluffy texture of brown sugar.
Another 1-to-1 baking alternative is King Arthur's sugar. It's made from an ingredient blend that includes monk fruit extract, stevia extract, and other plant-based sweeteners. Add a little molasses and you have yourself a brown sugar dupe that doesn't leave a bitter aftertaste.
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With a little molasses and Wondrose Sugar Replacer, you'll be baking low-carb sweet treats in no time. It can be used in monkey bread, barbecue sauce, and everything in between! With a clean, bitter-free taste and 75% fewer calories than regular sugar, why would you want to use anything else?
The search for a vegan, non-GMO, zero-calorie, ketogenic sugar has ended! Switch's brown sugar alternative has all the good parts about regular sugar with zero of the negatives. It's made from only three ingredients that are naturally derived from corn, chicory root, and monk fruit, making it an easy "switch". See what we did there?
For a straightforward alternative containing erythritol, opt for The Useless Pancreas. They've added natural stevia and natural monk fruit, making for the perfect 1:1 ratio sugar substitute. The Useless Pancreas recommends mixing this sweetener with butter and cinnamon for low-carb waffles, pancakes, and fresh-baked bread.
This brown sugar alternative contains Inulin rather than erythritol. Inulin is made from a fiber base with natural stevia leaf and monk fruit extracts. There's no bitter aftertaste, and you can replace it with the exact recipe measurements as you would use for regular brown sugar. Plus, The Useless Pancreas offers white sugar and flour as well to add to your low-carb collection!
Erythritol, stevia, and caramel—that's it! NKD prides itself on having created a simple yet just as sweet substitute that has 93% fewer calories than sugar. Along with being ketogenic, it's low GI, making it a great switch for those looking to maintain their blood sugar levels.
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Here's the secret to allulose—it's a natural sugar that we can't metabolize, meaning it tastes and acts like sugar without actually spiking our blood sugar. Nature's Besti brown sugar sweetener contains monk fruit and allulose, providing bakes goods with that iconic fluffy texture and brown-sugar smell without all the carbs and calories.
This all-in-one brown sugar substitute is easy to use in any recipe! Made with ingredients to keep you in ketosis, Cardnl's Sweet Keto Baking Mix is perfect for you, your vegan friend, your health-conscious kid, and the neighbor down the street who's keeping an eye on their blood sugar! Basically, this delicious baking alternative is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth, no matter the restriction.
Keep this substitute on hand if you need white or brown sugar. Keep it as is for all your white sugar needs, or add blackstrap molasses to create the dark and fluffy characteristics of brown sugar. No need to change up your beloved recipes—this alternative is 1:1 with 0 net carbs and zero calories per serving!
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