Substitute for Brown Sugar

If you’ve ever made a cookie (or practically anything else that is sweet), you’ve likely cracked open a canister of brown sugar. The king of bringing moisture, chewiness & a caramel-like richness to your bakes, it’s a staple. But what happens when you open your pantry and find you’re completely out of brown sugar? Don’t worry – I’ve got some good ideas for brown sugar substitutes that can save the day.

A bowl of brown sugar on the counter.

Common Substitutes for Brown Sugar

White Sugar and Molasses A classic duo that mimics brown sugar’s texture and flavor. Use one tablespoon of molasses for every cup of white sugar. This should be your number one turn-to. 

Honey – Honey offers a unique flavor and natural sweetness to your dishes. But if you use this substitute for brown sugar, make sure you use a smaller quantity because it is SO sweet.

Maple Syrup – This will add a distinctive, rich flavor to whatever you’re making. This makes it a better brown sugar substitute for certain baked goods and sauces than others. To use, simply add three-quarters of a cup for every cup of brown sugar called for. 

Coconut Sugar – This can be a great alternative to brown sugar! With a similar texture and a hint of caramel, coconut sugar is perfect for those looking for a less processed, but still yummy option.

A close up of a spoonful of brown sugar.

Having a selection of brown sugar substitutes can absolutely save the day when you’re in a pinch (ie: when you’re making cookies at 10pm and don’t want to face your neighbor haha). But playing around with brown sugar substitutes can also open up a new way to get creative in the kitchen! From enhancing the flavor of a sauce to altering the texture of your baked goods, these substitutes for brown sugar are more than just backups.

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