Looking for an alternative to Brown Sugar? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for my favourite simple Brown Sugar substitutes.
What is Brown Sugar?
Brown Sugar is just regular old white sugar that has had molasses sprayed onto it. It has a brown crumbly texture and delicious caramelly flavour. While it does contain more minerals than white sugar, it’s essentially the same as white sugar from a nutritional perspective.
I ignore the claims that it’s a healthier option. Sugar is sugar.
The Best Brown Sugar Substitutes
1. White Sugar
The main function of brown sugar is to provide sweetness. So white sugar will work from that perspective. You’ll miss out on the extra caramel flavours but it generally won’t be a problem.
2. White Sugar + Molasses or Golden Syrup
IF you really want the caramel flavour you’d get from brown sugar, adding a little molasses or golden syrup to the white sugar will make a difference. Just go easy as molasses can easily dominate.
3. Palm Sugar
Palm sugar is made from the sap of palm trees. It has a brown crumbly texture and delicious caramelly flavour very similar to brown sugar.
4. Coconut Sugar
The flavour of coconut sugar is slightly more intense than brown sugar but it’s such a minimal difference you don’t notice it in a dish with lots of other flavours.
5. Maple Syrup or Honey
If you prefer not to use refined crystalline sugars, maple syrup or honey will work. In most dishes the extra moisture and slight less sweetness won’t matter if you make a 1:1 substitution.
The Best Sugar-Free Brown Sugar Substitutes
1. Golden Monkfruit
If I want to avoid adding carbs to a dish, a little golden monkfruit will be the closest match to brown sugar. Monkfruit tends to be much sweeter than sugar so start with less than you think you’ll need and add more to taste.
Granular white stevia is another sugar-free option. It can have an unpleasant aftertaste but generally you won’t notice if there are lots of other strong flavours in your dish. As with monkfruit it tends to be more intense so start with less.
3. Stevia + Molasses
If you really want the caramel flavour you’d get from brown sugar, adding a little molasses to white stevia will make a difference without adding a significant amount of actual sugar. Just go easy as molasses can easily dominate.
Brown Sugar Flavour Pairings
- Lemon & Brown Sugar
- Roast Pears & Brown Sugar
- Pancakes & Brown Sugar
- Lime & Brown Sugar
- Mint & Brown Sugar
More Ingredient Substitutes
- The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Substitutes
- Collard Greens
- Miso Paste
- Oyster Sauce
Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.
Have fun in the kitchen!