Nothing is more satisfying than walking into a home and smelling fresh cookies baking in the oven. It’s the perfect way to welcome guests to a housewarming party. As you start making your cookie dough, you realize you’ve forgotten the coconut palm sugar.
So what are the substitutes for coconut sugar? Only the best alternatives will do.
One of the best alternatives for coconut sugar is light brown sugar. There are numerous other substitutes, such as date sugar, agave syrup, honey, xylitol, Sucanat sugar, maple sugar, and syrup, as well as Stevia and brown rice syrup.
If you need a sweet and tasty substitute for coconut sugar, this guide offers only the best alternatives for your sugar craving.
What Can I Use Instead of Coconut Sugar?
Coconut palm sugar has a strong caramel flavor and melts easily. This makes it perfect for baking and adding to your favorite beverages.
There’s no need to stress if you’ve run out of coconut sugar, as plenty of tasty (and healthy) substitutes are available.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the options you can use instead of coconut sugar:
- Date sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Agave syrup (nectar)
- Sucanat sugar
- Monk fruit
10 Best Coconut Sugar Substitutes
Here’s a closer look at 10 of the best coconut sugar substitutes:
1. Light Brown Sugar
Light brown sugar is the best choice if you’re looking for a substitute that closely imitates coconut sugar’s color, texture, and caramel flavor. The light brown sugar gets its coloring and flavor from the added molasses (about 3%).
If the caramel flavor is too weak for your liking, you can always use a darker brown granulated sugar with a higher molasses content (about 6.5%).
The ratio of light brown sugar is 1 cup for every 1 cup of coconut sugar.
Good to know: Brown sugar is slightly sweeter than coconut sugar, so you’ll need to adjust the amount based on your preferred sweetness level.
2. Xylitol (Powdered Sugar)
Another substitute to use is xylitol. This natural sweetener is healthier than refined table sugar and has a much lower glycemic index than coconut sugar.
The ratio of xylitol to coconut sugar is 2:3 (⅔ tablespoon of xylitol to 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar).
Good to know: Xylitol has been known to have a laxative effect on people with digestive issues. It’s best to add small amounts at first.
Honey (especially raw honey) is one of the healthiest substitutes. However, honey loses a lot of nutrients when cooked or baked at high temperatures. You’ll also need to adjust your recipe’s liquid ingredients, as honey is runny.
The ratio of honey to coconut sugar is 1:4 (1 tablespoon of honey to every 4 tablespoons of coconut sugar.)
4. Maple Sugar
Maple sugar is dehydrated maple sap and has a similar taste and texture to coconut sugar. This is an excellent substitute if you want to mimic the buttery caramel flavor of coconut sugar.
The ratio of maple sugar to coconut sugar is 1:1 (1 tablespoon of maple sugar to 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar.)
5. Agave Syrup
Agave syrup is similar to honey in taste and texture but has a bitter aftertaste. It’s a sweet syrup that makes a good substitute for coconut sugar. Remember to adjust your recipe’s liquid ratio as this is a liquid syrup.
The ratio of agave syrup to coconut sugar is 1:4 (1 tablespoon of agave syrup for every 4 tablespoons of coconut sugar.)
6. Sucanat Sugar
While Sucanat (raw cane sugar) isn’t one of the healthiest alternatives to coconut sugar, it’s still a great option. The sugar doesn’t dissolve well, so it’s best used as a topping on oatmeal or for dusting a cake.
The ratio of Sucanat sugar to coconut sugar is 1:1 (1 tablespoon of Sucanat sugar to 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar.)
7. Date Sugar
Now here’s a goodie. Date sugar is made from finely ground and dehydrated Medjool dates. It has a naturally sweet flavor and a lower GI (gastrointestinal) value than coconut sugar. Another bonus is it’s high in antioxidants, fiber, and minerals.
The ratio of date sugar to coconut sugar is 1:1 (1 tablespoon of date sugar to 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar.)
8. Maple Syrup
Luckily most households have a bottle of maple syrup in the pantry. Unlike maple sugar, this is a liquid version and is similar in consistency to honey.
This syrup works well in most recipes and contains nutrients such as zinc, calcium, and magnesium.
The ratio of maple syrup to coconut sugar is 1:4 (1 tablespoon of maple syrup to 4 tablespoons of coconut sugar.)
A good option for weight-conscious people is to substitute coconut sugar with Stevia. This sugar is made from a plant and contains no calories or carbohydrates. It is, however, almost 300 times sweeter than regular sugar.
The ratio of Stevia to coconut sugar is 1:1 (1 tablespoon of stevia to 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar.)
10. Brown Rice Syrup
Last but not least is brown rice syrup, which is made by extracting sugar from the rice. This syrup has a similar consistency to corn syrup and is pretty thick and sticky. Taste-wise, it has a nutty-butterscotch flavor.
The ratio of brown rice syrup to coconut sugar is ¾ brown rice syrup to 1 cup of coconut sugar.
Can You Swap Coconut Sugar for Normal Sugar?
You can swap coconut sugar for regular white sugar. The ratio is typically 1:1 (1 cup of normal sugar to 1 cup of coconut sugar). Keep in mind, normal sugar is far sweeter, and you may need to adjust your recipe accordingly.
Can I Replace Coconut Sugar with Brown Sugar?
Coconut sugar can be replaced with brown sugar as it has the same texture, color, and flavor. The best type to use is light brown sugar which has fewer molasses.
My Last Foodie Thoughts
Although coconut sugar is popular, it can be challenging to find in some supermarket chains. Many people use coconut sugar in their baking because it’s a healthier option and has a nice flavor.
As you can see, plenty of good substitutes are available that are easy to come by.
One of the best alternatives is date sugar (and it’s a hit with the children). It has the same sugary sweet taste and is jam-packed with nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.
It’s a win-win for sure.