Nobody wants to be in that situation where all things are set for your recipe, only to discover that one ingredient is missing. What are you supposed to do? How about your chocolate chip cookies? How would you make them without it? If you suddenly run out of brown sugar in the middle of your otherwise perfect recipe, what would you do? Are there any practical alternatives that you can use cleverly? Read on, we’ll show your several clever substitutes on what to use instead of brown sugar
There are lots of common ingredients that you can substitute for your missing brown sugar. The funny thing is that many of these substitutes may already be there lying fallow in your food cupboard.
Can You Use White Sugar Instead?
Many people don’t know that you can use white sugar. White sugar is the most direct substitute for brown sugar that you can think of. Your instinct tells you this, but it usually seems too good to be true.
When you use white sugar, your recipe would still work perfectly fine. The only thing is that the taste may not be the same. But the difference is not usually much.
Nevertheless, white sugar does not work all of the time. There are certain recipes, especially baking recipes, where white sugar would not be a fitting alternative for brown sugar. This is quite obvious. We cannot deny the fact that there is a huge difference between brown and white sugar.
Professional chefs advise that the only time that white sugar would work fine in the place of brown sugar is if “chemistry” is not an important factor in the recipe. If it’s just about the sweet taste, you can use equal amounts of white sugar to replace brown sugar.
But then, if we would be honest, a lot of chemical reactions take place while you’re either baking or cooking. These reactions determine how your recipe would turn out in general. Of course, white sugar would react differently from brown sugar because they have different chemical compositions.
That’s why you can’t get the same taste and texture if you use white sugar rather than brown sugar. But then, that does not mean that some recipes would not turn out well if your swap sugars. Some surely will.
What To Use Instead Of Brown Sugar
1. White sugar with molasses
Do you want to hear the good news? Well, here it is. You can always make brown sugar from white sugar by yourself. You know why? Brown sugar is just a mixture of white sugar with molasses. Nothing more!
So if you ever run out of brown sugar, just add one or two tablespoons of molasses to your cup of white sugar. The amount of molasses you would add depends on whether you want light or dark brown sugar.
Run the mixture through your blender to get that sticky consistency. If you don’t have a blender, just mix them with a spoon.
2. White sugar with maple syrup
What if you don’t have molasses, what would you do? Don’t panic, just substitute molasses directly with maple syrup. Use the same quantity of molasses you would have used, and you’ll still get your perfect DIY sugar.
3. Raw sugars
Raw sugars can be good substitutes as well because of their close colors as well as their mild caramel taste. But then, remember that raw sugars don’t have the same texture as brown sugar. They somewhat have more coarseness.
So the granules of raw sugars may not make a fine mix with batter or dough. This can affect the outcome of your recipe. What you can do is to grind the raw sugar with mortar and pestle, or with a spice grinder, before you add it to your recipe.
4. Muscovado sugar
Muscovado can also make a great alternative for brown sugar because it also contains molasses. The only thing is that Muscovado contains more molasses and also has more moisture.
The implication of this is that Muscovado is stickier and there is a higher tendency for it to clump. What you can do is to sift your Muscovado sugar to get rid of clumps before you mix it into your batter or dough.
5. Liquid Natural Sweeteners
Examples of liquid natural sweeteners include honey and agave nectar. But when you make this substitution, you should cook for fewer minutes. These liquid natural sweeteners tend to caramelize faster.
Care about a Healthier Alternative? Use Coconut sugar
Everyone knows that coconut sugar is healthier than most of the other types of sugar. Some health experts have advised that we should use coconut sugar more often. Simply use equal amounts of coconut sugar in place of the brown one.
You may add some butter or oil to the coconut sugar to increase the moisture. This would go a long way to make the texture of your recipe perfect, especially for baked foods.