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How Can Brown Sugar Be Used in Instead of White Sugar?

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White sugar is one of the most regularly used substances in cooking and baking. And since it is such a frequent element, we get acclimated to it. Yet, if we run out of white sugar, brown sugar is an excellent option. But, in order to get the finest outcomes, you must first understand how to replace them. After you’re through, you’ll be able to use brown sugar in cakes, brownies, and even fudge. It’ll also come in in for making cookies, bread, and pumpkin and pecan pies. But first, understand what distinguishes brown sugar from white sugar.

Comparing Brown Sugar with White Sugar

Brown and white sugars are almost identical in their pure state. Both are derived from freshly extracted and processed sugar cane juice, a grass-like crop that thrives in tropical climates. Beets may also be used to produce certain forms of sugar. To manufacture white sugar, however, the molasses produced during the refining of sugar by heating is eliminated. In the case of brown sugar, however, the opposite is true.

When sugarcane or beet plant juice is squeezed out and cooked, the molasses component becomes apparent. When the impurities are removed from brown sugar, the molasses is left in it. But, producers have recently developed a more easy technique of producing brown sugar. They combine refined white sugar with molasses.

Brown sugar and white sugar both have a comparable sweetness. The primary distinction between the two is seen in their texture, moisture content, and color. As opposed to the typical table sugar you see every day, white sugar is smoother and has finer granules. Yet, the sticky molasses component in brown sugar causes the granules to lump, giving the sugar a thicker texture. When brown sugar is heated, it produces a toffee-like taste, which you will detect in your recipe when you use it.

White sugar is also drier than brown sugar since it lacks molasses. Brown sugar, on the other hand, is wet and sticky owing to the molasses component. The percentage of molasses in brown sugar varies. There are two types: light brown (which includes less molasses) and dark brown (higher in molasses). To be more specific, the darker the brown sugar, the higher the concentration of molasses.

Brown Sugar Nutrition Facts

Substituting Brown Sugar for White Sugar

In most recipes, you may simply swap brown sugar for white sugar in equal parts. Yet, distinct differences will emerge as a result. Of course, this does not spoil the recipe, but it is vital to learn how to substitute brown sugar for white sugar and which recipes benefit from it.

In Bread and Pies

Brown sugar may readily substitute white sugar in dough when baking bread or pie. It would give the same sweetness as white, therefore the desired flavor would be obtained. Yet, brown sugar behaves differently in the dough than white sugar. Brown sugar, unlike white sugar, absorbs moisture, resulting in a moist baked dish when used in recipes like banana bread. Brown sugar will also change the color of the bread or pie; the more the molasses concentration, the darker the bread. But, in a darker-colored dish, such as pumpkin pie, this is hardly evident.

When you use brown sugar instead of white sugar, you’ll notice a thicker texture and crust in pies with melted butter. This disease is caused by two factors: fewer air pockets and the development of gluten. Since white sugar has a neutral pH, it prevents gluten production when used in pies. Yet, due to its acidic nature, brown sugar promotes gluten production. As a consequence, gluten develops more readily, and if eggs are present, the proteins coagulate.

In Cookies

When baking cookies using white sugar, the texture is often crisper and more stiff. Since white sugar is drier, cookies prepared with a lot of it remain firm, thin, and crispy. Brown sugar, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. Brown sugar retains more moisture in cookie dough, and after baking, the cookies will absorb moisture from the surrounding air. This method produces a soft, plump, and chewy texture that is still as delectable as you like. Of course, the molasses content in brown sugar will darken the color of the cookies, but this is seldom noticeable.

In addition, if the cookie dough includes baking soda, it will react with the acidity of brown sugar. This process produces carbon dioxide, which puffs up the cookie dough and softens it. When you combine this situation with the very absorbent qualities of brown sugar, you get chewy and soft baked items.

Creaming Butter and Sugar

You could be tempted to think that since brown sugar holds more moisture in recipes than white sugar, it would lift in creaming recipes. Nevertheless, it does not, and here’s why. Since white sugar has loose granules, more air pockets are formed when it is shipped with butter to produce cream. This condition leads the dough to become fluffier and lighter when combined with such cream. Brown sugar, on the other hand, has firmly packed granules owing to the presence of molasses in the mix. Therefore, when mixed with butter to produce a cream, fewer air pockets are trapped between the combination, resulting in thicker and denser dough.

Can You Use Brown Sugar in Cakes?

Although brown sugar is OK in many other baked goods, it is not appropriate in cakes. Brown sugar’s moistening power benefits many baked foods, including pumpkin pies, chocolate chip cookies, and zucchini bread. Yet the additional puffiness and deeper color it provides may even improve the ultimate outcome of these items. Yet, wonderful cakes need light, fluffy, and airy dough, which brown sugar cannot provide owing to its densely packed granules. Moreover, most cake recipes call for baking soda, which combines with brown sugar to thicken the batter. As a result, brown sugar is not a good alternative for white sugar in baking.

Other White Sugar Substitutes

Maple Syrup or Honey

4 cup is one cup white sugar. Both are made with nutrients but are sweeter, so you should use less of them. While maple syrup and honey provide a deeper hue to baked products, they are still acceptable replacements for white sugar. Use 3 tablespoons of each honey and maple syrup.


It takes 3 cup for a cup. Since molasses is produced from sugar, it may be used as a replacement if that is all you have. Molasses is available in three flavors: light, dark, and black strap. Mild molasses has a gentler taste than blackstrap, which is the most concentrated. Nevertheless, molasses isn’t as sweet as white sugar, so when substituting it, add 11

Fruit Concentrates

Several fruit juices are available in concentrated form, which may be used in lieu of white sugar. And since the taste and sweetness are dictated by the fruit, use your best judgment. Additionally, avoid those that have added sugar and preservatives, since they are not appropriate replacements for white sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you substitute brown sugar for white sugar in coffee?

You certainly can. Brown and white sugar are both formed of the same substance. And the color impact of the molasses will not be an issue in coffee.

Can you substitute brown sugar for white sugar in tea?

Brown sugar may be used in place of white sugar in tea. Nonetheless, organic cultivars provide the greatest benefits. They’re healthier and go better with the flavor.

Is brown sugar good for diabetics?

No, it does not. Brown sugar is just white sugar that has been blended with molasses. As a result, it poses the same hazards to diabetics as any other form of sugar.


Although brown sugar may not have been your first pick, it is an excellent replacement for white sugar in many recipes. It also contains a flavor of caramel that stands out in the presence of other spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. After you’ve mastered the finest methods to utilize it in baking, you’ll find it a useful substitute in times of necessity.


Can you use brown sugar rather than white sugar?

In baking and cooking, white and brown sugar may be utilized in various ways. Although they may be used interchangeably in certain cases, doing so may influence the color, taste, or texture of your finished product. Brown sugar contains molasses, which holds moisture, resulting in softer but denser baked items.

What is the diff between brown sugar and white sugar?

The addition of molasses distinguishes white sugar from brown sugar. This imparts a unique taste, color, and moisture level to brown sugar, distinguishing it from conventional white table sugar.

Which is healthier brown sugar vs white sugar?

When it comes to calorie content, brown sugar contains less calories than white sugar, making it a superior choice for weight reduction. Yet, there are alternatives that might be an ideal option if you want to reduce your sugar intake. Stevia, jaggery, honey, or maple syrup are all excellent choices for weight reduction.

How to make brown sugar at home?

In a mixing basin, combine the sugar and molasses. Rub in the molasses with your fingers until it is thoroughly integrated and the sugar becomes dark.
For months, store in an airtight container.
Jul 8, 2021

What brown sugar is best for baking?

Light brown sugar is more often used in baking, but dark brown sugar, with a stronger molasses taste, is wonderful as a steak rub. Yet, many bakers may use light and dark brown sugar interchangeably.

How does brown sugar affect cookies?

Brown sugar results in a thicker, moister cookie. Brown sugar is more hygroscopic than granulated sugar, therefore it will attract and absorb the moisture in the dough.

What are the disadvantages of brown sugar?

Adverse Effects

Brown sugar is safe and well tolerated by most healthy persons when ingested in moderation. Nevertheless, excessive use may raise the risk of weight gain, yeast infections, and diabetes.

What is the healthiest sugar?

When it comes to sugar being healthy for your health, natural sugar or stevia is the greatest choice. Apart from weight reduction, they have several health advantages to offer. It contains all of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your body need. Stevia is also recognized as the finest sugar for weight reduction.

Does brown sugar go bad?

Brown sugar can not go bad (unless impurities are mixed in), making it excellent for purchasing in bulk if you do a lot of baking. Hardened sugar isn’t all that horrible. It only need dampness. Brown sugar, on the other hand, performs best if utilized within two years after purchase.

Is brown sugar good in coffee?

Absolutely, brown sugar may be used in coffee. Some people prefer the taste over white sugar. It has a richer, more nuanced taste than white sugar, and since it retains more nutrients, it may be somewhat healthier.

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