When you are in the middle of baking your brown sugar oatmeal cookies or any other baked product that needs brown sugar, the last thing you wish for is to run out of your brown sugar supplies. Learn about the best substitutes should you run out of your brown sugar.

You have started the baking process of those sweet brown sugar oatmeal cookies when you realize that you have just cleared the brown sugar you had. Or, the one you had in the pantry has turned into a brown mass and is just not viable for use now. The only option you are left with is running to your neighbor, which is easier said than done. At such a moment, the best sugar substitutes come in handy. Find out which options are these.

i.                    Substitute with white sugar

When you no longer have brown sugar, the easiest option you have as your substitute is white sugar. When you have everything at its odds, substitute your brown sugar with the same amount of white sugar. For instance, if you intended to use one cup of brown sugar, use one cup of white sugar. The taste of the resulting baked product in which white sugar has been used will be the same as what you would have if you used brown sugar. What might be different is the texture of the cookies. This happens because brown sugar has a moisturizing sensation on baked products, something that white sugar lacks. Thus, your oatmeal may slightly be crispier but will taste as good as brown sugar oatmeal cookies.

ii.                 Try agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup

When you feel like asking your next neighbor for brown sugar because what you have is not just enough, agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup may come in handy as a useful ingredient for your brown sugar baking. Depending on the recipe you have in mind, you will have to adjust the quantity accordingly. However, the general rule of thumb is 160ml liquid sweetener for 200g brown sugar. If you still want to use other liquid sweeteners besides the main sweetener, consider reducing the proportions by ¼ for every liquid sweetener amount you initially intended to use. Such reductions are meant to take care of the extra fluids that come with liquid sweeteners so that you can have something as perfect as what the brown sugar would give you. Some people also lower the baking time to prevent caramelization of the liquid sweeteners, and you may want to try this suggestion.

iii.               Make your own brown sugar

Did you think that brown sugar is some form of complex ingredient? Not at all! Making brown sugar is an easy process that you can do yourself. The process takes granulated white sugar and molasses, and if you have the two ingredients in your pantry, you are good to go. If you need light brown sugar, mix one cup of granulated white sugar with one tablespoon of molasses and thoroughly mix the two. Making dark brown sugar is equally easy; all you need is to mix a cup of granulated white sugar with 2 tablespoons of molasses.

iv.               Do a mixture of any liquid sweetener and white sugar

Substitute number three is an easy way to go, but you may start getting worried about doing this DIY thing if you don’t have molasses. You may lack molasses but have liquid sweeteners such as agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey. These come in handy and work as well as does molasses. Just like you would do for the preceding part, mix one or two tablespoons with a cup of granulated white sugar for light brown and dark brown sugar, respectively.

v.                  Experiment with coconut sugar

Besides coconut oil or the drink from a coconut, another product can be made from coconut: coconut sugar. This is a regular product in the market, only that you have to fetch it from a reputable supplier. If you have coconut sugar, it will make a good substitute for brown sugar, and you don’t want to leave it untried. In the case of white granulated sugar being used as a substitute for brown sugar, the ratio was 1:1; a cup of white sugar for a cup of brown sugar. The same applies to coconut sugar.

vi.               Try muscovado sugar

The other ideal substitute for white sugar is muscovado sugar. It is as brown as brown sugar, although there are many shades of brown for the muscovado sugar. Since muscovado sugar is marketed alongside brown sugar, you can buy it and stock it, and it will help you when you run out of brown sugar. To have your baked product look like what you intend to have if you use brown sugar, stock the appropriate light/brown muscovado sugar. The ratio of 1:1 applies here.

vii.             Tap into raw sugars

Raw sugars are all over the market, and they include demerara and turbinado. These come in handy when your brown sugar runs out of sugar, and you can do fair trade with them without impacting much on the end product. The only challenge you might have with raw sugars is that your baked products will likely have a grainy texture because of the coarse crystals, which may lower the quality of the products if you intended that they have a delicate or moistened texture. The good news is that you can handle this in several ways. You could use a mortar and pestle to grind the raw sugars or dissolve them in a warm liquid such as water. At the end of the day, you will still be in for a great caramel flavor.

viii.          Try date sugar

Date sugar makes a good substitute for brown sugar, especially if you are health-conscious and want nothing to do with refined sugars. These are easily available where the other sugars are, and you will reap health benefits when you use them. They are made of ground and dehydrated dates.


You can become stressed when you run out of a critical ingredient in the middle of cooking. Still, you don’t have to have cold shivers, especially if the key ingredient is brown sugar. A range of substitutes is available, including white sugar, raw sugar, liquid sweeteners, or the DIY brown sugar.

For the past years, Tatyana has worked as a sex blogger and a relationship advisor. She has been featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue. Vice, Tatler, Vanity Fair, and many others. Since 2016, Tatyana has focused on sexology, attended various training courses, participated in international conferences and congresses. “I wish people would address sexual issues in a timely manner! Forget shyness, prejudice and feel free to see a sex doctor for help or advice!” Tanya enjoys pursuing her flare for creativity through modelling, graffiti art, astronomy, and technology.

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