12 Wonderful Muscovado Sugar Substitute

Muscovado sugar substitute comes in when you are trying to bake some of your favorite desserts or want to make yogurt but found out you have run out of your sugar. Muscovado is like the right type of sugar for every dessert or ice cream as it is very healthy as to when compared to other types of sugar. But one sad thing about muscovado sugar is that it is not easy to find. So, what do you do? Will you forget about your baking or dessert till you find this healthy sugar? The best thing is to look for substitute and this is what this article is about.


Muscovado sugar also known as Barbados sugar, khandsari, or khand is a least refined sugar made with extracting juice from sugar cane, adding lime to the juice and cooking the mixture to evaporate the liquid before cooling it to form sugar crystals. 

The molasses (brown syrup) made while cooking the mixture of sugar cane juice and lime remains in the final product, this results in a dark but moist brown sugar. The high amount of molasses gives the sugar a toffee flavour and a slight bitter taste after. To create a light variety of muscovado sugar, some manufacturing companies remove small amounts of molasses. 

According to India Tree and the nutrition label of muscovado sugar, there is that same amount of calories just like regular sugar but there are little amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron in muscovado sugar because of the molasses. There are also some antioxidants like gallic acid and other polyphenols.


  • Some popular uses of muscovado sugar are:
  • Coffee: The bitter aftertaste of muscovado sugar pairs well with hot coffee.
  • Barbecue Sauce: Instead of using brown sugar in barbecue sauce, you can use muscovado sugar to enhance the smoky flavor.
  • Baked Desserts: Use muscovado sugar in cakes, brownies, and chocolate baked goods.
  • Gingerbread: You can use muscovado sugar to give your gingerbread a strong molasses flavor.
  • Ice cream: Muscovado sugar when used in ice cream gives it a bittersweet but caramelized taste.
  • Marinades: Use muscovado sugar with herbs, spices, olive oil and little drops of acid to marinate your meat before grilling or roasting.
  • Popcorn: Use few drops of coconut oil with muscovado sugar to give your snack a sweet, salty but smoky taste.
  • Oatmeal: Sprinkle few lumps of muscovado sugar on your oatmeal with fruits and nuts to give it a different taste.
  • Toffee: Muscovado sugar will give your toffee or caramel a deep molasses flavor.
  • Salad Dressing: Sprinkle muscovado sugar on your salad dressing to give it a caramelized sweetness.


Some sugar you can use instead of muscovado sugar are:

1. Brown Sugar

Another name for this sugar is soft sugars, brilliant yellow sugar, sucrose sugar or golden yellow sugar. This is the most common substitute for muscovado sugar as they are somehow alike. Their colors are same brown, their taste is similar just that muscovado sugar has a slightly acidic taste because of the lime added during production. 

Brown sugar has a caramel flavor it gives to anything it is used in. You can use it in the same amount as muscovado sugar. Brown sugar can be used in bread, sauces, beverages, savory dishes, chocolate cakes and alcoholic cocktails.

2. Demerara Sugar

Demerara sugar has large grains with crunchy texture especially if used in baking. This less refined sugar originates from South America, it is made from sugarcane which is also used to produce many types of sugar. Demerara sugar has large and irregular crystals with a taste that is similar to turbinado sugar. The crunchier texture makes it the best substitute for muscovado sugar in cookies and other baking goods. Demerara sugar is so versatile that it can be used in fried brown rice, stir fry, barbecue sauce, coffees, teas and hot cereals.

Muscovado Sugar Substitute
Muscovado Sugar Substitute

3. Turbinado Sugar

Turbinado sugar is commonly seen in local shops, you may have seen it without knowing it can substitute muscovado sugar. This sugar is unprocessed and the color ranges from light to medium brown with crystals that look large. Turbinado sugar melts easily and it is mostly used in caramelized products. Other than the caramelizing feature, this type of sugar has almost the same color and taste like muscovado sugar. Turbinado sugar can be used in muffins, pies, as toppings for toast and cookies, 

4. Jaggery

This yellowish-brown and unrefined sugar comes firmly packed into solid cones or patty cakes. It is made from sap collected from palm trees or sugarcanes. Jaggery is commonly found in India, it has an earthy but sweet taste. This taste differentiates it from other types of sugars but it can be used to replace muscovado sugar because of its crumbled texture and color. It is also healthier than other substitutes. Jaggery can be used in most Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines.

5. Granulated Sugar with Molasses or Treacle

Granulated sugar is considered as the savor in most sweetening foods because it is so common. Granulated sugar is naturally white in color and coarse in texture, it contains no bleaching agents. To substitute muscovado sugar with granulated sugar, you just need ¼ cup molasses or 2 tablespoons of treacle. The added ingredients will add brown color to foods like muscovado sugar.

The molasses is a thick and dark syrup gotten from the sugar making process. This strip is commonly used to add flavor and sweet taste to many foods especially in the United States. Molasses can be found in types of strips like corn syrup, maple syrup, and agave syrup. Granulated sugar with molasses or treacle can be used as a sweetener, condiment and also in drinks.

6. Molasses Sugar

Molasses sugar has the darkest brown color than other sugar because of the dark color of the molasses, it is also moist and granulated. The molasses content is high, it can substitute muscovado sugar but only if the recipe needs stronger flavor. Molasses sugar has a slightly bitter taste flavor that makes it different from other sugars. Molasses sugar is commonly used pickle, chutney, marinades, and Christmas cake.

7. White Sugar

White sugar is the granulated sugar you gave in your kitchen or pantry, it is made from beets or sugarcanes. It is the most commonly used sweetener for just anything you need. The taste is very different from muscovado sugar but it is the easiest to find. 

8. Stevia

Stevia sugar is made from stevia plant, it is sweeter than white sugar. Stevia products do not have whole stevia leaves as they are made from highly processed stevia leaf extract. Stevia sugar is mostly used by those who have diets or diseases like diabetes. Although anyone can use stevia sugar, the taste may not fancy everyone’s buds. 

9. Panela Sugar

Panela Sugar is unrefined sugar, it is produced and commonly used in Latin America. The production process makes it possible for high amount of molasses to be retained. This gives the sugar molasses flavor and golden dark brown color. Panela sugar can be used in wine and beer making, beverages and baking.

10. Rapadura Sugar

Rapadura sugar is made from sugarcane, it is unrefined while the molasses content is retained. It has a caramel color and roasted flavor. Rapadura sugar can be used to replace muscovado sugar as the molasses gives them a unique taste and flavor. You can use rapadura sugar in coffee, teas, sauces, dressings, glazes and marinades.

11. Sucanat Sugar

Sucanat sugar is made from pure, crystallized sugarcane. There is a high amount of molasses in this sugar that is almost proportional to muscovado sugar. It has a spicier flavor and best for baked goods like ginger cookies and gingerbread. Sucanat sugar can be used in decadent chocolate desserts, beverages, gingerbread and cookies.

12. Light Brown Sugar

This is the lighter variety of dark brown sugar, it is also one of the commonly used sweetener in the world. To make light brown sugar, you mix white refined sugar and a small amount of molasses syrup. Light brown sugar has a sweet, caramel flavor and a moist texture.


Light muscovado sugar is just muscovado sugar with little content of molasses. Thai makes the colour to be golden brown and similar to brown sugar. Light muscovado sugar does not have that strong treacle-y flavor as it is made with lesser amount of molasses. 

You can substitute light muscovado sugar with:

  • Jaggery
  • White sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar with molasses or treacle (depending on the quantity of molasses added)


Dark muscovado sugar is made with high amount of molasses giving it the deep brown color and moist texture it has. Deep muscovado sugar has a strong, intense flavor it gives to dishes. The high amount of molasses makes it very healthy, it is packed with vitamins and minerals. 

Substitute for dark muscovado sugar are:

  • White sugar
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Molasses sugar
  • Granulated sugar with molasses or treacle


1. Minerals

Muscovado sugar has traces of nutrients and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese that are not lost during the production process because it does not go through centrifugal process. Muscovado sugar is very healthy.

2. Antioxidants

There are more molasses in muscovado sugar than in other sugar. The presence of molasses gives antioxidant properties to this sugar. Antioxidants are very beneficial to the body as they help to fight cell damage caused by free radicals. The damage from free radicals can increase to the risk of developing heart disease and aging.


Muscovado sugar is very healthy and beneficial to the body because of the nutrients, minerals and antioxidants it has. But, sometimes you may not find this sugar in the market so you will have to look for substitutes. There are so many other sugars that can be used in dishes to replace muscovado sugar and you will still get similar taste and flavor.

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