Our 10 Favorite Molasses Substitutes You Should Try

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Favorite Molasses Substitutes
Photo by Wei Chen on Unsplash.com

When it comes to baking, molasses is a popular ingredient used to create a unique flavor, chewy texture, and caramel-like color. Unfortunately, molasses is not always available or it could be a concern for some vegan bakers, so you may be wondering what you can use as an alternative. Fortunately, there are several easy and tasty molasses substitutes that can be used when baking.

From honey and maple syrup to blackstrap and coconut sugar, there are plenty of options for those looking for a molasses alternative. This article will explore 10 easy and tasty molasses substitutes that can be used in your baked goods. Whether you’re making cakes, cookies, bread, or anything else, these molasses substitutions will allow you to get the flavor, texture, and color you’re looking for. So, if you’re ready to get baking, then let’s get started!

What is Molasses and Why is it Used in Baking?

Molasses is a thick syrup that is made from the juice that comes from boiling sugar cane or sugar beets. It’s a by-product of the sugar refining process and contains many vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and magnesium.

While molasses can be used in a variety of different foods and recipes, it’s best known for its use in baking. When baking with molasses, the first thing you’ll notice is the unique flavor it creates. While molasses doesn’t have an overpowering taste, it does have a slightly bitter, rich flavor that can’t be replicated by any other ingredient.

It’s this rich, slightly bitter flavor that makes molasses perfect for baking. While these are the main benefits of using molasses in baking, it also has other health benefits that can’t be ignored. For example, molasses is high in several important minerals, including iron and calcium. In fact, molasses can contain up to 46% more calcium than milk. So, if you’re looking for a healthy way to boost your calcium intake, then molasses is a great option.

Our 10 Favorite Molasses Substitutes:

1. Honey

If you’re looking for an easy molasses substitute, then honey is a great option. This sweet syrup can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio, meaning there’s no need to adjust your baking recipe if you’re using molasses. Because honey is sweeter than molasses, you may need to adjust your baking time slightly.

Because all types of honey vary in sweetness and taste, you may need to adjust your baking time to get the best results. When baking with honey, you’ll notice a slightly different texture and color than molasses. Honey is less thick than molasses, so you may not get the same chewy texture. However, you should still get a rich, dark color that can be boosted with a small amount of cocoa powder.

2. Maple Syrup

While maple syrup is used primarily in pancakes and waffles, it can also be used as a molasses substitute. Like honey, the sweetness of the maple syrup will require you to adjust your baking time to get the best results. Because maple syrup is less thick than molasses, you may not get the same chewy texture.

Like honey, maple syrup will give your baked goods a unique flavor and color. While the flavor and color of molasses are rich and slightly bitter, maple syrup is sweeter with hints of toffee and caramel. So, if you’re looking for a molasses substitute that’s sweeter, then maple syrup may be a good option.

3. Blackstrap Molasses

Perfect for those who want to use a molasses substitute that’s natural and less processed, blackstrap molasses is a great choice. While this may not be the best molasses substitute for baking due to its strong flavor, it does have health benefits you don’t get with other types of molasses.

Blackstrap molasses is known for its high concentrations of iron, calcium, and magnesium. Because of this, it’s a good choice for anyone who’s looking for an alternative to iron supplements or vitamins.

While you can use blackstrap molasses as a molasses substitute, it may not be the best option. Blackstrap molasses is very strong in flavor, so you may need to reduce the amount you use in your baking recipes. You may also want to add a flavor such as vanilla to counteract the strong flavor of the molasses.

4. Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is a less commonly known molasses substitute, but it makes a great choice for those looking for a natural option. While coconut sugar is less thick than molasses, it does provide a similar texture when baked.

Coconut sugar is also sweeter than molasses, so you may need to reduce the amount you use in your recipes. While coconut sugar is great for some recipes, it may not be the best option for others. Because coconut sugar has a strong flavor, it may not be the best molasses substitute for baking sweet recipes such as cookies.

Molasses Substitutes
Coconut sugar. Photo by Pea on Unsplash.com

5. Agave Nectar

If you’re looking for a vegan molasses substitute, then agave nectar is a great option. Like honey, agave nectar can be substituted 1:1 in your baking recipes. Because agave nectar is sweeter than molasses, you may need to reduce the amount you use in your recipes.

Like honey and maple syrup, agave nectar will give your baked goods a unique flavor and color. Agave nectar is also vegan, so it’s a perfect substitute for those looking for a vegan alternative to molasses.

6. Sorghum Syrup

Sorghum syrup is another alternative molasses that’s vegan. Like blackstrap molasses, sorghum syrup is high in iron and other vitamins and minerals. While it takes a bit of creativity to add sorghum syrup to your baking recipes, it can be done.

Because sorghum syrup is thinner than molasses, you’ll need to add a bit more to get the same texture. Because sorghum syrup is made from a different type of sugar, it has a distinct flavor that’s less rich than molasses and sweeter. So, if you’re looking for a molasses substitute that’s a bit less rich, then sorghum syrup is a good option.

7. Brown Rice Syrup

Brown rice syrup is another vegan molasses substitute that’s different from the options mentioned above. Because brown rice syrup is less thick than molasses, it’ll need to be added to your recipe at a higher rate.

While brown rice syrup is less rich than molasses and has a lighter flavor, it does add a unique flavor that’s different from the others. Like sorghum syrup, brown rice syrup has a bit of a unique flavor that is less rich than molasses. However, it does have a hint of caramel that gives it a bit of a unique flavor compared to the other vegan options mentioned above.

8. Date Syrup

A popular alternative to molasses for the health and vegan communities, date syrup is a great option for those looking for a molasses substitute. Because date syrup is thinner than molasses, you’ll need to add a bit more to get the same texture in your baked goods.

Because date syrup is less rich and sweet than molasses, it won’t give your baked goods the same rich, dark color. However, it does have a unique flavor that’s not found in any of the other molasses substitutes.

9. Barley Malt Syrup

Barley malt syrup is another less commonly known molasses substitute. Perfect for those who are baking gluten-free recipes, barley malt syrup can be used as a molasses substitute in both gluten-free and regular recipes. Because barley malt syrup is less thick than molasses, you may need to adjust your baking time slightly.

Because barley malt syrup is less rich and sweet than molasses, it won’t give your baked goods the same dark, rich color. However, the flavor is similar and barley malt syrup is vegan, making it another good choice for the health and vegan communities.

10. Carob Syrup

Finally, carob syrup can be used as a molasses substitute in baking. Perfect for those who want a vegan molasses substitute, carob syrup can be used in both vegan and regular recipes. Because carob syrup is thinner than molasses, you may need to adjust your baking.