9 Best Coconut Sugar Substitutes

Most of us enjoy using sweeteners in our beverages, and quite often, our food calls for sweeteners, too. There are lots of varieties of sugar, but coconut sugar is a keen favorite, as it is deemed to be a lot healthier than white sugar. 

Sometimes, we forget to buy that one thing we really needed in our grocery shop, and so we need to use substitutes. Other times, we simply run out and don’t have time to stock up.

In other cases, we might have allergies, which prevents us from using certain products. Whatever the reason you’re looking for a coconut sugar substitute, I’ve got you covered. 

9 Best Coconut Sugar Substitutes

I have a list of the 9 best coconut sugar substitutes, with detailed descriptions. 

Before we get into that, let’s consider why we use coconut sugar in the first place. 

What Exactly is Coconut Sugar?

Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener. It’s made of coconut palm sap. Once this is sliced, the sap is mixed with water and undergoes a heating process.

This turns the mixture into a syrup and, once dried, crystallizes. This enables producers to then turn it into granules. The result of this process is a little thing called, coconut sugar. 

Why Do We Use Coconut Sugar? 

Coconut sugar is a very popular alternative to white sugar. White sugar does not have any essential nutrients, nor does it contain any vitamins.

While it’s totally fine to consume in small doses, some of us prefer to use alternative sugars, for a multitude of reasons. It could be that certain recipes work better with coconut sugar, or it could be a taste preference, or quite often, the fact coconut sugar is that little healthier for you. 

Coconut sugar contains a few nutrients, such as iron, zin, calcium, and potassium. It also has a lower glycemic index than white sugar. Now, keep in mind that, coconut sugar is still sugar. Regardless of the calories, too much sugar is not good for you, even if it’s derived from coconuts. Moderation is always key. 

What Can I Substitute Coconut Sugar With?

If you’re looking for alternative options to coconut sugar, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ve provided a list of the best coconut sugar substitutes, which are: date sugar, maple syrup, raw honey, maple sugar, agave nectar, Piloncillo, light-brown sugar, and stevia.

With that said, let’s get stuck in! 

Date Sugar 

First on our list of coconut sugar alternatives, is date sugar. 

Date Sugar is made from dehydrated dates that have been ground. It’s not like other sugar, in that date sugar isn’t sugar crystals. However, it’s a popular sugar due to the fact it is considered healthy and contains vitamins and minerals. 

This sugar is sweet, with a mild flavor. If you’re going to use it to replace coconut sugar, use a 1:1 proportion. While you can find it in most supermarkets, it’s probably best to purchase it from a health store — you’ll likely find more of a range and a variety. 

The keynote is that I only recommend this sugar as a baking replacement. I would not advise that you add this to beverages, as it is not easy to dissolve. However, it does work great as a baking replacement for coconut sugar, so keep that in mind. 

Maple Syrup 

Next up on our list of coconut sugar substitutes, is the Canadian favorite, maple syrup. 

This is a pretty popular alternative to coconut sugar. Maple syrup is made from the sap of sugar maple trees. It contains a few nutrients, such as potassium and magnesium.

It can be a more affordable option, compared to the other options on our list. If you want to buy premium grade maple syrup, then that might cost you a big buck, but you can probably get a decent bottle of maple syrup for less than $10. 

I love maple syrup, it has a delicious trace of caramel and vanilla. If you’d like to use maple syrup as a substitute for coconut sugar, use ¼ of maple syrup for every cup of sugar. 

Raw Honey 

Another addition to our list of coconut sugar substitutes is raw honey. 

Raw honey contains wonderful health benefits, and you should consider having it as a staple in your pantry. It’s made up of pollen, beeswax, and propolis. Raw honey is thought to have antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties — as well as this, it contains enzymes and amino acids. 

If you’ve ever tasted honey, then you know it has a delicious, sweet flavor. While raw honey has more of a complex flavor, the health benefits are worth it. 

If you use this wonderful pot of magic to substitute coconut sugar, use ¼ cup of honey for 1 cup of coconut sugar. 

Maple Sugar 

Back on our Canadian trend, our next substitute for coconut sugar is maple sugar. 

If you can’t trust yourself with a fresh bottle of maple syrup (we’ve all been there, pancakes are addictive), then maple sugar is another great alternative. 

Like maple syrup, maple sugar is made from maple tree sap. The only difference between maple sugar and maple syrup is that the maple sugar has been reduced down to granules. 

When it comes to comparisons, maple sugar and coconut sugar have some similarities. They have a similar texture, and while the flavors are different, they tend to behave similarly when used for baking. 

If you want to use maple sugar as a substitution for coconut sugar, use a 1:1 proportion. 

Agave Nectar 

Another substitution for coconut sugar is agave nectar. 

Agave nectar is very popular within the vegan and plant-based community. It’s frequently used to produce jelly-like products. As it’s very sweet, it’s also used as a vegan replacement for honey. 

So, agave nectar is a syrup, that comes from the blue agave plant. It is filtered and heated until it transforms into a lovely syrup. As a small aside, If you can purchase this from an independent company, that would be my recommendation. The commercial process destroys a lot of the great health properties of agave nectar. Now, if you’re not concerned about the health properties, then you don’t need to worry. It’s still a good coconut sugar substitute. 

If you want to use agave nectar as your coconut sugar substitution, then use ¼ cup for every cup of coconut sugar needed. 

Sucanat 

Next on our list of coconut sugar substitutions, is sucanat.

Sucanat is a variety of unrefined, whole sugar cane. It’s viewed as raw sugar, as it is far less processed than a lot of other types of sugars, i.e., white sugar. It’s a good replacement for coconut sugar, as it has similar size crystals and a similar brown color. Due to the molasses content of sucanat, it has slight caramel undertones. 

The only issue I’ve found with this sugar is that it doesn’t dissolve very quickly. This means, depending on the recipe, the sugar might not completely dissolve. To solve this, you can blitz it up in a food processor, until it reaches a similar consistency to table sugar.

If you’re going to use sucanat to replace coconut sugar, then use a 1:1 proportion. 

Light-Brown Sugar 

The last substitution for coconut sugar, in this article, is light-brown sugar. 

Okay, so you’re probably wondering why I didn’t put this first. Well, the answer is because it is a very obvious solution. Oftentimes, if someone is using coconut sugar in a recipe, then they are looking for a more natural alternative. Of course, this isn’t true in every case, but I wanted to present options that would be great for everyone. 

Light-brown sugar is made of white sugar and molasses. The molasses gives it that zap of caramel and the lovely brown color. You can also use dark brown sugar, but it has a higher content of molasses. I choose light-brown sugar because it is more similar in taste and texture to coconut sugar. 

If you would like to use light-brown sugar, or dark-brown sugar, to replace coconut sugar, use a 1:1 proportion. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Substitution is Low-Cost? 

Okay, so at the end of the day, we’re only dealing with sugar. You don’t have to break the bank if it is out of your current budget, there are lots of different ways of making healthier switches in your life. 

I would say that the low-cost option is light-brown sugar. However, you can definitely get maple syrup at a decent price.

Can I Really Use Liquid to Replace a Solid? 

I’ve had a couple of people ask me if it’s okay, to use a liquid such as maple syrup, or agave nectar to replace coconut sugar. 

The short answer is yes, you can. 

That’s why I put the different ratios in each section. If you replaced coconut sugar with a liquid and didn’t adjust the measurement, then it wouldn’t behave the same. As long as you use the right measurements, it’ll be fine. 

Is Coconut Sugar Even Different From Regular Sugar?

Yes, coconut sugar is different from regular sugar. Regular sugar does not contain any nutrients, whereas coconut sugar does contain nutrients and minerals. It is a healthier alternative. However, it’s all sugar at the end of the day, and it all should be consumed in moderation.

Summary

I hope you found my list of coconut sugar substitutes helpful. I’ve researched a lot of different options, and I hope that one suits your needs. Be sure to use the right ratios, otherwise, the substitutions will not react the same. 

Thanks for reading!

Jess Smith
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