Molasses Substitute

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Molasses Substitute. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Turned off by the price of molasses or simply out of it? There are several substitutions that you can try.

Replace one cup of molasses with one of the following:

  • 1 cup dark corn syrup, honey or maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup water

These substitutions may alter the taste of your recipe a bit. If the molasses flavor is vital to the success of your recipe, try the brown sugar substitute.

Since brown sugar is made from granulated sugar and molasses, it'll be the closest flavor match. The maple syrup or dark corn syrup would be the next best choice.

If you have to use granulated sugar or honey as the substitute, consider increasing the spices in the recipe a bit to make up for the flavors that the molasses would have contributed.

Do not use blackstrap molasses as a substitute for light or dark molasses. It has a strong, bitter taste, and isn't very sweet. It's more likely to wreck your recipe than help it.

Looking for a Substitute Because Your Molasses Crystallized?

That's actually really easy to fix. Just pour the molasses into a pan, and heat it slowly, until the sugar crystals dissolve back into the molasses, or heat it in the microwave at 30 second intervals, until the same happens. Measure out what you need for your recipe. Then, transfer the rest to an air-tight container, and place it back in your pantry.

Molasses will keep for several years, so as long as it still looks and tastes good, it's still okay to use.

Note: If your molasses is in a glass container, you can heat it in it's container, instead of pouring it into a pan. Just fill a pan with water, and place your jar of molasses in the pan to create a double boiler.That'll leave you with one less pan to scrub.

Molasses Measuring Tip:

Before you measure molasses or other sticky syrups, like corn syrup, take a minute to spray the measuring cup with cooking spray. It'll keep the syrup from sticking to the cup, so it pours out easily, and minimizes waste. Running your measuring cup under hot water will have a similar effect.

Like This Ingredient Substitution?

Check out all of my other ingredient substitutions. I've shared over 70 substitutions (and counting) to help you keep your recipes on track. Bookmark or pin the page, so you can reference it whenever you're out of an ingredient, or need to find a replacement for an ingredient that someone you're cooking for is allergic to. 

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