Substitute for Molasses: 9 Delicious Alternatives

SomethingSwanky is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

If you’re looking for a substitute for molasses, you’ve come to the right place! Check out these delicious ideas that will have your taste buds singing. From sweet and savory recipes to drinks and desserts, there’s something for everyone.

So get ready to add some flavor to your next meal with a perfect substitute for molasses.

What Is Molasses?

Molasses can be described as a byproduct of sugar processing. According to The New Food Lover’s Companion, sugar is refined by boiling the juice from these plants to make a syrupy mixture out of which sugar crystals can be extracted. It’s molasses, the brownish-black liquid that remains.

Light vs. Dark Molasses

Each boil yields a different type of sugar syrup. The first boil produces light molasses, which is what it sounds like: the most light in color and flavor.

The second boil produces dark molasses, which has a deeper color, deeper flavor, and thicker consistency.

The third boil produces blackstrap. You can read more about that below.

Blackstrap Molasses

The blackstrap molasses, which is the result of the third and final boiling, is a love-it-or-hate-it ingredient. Stella Parks, a Kentucky native, and Serious Eats columnist writes that blackstrap molasses was used only to doctor fertilizer or livestock feed in my area.

“Blackstrap is becoming an increasingly common sight lately, as its ultra-high mineral content makes it attractive to health food junkies,” Stella Parks, a Kentucky native, writes.

Unsulphured and sulfured Molasses

According to The Food Encyclopedia, sulfur dioxide can “clarify and lighten the color of sugar cane juice but it imparts a distinct smell.” For a cleaner taste, opt for unsulphured if you can. Grandma’s Molasses is one of the most common brands that you’ll see in supermarkets.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Substitute for Molasses

Molasses can be called molasses for several reasons. These are all important factors to consider before you decide on a substitute.

  • Molasses is a sweetener that has its flavor. Molasses is neutral, unlike granulated sugar. It tastes like caramel and coffee combined with molasses. The backbone is minerally bitter. When substituting, remember that the flavor of your new ingredient will change, regardless of whether it’s subtler, sweeter, or more floral.
  • Molasses is dark, and it’s used for its moody color as well as its flavor. If you make this molasses bread but use lighter-colored honey instead, the bread will be more pale and less tan.
  • Molasses, a liquid sweetener acts differently in recipes than a dried one (granulated or brown sugar). You should stick to another liquid sweetener, especially in baking, which is prone to changes. You can be more relaxed if you are making a stew or barbecue sauce.
  • Molasses has a high moisture magnetism. This helps us understand why baked goods made with molasses are dense, moist, and fudgy, and often even more so when they sit out.

9 Best Molasses Substitutes for Empty Jars

Molasses is a distinct ingredient, but it is not essential if you are in a pinch. These are our top sellers that you can swap in.

Just a few steps from these community-favorite bran cupcakes, you’ll realize Bleep that you don’t need molasses. The recipe calls for only 3 tablespoons, so is it possible to substitute?

Let me cut to the chase: Yes. (And phew!) We’ll be covering molasses basics and our top-rated molasses substitutes today.

1. Honey

Honey is generally sweet, floral, and golden in color. There are many honey types, so you can choose the one that is closest to molasses. Darker-colored and more flavorful honey (such as buckwheat honey), would be a great match.

To compensate for the honey’s sweetness and thinner consistency relative to molasses, you can substitute it 1:1.

2. Sorghum

Sorghum is also known as sorghum syrup. This refers to how similar these syrups can be. Sorghum syrup is made from the sweet-sour cereal grain, sorghum.

Sorghum syrup is a little thinner than molasses but can be used as a substitute if you don’t live in the American south. It can be substituted for most recipes in a ratio of 1:1.

3. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup has a malty caramelly flavor. It is available in many shades, just like honey. Use the darkest maple syrup that you can find when substituting molasses. It is thinner than molasses (34% vs 20% in the former), making it a more difficult substitute for baked goods.

Maple syrup can be substituted for molasses in cakes by either a 1:1 substitution or, if you are concerned about the batter becoming too thin you could reduce the liquid by a small percentage (figures 5 to 15).

4. Dark Corn Syrup

Dark corn syrup, like molasses, is a liquid sweetener that has a sultry color. It has a more neutral sweetness and a less complex flavor than molasses. You can substitute 1:1 or use half-dark corn syrup and half-something more flavorful like honey or brown sugar (more details below).

5. Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is also known as light treacle and is very popular in England. It is made by heating sugar cane juice until it thickens to the consistency of corn syrup.

This gives it a toasty flavor and golden color. Lyle’s is one of the most popular brands. You can substitute molasses 1:1 but expect a subtler flavor and color.

6. Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is a sugar containing molasses. This means that sugar is often granulated at the end of processing. Then, the separated molasses is added back to produce light or brown sugar. Click To Tweet

Brown sugar, especially the darker varieties, can have many of the same flavors and aromas as molasses. The catch? It’s a dry sweetener that can compromise a baking recipe that uses liquid sweeteners.

If you are working with a savory recipe, it is possible to estimate a 1:1 substitute and adjust the liquid as needed. If you are working with a baking recipe you can estimate 3/4 cup brown sugar per 1 cup of Molasses.

However, you might need to add 1 to 4 tablespoons of water if the result is not satisfactory (e.g. a cookie dough that is too crumbly where it should be held together or a cake batter that seems too stiff).

7. Simple Syrup

Rich simple syrup is a mixture of granulated sugar and water in a ratio of 3:1. If your recipe calls to use 3/4 cup of molasses, you can dissolve 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in 1/4 cup water and then add the rest of the ingredients.

Although your final product will not have the same richness or malty, roasty taste as molasses, it will still work functionally.

8. Black Treacle

Black treacle is sometimes referred to as the U.K.’s equivalent of American molasses. It has a similar flavor and color, but it’s darker and more bitter with a pleasant burnt taste. Lyle’s, like light treacle, is the most popular brand of black treacle you’ll find in shops.

You can mix it 1:1 with molasses. The bonus is that it comes in smaller containers than the molasses so you won’t end up with too much.

9. A DIY Mix

Substitutes can be a guessing game, so it’s best to have some fun with them. Mixing and matching ingredients is a better option than using molasses as the only ingredient.

You could substitute 1 cup molasses with 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup brown sugar (liquid sweetness, molasses-y taste); 1/2 cup dark syrup + 1/2 cup maple syrup (liquid sweetness, thick balanced with big flavor).

A Sweet Finish

Thanks for checking out our roundup of delicious substitutes for molasses! We hope you found the perfect substitute for molasses to add some flavor to your next meal. Be sure to check back soon for more amazing recipes.

« Previous Post

The Best Substitute for Cardamom You Should Try

Next Post »

Best Substitute for Cream Cheese You Will Love

Leave a Comment