Have you ever gone into the kitchen, got out all the ingredients to create your favorite coconut sugar chocolate chip cookies, or an infamous Thai or Indian dish but then realize as you’re scanning the mountain of items on your counter that you have run out of coconut palm sugar a staple in any of these recipes?
Well, fret no longer! There is no need to leave the house and rush to the grocery store, as you will find a thorough list of palm sugar substitutions suitable for any dietary restrictions and/or recipes below.
The best substitutes for coconut sugar are brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey when baking. While monk fruit is a great substitute for those with diabetes. Finally, vegans can use date sugar as an alternative to coconut sugar.
Note: All the sugars on this list are gluten-free!
- Coconut Sugar Substitutes
- Coconut Sugar Replacements
- What Is Coconut Sugar Made From?
- Is Coconut Palm Sugar Healthier Than Other Sugars?
- So Why Is It Labeled Healthier?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Considerations
Coconut Sugar Substitutes
1)Brown Sugar – This is a great substitute for coconut sugar when baking
Because of its stickier consistency, it mostly resembles and works like many palm sugars.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that brown sugar is sweeter than coconut sugar, so you will probably not need to use as much in your recipe—or it will be quite a bit sweeter than you’re wanting.
Honey in its natural raw form has a similar nutritional value as coconut sugar. It is also closest in regard to the level of sweetness when used within recipes. However, keep in mind that honey is a liquid, so be cautious of the other liquids in your ingredients as you don’t want to add too many liquids and change up the recipe.
For honey: for every 1 cup of coconut sugar you would use, instead use ¼ cup of honey.
The great thing about maple syrup is that it also comes from the sap of trees and has a similar taste profile as coconut palm sugar.
It is also a good option for those with diabetes as studies have shown it may have a lower glycemic index, however, there are even better options lower on the list for those with diabetes.
One thing to note is that it will give your recipe a more “maple” flavor, but not too much.
Use the same 1:4 ratio as with honey
Agave is also a good coconut sugar replacer, however, be cautious that agave is way sweeter than regular sugar, so once again use the famous 1:4 ratio.
Plain ole’ table sugar or cane sugar will do the trick if you’re out of coconut palm sugar. You won’t get the same flavoring as you would with palm sugar, but when it will get the job done.
You can try the trick of mixing in some molasses if you have it. This will help match the consistency of coconut sugar.
But beware, this sugar is way sweeter than palm sugar, so less is more.
Stevia is a natural sweetener like coconut palm sugar. In fact, the great thing about stevia is that it is a 0-calorie sweetener, and even with that, it is much sweeter than sugar.
It has a flavor profile similar to palm sugar and you can use the same amount of stevia as you would coconut sugar in your recipe, so no math is needed! Woohoo!
Now, if I’m honest, if you don’t have coconut palm sugar in your pantry, I’m pretty sure you won’t have demerara sugar either.
However, if you are a baker, you might in fact have some, as this option is great for the bakers out there. Many times, you find this larger-grained sugar sprinkled on baked goods, like on the top of muffins.
This is a good substitute for coconut sugar because it has a similar taste, and color, so if you’re out of coconut palm sugar and you have this one laying around, use it up!
Sucanant is raw sugar, as it is less processed than white sugar. It has larger crystals like coconut palm sugar and has that same light brown coloring to it.
You can use a 1:1 ratio for a palm sugar replacement, as both coconut sugar and sucanat have the same levels of sweetness!
9)Date Sugar – Great Substitute For Vegans
Dates are used so often as sweeteners and for a good reason. They taste delicious and have quite a few different nutrients in them (potassium, copper, fiber, iron, and magnesium to name a few). As well as, they have a lower GI (glycemic index), and antioxidant properties.
In order to use dates, you have to put a little bit more work in, but it is still a great replacement for coconut palm sugar.
To use dates, you grind the pure dates down using a food processor until it’s fine, and make sure not to add anything else into the mixture, just the dates. Once it is ground down, you can add it in replace palm sugar.
One thing to note is that because dates are not crystalized sugar, they won’t break down and dissolve as sugar would. This isn’t a problem, as they will sweeten your dish, it’s just you might find tiny little date pieces in the final product.
10)Monk Fruit Sugar – Best Replacement For Diabetics
Monk fruit is a great replacer for coconut palm sugar and has been more and more popular lately, as people are starting to really see the value of monk fruit.
Like stevia, monk fruit is a 0-calorie sweetener, but even greater than stevia, monk fruit has 0-glycemix index—which means it cannot increase your blood sugar!
Monk fruit as a replacer for palm sugar will work great but it is extremely sweet. In fact, because of its level of sweetness, you won’t need as much in your recipe.
Coconut Sugar Replacements
Coconut palm sugar has a unique taste that can be challenging to replicate through another type of sweetener, however, there are some that come pretty close. Whether you need the replacement for a sweet baking dessert, or a savory Thai dinner palm sugar can truly add a great taste.
However, some of you might be looking for a replacement because they are seeking a healthier option for their sugar intake. Coconut sugar is very high in calories, just like regular sugar.
Although there are nutrients within coconut sugar you would have to eat a load of it to get any of these nutrients. But unfortunately, this would still be a waste of time as its high sugar content outweighs any health benefits that were potentially there.
What Is Coconut Sugar Made From?
You see, coconut palm sugar is made from the sap of the flowers off of a palm tree. This sap is then dehydrated separating the liquids from the sap and leaving granules in its place–like we see today.
So really, we are just eating dried-up sap (still delicious!)—which has very high sugar content. Therefore, coconut palm sugar isn’t much healthier if at all than regular sugar.
So, if you’re looking for a healthier coconut sugar replacement, there are quite a few on this list—like monk fruit sweetener, stevia, or even maple syrup.
However, coconut palm sugar is delicious and if you’re not looking for a healthier option, and just need to replace it because you’ve run out and your recipe calls for it…you’ve come to the right place to find a good substitute.
Is Coconut Palm Sugar Healthier Than Other Sugars?
Well, when it comes to “sugars,” there are minimal health benefits. However, coconut sugar has a good rep for being labeled the “healthier option.” And due to its less processed properties, you can find some vitamins and trace minerals in it.
But at the end of the day, it is still sugar—and contains the same number of calories and carbohydrates as everyday cane sugar. So, no it is not healthier than other sugars.
So Why Is It Labeled Healthier?
It is considered healthier due to its less processed making, as well as, it has lower glycemic index (GI). However, if you’re trying to be healthier when it comes to sugar, I’d suggest limiting the amounts of sugar you consume rather than trying to replace the same amount you currently use with a different type of sugar.
As sugars in general have very few health benefits. That being said, there are a couple of replacements listed here that are quite a bit healthier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Coconut Sugar A Good Substitute For Diabetics?
No, unfortunately not.
Although it has a lower glycemic index, the American Diabetes Association says you should still treat it as you would regular sugar. Simply because it has the same calorie and carb levels as regular sugar does. You can find Michigan State University’s answer here.
That being said, you can try monk fruit sweetener, or stevia though! These are great options.
Can I Use Regular Sugar Instead Of Coconut Sugar?
Yes, you can! But use a tiny bit less as regular sugar is sweeter than coconut palm sugar.
There you have it! 10 quick and easy replacements for coconut palm sugar. No need to run out to the store mid-recipe, as I’m sure you’ll probably have one or two of these laying around in your pantry.
Although coconut palm sugar has a unique taste, it can still be replicated with these sweeteners listed in this article.
But remember, if you are seeking a healthier option to replace all the coconut sugar you have been using try going with a monk fruit, date sugar, or stevia route. And, if you’re trying to replace it simply because you ran out, brown sugar comes close to tasting, and reacting the same as coconut sugar would in a recipe.
So, again no need to stress if you have none left, or you feel trapped because you have a sweet tooth and need to cut back on your coconut sugar intake. There are so many replacements out there, and if you don’t like one, try another!
Also, while you’re at it, check out some of our other food substitution posts:
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.