BROWN SUGAR REPLACEMENT
• 2022 BUYING GUIDE •

On my quest to discover all substitutes for regular brown sugars, I found 18 products.

See here the complete list and how they compare. 

What is a Brown Sugar Replacement?

  • Brown sugar replacements provide the aroma, sweetness, and texture of regular brown sugar, but without all the calories and sugar content. They are divided into two groups: (1) zero-calories and sugar-free, and (2) reduced-calories and NOT sugar-free. They taste, smell, and feel soft and moist like LIGHT brown sugar. Read my Complete Guide to Brown Sugars HERE to learn about the different types.  

  • As you'll see below, brown sugar alternatives in group 1 are one-to-one substitutes for regular brown sugar, meaning you can directly swap the volume of regular sugar called for in a recipe. Brown sugar blends in group 2 are two-to-one sugar replacements, so if you want to sub one cup of brown sugar, you'll need half a cup of the alternative. But be aware that they won't give the exact same result in your recipes. They are especially useful when baking, like when you want a chewier cookie or a moist cake.

• GROUP 1 •

What's the Best Keto Brown Sugar Substitute?

  • Keto-friendly brown sugar alternatives contain erythritol or allulose combined with monk fruit, stevia, or sweet fibers (oligosaccharides or inulin). They also have a pinch of glycerine, molasses, or malt extract to help give the overall resemblance to regular brown sugars, providing moisture and allowing them to pack. Here's what brown sugar replacements offer: zero calories, sugar-free, zero net carbs, and zero glycemic index (no effect on blood sugar level). 

  • DIY brown sugar replacements are super easy to make at home. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, drizzle 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of molasses or yacon syrup into a cup of any zero-calorie sweetener BLEND. Mix for a couple of minutes, and voila! You have a brown sugar replacement. Or, in a recipe, you can add the amount of molasses or yacon syrup along with wet ingredients and a white sugar alternative along with the dry ingredients. 

  • The best brown sugar alternative for baking is Whole Earth Allulose Blend because it offers the optimal combination of sweeteners: allulose + erythritol with monk fruit + stevia. In baking, having allulose helps with browning, caramelization, and moisture retention. In addition, allulose (which makes soft baked goods) mixed with erythritol (which makes crispy or crunchy baked goods) balances each other's effect on the final texture. I also like Splenda Magic Baker Brown, which has the same ingredients as Whole Earth Blend, minus monk fruit.
     

  • If you're sensitive to erythritol's taste and gut effectsBesti Wholesome Yum Brown and Keystone Pantry Brown Sugar Alternative are the best erythritol-free blends. They produce very soft, moist baked goods. Although Keystone Pantry is promoted as a one-to-one brown sugar replacement, I find that this blend is less sweet. 

Looking for a Demerara Sugar Replacement?

Sweeteners called golden monk fruit replace raw sugar and NOT regular light brown sugar. Their crystals are dry, free-flowing, and look like demerara sugar. They do not contain glycerine or molasses, like the sweeteners listed above. They are keto-friendly, sugar-free, have zero net carbs, and have no effect on blood sugar levels. Learn the difference between raw and light brown sugar by reading my Complete Guide to Brown Sugars—from Unrefined to Raw and Refined.

• GROUP 2 •

What's a Brown Sugar Blend?

  • Brown sugar blends allow you to reduce (not eliminate) sugar and calories in your recipe, but still have the benefits of having some "real" sugar in it. They bake and brown as regular brown sugar, but with 50 to 75 percent fewer calories. They are not sugar-free, nor calorie-free.
     

  • If you're looking for a brown sugar substitute to help you reduce your calories & sugar intake, brown sugar blends come in handy. Their general formula is as follows: brown sugar + high-intensity sweetener (stevia or sucralose) + molasses or glycerin.
     

  • Brown sugar blends are 2:1 sugar replacements. Being twice as sweet as regular brown sugar, you need to use half of the amount called for in the recipe. Take a look at the conversion chart below for sweeteners that are two times sweetener than sugar:

2-to-1-sugar-replacement.jpg
 

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