These all have different flavours and consistencies. For example, cane molasses are on the sweet side, but blackstrap molasses are very bitter. So be careful in which one you’ll use, or one baked product later you may find yourself tossing the entire batch in the trash!
But if you’ve got that out of the way and just need a quick fix to your molasses deficit, try these ingredients. Whether you’re looking for the flavour, the texture, or the consistency, these alternatives give you a wide variety to experiment with.
10 Molasses Substitutes You Can Try Yourself
For the adventurous and health-conscious
Yogurt has the advantage of being a healthy source of calcium and protein—a great addition to any vegan diet. It’s generally advised to substitute yogurt in a one-to-one ratio, but if you think your recipe can take it, you can add more as needed. But be careful as yogurt consistencies aren’t the same across brands.
This is not a very popular choice since the flavour is very far from molasses, but if you’re after the texture and the consistency, it isn’t a bad one.
9. Cocoa Powder
Putting some bitter and some sweet in the mix
If you’re looking for a good mix of sweet and bitter, varying amounts of cocoa powder is a good molasses alternative. Not only are they a common additive in baking, but the flavour profile is a surprisingly good addition when it comes to savoury food like barbecues.
8. Orange Marmalade
For those who want a sharper taste
If you don’t mind a tangy citrus aftertaste to your food, you can try putting some orange marmalade instead of molasses. This sweet and bitter jelly is a good source of vitamin C and is a great flavour accent when it comes to desserts. If you’re feeling bold, it’s also a good mix to add any kind of savoury sauce.
7. Inverted Sugar Syrup
Somewhat sweeter than your usual sugar
Inverted sugar syrup is made from glucose and fructose and is a popular ingredient for bakers to use. One of the best ones you can use is golden syrup, as it’s an even mix of table sugar and sugary syrup. This is also a good pick if you need your final product to retain moisture for longer periods of time, like pastries.
A healthier option you can make yourself
Applesauce is a great way to capture the tanginess of molasses if you don’t want to use processed sugar. Though applesauce recipes can vary, adding cinnamon and other spices for flavouring can compensate for the different flavour profile you’ll get.
If you want to make your own applesauce, simply toss some peeled and sliced apples in a pot with water, cinnamon, and a few tablespoons of sugar. Bring the pot to a boil then let it settle to allow the sauce to thicken. You can adjust the amount of cinnamon or sugar depending on what kind of flavour you want to get.
5. Corn Syrup
A subtle shift in flavouring
Corn syrup is made in the exact way that molasses are—by extracting them from corn. The texture and consistency are almost the same, which makes it a good substitute for molasses in a pinch. However, you need to remember that the base ingredient of this is corn, not sugarcane or beetroot. You may need to add additional sweeteners after adding it.
4. Granulated White Sugar
The best option in gingerbread
In a pinch, your usual white sugar is a good molasses replacement if it’s the sweetness that you’re after. Mix ¾ cup of granulated sugar with ¼ cup of water, stir for a while and add to the recipe. If you’re using other spices, you may need to add more to compensate for the amount of sugar you've used.
The closest in texture
The milder flavouring aside, honey has the same texture as molasses, making it a great substitute. Simply use the same measurements when adding it to your recipe. It’s a healthy option for those looking for natural sweeteners and is likely something that you’ll already have lying around the house.
2. Maple Syrup
Ideally used in cookies
Maple syrup and molasses have almost the same flavour profile, so if you have this with you, you should absolutely use it as an alternative. You can also use the same amount of syrup when you’re measuring it out! But keep in mind that it’s a little sweeter than molasses, so you may have to add more spices to compensate.
1. Brown Sugar
Just as good as molasses
Brown sugar is the refined form of molasses, which makes it the best molasses substitute for any skilled baker or cook. Simply pack in ¾ of any kind of brown sugar for every cup of molasses, and you’ll get almost the same flavour. Just remember to use a little more water since all the added sugar can dry out your recipe.
One quick tip: if you do end up using any of the syrups above as a substitute, spray your measuring cup with cooking spray. It’ll prevent the majority of the syrup sticking as your pour it out, so you get a more accurate measurement. You can also try rinsing it with warm water before measuring.
So the next time you find yourself in a pinch without molasses, there’s no need to panic. You can easily make your own substitutes from ingredients you can find in your fridge or cupboard—and you might even like the final results.