The Absolute Best Brown Sugar Substitutes – Tasting Table

Maple syrup is truly nature’s gift to any of us who love fluffy pancakes or waffles. From lattes to bacon, it has made its mark on our hearts, stomachs, and in big business. According to Michigan State University, tapping trees for the sweet stuff is one of the oldest agricultural enterprises in the United States and the industry shows no signs of slowing down.

Not all maple syrups are created equal, however.  Varieties include Grade A Golden Color, Grade A Amber Color, Grade A Dark Color, and Grade A Very Dark Color (via Bascom). Though all these grades are excellent and would work, prioritize the Grade A Dark Color or Grade A Very Dark Color to mimic the classic robust brown sugar flavor.

Regarding conversion rates, Blogchef recommends ¾ cup of maple syrup to 1 cup of brown sugar. Similar to honey, you will also be required to reduce your overall liquids by removing 3 tablespoons per every ¾ cup of maple syrup. In addition, you will want to add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda unless your recipe calls for sour cream or buttermilk. Remember to reduce your oven by 25 degrees since liquid sweeteners brown faster than standard sugar.

Not surprisingly, this substitution works well with recipes where a maple flavor is welcomed, such as barbecue sauces, banana bread, oven-baked bacon, and walnut bread.

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