6 Best Muscovado Sugar Substitutes To Try

Note- This post may contain affiliate links, we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs.

Are you in the middle of your cake and running out of muscovado sugar? Worry not! Today’s article is all about finding the best muscovado sugar substitutes. So your baking acts don’t stop all of a sudden, and you can enjoy the uninterrupted art of baking. 

Muscavado Sugar

Muscovado sugar has a deep flavor, which makes it best to add cookies, cakes, and sometimes pancakes. Muscovado sugar brings out deep flavors if you want to make brownie cakes and chocolate-based cookies. Moreover, muscovado sugars bring excellent taste and flavors to coffee and tea, and sprinkling it on the top of yogurt or oatmeal is the best thing.

But, what can you do if you are out of Muscovado sugar? You need the help of some substitutes for it. Any ideas? The best muscovado sugar substitutes are brown sugar, demerara sugar, turbinado sugar, jaggery, granulated sugar, and palm sugar.  

Muscovado sugar is widely used to prepare desserts such as cakes, puddings, and Indian desserts. Muscovado sugar is unrefined brown sugar that can be light or dark in color depending on the degree of sugar processing.

Being versatile comes with ups and downs. It might make it hard to find something that can closely match the flavor profile of the ingredient. But not to worry. I have detailed a list of the best muscovado sugar substitutes to prepare for you. But before that, let us explore Muscovado sugar.

Quick Peek: Muscovado Sugar

Muscavado Sugar

The following scribbles tell you what muscovado sugar is, its flavor, texture, culinary uses, and health benefits.

What is Muscovado Sugar?

Muscovado sugar is actually unrefined cane sugar that contains natural molasses. It has a rich brown hue, a juicy texture, and a toffee flavor. Confectionary foods such as cookies, cakes, and candies often contain muscovado sugar. Also, it is widely used in savory foods.

Muscovado sugar, also known as artisanal sugar, is produced using more labor-intensive processes than commercial white or brown sugar. The best thing about muscovado sugar is that it is the least refined sugar available. It’s made by extracting the sugar cane juice, adding lime, cooking the mix to evaporate the liquid, and then cooling it to form sugar crystals.

The high molasses content also gives the muscovado sugar a complex flavor, with hints of toffee and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Mauritius’ African island is known for producing the best muscovado sugar. It has a damp and sticky texture and is frequently associated with wet sand. 

Describing Muscovado Sugar: Flavor and Texture

Unlike granulated and brown sugars, Muscovado sugar is unrefined or “raw,” meaning the molasses have not been removed. It’s made entirely of sugar cane. Cane extract is heated, then allowed to evaporate until only the sugar residue remains.

Muscovado sugar is a darker brown sugar with a strong molasses flavor. The crystals are coarser than brown sugar, giving it a sand-like texture. ‌It has a more complex and earthy flavor than granulated sugar, with hints of toffee and a smoky aftertaste.

This sugar has a rich, deep flavor that can brighten up any dish. Moreover, muscovado sugar has two types: light and brown. Light Muscovado sugar contains fewer molasses and has a golden brown color resembling brown sugar. Dark Muscovado has the most molasses, making it deep brown and extremely moist. Also, it has a strong flavor, and you can use it in both savory and sweet dishes.

Uses of Muscovado Sugar

Muscovado sugar flavor can be found in cake, cookies, and candies. It pairs well with cookies and baked chocolate desserts. It also goes well with dark sweets like bread and caramelized sweets.

Muscovado is an excellent coffee, tea sweetener, and yogurt or oatmeal. The most common are barbecue sauces, marinades, and meat glazes. Dark Muscovado can also be used in marinades and stir-fry sauces. Use dark Muscovado sugar to add a burnt, sweet flavor profile to barbeque sauce. 

Dark Muscovado can also be used in sweet dishes with a more pronounced caramel flavor. It can also be used in salad dressings. Similarly, light muscovado sugar can be used in various sweet dishes. It can be used to make ice cream, cookies, chocolate treats, and much more.

Muscovado Sugar On Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Muscovado sugar is often promoted as a natural, unrefined alternative to brown sugar. The molasses removed from more refined sugars are responsible for the sugar’s strong taste, high moisture content, and ultra-dark color. 

Even though molasses is the most nutritious portion of the sugar cane plant, muscovado sugar is no healthier than regular table sugar. Muscovado sugar, unlike granulated sugar, does not go through a centrifugal process. During manufacturing, nutrients and trace minerals such as calcium, manganese, potassium, and magnesium are not lost.

Molasses are found in greater amounts in Muscovado sugar than other sugars, and the antioxidant properties of molasses are retained. These antioxidants aid in the battle against free radical cell damage. 

Because of its minerals and antioxidant characteristics, muscovado sugar is slightly healthier than white sugar, although it is still an added sugar. Your body digests these faster than natural sugar in fruits containing fiber and minerals.

Why Should We Substitute Muscovado Sugar?

Now that I have told you so many great benefits of muscovado sugar, I am sure you must be wondering why there is a need to use a substitute for muscovado sugar. Muscovado sugar is a great ingredient to add to your baking foods, but there can be reasons why you can use a substitute for the same. 

Firstly, many people don’t like the taste of muscovado sugar as it has a strong dark toffee flavor. This can give your baking foods a little bit of bitter aftertaste. In that case, using muscovado substitutes becomes a favorable choice.

Second, muscovado sugar is great for making your cakes, cookies, and pudding. But what if you run out of it in the middle of your cooking? I know it might put you down. But no worries! Using muscovado sugar substitutes can save you from this situation. The article mentioned some great muscovado sugar alternatives that can give you a similar taste profile in your dishes. 

Last, baking necessitates precise measurements and careful balance. Muscovado sugar contains more moisture than regular sugar, making some recipes too wet. So, if you are a newbie to baking, using muscovado sugar might be challenging. Using muscovado sugar substitutes will give you better results. 

I do think that I have told you enough about muscovado sugar. Now, before your brain gets more saturated with information about the same, I will take you to the main attraction of this article, the best substitutes for muscovado sugar. 

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

6 Best Muscovado Sugar Substitutes

This section has information about the best substitutes you can use in place of muscovado sugar. Moreover, you will know what recipes the substitutes work best in and the substitution ratio. 

1. Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is the perfect replacement for muscovado sugar. You can easily find it in any grocery shop or supermarket. The best part is it can be used in any recipe that asks for muscovado sugar. Brown sugar has a milder flavor. However, muscovado sugar has a stronger flavor than brown sugar. So, muscovado can easily be substituted in most recipes.

Brown sugar is sweeter than muscovado sugar. You will need to reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe. Keep one thing in mind: use half brown sugar of muscovado sugar. Brown sugar is the most obvious substitute for muscovado sugar.

Both the sugars are siblings. Brown sugar and muscovado sugar both have a dark color. They also taste very similar. One thing that differs is muscovado sugar. Muscovado sugar has an acidic flavor. You can use brown sugar in chocolates, cakes, sauces, and bread. It can also be used in cocktail recipes and beverages.

2. Demerara Sugar

demerara sugar in a bowl

Demerara sugar is less popular than molasses and dark brown sugar. This one is an excellent substitute for muscovado sugar. Demerara sugar is made from cane juice rather than dried cane syrup. This sugar is produced in the Caribbean like muscovado.

Demerara sugar has a delicious flavor. The color of the sugar is deep golden, which has muscovado-like qualities. This sugar has a strong flavor. You can buy demerara sugar from online stores as well. In order to substitute muscovado in many recipes, you’ll need several pounds.

Demerara sugar is a versatile ingredient. It has a lot of uses. You can use it in your fried brown rice and BBQ sauces. Using demerara sugar in stir fry and other dishes is always a good idea. Use it for some sweetness and a crunchy finish. 

3. Turbinado Sugar

turbinado sugar on the surface

Turbinado sugar is a great substitute for muscovado sugar. You have probably seen this sugar so many times. Especially in coffee shops. But you must not have recognized it as turbinado sugar. This sugar comes from unprocessed cane sugar.

 It has large types of crystal ranges. It can be from light to medium brown. It has a low moisture content. It allows specific recipes to produce a low-dry final product. Do not think that much when making desserts like brownies, cookies, or sauces. Using turbinate sugar is a must-try.

You need to know one thing while using it. To balance the absence of moisture, add one or two drops of molasses or maple syrup just because sugar crystals are smaller. But you can always grind this sugar in a food processor.

The sugar is unprocessed and has a light to medium brown tint. It melts so easily that it can be used in many dishes that call for a caramelized flavor.

4. Jaggery


When we talk about muscovado substitute, jaggery is the closest match. It has not only a similar flavor but color too. India has a wide variety of places to buy jaggery. You can use jaggery to make amazing sweet dishes and diet-friendly desserts to stay guilt-free.

To use jaggery in your recipes, melt, grind, or crush it. Jaggery has an earthy and sweet flavor. That thing differs from other sugars. Because of its crumbled nature and color, you can call jaggery a perfect substitute for muscovado sugar. Jaggery is mostly found in India. Jaggery is prepared from the sap of sugarcanes or palm trees.

5. Granulated Sugar

granulated sugar on a surface

You will find granulated sugar in every house. Granulated sugar is one of the best substitutes for muscovado sugar. To get a similar color, you should add maple syrup or treacle. But still, it will not turn as dark as muscovado.

We do not need to know that much about granulated sugar. It is as versatile as white sugar. You can use it in various cuisines, from sweet to savory.

Granulated sugar is sometimes also called white sugar. It naturally presents molasses. This sugar is mostly used in baking recipes. This sugar has perfect crystals, which makes it perfect for measuring. It can be easily sprinkled into food and dissolved. You can make an excellent chocolate cake with this sugar.

6. Palm Sugar

palm sugar in a bowl

If you are not a big fan of refined sugar, then palm sugar is perfect. It is a very good alternative to muscovado sugar. This sugar is made from the sap and nectar of palm trees. It can be mostly found in southwest Asia and other parts. It has a similar dark brown color to muscovado sugar. It also comes with a rich caramelized flavor.

Talking about the taste, this sugar has a less sweet taste than muscovado sugar. But still, it works well. It is perfect for baked goods and mouth-watering desserts. When it comes to measurements, you need to use them differently. You will need more palm sugar than muscovado sugar. Finding palm sugar in your common grocery stores can be challenging. However, you can check out other mentioned substitutes.

A Short Recap For Best Muscovado Sugar Substitutes

That was an extensive read on muscovado sugar and its substitutes. The following quick recap points will make things easy for you to remember about muscovado sugar and its substitutes:

Best Muscovado Sugar Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor And Texture-

  1. 1. Brown sugar 
  2. 2. Jaggery 

Best Muscovado Sugar Substitutes That Are Not Molasses Based-

  1. Granulated sugar is the best muscovado sugar substitute that is not molasses-based.

Best Muscovado Sugar Substitutes Should Be Least Considered-

  1. 1. Granulated sugar 
  2. 2. Turbinado sugar

How To Use Muscovado Sugar Substitutes In A Recipe

muscovado sugar in a spoon

Muscovado Sugar Substitutes

Are you in the middle of your cake and running out of muscovado sugar? Worry not! Today's article is all about finding the best muscovado sugar substitutes. So your baking acts don't stop all of a sudden, and you can enjoy the uninterrupted art of baking.
5 from 1 vote


  • Brown Sugar
  • Demerara Sugar
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Jaggery
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Palm Sugar


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Final Word

I am sure that the small recap on the best muscovado sugar substitutes made it easier for you to pick your substitute for your recipe. This article’s bottom line is that muscovado sugar is a very useful ingredient, especially in baking recipes, but it can easily be substituted. 

So, you can pick your substitute for the same, based on what purpose you would like to be solved by the substitute. While some substitutes are good in terms of flavor, others work better from a texture standpoint. 

Muscovado sugar is similar to other unrefined cane sugars such as jaggery and panela. Muscovado gives baked goods, marinades, glazes, and even warm beverages like coffee a dark caramel flavor. However, choose a substitute based on your recipe, and let me know what was best for you. So, I will see you next time! Wish you a happy time in the kitchen!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is muscovado sugar the same as brown sugar?

No, brown sugar is refined white sugar that has molasses added to it. Muscovado sugar is less refined and contains more molasses.

What is muscovado sugar called in america?

Muscovado sugar is called barbados sugar or molasses sugar in America.

Is muscovado sugar healthier for you than brown sugar?

Muscovado sugar has more nutrients compared to refined white sugar and brown sugar. It contains about 15 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates per teaspoon.

Can i substitute light brown sugar for muscovado?

Yes, absolutely! Light brown sugar and muscovado sugar are easily interchangeable because they are kind of the same thing.

Why is it called muscovado sugar?

The English name “muscovado” is derived from a corruption of the Portuguese ‘açúcar mascavado’ meaning unrefined sugar.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating