6 Best Turbinado Sugar Substitutes To Try

Are you preparing a recipe that calls for turbinado sugar, but you’ve run out of it? If you have a sweet tooth and enjoy cooking and baking, you might love to use turbinado sugar to add a crunchy topping to them. So, if you don’t have turbinado sugar at home, there are the best turbinado sugar substitutes that you can try. 

turbinado sugar in a plate

Today, we’re going to talk about turbinado sugar and its alternatives. So, now you must be wondering what the best substitute for it is? Some of the best turbinado sugar substitutes are honey, caster sugar, muscovado sugar, dark corn syrup, maple sugar, and coconut sugar. These substitutes will provide a similar flavor, so you never compromise the taste.

Turbinado sugar is not a mainstream sweetener, and most people prefer white sugar or brown sugar in their baking recipes. Turbinado sugar is a natural brown sugar produced by pressing sugar cane juice. Turbinado sugar is less refined than granulated sugar and contains more natural molasses from sugar cane juice. This keeps your dishes moist and flavorful.

Before we explore these alternatives, let’s first understand what exactly turbinado sugar is and, later on, how you will be able to replicate its flavor. Stay tuned! 

Quick Peek: Turbinado Sugar

turbinado sugar in a bowl

This section will help you understand all about turbinado sugar, where you will get to know about its flavor, texture, uses, and nutritional information. Read on to find out more.

What is Turbinado Sugar?

Turbinado sugar, a type of raw sugar, is made from processed sugarcane. It is golden-brown, with large crystals and a trace of natural molasses. A large amount of brown sugar crystals is left behind after the sugar cane juices evaporate. Turbinado sugar is derived from the Spanish word turbine, which refers to the centrifugal process of sugar production. 

Turbinado sugar can be used as a sweetener in beverages and also in baking. Many cooks and chefs prefer turbinado sugar because it is minimally processed. On the other hand, others prefer turbinado sugar because the large crystals help their recipes for decoration on the top of the cakes and cupcakes.

Describing Turbinado Sugar: Flavor And Texture

Turbinado sugar’s texture is light in color but with large crystals. It contains a rich flavor. The crystals retain quite an amount of original molasses. As a result, turbinado sugar tastes similar to caramel. It has a subtle brown color but a lighter shade of brown sugar. 

With such a well-rounded flavor profile, it tastes similar to caramel. Therefore, the applications for turbinado sugar are unlimited, both in sweet and savory dishes. You can reply to the turbinado sugar for its crunch and flakey texture. So, if you are looking to decorate your cakes with turbinado, it sounds like a great idea!

Uses of Turbinado Sugar

Turbinado sugar is ideal for finishing sugar in muffins, strudels, pastries, creme brulee, spice rubs, and other baked goods. With this, you can also make incredible butterscotch, used in millionaire’s shortbread.

It is coarse and does not dissolve as easily in cake batters as granulated sugar. It will have a crunchy texture when done. So make sure which recipes you use. Other than this, there are various other uses of turbinado sugar, such as for cereals, candied nuts, cookie mix, decorations for pie, and coffee or tea for better flavors.

Turbinado Sugar on Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Turbinado sugar goes under less processing compared to other sugar. Therefore, it still contains some antioxidants from the molasses that was left in it. These antioxidants in turbinado provide some health benefits. 

Turbinado sugar contains calcium and iron but only in traces. Turbinado sugar is frequently lauded as a healthier substitute for refined white sugar. It has larger crystals than regular granulated white sugar. As a result, when you spoon it into your morning coffee, berries, or cereal, you may consume slightly less of it. Some people may be more satisfied with this sugar and eat less because it retains some natural molasses flavors.

Why Use Substitutes For Turbinado Sugar?

With its above-mentioned properties, you may wonder why we would use substitutes for turbinado sugar. Well, a few reasons can make you find an alternative.

To start, turbinado sugar has large crystals and is so coarse that it will be difficult to add to your baking recipes. Therefore, using other turbinado sugar substitutes will be a great option.

Turbinado sugar has a slight molasses flavor that compliments a limited number of recipes. Therefore, it may not be possible to use it in each and every recipe. Again, these subsidies are a boon for you and make your recipes taste fantastic. 

Lastly, some people can be allergic to turbinado sugar. It may not be suitable for many people, or they won’t like the taste. In that case, using substitutes for turbinado sugar is the right choice. 

I think I have given you enough information about what turbinado sugar is. So, now without much ado, let’s jump into the best substitutes for turbinado sugar. 

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

6 Best Substitutes For Turbinado Sugar

This section will help you understand the best substitutes for turbinado sugar, their flavor profiles, and their uses in various recipes.

1. Honey

honey in a bowl

Honey is the best turbinado sugar substitute derived from flower nectar. It is a natural sweetener that bees make. It sometimes also depends on the type of flower from which it was taken. It provides a really good color to your dish.

 As it is a liquid ingredient, it can be used in various recipes. So, it can easily replace turbinado sugar with natural sweetness. Honey contains enzymes that help you digest protein and fat, one reason you might choose it over turbinado. 

2. Caster Sugar

caster sugar in a bowl

Turbinado sugar is closest to caster sugar on this list. Approximately 5 to 10mm crystal particles give it a delicate texture. Those who want to coat baked goods in Turbinado sugar will find it ideal. It’s known as soft sugar or bar sugar.

You do not need to find more alternatives to turbinado sugar for baking goods. Caster sugar is perfect and works well in cakes and cookies. Caster sugar is granulated sugar with a fine consistency. 

3. Muscovado sugar

muscovado sugar in a spoon

 Muscovado sugar is a turbinado sugar alternative made from the sugar cane plant itself. It is the best substitute for turbinado sugar if you search for natural sugar. This sugar has not been processed into finely granulated sugars.

 Like the other sugar substitutes on this list, it has a darker hue. This makes it ideal for those who want to add naturally dark sweetness. You do not have to sacrifice the texture, color, and flavor while using it.

4. Dark Corn Syrup

dark corn syrup in a glass

Dark corn syrup, a substitute for turbinado sugar, is made from dehydrated corn syrup solids. They can also be used in cooking and baking. That syrup produces a thick, brown liquid with a flavor close to caramel. Dark corn syrup is a good substitute for turbinado sugar.

Due to their obsession with BBQ sweet potato pie and blueberry ice cream, it is frequently utilized as the main ingredient in cooking. It is a deep dark syrup that is a perfect replacement for turbinado sugar because of the molasses taste.

5. Maple Sugar

maple sugar in bottles

Maple sugar can be used in so many desserts. It is a perfect turbinado sugar substitute. Maple sugar is made from the sap of maple trees. Sometimes it is also made with crystallizing maple syrup.

Large crystals, a light brown hue, and a molasses flavor are all strikingly similar to turbinado sugar.

It can be used to sweeten apple pies, cookies, and other baked items. For every cup of turbinado sugar, use one cup of turbinado sugar. 

6. Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar

This sugar is extracted from the coconut palm’s sap. It has nutrients like zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, and antioxidants. Additionally, since it contains insulin, it has a lower glycemic index. That is why it is the best turbinado sugar substitute.

Coconut sugar has a high-calorie content and has the same number of calories per serving as ordinary sugar. You can make amazing desserts and beverages with coconut sugar. This is plant-based sugar that contains healthy fats.

Short Recap For Turbinado Sugar Substitutes

Ever thought of so many substitutes for turbinado sugar? Now, while you gear up to try all these options to experiment with your recipes, you might be wondering which one is the most suitable for you. Allow me to help you with this!

Best Turbinado Sugar Substitutes In Terms Of Texture –

Brown sugar is the best turbinado sugar substitute in terms of texture.

Best Turbinado Sugar Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor –

Caster sugar is the best turbinado sugar substitute in terms of flavor.

Best Turbinado Sugar Substitutes That Should Be Least Considered –

  1. Dark Corn Syrup
  2. Coconut Sugar

How To Substitute Turbinado Sugar In Recipes

turbinado sugar in a plate

Turbinado Sugar Substitutes

Are you preparing a recipe that calls for turbinado sugar, but you've run out of it? If you have a sweet tooth and enjoy cooking and baking, you might love to use turbinado sugar to add a crunchy topping to them.
No ratings yet


  • Honey
  • Caster Sugar
  • Muscovado Sugar
  • Dark Corn Syrup
  • Maple Sugar
  • Coconut 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

As we come to the end of this article, I hope you are happy with the alternative you have found for yourself. However, one thing you should remember is that although most sugars come with their fair share of substitutes, not all come with a precise taste or flavor. 

Also, while using these alternatives, it’s always good to know if someone might be allergic to any of the substitutes or have health problems due to which they must avoid certain sugars. Concluding, be open to experimenting with your cooking as you may just discover some unique and delectable flavors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is turbinado sugar different from regular sugar?

Turbinado has a texture of golden brown crystals and is minimally processed and refined than regular sugar. It gets its brown crystals from the natural molasses in sugar cane.

Is turbinado sugar healthier?

Turbinado sugar is less processed than white sugar and contains trace amounts of molasses. So, it is definitely healthier than white sugar. 

Can diabetics eat turbinado sugar?

Turbinado has the same nutritional value as regular sugar, making it unsuitable for diabetics. You can consume it in moderation, but don’t consider it healthier as a diabetic patient. 

Does turbinado sugar dissolve in coffee?

No, turbinado sugar doesn’t dissolve well as it contains larger crystals. So, when adding to hot beverages makes sense.

Leave a Comment

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

Recipe Rating