15 Best Cane Sugar Substitutes

cane sugar

Cane sugar is commonly used all over the world and some might actually prefer it to other types of sugar. However, if you do not have this ingredient at hand, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your favorite dishes and sweeten up your drinks.

This type of sugar is mostly used in cookies, jams and different creams used as toppings for desserts or simply enjoyed by themselves

Now, let’s take a closer look at each substitute below!

Best Substitutes For Cane Sugar

Choose the substitute that seems more suitable for your recipe but take into account the fact that your final dish might taste slightly different.

1. Beet sugar

Beet sugar, be it white or brown, should always be your first alternative. It resembles the taste of cane sugar the best and it looks fairly similar too.

You can use beet sugar in the same quantity you would normally use cane sugar and your dessert or drink will have a great taste. Beet sugar is just as easy to find as cane sugar so you will be able to purchase it at your local grocery store.

2. Honey


Using honey instead of cane sugar will bring you many health benefits as well, besides the sweet taste. Honey is rich in antioxidants and you can use it in any type of recipe that calls for sugar.

Consider that honey comes in a liquid form. Therefore, the consistency of your dish will be different. It can also add a yellow-gold tint to it since it is not white like sugar is.

You could maintain a similar quantity when you replace cane sugar but depending on the recipe, you might have to add more honey to obtain the same sweetness level.

3. Maple syrup

Similar to honey, maple syrup can also replace cane sugar in many recipes, including drinks.

Maple syrup has a different type of sweetness. It is rich in antioxidants, iron, and calcium. The glycemic index of maple syrup is 54, whereas cane sugar has an index of 65, therefore you might have to use more maple syrup to replace the cane sugar, especially if you use it in cookies or other baked dishes.

4. Fruits

Fruit salad

If you don’t have cane sugar or you are looking for a healthier alternative, fruits are your best option. Figs, dates, and bananas are some of the best choices when you want to add some sweetness to your recipe.

As far as ratio goes, it will depend on how sweet your fruits are. So, you will have to taste your food as you make it in order to get the right type of sweetness.

Fruits make a great substitute for cane sugar in drinks and creams but you can get creative with them and use them in a wide range of recipes.

5. Applesauce


If you substitute cane sugar with applesauce, you will increase the fiber quantity and reduce the calories in your dish. I recommend that you use unsweetened applesauce to stay on the safe side and add as much as you want to your recipe.

It will give your dessert a fruity taste but also a sweet flavor and you might actually prefer this substitute to regular sugar. Applesauce makes a great substitute for eggs as well. So, you should definitely have some of it in your kitchen.

6. Molasses


This might not be as easy to find as other substitutes but they can definitely replace cane sugar in all your recipes.

Molasses is derived from sugar that results from the processing stage. It is not as sweet as sugar but it contains nutrients such as vitamins, iron, and calcium.

If you use this alternative in baked dishes, your desserts will taste different but you might actually prefer this taste.

You can use more molasses than you would use sugar. However, you will have to taste your dish to decide when it is sweet enough. Depending on the type of molasses that you find, know that some are sweeter than others.

7. Coconut sugar

Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar can successfully replace cane sugar or any other type of sweetener for that matter. However, it comes in a shade of brown that will alter the color of your dish.

This sugar also has a coconut flavor to it, however, this will only add to the final taste of your recipe. In terms of calories, coconut sugar is similar to cane sugar. Use this alternative as a topping sweetener such as on top of your oatmeal or popcorn.

8. Muscovado sugar

Muscovado sugar comes in a light and dark type and they both can substitute for cane sugar as needed. This type of sugar has a mild caramel flavor and sandy texture that makes it super different than regular sugar but it still remains a great substitute.

Muscovado sugar has molasses and a comparable level of sweetness to white and brown sugar. Use it in baked dishes or drinks in the same ratio you would use cane sugar and adjust the quantity according to your taste.

9. Demerara sugar

Demerara is a type of sugar that is processed to a minimum. It has a large crystal structure and the molasses flavor is much stronger.

You can use it instead of cane sugar but it could be rather difficult to find. It has the same sweetness level as regular sugar so you will not have to alter the quantity at all.

Use this substitute in any recipe that calls for cane sugar.

10. Fruit syrup

Fruit syrup comes in many varieties, depending on the fruits that it is made from. You can use such a syrup in both cold desserts and drinks as well as baked ones.

However, it will help you significantly to taste the syrup before using it as an ingredient in your recipe so you can establish the right ratio.

11. Corn syrup

Corn syrup

Corn syrup can successfully substitute cane sugar or any other type of sugar in different recipes. It has a mild vanilla flavor that you won’t find in cane sugar. However, it will complement the taste of your food just as well.

There is light and dark corn syrup. The dark version contains molasses and it could be slightly sweeter than the light version.

Use them in the quantity that suits your recipe. But consider the fact that corn syrup will add a slightly different flavor to your final dish.

12. Agave syrup

Agave Nectar

Agave syrup is similar to maple syrup and you can use it as a cane sugar substitute in the same manner. There are many different brands of agave syrup on the market but the best choice would be an organic one as you don’t want any artificial flavorings or chemicals in it.

In terms of sweetness, this will vary according to the brand so you want to give your syrup a taste before you choose the right quantity for your dish.

13. Monk fruit

Monk Fruit Sweetener

When you use monk fruit instead of cane sugar, consider that this alternative is a lot sweeter.

In fact, it is somewhere between 150 and 500 times sweeter than sugar, depending on the type of fruit you have. Therefore, you want to add half of the quantity of cane sugar that your recipe calls for and increase the amount as you taste your dish.

14. Artificial sweeteners

You can find different artificial sweeteners on the market such as sucralose, saccharin, or aspartame. Depending on the type of artificial sweetener you select, the level of sweetness will differ as well. You can use such substitutes in drinks and creams but not all of them are suitable for baked dishes. Therefore, check the labels carefully for such recipes.

15. Stevia sugar

Stevia sugar

Stevia sugar looks similar to granulated white sugar and you can find it in a liquid form as well. Keep in mind that the liquid stevia sweetener is sweeter than the granulated one. So, you will need to use a lot less.

If you use liquid stevia, limit it to drinks or creams as it will not act as good in baked goods, and only add a few drops to sweeten up your recipe. However, for baked dishes, you can successfully use granulated stevia sugar in the same ratio as regular cane sugar.


Can I substitute brown sugar for cane sugar?

Both white and brown sugar make great substitutes for cane sugar. You can use them in the same quantity as you would use cane sugar and get similar results. Usually, brown sugar consists of cane sugar, so you wouldn’t be using a substitute but more of a different type of cane sugar.

Is cane sugar and white sugar the same?

White sugar can be made of cane sugar but also of beetroots and stevia. Therefore, white sugar doesn’t mean only cane sugar even if, part of it is essentially the same sugar. Often, cane sugar can be found in the form of white sugar, so you wouldn’t be wrong to confuse them, but keep in mind that they are not always the same thing.


While cane sugar is one of the most common sweeteners in the world, that doesn’t mean it is irreplaceable. You can use any of the alternatives in this guide to obtain the dessert you want even without this type of sugar and you will not be disappointed.

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