Is there a substitute for molasses in baking?

For those who do a lot of baking knowing what can substitute for molasses is important.  This is because you may think you have enough for a recipe, but the minute you get started you realize you had previously used it all up making that last batch of cookies. It is easy to substitute for molasses in baking; it just depends on what you have and the taste that you are going for with the end result of the recipe.

Most of the substitution options are ingredients that most people will find in their cupboards at home.  When it comes to substituting for one cup of molasses there are a few options and they are as follows:

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, plus ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup honey, dark corn syrup, or maple syrup; or
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

It doesn’t really matter which choice you choose if you just need to substitute something for the molasses.  Now, if the flavor of molasses is important for the recipe, then you may want to use the brown sugar substitution option as that will come closest to matching the unique flavor of molasses since brown sugar actually has molasses in it.

It is important to know what may not be good to use when substituting items for molasses.  Even though there is a certain flavor when it comes to molasses there are things to remember, like it isn’t suggested to substitute blackstrap molasses for regular molasses unless you are happy to change the flavor significantly.  The different types of molasses have different flavors and can do different things for the food it is added to.

If using the sugar and water option for substitution, you may want to add spices to help when it comes to the recipe.  The seasonings that are added will vary based on what you are cooking or baking.  For example, beans will have one flavor if molasses is used and a different flavor if sugar and water is used.  Also, when the substitute ingredient is added to your recipe can make a difference as well; for example, it may need to be cooked longer and slower if added at the beginning versus at the end.

There are different types of molasses, mainly going from light to dark.  Depending on the color will determine the taste of the molasses, making how the food will taste vary based on the different molasses being used.  So based on what you want the food to taste like will determine what kind of molasses to use or what substitution to use.

It isn’t a bad idea to try different things if you do not have molasses or don’t plan on having it around because it is too expensive or difficult to locate in your area.

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One Response to Is there a substitute for molasses in baking?

  1. dodie bruce says:

    thank you, making ginger cookies, will try brown sugar1

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