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Substitute for Coconut Sugar: 25 Best Alternatives

On a hunt for a substitute for coconut sugar? This sweetener is widely available and can be found in almost every grocery store. Still, there are many reasons you might need a coconut sugar alternative.

Maybe, you have run out of it or are looking for a healthier alternative. No matter your reason, the good news is you probably have something that can replace it in your pantry.

small glass bowl filled with dark colored sugar

What Is Coconut Sugar?

Coconut sugar is a natural sugar made from the sap of the coconut tree.

It is sometimes called coconut palm sugar, coconut blossom sugar, or coconut sap sugar.

Many people assume that this type of sugar is made from coconuts. Surprisingly, it’s not! Coconut palm sap is harvested in the same way as maple syrup. The process of making it is also similar.

Coconut sugar has become a trendy topic in the past few years. It started as an occasional recipe item, primarily found in vegan recipes. Today, it has become a common option most people use in everyday recipes.

Many bakers use this sugar instead of standard raw sugar as it is a more natural sweetener. This is because it goes through far less processing than white sugar and contains more nutrients.

What Does Coconut Sugar Taste Like?

Coconut sugar is primarily sweet. It also has notes of caramel flavor that regular white sugar does not have.

Contrary to popular belief, coconut sugar does not taste like coconuts. Instead, it closely resembles the flavor of light brown sugar.

Best Coconut Sugar Substitutes

Many ingredients can be used as a substitute for coconut sugar. As long as they are sweet, then they can be an excellent option.

Each of these alternatives has different flavors and uses. Because of this, you should get to know more about them before choosing.

Here are our 25 coconut sugar substitutes:

1. Brown Sugar

Brown sugar comes from either sugar beets or sugar cane.

It is a great coconut sugar substitute because it tastes the closest to coconut sugar.

This substitute comes in light and dark varieties. Both of them can be used as a substitute for coconut sugar. Light brown sugar has fewer molasses than dark brown sugar. Despite this, they taste almost the same.

If you are focused just on taste and not calories, this is one of the best substitutes for coconut sugar.


Since it has a similar flavor and sweetness to coconut sugar, use an equal amount as a substitute in your recipe.

2. Raw Honey

Raw honey is the best natural coconut sugar alternative because it is unprocessed.

The most significant difference is that this comes in liquid form. So, this may not work if your recipe calls for sugar granules. However, this will be an excellent option if your recipe requires melting coconut sugar.

Remember only to use raw honey to ensure that you get the unprocessed variety. Processed and commercial honey has added sugars that might affect its flavor.

It is also important to remember that honey is much sweeter. For this reason, you should use less of it as an alternative.


Use 1/2 cup of honey to substitute for one cup of coconut sugar. Be aware that it will add its own flavor to the recipe.

3. Pure Maple Syrup

Pure maple syrup comes from maple tree sap, and it’s processed similarly to coconut sap. It is the second-best coconut sugar alternative since it’s a natural product. It is also loaded with nutrients.

On top of that, it also has hints of caramel flavor that mimic the taste of coconut sugar. In contrast, it comes in liquid form. If you need a granule substitute for coconut sugar, use other substitutes.

Maple flavor may cause a slight change in your dish’s overall flavor.


Replace coconut sugar with 3/4 cup of maple syrup. Reduce the liquid in the recipe slightly to compensate.

4. Stevia (powder or liquid)

Stevia is a sugar-free sweetener derived from Stevia Rebaudian. This is more commonly known as the stevia plant. Since it is natural, it maintains nutrients throughout the whole process. 

Another added benefit of this sweetener is that it contains no calories. This makes it an excellent substitute for calorie-conscious people.

One notable difference is that stevia is sweeter than coconut sugar.


When replacing coconut sugar, start with 1/3 of the required amount. Add more depending on preference.

5. Bananas

You can swap bananas for coconut sugar in your baked goods. This alternative is the easiest to find because most people have bananas at home.

Using ripe ones when baking with bananas instead of coconut sugar is important. Unripe ones do not taste as good and lack a sweet flavor.

This option will have a more subtle sweetness than coconut sugar typically offers, and you will not get the same taste. On the plus side, this offers adequate sweetness and an additional banana flavor.

It works best in items like muffins and sweet loaves of bread. If you want more sweetness than bananas alone can provide, no problem! You can combine this fruit with brown sugar or maple syrup for a sweeter taste.


To substitute banana for coconut sugar, mash the appropriate amount into a pulp. Use 1/2 cup of mashed bananas to substitute for one cup of coconut sugar.

6. Date Sugar

This swap is made by drying dates and grinding them into powder. This coconut sugar replacement is the closest to coconut sugar’s consistency.

This similarity makes it easy to use date sugar instead of coconut sugar in baked goods, to make sweet sauces and caramels.

Remember that it will provide a different taste as it’s from fruit instead of tree sap. You may notice a slightly grainy texture to date sugar.


It has a caramel-like taste and can be used as a 1:1 replacement for coconut sugar.

7. Agave Syrup

Agave nectar is a liquid sweetener extracted from the agave plant.

The consistency is between maple syrup and honey, with a sweetness level closer to honey. However, agave has a more subtle flavor. This is excellent if you need a sweetener with less of a strong taste.

Use agave syrup as you would honey or maple. Since you are using a liquid substitute, you need to adjust the other wet ingredients.


Use 1/2 cup of agave syrup to substitute for one cup of coconut sugar. Reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe slightly.

8. Monk Fruit Sweetener

Monk fruit sweetener is made from the extract of the monk fruit and is intensely sweet.

Many people use this alternative as a low-calorie option, similar to stevia. It offers a delightful taste to any recipe, which is why many people prefer it.

While this sweetener can replace coconut sugar, it is trickier to work with because it is extremely sweet.

However, it has a neutral flavor, so you can use it in many baked goods without altering the original taste of your recipe. It blends well with other flavors and works with almost any ingredient.


Use 1/3 cup of monk sweetener to substitute for one cup of coconut sugar. Add more if needed.

9. Cane Sugar

Cane sugar is a common granulated sugar. It provides a similar sweetness but lacks the caramel flavor of coconut sugar.

Adjust for any variations in moisture content, and be aware that the taste may be slightly different from the original recipe.


To replace coconut sugar with cane sugar, use an equal amount in your recipe.

10. Turbinado sugar

Turbinado sugar is less refined than white sugar and has a mild caramel flavor.

To use Turbinado sugar as a substitute for coconut sugar, simply replace it in equal amounts.

Keep in mind that Turbinado sugar has a mild caramel flavor and coarse texture, which can add a subtle richness to your recipes.


Use it as a 1:1 substitute for coconut sugar.

11. Demerara sugar

Demerara sugar has large, amber-colored crystals and a rich, molasses-like flavor.

The coarse texture and rich, molasses-like flavor of Demerara sugar will provide a similar depth to your dishes.

However, be aware that the slightly larger crystals may take longer to dissolve, so adjust accordingly for certain recipes.


To replace coconut sugar with Demerara sugar, use an equal amount in your recipe.

12. Palm sugar

Palm sugar is derived from the sap of various palm trees.

It has a similar sweetness and caramel-like flavor profile, making it a suitable replacement.

It may have a softer texture, so adjust for any variations in moisture content to maintain the desired consistency in your dish.


To substitute coconut sugar with palm sugar, use an equal amount in recipes.

13. Molasses

Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar refining process and has a robust, bittersweet flavor.

The rich, bittersweet flavor of molasses can add depth to recipes.

However, be mindful that molasses is more intense, so adjust the amount to taste. It may also darken the color of your dish.


When using molasses instead of coconut sugar, use a 1:1 ratio. Keep in mind that it will affect the taste and color of the dish.

14. Yacon syrup

Yacon syrup is extracted from the roots of the yacon plant.

It offers a similar sweetness and has a mild, caramel-like flavor.


Use it as a 1:1 substitute for coconut sugar, but reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe.

15. Fruit puree

Fruit purees can add sweetness and moisture to recipes.

The natural sweetness of the fruit puree adds sweetness and moisture to your dish. Reduce the liquid in the recipe accordingly.


To replace coconut sugar with fruit puree, such as applesauce, use an equal amount in your recipe.

16. Coconut nectar

Coconut nectar is a sweetener derived from the sap of coconut blossoms.

It provides a similar level of sweetness and a mild, caramel-like flavor.


It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for coconut sugar.

17. Muscovado sugar

Muscovado sugar is unrefined cane sugar with a strong molasses flavor.

It has a stickier texture and a stronger taste.


Use it as a 1:1 replacement for coconut sugar, but be aware of its deep flavor.

18. Birch Syrup

Birch syrup has a distinct flavor similar to molasses.

Be aware that birch syrup will add its unique flavor to your dish, creating a rich and robust taste.


Substitute it for coconut sugar in equal amounts, but be aware of its strong taste.

19. Rice syrup

Rice syrup is made by breaking down rice starch into sugars.

It provides a mild sweetness and a subtle flavor.


It is less sweet than coconut sugar, so you may need to use a larger quantity to achieve the desired sweetness.

20. Barley malt syrup

Barley malt syrup is made from sprouted barley grains.

It has a malty and rich flavor. Adjust the recipe for any variations in moisture content.


Use it as a 1:1 replacement for coconut sugar, but be mindful of its malty flavor.

21. Blackstrap molasses

Blackstrap molasses is a thick, dark syrup left after maximum sugar extraction.

It has a strong bittersweet flavor and should be used in moderation as a substitute for coconut sugar.

Be aware that it will contribute a robust taste and dark color to your recipe.


When using Blackstrap molasses instead of coconut sugar, start with half of the needed amount.

22. Panela sugar

Panela sugar is an unrefined cane sugar commonly used in Latin American cuisines.

Adjust for any variations in moisture content and be aware that it will provide a similar depth and caramel-like taste to your dish.


To substitute coconut sugar with Panela sugar, use an equal amount in your recipe.

23. Jaggery

Jaggery is an unrefined sugar made from cane juice or palm sap.

It has a caramel-like flavor. Adjust for any variations in moisture content and be aware that jaggery will add its unique taste and richness to your dish.


When substituting coconut sugar with jaggery, use an equal amount in your recipe.

24. Sucanat

Sucanat is a less refined form of cane sugar that retains more of the natural molasses.

Adjust for any variations in moisture content and be aware that Sucanat will provide a similar richness and natural sweetness to your dish.


To replace coconut sugar with Sucanat, use an equal amount in your recipe.

25. Erythritol

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol with zero calories and a similar sweetness.

Adjust for any variations in sweetness preference and be aware that erythritol may not provide the same caramel flavor as coconut sugar.


To substitute coconut sugar with erythritol, use an equal amount in your recipe.

How To Choose The Best Coconut Sugar Substitutes

Remember that when substituting these ingredients for coconut sugar, the taste and texture of your final dish may vary slightly due to the differences in flavor and moisture content.

It’s always a good idea to adjust the quantities and experiment to achieve the desired results.

Here are some of the considerations you need to look at:

  1. Pay attention to the form.

There are both dry and wet substitutes you can choose from. Raw honey or maple syrup will do the job if you are making a sauce.

If you are baking bread, bananas are better. Lastly, if you need something for sprinkling, go for dry substitutes like date sugar or brown sugar.

  1. Consider your budget

Specific replacements are on the expensive side, like date sugar. If your budget allows it, then go for it.

However, choose brown sugar or raw honey as a more practical substitute. They are as good but won’t break the bank as much.

  1. Check diet requirements.

Another factor to consider is your diet. If you are after a sugar-free option or you are watching your weight, stevia is the best. Another low-calorie substitute you can opt for is monk sweetener.

A natural option like bananas will also work, as it does not contain any sugar other than the one coming from the fruit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use brown sugar instead of coconut sugar?

Yes, mainly because they taste almost the same and they come from plants. Therefore, they have the same natural sweet flavor. Brown sugar also does not look that different from coconut sugar. This means that using it won’t affect the appearance of your dish. For this reason, you can use one cup of brown sugar to replace one cup of coconut sugar in every recipe.

Does coconut sugar taste different?

Yes, coconut sugar has a distinct taste compared to regular granulated sugar. It has a subtle caramel-like flavor with notes of toffee and butterscotch. Coconut sugar’s taste is often described as being richer and less sweet than traditional sugar.

Is coconut sugar made from coconuts?

No, coconut sugar does not come from the coconuts themselves. Instead, it comes from the sap of a coconut palm tree.
The liquid is added to water and continuously boiled. Once cooled and hardened, it is broken into granules to make coconut sugar.

How to substitute regular sugar for coconut sugar?

Replace coconut sugar with an equal amount of regular sugar in recipes, considering that regular sugar lacks the caramel flavor.

What is the best substitute for coconut sugar?

The best substitute for coconut sugar depends on the specific recipe and desired flavor. Some popular alternatives include brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or a combination of molasses and granulated sugar.

How much sugar is equal to coconut sugar?

Coconut sugar can generally be replaced with an equal amount of regular granulated sugar in recipes. However, keep in mind that coconut sugar has a slightly different flavor profile, so the taste may vary slightly.

Is brown sugar and coconut sugar the same?

Brown sugar and coconut sugar are not the same. Brown sugar is refined white sugar with added molasses, while coconut sugar is derived from the sap of coconut palm flowers and has a distinct flavor.


Coconut sugar is one of the most popular kinds of sugar today. It is prized for its ability to bring sweetness without adding that many calories. It is also widely available, and its taste does not stray away from regular sugar. Because of this, most people prefer it for everyday baking and cooking.

A coconut sugar substitute is easy to find. To put it simply, you can use anything sweet to replace it. However, if you are after its caramel taste, you should use date sugar or brown sugar.

If you are just looking for something to sweeten your recipes; monk fruit sweetener or raw honey will do. Even bananas are a good option when it comes to baked goods.

glass dish with coconut sugar with measuring spoon next to it

Substitute for Coconut Sugar

Natalia-Flavorful Home
On a hunt for a substitute for coconut sugar? This sweetener is widely available and can be found in almost every grocery store. Still, there are many reasons you might need a coconut sugar alternative.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course substitutes
Cuisine American


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • In a mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar and pure vanilla extract.
  • Mix thoroughly until the vanilla extract is evenly distributed throughout the sugar.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes to let the flavors meld together.
  • Your homemade coconut sugar substitute is now ready to be used in your recipes.


Note: While this substitute will provide a similar sweetness to coconut sugar, it won’t have the exact flavor profile. Adjust the quantity and taste as needed for your specific recipe.


Calories: 782kcalCarbohydrates: 200gFat: 1gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 10mgSugar: 200gCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.1mg
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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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