We all have that moment. Gathering ingredients at the beginning of baking something…walking to the cupboard…looking in…and then exclaiming “I can’t believe I’m out of that. I was SURE I had that!” Or planning on trying a new recipe, and realizing you somehow forgot to get the sour cream (personal experience speaking there).
In a pinch, substitutes can be life-savers. Well, maybe meal-savers. Today I’m going to cover what to do when you are out of a sweetener (sugar ones, not non-sugar ones). I’ll cover non-sugar sweeteners next time.
Note that substitutions are going to have an effect on the final product.
1 C.= enough granulated sugar processed (food processor until coarser than superfine, but finer than granulated) to equal 1 C
*You can try substituting granulated (without processing) for baker’s, but if a recipe calls for it, it is usually because it needs the finer granules for quick dissolve.
1 C. packed= 1 cup white sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses (decrease the liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup)
1 C. packed= 1 cup white sugar
1 C. packed= 1 C. raw sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses (decrease the liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup)
1 C. packed= 1 & 1/4 C. confectioners’ sugar (last resort)
1 C. packed= 1/2 C. liquid brown sugar
Light and dark brown sugar can be used interchangeably if needed. There might be a slight taste difference. (Or for 1 C. light, use 1/2 cup dark plus 1/2 cup granulated)
Coarse sugar (aka: decorating, pearl, or crystal)
*If using for sanding over desserts/foods, substitute granulated
*If using colored strictly for decorating, substitute edible glitter
1 C.= 1 cup packed brown sugar
1 C.= 1 cup raw sugar
1 C.= 1 cup superfine sugar
1 C.= 1 & 1/4 C. to 1 & 1/3 C. confectioners’ sugar (do not substitute in baking)
1 C.= 3/4 C. honey (decrease liquid by 3 Tbsp. for each cup replaced)
1 C.= 3/4 C. corn syrup [recommend not replacing more than 1/2 of called for sugar with corn syrup]
1 C.= 3/4 to 1 C. maple syrup (decrease the liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup; if no liquid required, add 1/4 cup flour instead)
1 C.= 1 C. molasses plus 1/2 tsp. baking soda (decrease baking powder by 1 tsp.; decrease the liquid in recipe by 6 Tbsp.)
1 Tbsp.= 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 C.= 1 C. maple syrup (decrease liquid in recipe by 1/2 C.)
1/2 C.= 3/4 C. granulated plus 1 tsp. maple extract
Should NOT be substituted for/with granulated sugar (but if you absolutely must: 1 & 3/4 C. packed powdered = 1 C. granulated)
1 C.= 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 C.= enough granulated sugar processed (food processor until very, very fine) to equal 1 C
*It is possible to substitute applesauce for sugar in order to “health-ify” a recipe. If you wish to do so, it is a 1:1 ratio, but reduce liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of sugar. Also be aware this is going to affect taste and texture. And in some recipes (such as cheesecake), it is impossible to do this.