How to Choose Sugar Substitutes

How to Choose Sugar Substitutes

Looking to replace conventional white sugar, brown sugar, or corn syrup with alternative sweeteners? Below are a few key pointers for choosing the best ones.

Replacing white sugar: When you need the performance only white sugar can provide—neutral flavor, white color, the ability to make hard crack syrup or brulée—turn to organic white sugar. It’s vegan (not clarified through bone char as many white sugars are), less processed, and non-GMO.

On the “healthier” side, there are other alternatives, like evaporated cane, coconut sugar, date sugar, and maple sugar, but each has a strong flavor and a brown hue that can taint the look of your final product. Evaporated cane tastes strongly of molasses. Maple sugar makes baked goods taste like pancakes. Date sugar (ground, dehydrated dates) tastes raisin-y and sucks the moisture out of baked goods unless you add water.

Coconut sugar is the most neutral of these, but still has a distinct flavor. If you have strong foreground flavors such as chocolate, peanut butter, or banana, the flavor of the sweetener will be masked.