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Sweetener Substitutions

Date: May 1989 (Revised April 1995)

Source: NDSU Extension Service Nutrition Specialists

Sugar is responsible for the texture, flavor and tenderness of a baked product; the color of the crumb changes with increases or decreases in sugar content.

Substitutions for sugar include brown sugar, maple sugar, maple syrup, honey, sorghum syrup and corn syrup.

Brown sugar can substitute for white sugar, except in white shortened cakes and sponge cakes. However, the texture will be different, because brown sugar causes the grain to be coarse, and the volume may not be as great. Brown sugars are usually used in bakery products, cereal coating, table syrups, baked beans, mincemeat, hams, bacon, and popcorn coatings. Use one cup firmly packed brown sugar for each cup granulated sugar.

You can use various syrups in cake batter, but there will be a difference in the appearance and flavor of the baked product.

In many cake or cookie recipes, you can replace up to one half of the sugar with corn syrup without seriously affecting the results. Reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of syrup used.

Maple syrup can substitute for sugar in some recipes. Use 3/4 cup maple syrup for each cup of granulated sugar. Add 1/4 teaspoon soda for each cup of maple syrup used. Reduce the liquid by 3 tablespoons.

You may use molasses in recipes calling for brown sugar. Substitute 1/4 cup molasses or sorghum for canning, freezing fruits or for jelly-making. Their flavor can overpower the fruit flavor and their sweetness varies.

Non-sugar sweeteners are synthetic sweetening compounds. You cannot substitute them for sugar in all recipes. Follow manufacturer's directions as to correct amount.

If you have further questions, contact your county office of the NDSU Extension Service.

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