Date sugar is made from dehydrated and ground date pieces. Dates are full of potassium, iron, B vitamins, and fiber. This sweet fruit enjoys popularity in pastes and syrups and is even being dried and turned into sugar.
Because whole, pitted dates are used to make the sugar, its fiber leaves a little grit to the sugar that won’t dissolve in hot liquids or baked goods. Its butterscotch-like flavor is more nuanced than brown sugar, although it shares a similar appearance.
Date Sugar Substitutions
If a recipe calls for date sugar and you don’t have any in the pantry, there are a few options to consider.
1. Light Brown Sugar
= 1 cup light brown sugar is a good substitute for 1 cup date sugar
Substituting Light brown sugar will be the easiest to find and least expensive of any of the date sugar substitutes. Its flavor and appearance are similar, and its caramel coloring and butterscotch flavor notes are like those you would get with date sugar. Light brown sugar dissolves quickly and will work in any dish that requires date sugar.
2. Coconut Sugar
= 1 cup coconut sugar is a suitable replacement for 1 cup date sugar
Coconut sugar substitution, like date sugar, is minimally processed and has sweetness and butterscotch notes. Unlike date sugar, coconut sugar does not have a fibrous structure and will dissolve and melt in your recipes. Use coconut sugar to replace date sugar in any application.
Coconut sugar tastes similar to brown sugar or maple syrup, but it’s less sweet than either of those options. It also has more nutrients than regular refined sugars, including potassium and magnesium—but not enough to make up for the fact that it still has a lot of calories and can contribute to weight gain if you eat too much of it!
3. Sucanat Sugar
= 1 cup sucanat would be a substitute for 1 cup date sugar
Sucanat, which stands for sucre de canne naturel, is cane sugar that has been minimally processed and retains much of its molasses content. The molasses content gives it the caramel color and butterscotch flavor you would find with date sugar. The lack of excessive processing makes it a good substitute for date sugar. Similar to coconut sugar, it has crystals that readily dissolve in water.
Sucanat Sugar is a type of whole cane sugar. It’s made from dried and crushed sugarcane, which is then washed and heated to remove impurities. The result is a light brown powder that contains more vitamins and minerals than traditional brown sugar.
Sucanat is often used as a replacement for brown sugar in recipes because it has a similar flavor, but without the molasses. It can also be used as a substitute for white granulated sugar in recipes where you want brown coloring without adding extra liquid or changing cooking times.
Dates are full of potassium, iron, B vitamins, and fiber. Dates seem to be having their time in the superfood spotlight. Full of potassium, iron, B vitamins, and fiber. Due to its more fibrous nature, it is best to use it in baking and not as a sweetener in coffee or tea.
Date sugar comes with a higher price tag, so you may want to save it for special occasions.
Ways to Use Date Sugar
You may consider using date sugar as a rub to bring out the caramel flavor on pork or chicken. Its added fiber and taste can enhance a cookie recipe or sprinkle across muffins, oatmeal, or other hot cereals. The caramel color can be the perfect addition to the top of your favorite fruit pie.
Date sugar is a great way to add sweetness to your food without adding in any refined sugar. It also has a natural caramel flavor that makes it perfect for baking or cooking. Here are some of our favorite ways to use date sugar!
Smoothies: Add date sugar to your morning smoothie for a delicious and nutritious boost of energy. We recommend using about 1 tbsp per 8 ounces of liquid, but feel free to adjust it depending on your taste preferences. If you’re feeling extra decadent, try adding in some peanut butter or cacao powder!
Toast: This is one of our favorite snacks! Simply sprinkle on some date sugar overtop your favorite bread (we like Ezekiel brand whole grain), then top with almond butter or peanut butter and enjoy!
Desserts: Date sugar adds a unique flavor to baked goods and desserts that can’t be replicated by traditional cane sugar or brown sugar—which makes it the perfect addition if you’re looking for something new! Try adding 1-2 tsps into your next batch of cookies or muffins, then top with fresh fruit or nuts before baking if desired.
Is date sugar a healthy alternative?
Date sugar, made from dehydrated and ground dates, has the trace nutrients found in whole dates, including potassium, calcium, and antioxidants. The main drawback to date sugar is that it contains fiber elements that do not melt or dissolve entirely in water, so its uses are somewhat limited.
Can I use brown sugar instead of date sugar?
Light brown sugar will be the easiest to find and least expensive of any of the date sugar substitutes. Its flavor and appearance are similar, and its caramel coloring and butterscotch flavor notes are like those you would get with date sugar. Light brown sugar dissolves quickly and will work in any dish that requires date sugar.
What are some substitutions for date sugar?
Suitable substitutions for date sugar would be light brown sugar, coconut sugar, agave sugar, or sucanat.