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Coconut Sugar Substitutes (How To Use Them)

Coconut Sugar Substitutes (How To Use Them)

Are you making a recipe that calls for coconut sugar but you don’t have any or can’t find it at the grocery store? Don’t scrap your culinary plans just yet! There are a number of excellent substitutes for coconut sugar you can use no matter what you are making.

Some of these options may already be in your pantry, and the rest are stocked at most grocery stores, so you have multiple coconut sugar options to choose from.

So what are the best substitutes for coconut sugar?

The top coconut sugar substitutes are brown sugar, granulated sugar, palm sugar, vanilla sugar, and cane sugar. We will also cover some more great sweeteners that you can use instead of coconut sugar, such as honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar.

Make sure you read on for how to use each of these coconut sugar substitutes in your recipe.

Coconut Sugar Alternatives

five bowl with various kinds of sugar

Coconut sugar goes by a few names, like coco sap sugar, coconut palm sugar, and coconut crystals, but they all refer to the same ingredient.

Produced by processing the sap produced by the coconut palm tree. It goes through fewer processing steps than table sugar and it is a natural sugar popular for sweetening all types of baked goods.

In fact, coconut sugar is one of my personal favorite baking sugars, and I use it in everything from cakes and cookies to muffins and ice cream.

While I recommend keeping it stocked in your pantry, you’re here for a great coconut sugar replacement and below you will find the most similar sugars to coconut sugar.

Brown Sugar

scoop and bowl of light brown sugar

This kitchen staple is the best all around substitute for coconut sugar. Not only do most people already have it one hand, it’s offers the most similar flavor to coconut sugar. It’s flavor and consistency is ideal for baked goods and will work in any dessert that calls for coconut sugar.

Light brown sugar will give you the best results, but dark brown sugar will work in a pinch. Keep in mind that dark brown sugar has a stronger molasses flavor, which will impact the flavor of your final dish.

The biggest difference between coconut sugar and brown sugar is that brown is a bit sweeter. That means you will reduce the amount used.

Related: Baking with brown sugar


2/3 cup of brown sugar equals 1 cup of coconut sugar

Granulated Sugar

bowl of granulated sugar on table with bowl of sugar cubes

Granulated sugar is another kitchen staple you can use in place of coconut sugar in any baked dish. While it does not offer the depth of flavor of coconut sugar, it’s easy to find and likely already in your pantry earning it’s spot on our list.

While granulated sugar is not my first choice for a coconut alternative, it’s a solid option when none of the other ingredients are available.


1 cup of granulated sugar equals 1 cup of coconut sugar

Palm Sugar

measuring spoons and bowl of palm sugar

Not to be confused with coconut palm sugar, palm sugar is none the less a great alternative for coconut sugar.

This all natural sweetener is produced from the sap of palm trees and is quite versatile. Palm sugar can be used in any recipe that calls for coconut sugar.

It is most commonly use in traditional Thai cooking and is a common sweetener for curry and pad Thai but don’t sleep on using this sweetener in baked goods. It adds a lovely level of sweetness to all types of baked goods.

Related: Palm sugar substitutes


1 cup of palm sugar equals 1 cup of coconut sugar

Vanilla Sugar

wooden spoon of vanilla sugar

When most people think of vanilla sugar, sweetening coffee comes to mind. But this flavorful sweetener is excellent for baking.

Vanilla sugar is produced by infusing granulated sugar with pure vanilla extract, and it has a flavor ideal for baking.

I’ve become a huge fan of using vanilla sugar in recent months and if you have some available it makes an amazing coconut sugar alternative.

Related: Vanilla sugar substitutes


1 cup of vanilla sugar equals 1 cup of coconut sugar

Cane Sugar

spoonful of cane sugar

You may see this option called sucanat, but no matter what name it goes by, it makes a great alternative for coconut sugar.

Cane sugar is processed less than more popular types like granulated sugar and brown sugar, and it has a wonderful flavor ideal for baking.

Raw cane sugar provides a natural molasses flavor that works well in so many recipes. It works are a baking sugar or a finishing sugar.

Note: When baking with cane sugar, run it through the food processor first to create a finer grain. Sprinkle as is when sprinkling it on finished desserts.


1 cup of cane sugar equals 1 cup of coconut sugar

More Sweeteners You Can Replace Coconut Sugar With

jars of honey maple syrup and agave nectar

While all the options above will work for any recipe that calls for coconut sugar, let’s go over some more delicious sweeteners you can use.

These ingredients are a great way to add interesting flavors to your recipe while sweetening it.


jar of raw organic honey on wood table

Honey is one of my favorite baking sweeteners. It has a wonderful flavor that pairs well in almost any dessert. It adds a great flavor, texture, and color all in one ingredient.

When it comes to honey, it all comes down to quality. And most will agree that raw, organic honey provides the best flavor and color.

I purchase my honey from a local farmer, and it is absolutely amazing to bake with. I highly recommend you get raw organic honey if at all possible.

Related: Substitutes for honey when baking


1/4 – 1/3 cup of honey equals 1 cup of coconut sugar

Maple Syrup

pure maple syrup poured into glass container

Maple syrup is incredibly underrated as a sweetener. It’s not just for topping pancakes and waffles and it makes an excellent substitute for coconut sugar.

Be sure to use real maple syrup, and it will add a deep, complex flavor that pairs wonderfully in most recipes that call for coconut sugar.

Related: Substitutes for maple syrup


1/4 – 1/3 cup of maple syrup equals 1 cup of coconut sugar

Agave Nectar

spoon of agave nectar drizzled onto plate

While not nearly as popular as the other options on this list, agave nectar is none the less a great option if you have some on hand.

Agave nectar is made from the sap of the agave plant. And it offers a high level of sweetness that will add an interesting flavor to your baked goods.

Agave nectar is sweeter than coconut sugar so you will use less in your recipe.

Related: Substitutes for agave nectar


1/4 cup of agave nectar equals 1 cup of coconut sugar

Coconut Sugar Replacement FAQ

pile of coconut sugar on a table

Can stevia be substituted for coconut sugar?

Yes, stevia is a good substitute for coconut sugar for those looking for a low cal option. Use 1 cup of stevia for each called for cup of coconut sugar.

Can white sugar be used instead of coconut sugar?

Yes, white sugar can be used in place of coconut sugar in most recipes. Both sugars have a similar level of sweetness so use a 1:1 ratio.

Can powdered sugar be used in place of coconut sugar?

No, powdered sugar is not a good substitute for coconut sugar. Instead, use brown sugar, granulated sugar, or palm sugar. If using brown sugar, use 2/3 cup for each cup of coconut sugar. When using granulated or palm sugar use a 1:1 ratio.