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Best Maple Sugar Substitute (And How to Use Them)

Best Maple Sugar Substitute (And How to Use Them)

Are you all out of maple sugar or cannot find it at your local grocery store? Need it for a recipe you are making? Don’t scrap your plans just yet, there are some excellent substitutes you can use instead of maple sugar.

Maple sugar is extracted from pure maple syrup and it is a lot sweeter than cane sugar. The maple syrup used to obtain maple sugar comes from either the sugar maple, black maple, or red maple trees.

So what are the best substitutes for maple sugar?

The top maple sugar substitutes are maple syrup, granulated sugar, sucanat sugar, brown sugar, turbinado sugar, and date sugar.

What sugar you use in place of maple sugar depends on what you are making and what you have available. Read on for more details on each alternative and how to use them in your recipe.

Maple Sugar Alternatives

Maple sugar is used in all types of recipes. It is a common sugar used for baking cake, cookies, cupcakes and even sweet breads. It is also a popular sweetener for coffee and other beverages.

No matter what you need maple sugar for, one of the substitutes below will work for you.

Maple Syrup

bottle of maple syrup on counter

Yes you can substitute maple syrup for maple sugar in many recipes. Natural maple syrup is an excellent sweetener that provides a delicious maple flavor to any dessert. I’ve even seen it used to sweeten beverages.

Maple syrup will increase the amount of liquid in your recipe, so you will want to reduce the other liquids in your recipe when baking with maple syrup.

While this is not my go to substitute for maple sugar, it is an excellent option when imparting maple flavor will enhance your recipe.


1 cup of maple syrup equals 1/2 cup of maple sugar

Related Recipe: Maple No Bake Cookies

Granulated Sugar

granulated cane sugar in bowl

This kitchen staple is a solid and convenient substitute for maple sugar in all types of recipes. White sugar is refined cane sugar, and it is incredibly versatile. It can be used as a sweetener for drinks or in any baked recipe that calls for maple sugar.

Keep in mind that maple sugar is much sweeter than cane sugar, so you will need to adjust how much is used in your recipe.


1 cup of granulated sugar equals 2 cups of maple sugar

Related: Palm Sugar Substitutes

Whole Cane Sugar

bowl of whole cane sugar

Whole cane sugar, also called sucanat sugar, is unrefined cane sugar. It is a brown color and found at most grocery stores.

This sugar makes an excellent substitute for maple sugar as it retains a molasses like flavor which is removed from white sugar when processed.

Whole cane sugar offers a more complex flavor which is often why maple sugar is called for in a recipe. If you are looking for a great all around replacement for maple sugar this is a great option.


1 cup of whole cane sugar equals 1 cup of maple sugar

Related: Maple Extract Substitute

Brown Sugar

spoon of light brown sugar

Light brown sugar is most likely already in your pantry and it is a solid replacement for maple sugar when baking. Light brown sugar is sweet with a molasses flavor that pairs well in all types of baked goods.

It has a higher moisture content than maple sugar, so you may need to adjust your other liquid ingredients. Dark brown sugar can be used but light brown sugar is preferred.


1 cup of packed brown sugar equals 1 cup of maple sugar

Turbinado Sugar

measuring cup of turbinado sugar

Turbinado sugar is traditionally used in oatmeal, grits, porridge and as a finishing sugar for baked goods. It is a larger crystal sugar which allows it to soak up moisture.

You can use turbinado sugar as a replacement for maple sugar in beverages and to top baked goods. But if needed for baking you will be better served to use one of the other options on this list.

Turbinado sugar is available at some grocery stores and most specialty stores in the US.


1 cup of turbinado sugar equals 1 cup of maple sugar

Related Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Brown Sugar

Date Sugar

If you’re looking for something a little different than standard sugar replacements, the date sugar is a great option. Produced by crushing dry dates, this is technically not a sugar. But dates contain fructose making this a solid sweetener for everything from baked recipes to mixing in drinks.

Date sugar will not be nearly as sweet as maple sugar so you may want to increase how much you use when using in place of maple sugar.


1 cup of date sugar equals 2 cups of maple sugar

Maple Sugar Replacement FAQ

What is maple sugar used for?

Maple sugar can be used in any recipe that uses cane sugar or brown sugar. Some popular uses for maple sugar include the following.

  • Cake
  • Cupcakes
  • Pie
  • Candy
  • Bread
  • Brownies
  • Pastries
  • Topping hot cereal
  • Sweetening beverages

Is maple sugar the same as brown sugar?

No. Maple sugar is made by evaporating all the liquid from pure maple syrup while brown sugar is made by adding molasses to processed cane sugar.