Baking does require skills, and not to forget, the exact type of sugar! Muscovado sugar is used in the making of chocolate cakes, richer fruit cakes, puddings, and brownies. Well, light and dark muscovado can be used interchangeably, but what to do when you don’t have any? Tastessence finds substitutes to muscovado sugar to help you when you get stuck.
Point to Ponder!
A teaspoon (about 4 grams) of granulated (white) sugar has 16 calories in it, while the same amount of brown sugar has 11.
Baking recipes mostly call for powdered/confectioners’ sugar, or brown sugar. One such brown sugar variety is muscovado sugar. It is derived from sugarcane which is chopped and pressed and the juices are extracted. This then undergoes a heating and refining process, which can involve inclusion of ingredients such as coconut milk, lime, etc. The outcome that you get is (mostly, partially refined) muscovado. It is commonly called Barbados sugar.
This is a British specialty sugar that has strong molasses flavor. It is available in both light and darker versions. The darker the color, the more is the molasses content, and the stronger is the flavor. Muscovado is popular for its peculiar tinged, toffee flavor and the dark color. Finding an exact alternative for a dark or light muscovado is tedious, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go without it. Let’s get into digging the close alternatives of muscovado sugar.
Muscovado Sugar Substitutes
Alternate Names: Sucrose sugar, Soft sugars, Brilliant yellow sugar, Golden yellow sugar
The most apt alternative for muscovado sugar is dark brown sugar. But a light brown sugar will also work if a pint of molasses is added, because the only thing that distinguishes dark brown sugar from its lighter equivalent is the molasses content. Brown sugar renders a wonderful richness and depth of flavor to baked items. Though the particle size of muscovado varies from that of brown sugar, you can substitute brown sugar in equal amounts in the recipe that calls for muscovado.
Common Uses: Used in sweetening baked goods, beverages, alcoholic drinks, sauces, etc.
Specialty: Popular in Great Britain
Demerara, a slightly sticky variety of light brown sugar, is a great alternative to muscovado. It’s just that the former is slightly less moist and lighter in hue than the latter one. It has large, irregular crystals, and similar in taste to turbinado sugar. The glutinous nature of this sugar is due to the adhering molasses. The crunchier texture that it imparts is commonly used as a healthier replacement to muscovados in the making of cookies.
Common Uses: It is popularly used as a sweetening agent in teas, coffees, and sprinkled over hot cereals.
There’s a high possibility that you’ve seen this sugar at most coffee shops, and are unaware if it’s been called turbinado! This unprocessed cane sugar is light to medium brown in color with crystals that tend to be large. This sugar melts and caramelizes well, and hence, it is used in caramelized products. The granularity, color, and taste are all reasons to replace it with muscovado sugar.
Common Uses: Used as a sweetener in muffins and pie crusts, and as a topping for cookies and toast.
This tan, unrefined sugar comes compacted into solid cones or patty cakes. It is prepared from the sap of sugarcane or palm trees, and is majorly found in India. Its earthly sweet flavor is what distinguishes it from other sugars, yet it forms a substitute for muscovado for its color and crumbled nature. Oh by the way, good-quality jaggery crumbles really well on squeezing. It is definitely healthier than its equivalents.
Common Uses: It is used in traditional Asian (Indian, Sri Lankan) cooking.
Granulated Sugar with Molasses or Treacle
Granulated sugar is the savior in most sweetening foods. It is a naturally white, coarse sugar that has no bleaching agents added for refining. In a recipe that calls for muscovado sugar, use a cup of granular sugar with ¼ cup molasses or 2 tbsp. of treacle. This will impart a nice brownish color to the food much like muscovado does.
Common Uses: Used as a sweetener, condiment, in the preparation of Mahogany (a Cornish drink), etc.
This is a darkest brown sugar with both granularity and moistness. It has a high molasses content, and can be used exchange-ably with muscovado, but only if the recipe demands for stronger flavors.
Common Uses: Conventionally used in marinades, chutneys, pickles, as well as in Christmas cakes.