How to Make Brown Sugar (Healthy)

What could be better than a spoonful of sugar?  How about a spoonful of nearly calorie free, chemical free, all natural brown sugar?  Yes, you read that right!  Finally a healthy-ish brown sugar!

Just in case you didn’t know, brown sugar is NOT the “healthy” sugar.  Oftentimes we believe that brown sugar is better for you just because it’s brown.  We’re often taught that brown = better, but NOT in this case.

Brown sugar is actually raw sugar (the “good” sugar) bleached white then REDYED with molasses or syrup to make it brown again.  This process also thickens the sugar, adds a little extra caramelized sweetness, and gives it moisture to help when baking delicious treats!  No wonder brown sugar tastes so heavenly…

While making our utterly amazing Vegan Cookie Cake, I wanted to replace the brown sugar with a healthier substitute, but I just didn’t know what would taste the same and still bake well.  I did some research and learned that you can make your OWN brown sugar using regular sugar and molasses!  Obviously I had to keep researching to see if you could use Truvia (stevia) to cut down the calories even more, and it turns out, you can!  I was a little hesitant to use the conversion for Truvia (stevia) since the volume of ingredients would be significantly less, but our cake cooked perfectly.

For white sugar:

  • 1 cup brown sugar =1 Tbsp molasses + 1 cup white sugar

NOTE: You will need to adjust this conversion to meet your cooking needs.  For every 1 cup of brown sugar you will need 1 Tbsp of molasses and 1 cup of white sugar.  You will need to scale up or scale down accordingly (e.g., 1/2 cup brown sugar = 1/2 Tbsp molasses + 1/2 cup white sugar).

For Truvia (stevia):

  • 1 cup brown sugar =1 Tbsp molasses + 1/3 cup Truvia + 1.5 Tbsp Truvia (refer to chart below for conversion)

NOTE: You will need to adjust this conversion to meet your cooking needs.  This conversion is a little more difficult because 3/4 tsp Truvia (stevia) = 2 tsp sugar.  Refer to the top portion of the Truvia conversion chart or the values below.  For every 1 cup of brown sugar you will still need 1 Tbsp of molasses but the sugar conversion will be based off of the chart below.

  • 1/4 cup sugar = 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp Truvia + 1/4 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/3 cup sugar = 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp Truvia + 1/3 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 cup sugar = 3.5 Tbsp Truvia + 1/2 Tbsp molasses
  • 2/3 cup sugar = 4 Tbsp + 2 tsp Truvia + 2/3 Tbsp molasses
  • 3/4 cup sugar = 5 Tbsp Truvia + 3/4 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup sugar = 1/3 cup + 1.5 Tbsp Truvia + 1 Tbsp molasses

Why use Truvia (stevia)?  Truvia is the name brand for an all-natural sugar substitute called stevia.  Unlike Sweet & Low, Splenda, and Equal, Truvia (stevia) is made from the stevia plant and does not contain chemicals.  Currently this is being marketed as a “healthier” alternative to sugar, but be sure to do your research and learn if this is the right product for you.  I currently use Truvia (stevia) for my sweetener needs, but if something changes, I’ll be sure to update you and let you know!  You can find out more about Truvia (stevia) here.

Instructions how to make brown sugar:

  1. Determine the amount of brown sugar your recipe needs.
  2. Decide if you will be substituting with white sugar or Truvia (stevia).
  3. Complete the conversion using the chart(s) above.
  4. Combine sugar/Truvia with molasses in a medium sized bowl and mix well.  It will take a few minutes for it to mix in entirely so keep mixing!


How to make brown sugar

Don’t have molasses?  You can use other syrups such as agave, maple, honey, etc.  If you do, please comment below and let me know how it turns out!  I highly recommend purchasing molasses because our fall/winter recipes will definitely call for it again.  Plus, it’s super cheap and takes forever to go bad.

Question: What recipe did you use this brown sugar substitute for?

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