7 Best Substitutes for Coconut Sugar

Have you ever wanted to make a dish or baked good that calls for coconut sugar only to realize that you don’t have any? The realization of a missing ingredient can be frustrating! Don’t be dismayed though, there are other options. If you want to know if there is something you can use instead of coconut sugar, there are several alternatives that will work well in a variety of recipes.  

Each substitute for coconut sugar will vary in texture and/or taste, so continue reading to learn more about the characteristics of each substitute to determine which one will work best to replace coconut sugar in your recipe.

1. Light Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar

Most light brown sugar is made from mixing white refined sugar with molasses to obtain a caramel-like color and flavor. Light brown sugar, as opposed to dark brown sugar, has a color and consistency that is very similar to coconut sugar. As a result, you can substitute coconut sugar with light brown sugar using a 1:1 ratio.   

Things to consider: 

  • Easier to find – You will likely find light brown sugar at all grocery stores. On the other hand, coconut sugar may be limited to international markets or grocery stores with a health food section.
  • A little sweeter than coconut sugar – While you can replace coconut sugar using a 1:1 ratio, if you want to offset the sweetness of the light brown sugar, you can substitute two teaspoons of light brown sugar for three teaspoons of coconut sugar. 
  • Not as nutritious – Coconut sugar contains inulin, while light brown sugar does not. Inulin is a soluble fiber that can help avoid blood sugar spikes. 

2. Sucanat


Sucanat is also known as raw sugar because it is not processed the same way as white sugar. The minimal processing the sucanat undergoes includes removing the solids and crystalizing the sugar. It is similar to coconut sugar in its color and flavor, however it is more granular and tough in texture. Because the flavor and sweetness of sucanat is similar to coconut sugar, you can substitute it using a 1:1 ration. 

Things to consider: 

  • It does not dissolve as easily – Because the texture of sucanat is more difficult to dissolve, it might help to grind it first (you can use a spice grinder, food processor, blender, etc.).
  • Has nutritional benefits – Because sucanat is less refined than general white sugar or brown sugar, it offers trace nutrients such as iron, calcium, potassium, and B vitamins.

3. Raw Honey

Jar of Honey

Raw honey has a different flavor than coconut sugar, but it can certainly suffice as a substitute sweetener. Because it is a liquid and not granulated like coconut sugar, you will want to use a 1:4 ratio of honey to coconut sugar. So, if a recipe calls for one cup of coconut sugar, you can use ¼ a cup of honey as a substitute. 

Things to consider: 

  • Raw honey has several health benefits – The benefits of raw honey include improved digestion, soothed sore throat, and is filled with antioxidants. 
  • Raw honey vs. processed honey – While you can successfully use raw or processed honey interchangeably in a recipe, keep in mind that the nutritional benefits of raw honey far exceed those of processed honey. 

4. Maple Syrup

Bottle of Maple Syrup

Like honey, maple syrup has a unique flavor that differs from coconut sugar. However, it is a sweet and delicious substitute for coconut sugar. To keep the recipe balanced, you should use a 1:4 ratio of maple syrup to coconut sugar. So, for every cup of coconut sugar, you can use ¼ a cup of maple syrup. 

Things to consider: 

  • Has nutritional benefits – Maple syrup offers notable amounts of magnesium, zinc, potassium, and calcium. 
  • Maple syrup vs. maple sugar – Maple sugar is a crystalized form of maple syrup, which makes its texture and consistency more similar to coconut sugar. You could use maple sugar as a substitute for coconut sugar using a 1:1 ratio. 

5. Date Sugar

Bowl of Dried Dates

Date sugar is not a granulated sugar. Rather, date sugar is made from dehydrated dates that have been ground into a fine powder. Even though it is not granulated like most other sugars, date sugar can still be a sweet and effective substitute for coconut sugar using a 1:1 ratio. 

Things to consider: 

  • Has nutritional benefits – Dates are packed with vitamins and minerals. As a result, date sugar offers many nutrients including: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, and selenium. 
  • It will not dissolve – Most granulated sugars will dissolve. Because date sugar is not granulated, it will not completly dissolve. Keep that in mind as date sugar may leave behind a residue in some recipes. 

6. Stevia


Stevia is a sweetener that comes from the leaves of the stevia plant. It is not technically a sugar but rather a sugar substitute. Stevia is 200x sweeter than sugar, so it won’t work to do a 1:1 substitute with coconut sugar. Rather, you probably only need a 1:4 ratio of stevia. If you would normally use two teaspoons of coconut sugar, then you would use ¼ a teaspoon of stevia. Since the ratio is so drastic, stevia is a substitute best used in items such as coffee or tea where the amount can be adjusted to taste. 

Things to consider: 

  • Effect on your body sugar – Stevia has zero calories, and it is 200x sweeter than sugar. Still, because it is a plant-based sugar substitute, it affects your body sugar less than regular sugar. 
  • Health of stevia – There are various opinions regarding whether or not stevia is healthy. However, it is generally safe if consumed in moderation. 

7. Monk Fruit

Monk Fruit Sugar

Similar to stevia, monk fruit is a zero-calorie sweetener that is 150-200x sweeter than regular sugar. It is derived from the monk fruit in Southeast Asia. It is also known as monk fruit extract, “luo han guo,” and “Buddha fruit.” 

Like stevia, monk fruit is not a 1:1 substitute for coconut sugar because it is much sweeter than coconut sugar. Rather, you should experient the amount of monk fruit needed according to taste. Consider starting with a 1:3 ratio of monk fruit for coconut sugar. 

Things to consider: 

  • Effect on your body sugar – Monk fruit doesn’t have any calories, sugars, or carbohydrates. As a result, it does not affect blood sugar levels. 
  • Multiple forms available – Conveniently, monk fruit is available as a liquid, granule, and powder. 

Time to Replace Your Coconut Sugar 

While there are certainly other sugars and sweeteners that can substitute coconut sugar, there is nothing like the real thing! Coconut sugar offers numerous benefits including: 

  • Lower chances of blood sugar spikes – Coconut sugar contains inulin, which is a soluble fiber that helps prevent a spike in blood sugar. This makes coconut sugar a better form of sugar for people with diabetes. 
  • Low glycemic index (GI) – Coconut sugar is lower on the glycemic index. It falls around 50-54, which is closer to the natural GI level in fruits. Regular sugar is around 65 on the glycemic index. This is another reason coconut sugar is less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar. 
  • Retains nutrients found in the coconut palm – Coconut sugar retains nutrients such as iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. This also makes it a natural electrolyte. 
  • A versatile sugar – Coconut sugar can seamlessly replace regular table sugar. Its delicious nutty flavor is complimentary to nearly every recipe. 

We definitely advocate using coconut sugar whenever possible. This means that if you’ve run out it’s time to get more!