Ready to get baking but don't want to use molasses?
In her cookbook Vegan Planet, Robin Robertson says molasses varies in sweetness depending on which phase it's taken from. Light molasses has been boiled once, dark molasses twice, and blackstrap has been cooked the longest.
The best quality molasses, according to Robertson, is unsulphured which is light in colour and fairly sweet. In contrast, blackstrap molasses will be darker and more tart.
Blackstrap is rich in iron and calcium and generally the darker the molasses the greater the nutritional value but the most common types in baking are light or dark.
If you want a cooking alternative to molasses, try these…
#8 Golden syrup
#7 Dark treacle
If your recipe calls for dark molasses, know that's not the same as blackstrap molasses. The latter has a bitter taste as is not generally recommended as a dark molasses substitute.
However, dark treacle works a treat. Use cup for cup as per molasses.
#6 Barley malt
If you're using barley malt syrup as a replacement for molasses you'll need to increase the amount.
If you want the same level of sweetness you'll need 1 cup of barley malt for every 2/3 cup of molasses.
But note: you'll also be increasing the sugar content so if you're hoping for a slice or cake that's a bit less sweet, replace it cup for cup and you'll reach that goal.
#5 Brown rice syrup
When replacing molasses with brown rice syrup it's best to reduce other liquids otherwise your mixture will become too wet.
Note: when used in baking, brown rice syrup tends to create a hard, crispy finish.
#4 Soaked and pureed dates
If you're looking to replace your sugar intake with fruit then try soaking some dates in water and making a date puree.
Dates are rich in minerals (like molasses) and by adding 1/2 to 1 cup of water to the soaked fruit, you can blend it up and make a sweet paste that you can use instead of molasses in recipes.
You may need to adjust the amount to suit the recipe but a starting point is to use it cup for cup.
#3 Date or palm sugar
Wondering what to use instead of molasses? Generally used in Asian cooking, it's possible to replace molasses with date or palm sugar, but only for recipes that don't also require a stickiness.
Best used in savoury dishes such as Fast Ed's Glam Bangers and Mash. You can use 2 tsp of date sugar instead of molasses.
Easily used tablespoon for tablespoon in recipes, honey makes a fabulous molasses replacement.
You can use it to sweeten cakes and cookies and still retain the fabulous chewy texture you get from molasses.
#1 Maple syrup
Molasses is a key ingredient in homemade Boston Beans and is often used to glaze ham. If your ingredient list calls for the dark sticky stuff and you've run out, maple syrup will do just fine.
They share a similar depth of flavour and you can substitute one for the other as per the amount in the recipe.
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