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Substitute For Molasses In Baking: 6 Great Alternatives

Substitute For Molasses In Baking: 6 Great Alternatives

Ever been in the middle of baking and realized you’re out of molasses? Discover the best substitute for molasses in baking here, complete with tips to make adjustments for your recipe.

Our top six substitutes for molasses in baking are known for their sweet flavor and unique consistency: 

SubstituteRatio to Molasses
Maple Syrup1:1
Brown Sugar3/4 cup for 1 cup
Dark Corn Syrup1:1
Black Treacle1:1
Golden Syrup1:1

Molasses is a thick, dark syrup made from the boiled-down juice of sugarcane or sugar beets. In baking, the syrup serves as a sweetener, adding a deep, rich flavor and ensuring moisture in baked goods. It’s a common addition to gingerbread, cookies, brown bread, and certain pies. 

So, you might wonder: What can you use as a substitute for molasses in baking? In this guide, I will give you some great choices that I personally love. But, before that, let’s get to know just a bit more about molasses first.

Molasses cookies coated with sugar on a plate

What is Molasses?

Molasses is a gooey syrup with a strong, deep taste, with hints of caramel and a touch of smoky flavor. According to USDA’s FoodData Central, the liquid sugar is a good source of minerals, including iron, calcium, and potassium.

These qualities make it perfect for adding a warm, cozy flavor to your favorite recipes. Molasses is one of the ingredients that I love using when I’m looking to make baked goods.  

There’s a cookie recipe on this list that I truly adore; it’s worth a try!

Why Substitute Molasses?

People might wonder, why might you need a substitute for this ingredient? Well, here are a few common reasons why someone might need to look for a replacement:


Sometimes, molasses just isn’t hanging out in your pantry when you need it most, and there are also grocery shelves in some stores where molasses is unavailable.


High-quality molasses, especially organic or specialty types, may be more expensive than other sweeteners.

Recipe variations

People often love to experiment. Using a different sweetener can transform the flavor, texture, and color of the final product. 

Taste preference

Maybe you just aren’t a fan of that strong, distinct molasses flavor. That’s okay! There are plenty of other flavorful choices that promise a good time.

Best Substitutes for Molasses

Alright, so you’ve decided to continue without molasses. Here are some fantastic substitutes that you should consider using instead:


Honey is like the friendly neighbor of molasses. It is sweet and has a unique flavor. When used in baked goods like cookies, it imparts a gentle, sweet taste reminiscent of molasses.

Keep in mind that honey can be sweeter and less robust than molasses. So consider reducing the amount of other sweeteners in the recipe slightly.

Use it in a ratio of 1:1 to swap for molasses.

Maple syrup

If you’re a fan of pancakes, you probably have some maple syrup in your kitchen. It has a delightful, slightly smoky taste that’s akin to that densely rich molasses flavor you’re looking for.

Note: Maple syrup is thinner in consistency, so reduce other liquids in your recipes a little bit. 

Use as a 1:1 substitute for molasses.

Brown sugar

Did you know brown sugar is made by mixing white sugar with molasses? That’s right! So, if you’re out of molasses, brown sugar can serve as an alternative! 

However, the texture of your recipe might become a bit grainier due to the granulated nature of brown sugar, so that’s one to keep in mind.

Replace 1 cup of molasses with 3/4 cup of packed brown sugar.

Dark corn syrup

Dark corn syrup has a slightly sweet and caramel-like flavor. It’s a good substitute for molasses in recipes that don’t require a strong molasses flavor. Tip: Dark corn syrup is sweeter, so consider tweaking the quantity of other sweeteners.

The ratio needed to swap dark corn syrup to the required molasses is 1:1.

Black treacle

Popular in the United Kingdom, black treacle is a British sweetener similar to molasses, only darker and has a stronger flavor. It’s a good choice for recipes needing a strong molasses flavor.

As for the amount needed, use a 1:1 ratio of black treacle to molasses. 

But given its strong flavor, you might want to use slightly less than the recipe calls for if you prefer milder tastes.

Golden syrup

Golden syrup is another sweetener that packs a sweet flavor. Like black treacle, it’s a good option if your recipe demands a strong molasses taste.

The ratio of golden syrup to molasses is 1:1.

Important tip: Since golden syrup is very sweet, you might need to adjust the amount of other sweeteners.

A close-up photo of a glass jar filled with molasses being poured into a wooden spoon.

How to Adjust Your Recipe

Now that you’ve picked your molasses substitute, it’s time to bake up a storm. But wait, how do you adjust your recipe? Here are some helpful tips that have also helped me in many ways:

Sweetness level

Remember, different substitutes have distinct levels of sweet intensity. Taste it as you go and adjust the quantity to achieve the desired sweet flavor..

Moisture content

Molasses add moisture to your recipes. If your substitute is a bit drier, add some water to your mix.

Cooking time

Keep an eye on your treats while they’re in the oven. Some substitutes may cause your goodies to brown faster, so be ready to take them out a bit earlier.

Experiment and Taste

Baking is all about having fun and trying new things. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Maybe you’ll discover a new flavor combo that’s even better than molasses. Taste-testing is the most delicious culinary experiment and experience there is!

The bottom line

In baking, molasses is a popular choice, but it’s not the only option that we have. We’ve explored some of these fantastic substitutes that can save your recipe when you’re out of molasses. 

Remember, baking is all about making tasty treats that make you happy. So, try these substitutes, and enjoy every moment in the kitchen. Whether you use honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, dark corn syrup, or black treacle, every option offers a unique sweet twist!

6 Best Substitutes For Molasses In Baking

6 Best Substitutes For Molasses In Baking

Need a substitute for molasses in baking? This FAQ features six best alternatives if you’ve run out of molasses or need another option.


  • Honey - 1:1 ratio
  • Maple Syrup - 1:1 ratio
  • Brown Sugar - 3/4 c for 1 c molasses
  • Dark Syrup - 1:1 ratio
  • Black Treacle - 1:1 ratio
  • Golden Syrup - 1:1 ratio


  1. Substitute molasses for one of our top six recommended options. 
  2. Use one of the above ratios when substituting for molasses in your baked goods.

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