Demerara Sugar Substitute: What to Use Instead of Demerara Sugar?

Do you love baking with demerara sugar but can’t seem to find it at your local grocery store? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best demerara sugar substitutes that will give your baked goods that same deliciously rich and complex flavor. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, these easy-to-find alternatives will help you achieve the perfect sweetness in all your favorite recipes. So let’s get started and discover what to use instead of it!

About Demerara Sugar


Demerara sugar is a type of unrefined cane sugar that originates from Guyana, a country located in South America. The sugar gets its name from the Demerara River, which runs through the region where the sugar is produced.

It is known for its large, golden crystals and its unique flavor profile. It has a natural molasses-like taste that is less sweet than granulated sugar. This flavor is due to the fact that it is less refined than other sugars and retains some of the natural molasses that is found in the sugarcane.

In addition to its flavor, Demerara sugar also has some health benefits. It is a natural source of minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium, which are stripped away during the refining process of other sugars. While it is still a form of sugar and should be consumed in moderation, the additional nutrients make it a slightly healthier option compared to other sweeteners.

This sugar can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen. It is often used as a topping for baked goods like muffins, scones, and crumbles. It can also be used in coffee and tea or as a sweetener for cocktails. Some people even use it in savory dishes like glazes for meats or as a topping for roasted vegetables.

What are the Alternatives to Demerara Sugar?

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is a popular alternative to demerara sugar because it has a similar flavor and texture. Brown sugar is made by adding molasses to refined white sugar, which gives it its signature caramel-like flavor. Like demerara sugar, brown sugar has a large, coarse grain, making it ideal for sprinkling on top of desserts or mixing into baked goods. Brown sugar is also a good source of calcium, potassium, and iron, making it a healthier choice than demerara sugar.

Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener that is made from the sap of coconut palm trees. It has a caramel-like flavor and is often used as a substitute for brown sugar or demerara sugar in recipes. Coconut sugar is low on the glycemic index, which means it does not cause a sharp increase in blood sugar levels like other sweeteners. Additionally, coconut sugar is rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a healthier alternative to refined sugar.

Turbinado Sugar


Turbinado sugar is a partially refined cane sugar that has a large, coarse grain like demerara sugar. It is made by spinning sugar cane juice in a centrifuge, which removes some of the molasses and water content. Turbinado sugar has a mild molasses flavor and can be used in recipes like cookies, cakes, and crumbles. It is a good source of iron, calcium, and potassium, making it a healthier alternative to refined sugar.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a sweetener that is made from the sap of maple trees. It has a unique flavor that is often used in pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast foods. Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that is low on the glycemic index and is a good source of antioxidants, making it a healthier alternative to refined sugar. Additionally, maple syrup contains zinc, which can boost the immune system and promote healthy skin.


Honey is a natural sweetener that is made by bees. It has a distinct flavor and is often used in tea, smoothies, and baked goods. Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a healthy alternative to refined sugar. Additionally, honey contains antioxidants that can help protect the body against cell damage.

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a natural sweetener that is made from the sap of agave plants. It has a mild flavor and is often used in salad dressings, marinades, and baked goods. Agave nectar is low on the glycemic index and is a good source of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Additionally, agave nectar contains inulin, a type of fiber that can promote digestive health.

There are many alternatives to demerara sugar that can be used in baking and cooking. Brown sugar, coconut sugar, turbinado sugar, maple syrup, honey, and agave nectar are all healthier alternatives that offer unique flavors and textures. When using these alternative sugars, it is important to keep in mind that they may have slightly different sweetness levels and moisture content than demerara sugar, so you may need to adjust the amount of sugar and other ingredients in your recipe accordingly. By experimenting with them, you can discover new flavors and textures that can take your baking and cooking to the next level.

Pros and Cons of Using an Alternative to Demerara Sugar


There are a few different types of sugar that can be used as a Demerara sugar substitute, each with its own set of pros and cons. Here are a few of the most popular onesr, along with their pros and cons:

1. Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is probably the most common type of Demerara sugar substitute. It has a similar taste and texture to Demerara sugar, making it a good option for baking and cooking. The main downside to using brown sugar is that it doesn’t have the same caramel flavor as Demerara sugar.

2. Muscovado Sugar: Muscovado sugar is another type of brown sugar that can be used as a substitute for Demerara sugar. It has a more intense flavor than brown sugar, making it ideal for baking and cooking recipes that call for a strong caramel flavor. However, muscovado sugar is also more expensive than brown sugar and can be difficult to find in stores.

3. Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is a popular alternative because it has a similar caramel flavor. It can be used in place of Demerara sugar in baking and cooking recipes, or drizzled over pancakes or waffles for breakfast. The main downside to using maple syrup is that it is much sweeter than Demerara sugar, so you may need to use less of it when substituting in recipes.


All in all, demerara sugar can be difficult to find and expensive. So if you’re looking for a substitute for demerara sugar, there are plenty of options you can use that will bring the same flavor and sweetness to your recipes. From brown sugar or maple syrup to coconut palm sugar or honey, finding a suitable replacement should not be too hard. Whatever option you choose, just make sure it fits with the dish’s overall flavor profile and desired sweetness level.

Picture of Helen Cervantes

Helen Cervantes

Besides her brilliant talent, she has developed a massive interest in kitchenware and gadgets. You can entrust her insightful understanding of knives, can openers, cooking pots and many other kinds of stuff.
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