Being sugar-free can make baking tricky. That’s why we’ve gathered six convenient substitutes for sugar and measured out the equivalents for you. With these sweet baking hacks, sweet and delicious dessert is for everyone!

How to Substitute Sugar in Baking Recipes

If you’re looking to substitute the sugar in your recipe with something more flavorful or just plain fun, getting the measurements right can be a little tricky. This is because the ingredient you’re subbing in might have a different texture or moisture level from cane sugar, which changes the composition of your batter or dough. But have no fear — we’ve figured it out for you!

Here are our top six sugar substitutes when it comes to baking:

1. Coconut sugar

Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar is derived from the coconut plant, specifically coconut palm sap. Because it comes in a crystalline form, it’s an easy 1-for-1 substitution for recipes calling for both white and brown sugar. And it’s just as flavorful!

2. Honey

Something special about this sugar substitute is that its flavor profile varies based on the flowers where the honeybees got their nectar. That’s why locally sourced honey adds such a rich sweetness to any recipe. For every cup of white sugar in your recipe, try ¾ cup of honey.  

3. Agave nectar or agave syrup

Agave Nector
For every cup of sugar your recipe calls for, try 2/3 cup of agave. You’ll also want to reduce the liquids in the recipe by 4 tablespoons and reduce oven temp by 25 percent. Because agave nectar is sticky, it may also help to use parchment paper — and you’ll definitely want to combine your liquids before incorporating your dry ingredients.

4. Fruit concentrates

Unlike fruit juice, which has added sugar, fruit concentrate is basically fruit with the water removed. And you can use it to add the natural sweetness of fruit (any fruit!) to your desserts. Reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe by 3 tablespoons and use ¾ cup of concentrate for every cup of sugar. This substitute is best for recipes that call for a fruity flavor.

5. Maple syrup

A natural substitute for sugar, maple syrup is derived from boiled tree sap. Because it’s in a liquid state, you’ll have to reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe by 3 tablespoons. For every cup of white sugar, try ¾ cup of syrup. Be sure to read the label, though: Genuine maple syrup is different from pancake syrup, which does contain added sugar.

6. Molasses

Known for its delicious, complex flavor, molasses is a by-product of refined sugar production. Due to its gooey texture, you’ll want to use 1-1/3 cups of molasses for every 1 cup of sugar. You’ll also want to reduce the liquids in your recipe by 5 tablespoons.

Make it sweet with Hershey.

If you or someone in your family is sugar-free, it can feel limiting when you’re trying to follow dessert recipes. But with these sugar substitutes, you can bake cakes, cupcakes and more for everyone to enjoy! Use any of these convenient hacks in your next baking project. And to get baking, check out our complete collection of dessert recipes.