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Homemade Molasses Substitute: A Quick & Easy Recipe

Molasses, the thick and flavorful byproduct of sugar production, enhances many recipes, including breads, muffins, and BBQ sauces. While its unique taste is hard to mimic, you can create a quick alternative using two readily available kitchen ingredients.


  • Hot water
  • Dark brown sugar


  1. Preparation: For a single cup of molasses, you will need one part of hot water and three parts of dark brown sugar.
  2. Mixing: Combine the hot water and dark brown sugar thoroughly until the mixture achieves a syrup-like consistency. This combination works well as brown sugar is essentially white sugar mixed with molasses.

Important Notes:

  • Intensity of Flavor: If you only have light brown sugar on hand, you can use it, but bear in mind that the resulting taste won’t be as robust as with dark brown sugar.
  • Limitations: This molasses substitute has its boundaries. For recipes such as gingerbread or molasses cookies, this replacement will not yield the desired taste or texture. In such instances, it’s best to use genuine molasses.
  • Adjustments: Remember that brown sugar is inherently sweeter than molasses. Depending on your preference, you might want to use a little less of the brown sugar mixture to achieve your desired level of sweetness.
  • Other Sugars: If considering substitutes like Demerara or muscovado sugar, be aware that these lack molasses content and will not provide the same flavor profile as the brown sugar mixture.

While the hot water and brown sugar substitute offers a quick fix in many recipes requiring molasses, it’s crucial to know its limitations. Always be ready to adjust according to taste and be mindful of recipes that demand the authentic taste of molasses.

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