Palm Sugar Substitute: 6 Different Options
Palm sugar is a popular sweetener that is extracted from the sap of palm trees. Crystalline sugar is characterized by its brownish tinge and earthy taste.
Palm sugar is fairly popular in Asian cuisine, so you’ll come across many recipes that call for palm sugar while making Asian deserts. If you’re looking for a palm sugar substitute, you’re in for a treat!
Here are 6 of the best substitutes that you can use instead of palm sugar without compromising the flavor.
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1. Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar and palm sugar are so close to each other that some people think that they’re the same thing.
However, these two sugars are extracted from different parts of the same plant (one from the sap and one from the coconut itself).
Due to this extreme similarity, they both have just about the same flavor, so they will retain the authentic recipe flavor, and they’re also used in 1 to 1 replacement ratio.
2. Cane Sugar
Cane sugar is one of the best alternatives for recipes that require palm sugar because it has the same level of consistency as palm sugar.
However, cane sugar is slightly sweeter than palm sugar, which is why you might need to use it as 3/4 part cane sugar for every 1 part palm sugar in the recipe.
If you’re using palm sugar in recipes of dips or sweet desserts, you can definitely get away with using molasses instead! The molasses retains the earthy flavor of palm sugar but is in the form of viscous black liquid.
Yet, you should know that molasses is much sweeter, so you should use it in a ratio of 1 teaspoon of molasses for each tablespoon of palm sugar.
If you don’t have molasses in your pantry but you’re interested in using a liquid form of sweetening in the recipe, you can also use honey.
In fact, many Asian recipes will recommend using honey over any other sweetener because honey is also popular in Asia and is used as a substitute regularly to other sweeteners.
5. Maple Syrup
Another liquid alternative that you may consider is maple syrup, which is also extracted from the sap of trees, so it has the same earthy qualities as palm sugar. But you should use it sparingly because it may not work with all recipes. You do not need many tablespoons of molasses at all to replace 1 cup of sugar. Start with a small amount
5. Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is believed by many to be the best palm sugar substitute if you want a type of sugar that has the same consistency, although brown sugar can be a little stickier than palm.
Additionally, palm sugar is sweeter, so you should use it as 3/4 part brown sugar for every 1 part palm sugar in the recipe
6. Date Sugar
Lastly, this one is slightly off-beat but it works like a charm! This one is made from the grounds of dried or dehydrated dates, so it has a sweet hint of dates in it, which is great when baking an Asian pastry dessert.
Is Palm Sugar Healthy?
Palm sugar has no real health advantages over natural sugar or granulated sugar. Palm sugar contains vitamins and micronutrients since it is essentially unprocessed. Palm sugar is often called coconut palm sugar, and promoted as a “healthier” alternative to cane sugar; nevertheless, both have the same amount of calories and carbs per teaspoon – around 15 calories and a similar amount of carbohydrate. Furthermore, Palm sugar and Coconut sugar are not the same product.
Can I Replace Brown Sugar with Palm Sugar?
Yes, you can replace brown sugar with palm sugar in most recipes. The only thing to keep in mind is that palm sugar has a slightly different texture than regular granulated brown or white sugar. It tends to clump together rather than dissolve into liquid-like regular refined sugar does.
Can I Use Honey Instead of Palm Sugar?
Yes, liquid honey is another great alternative to palm sugar. It has similar properties and tastes just like it. Raw Honey is also good the only downside is that it’s not as widely available as palm sugar.
Is Palm Sugar the Same as Coconut Sugar?
No, Palm sugar is the tapped sap coming from palm trees. Coconut sugar while similar is actually made by a completely different manufacturing process. However, a cup of palm sugar is roughly the same as a cup of coconut sugar.
What Is the Closest Sugar to Palm Sugar?
The closest alternative I know of is coconut sugar, which has a similar appearance and flavor profile. The flavor of coconut sugar is similar to good quality palm sugar.
What Does Palm Sugar Taste Like?
The flavor of palm sugar varies depending on where it comes from. Some varieties are sweeter than others. It has a mild caramelized sweetness, sometime with a little earthy or wood aftertaste. Most palm sugar brands do not have the intense taste of refined white sugar.