Last Updated on April 1, 2022 by Zara R.
Molasses is a key ingredient in cookies like gingerbread and ginger snaps. However, if you are out, you will want a substitute for molasses in cookies. This ingredient gives cookies a distinct, delicious flavor, so it is important to use a good substitute if you don’t have any molasses.
Molasses is a unique sweet and sticky syrup that is great to use in baking. It is commonly used in cookies, but can also be used for cakes and even barbeque sauce. It packs a great flavor and is a popular ingredient to have on hand during the holidays.
What Is Molasses?
Molasses is a thick, dark syrup created as a byproduct of the sugar-making process. For the first part of the process, sugar beets or sugarcane are crushed and the liquid is extracted. This liquid is then cooked down and the sugar crystals are removed.
What is left from this process is light molasses. When it is boiled down even further, it becomes dark molasses, which is thicker and darker in appearance. Dark molasses is not quite as sweet as light molasses.
Dark molasses can also be boiled down even more to create backstrap molasses. The Backstrap version is very thick and dark, with a bitter flavor.
Molasses can also be sulfured or unsulfured. Sulfured molasses, which is slightly less sweet, comes from young sugarcane and is treated with sulfur dioxide for preservation. Unsulfered molasses, which comes from mature sugarcane, is not treated with sulfur dioxide and tends to have a cleaner, sweeter taste.
The most common type of molasses you will find in the grocery store is unsulfured molasses. Molasses tends to have a long shelf life, which is great for home bakers. You can even make your very own molasses at home too.
What does molasses do in cookies?
Thanks to its sticky liquid consistency, molasses gives cookies a lovely moist and chewy texture. It also adds a delicious flavor profile, making for an irresistible cookie.
The most common cookie recipes that use molasses are gingerbread cookies, ginger snaps, and molasses cookies. In addition, it is also used in certain cakes, sticky buns, pies, and more.
Substitute For Molasses In Baking
Though it is always best to use molasses when a recipe calls for it, you can use a substitute if you don’t have any on hand. Fortunately, there are some good alternatives to molasses that you can use when you are in a crunch.
Brown sugar is a combination of granulated sugar and molasses, making it a great alternative to molasses. In general, you can substitute one cup of molasses with 3/4 cup of packed brown sugar. Dark brown sugar will have a stronger flavor than light brown sugar does.
Honey can make a lovely substitute for molasses. It has a very similar consistency to molasses, however, it doesn’t pack quite as strong as a flavor punch. Substitute one cup of molasses for one cup of honey.
Golden syrup, also referred to as light treacle, is made from the evaporation of sugarcane. This process creates a light, golden syrup that is similar to honey. You can use one cup of golden honey for every one cup of molasses a recipe calls for.
Dark corn syrup
Dark corn syrup is made from corn syrup and refiner’s sugar, which is a special type of molasses. This makes it a particularly great substitute to use for molasses when baking.
Dark corn syrup will provide a similar texture as molasses but will be slighter sweeter and have a slightly less complex flavor. You can substitute one cup of dark corn syrup for one cup of molasses.
Maple syrup is another good option as a substitute for molasses. Though it will not provide quite the same flavor profile, it will give a similar sweetness and texture.
The darker the maple syrup, the richer the flavor will be, so it is best to opt for dark maple syrups as a replacement. You can substitute one cup of maple syrup for one cup of molasses in recipes.
This is probably the closest molasses replacement on the list, as black treacle is essentially the same thing as molasses. Black treacle is mainly sold in the United Kingdom and is basically the British version of molasses.
Black treacle is a blend of molasses and sugar syrup. It has a slighter more bitter and burnt flavor than molasses does. However, it will deliver essentially the same flavor and texture as molasses does in baking.
You can use one cup of black treacle in place of one cup of molasses. It is a great alternative as many people use it interchangeably to begin with.
Granulated sugar and water
A simple swap for molasses is granulated sugar and water mixed together. The sugar will add sweetness while the water provides moisture for the recipe.
Mix together 3/4 cup of granulated sugar with 1/4 cup of water until combined. Then use this one cup in place of every cup of molasses.
Selecting The Best Substitute For Molasses In Cookies
Molasses gives cookies a moist, chewy consistency and a wonderful flavor. If you don’t have any on hand when baking, you can use a substitute if need be. The best substitutes are black treacle, honey, maple syrup golden syrup, dark corn syrup, brown sugar, and water mixed with granulated sugar.
Do you have any questions regarding the best substitute for molasses in cookies? If so, please ask any questions about baking with molasses in the comment section down below.
What to Substitute for Molasses in Cookies?
If you are all out of molasses, you can substitute black treacle, honey, maple syrup golden syrup, dark corn syrup, brown sugar and water mixed with granulated sugar. The best substitute for molasses is often black treacle as they are essentially the same thing.
What Can I Use if I Don’t Have Molasses?
If you don't have molasses, the next best thing to use is black treacle. However, you can also use honey, maple syrup golden syrup, dark corn syrup, brown sugar and water mixed with granulated sugar.