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Sugar’s usage as a sweetener, texture adjuster, and flavoring enhancer has made it a kitchen pantry essential.

But, the negative consequences of it in our food are becoming more apparent. As a result, consumers are turning to natural alternatives since they are healthier.

Palm sugar is an excellent example!

Because of its distinct taste (strong caramel and butterscotch undertones), it has become necessary in meals such as Pad Thai noodles, South Asian and Thai curries, and Indo-Malaysian cuisine.

But, since they are difficult to find in even supermarkets and are rather expensive, you may wish to investigate decent palm sugar replacements.

The good news is that there are numerous palm sugar replacements available; think maple sugar, coconut sugar, honey, dark brown sugar, and so on, and you’ll discover many of them in this page.

What Is Palm Sugar?

Palm sugar is a sweetener derived from palm tree sap.

It has a mellow caramel-like taste with an unique palm flavor and is a true artist that shouts delicious in every Indian, Thai, and African meal.

Also, its mild sweet taste does not overshadow the dish, particularly when combined with other strong flavors such as fresh lime juice or fish sauce.

It comes in both crystallized and syrup forms and has more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than other sugars.

Most significantly, it is considered natural sugar; as such, it does not contain any harmful compounds.

Best Palm Sugar Substitutes

Coconut sugar, maple sugar, honey, dark brown sugar, molasses, muscovado sugar, date sugar, white sugar, jaggery, and rock sugar are a few examples.

And these substitutes are not only widely accessible in local supermarkets, but they are also acceptable for your palm sugar cookings, whether they are used to flavor drinks, curries, rice dishes, desserts, or sweets.

Let’s get started!

Also see: Best Quinoa Flour Substitutes

1. Coconut sugar

The first item on our list is coconut sugar, a natural sugar derived from the sap of the coconut palm.

Coconut sugar, also known as coconut palm sugar, is sometimes mistaken with palm sugar owing to their similarity, however they are gathered from distinct species of plants and taste relatively similar.

The primary source of this misunderstanding between these two forms of sugar, in my opinion, is that coconut sugar is also known as coconut palm sugar, and it has turned into a rhinovirus in the culinary world.

Now let’s start by defusing the situation:

Palm sugar is extracted from the trunks of palm trees.

Meanwhile, coconut sugar is extracted from coconut palms’ blossom sap.

The most noticeable distinction is in their tastes.

Coconut sugar is Highly nutritional (a better option) and tastes like butterscotch caramel.

Pure palm sugar flavor features many of the same elements but has a smokier flavor. As a result, coconut sugar is an excellent substitute for palm sugar.

Its nearly earthy taste is used to liven up savory dishes such as curries, poultry, or fish.

It’s also great in baking recipes that call for chocolate or toasty spices. Instead, it may be mixed into coffee or tea.

2. Maple sugar

Maple sugar, derived from the sap of maple trees, is another popular traditional sweetener in Canada and the northeastern United States.

This natural sweetener comes in a variety of forms, including syrup, honey, cream (which is spread like butter), and sticky sugar.

They all have a caramelized butterscotch taste that is akin to palm sugar. As a result, you may utilize them interchangeably.

But I’d go with the syrupy version so I don’t have to worry about graininess in my meals.

To give complexity and balance to salad dressing, whisk it in, sweeten whipped cream, swirl it into oatmeal or porridge, sprinkle it over yogurt or roasted tomatoes.

Moreover, the maple syrup is thick and very sweet. Also available in light to dark variants.

Maple syrup may also be used in coffee, pancakes, and desserts in the same manner as palm sugar can.

You may use the same quantity or adjust dependent on the other components in your recipe.

CAUTION!!! Since maple sugar is somewhat sweeter, watch the amount you use.

3. Honey

Honey is a syrupy substance. And if I can’t get maple sugar, I can always turn to honey.

Honey has more fructose than palm sugar and is lower on the glycemic index, making it a healthier sugar option.

According to research, substituting sugar with honey reduces blood sugar levels and helps to prevent or assist in weight loss.

In terms of flavor, most honey comes in a cascade of layered notes or tastes, both raw honey and the plastic clover honey bear sold at the grocery.

A fine honey has a caramel or butterscotch taste with citrus, minerals, and enticing fragrances of peonies and jasmine, as well as berries, currants, and dried fruit.

And it’s the sort of honey you spread over toasted rye bread smeared with goat cheese, the kind with acidity and a hint of sweetness that adds depth to your hot toddy and other meals.

However utilizing liquid honey necessitates a little change to the other liquids in your diet.

Since they are sweeter than palm sugar, you will need to use less of them.

Also see: Top Potato Flakes Substitutes

4. Dark brown sugar

Dark brown sugar is a great option for palm sugar.

It is prepared and used in the same manner as light brown sugar, except it includes more molasses.

It, like palm sugar, will darken the finished product and improve its rich taste in baked beans, spice cakes such as Pecan Pie Cake and Pineapple Upside Down Cake, gingerbread, and other foods where a deep molasses flavor is desired.

It may be used in almost any recipe that asks for palm sugar. But, you must be careful about the quality you choose since they have a stronger caramel flavor and a deeper color.

5. Muscovado sugar

Muscovado sugar is an unprocessed cane sugar with natural molasses.

When I’m out of palm, this is one of my favorite sugars to add in Barbecue sauce to accentuate the smokey taste. Moreover, it may be found in brownies or chocolate baked goods, coffee, gingerbread, glazes, ice cream, marinades, and oatmeal.

Muscovado has a deep brown hue that is similar to palm sugar, but it has a wet texture and a toffee-like flavor.

Additionally, it has a strong, smokey, and somewhat bitter flavor that is distinct from palm sugar. It also has a lasting aftertaste.

Since it has a stronger flavor than palm sugar, you must regulate the amount you use.

It is advisable to start with a little amount (maybe half the amount needed for palm sugar) and gradually increase if necessary.

6. White sugar

Yeah, you got it: white sugar. With a 1:1 exchange, you may easily substitute palm sugar with white sugar at any moment.

White sugar, also known as table sugar, granulated sugar, or ordinary sugar, is a form of sugar that is obtained from cane sugar or beet sugar and refined.

While palm sugar is more nutritious and healthier, white sugar is still utilized in a variety of baked products that need appropriate rising, such as mousses, soufflés, meringues, and fluffy baked goods.

In terms of flavor, both palm and white sugar have distinct flavor characteristics.

Palm sugar has a rich, caramel-like sweetness and an unique palm flavor. As a result, it complements cookies, chocolate cakes, and rich fruit desserts.

White sugar, on the other hand, is sweeter, therefore use less of it to get the desired flavor. They are also great in cocktails, delectable desserts, and virtually anything else.

7. Date sugar

Date sugar is often available at health food shops.

It is created from dried dates and offers a deep sweetness to baking, cooking, desserts, and other recipes that is similar to palm sugar.

Nonetheless, it’s full of delicious caramel taste and nutrients that won’t dissolve when added to beverages.

They are undeniably superior than table sugar, honey, or agave because of their high fiber content. Nevertheless, keep in mind that their applications are restricted and that they should be used in moderation.

Also see Top 7 Tamarind Paste Substitutes.

8. Molasses

Molasses is exceedingly sweet and rich. I prefer molasses sugar over the majority of the other options.

It has a dark brown (nearly black) appearance with deep gourmand undertones and a smokey taste comparable to palm sugar syrup, although you may find it unusual owing to its high molasses content.

Molasses, on the other hand, would be an excellent substitute for palm sugar syrup in recipes.

It gives baked beans a thick texture, sweetens barbeque sauces, and makes gingerbread cookies dark, soft, and chewy.

Molasses has a significant amount of iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium, as well as antioxidants.

They all support good blood pressure, heart health, bone health, diabetes management, and a variety of other benefits.

You can substitute 2 tablespoons molasses for each tablespoon of palm sugar.


Apart from the palm sugar replacements listed above, you may also rely on rock sugar and jaggery.

Rock sugar, on the other hand, contains uneven lumps and is less sweet.

Jaggery, on the other hand, is thought to be one of the healthier sugar replacements on the market today, albeit it is sweeter than palm sugar, so it should be used in moderation.

As you can see, there are many alternatives accessible to you, the most of them are easily available in local supermarkets.

Some taste extremely similar to palm sugar, while others taste different yet serve the same function in Asian cuisines, drinks, sweets, and even savory foods.

Also see: Greatest Brandy Substitutes


What is the best substitute for palm sugar?

Coconut sugar is the best palm sugar substitute. Coconut sugar is a form of palm sugar derived from… Brown Sugar. In any recipe that calls for palm sugar, I always substitute plain brown sugar. Palm sugar’s primary role is to create sweetness…. Maple Syrup or Honey…. Golden Monkfruit…. Stevia.

What is another name for palm sugar?

Depending on the component, manufacturing technique, or locality, palm sugar is known by a variety of names and variations. In Indonesia, it is known as gula jawa (Javanese sugar), while in Malaysia, it is known as gula melaka.

Is palm sugar the healthiest sugar?


Palm sugar is high in minerals that the body need. According to the findings of studies on the impacts of jaggery, the mineral content of jaggery is 60 times that of other sugars, particularly white granulated sugar. Moreover, jaggery’s nutritional makeup is rich in vitamins.

Which is healthier palm sugar or brown sugar?

Not only is coconut palm sugar lower on the glycemic index than white and brown sugar, but it also contains vitamin C and vital minerals like iron, calcium, and zinc. Coconut palm sugar is a nutritious natural sweetener.

Is palm sugar better for diabetics?

Despite the fact that palm sugar has a low glycemic index and is the best option to other sweeteners, moderation is always the key. It is a potential diabetic element since it has a low glucose and glycemic index, making it gentler on the heart and blood sugar.

Are there different types of palm sugar?

Palmyra, date, toddy, nipa, sugar, and coconut palms are some of the palm plants that may be used to make sugar.

What is the healthiest sugar?

When it comes to sugar being healthy for your health, natural sugar or stevia is the greatest choice. Apart from weight reduction, they have several health advantages to offer. It contains all of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your body need. Stevia is also recognized as the finest sugar for weight reduction.

What country is palm sugar from?

The sugar palm (Arenga pinnata) is native to Asia’s coastal and tropical areas and is mostly grown in China and Indonesia. The sap used to make palm sugar is called as ‘gur’ in India and ‘gula aren’ in Indonesia. Coconut palm sugar (Cocos nucifera) is made from the sap of the tree’s blooms.

Is palm sugar just brown sugar?

Brown sugar and palm sugar are not the same thing. Palm sugar, as previously stated, is produced from the sap of a certain variety of coconut palm tree. Brown sugar is often created from sugar cane, which is blended with molasses to give it the dark color and taste, and white sugar is added to finish the process.

What is the healthiest fake sugar?

Stevia is a dietician favorite, whether in package, drop, or plant form. Not only does it have no calories, but stevia-based sweeteners are natural rather than artificial. Stevia combined with erythritol (Truvia®) works well in low-carb baked treats as well.

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