A brown sugar substitute recipe you can make in minutes. On a low carb keto diet? I have a sugar-free brown sugar for your favorite sugar-free recipes!
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Have you ever settled on a recipe only to find you were out of brown sugar? Or maybe you follow a low carb ketogenic diet like me and need a sugar-free brown sugar substitute for your low carb baking? Either way, you can make your own brown sugar or sugar-free brown sugar substitute in minutes.
FIRST LET’S TALK ABOUT REGULAR SUGAR…
How to make brown sugar?
If you’re a baker then you probably know how to make brown sugar with molasses: mix 1-2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses into 1 cup of white sugar. Add more or less molasses to make the brown sugar darker or lighter for your needs. Molasses is removed from natural sugar in the refining process to make it white.
Common substitutes for brown sugar are coconut sugar, turbinado sugar, muscavado sugar, or simply adding a little maple extract to your recipe.
How to make brown sugar soft?
Brown sugar can get quite hard when it dries out – hard as a rock! You can keep brown sugar soft by putting it into a seal-able plastic bag and keeping it in an airtight container.
How to soften brown sugar?
- heat it in the microwave for a few seconds
- put a piece of soft bread in with the brown sugar
- use a brown sugar disc
*A brown sugar disc is a small piece of pottery that you soak with water and keep in the bag with the brown sugar.
Sugar-Free brown sugar substitute for low carb diets
Before I begin, I want to say that the very best low carb brown sugar alternative currently on the market is Sukrin Gold. I absolutely love it and recommend it all the time. Since some readers have it found it out of their reach budget-wise or geographically, I made my own low carb brown sugar substitute.
My sugar-free brown sugar substitute recipe can be made very easily and only needs three ingredients:
- erythritol – I buy generic from Amazon (5 pounds last me 6 months)
- maple extract – Mapoline from the grocery store (lasts me 2 years)
- stevia glycerite – I buy from Amazon (lasts me a year)
I tested this recipe with brown sugar extract, molasses extract, and a maple extract I purchased from Amazon, to see which made the best brown sugar sub.
Spoiler alert: Mapleine Imitation Maple Flavor wins!
Why? The brown sugar extract and molasses extracts smell like burned wood and chemicals. Although they both tasted very much like brown sugar, I couldn’t get past the smell. The best low carb brown sugar version resulted with regular Mapleine from the grocery store. It produced a darker color and the best flavor of the three maple extracts I tried.
I added Now Better Stevia Stevia Glycerite to make the brown sugar sub equivalent to the sweetness of regular brown sugar. The stevia increases the sweetness and the glycerine in the product keeps the sugar-free brown sugar soft. It never dries out! Stevia glycerite is a very concentrated form of stevia which I do not find bitter. My 8 oz bottle lasts me a year.
[NOTE] If you are allergic to stevia I suggest buying adding a few tiny spoonfuls of Nu Naturals Monk Fruit Sweetener to make a 1:1 brown sugar equivalent. The container of pure powdered monk fruit sweetener has 571 servings, is great in coffee, and will last a year or more. Adding a small amount of vegetable glycerine will keep the sugar-free brown sugar substitute soft.
[TIP] If this recipe is still out of your budget, try adding a little maple extract to your recipe to give it a “warmer” flavor.
I tested this low carb brown sugar substitute in several baking recipes and it worked just fine. However, I have NOT tested it in my low carb caramel sauce recipes. I will continue to use Sukrin Gold.
This Brown Sugar Substitute is 0 carbs per serving!
Brown Sugar Substitute (sugar-free, low carb)
- Mix the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork or a small rubber spatula.
- Use like you would regular brown sugar in recipes.
- Makes 32 teaspoons with 1 tsp. (or 5 g) per serving. Zero carbs.