Can I substitute jaggery for brown sugar?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can I substitute jaggery for brown sugar?” and will discuss the difference between jaggery and brown sugar.

Can I substitute jaggery for brown sugar?

Yes, you can substitute jaggery for brown sugar. Some individuals use jaggery as a brown sugar alternative because of its reputation as a healthy sugar. The fact is that all sugars are nutritionally equivalent, and none of them are good for you. If you insist on using jaggery instead of brown sugar, you’ll have to use more of it to get the same sweetness.

If you use brown sugar instead of jaggery, you’ll need to use less of it to keep the meal from being overly sweet. Also, because jaggery is offered in blocks, you’ll need to grate it to use it in most recipes that call for ordinary brown sugar crystals. When using jaggery as a brown sugar alternative, increase the sugar in a recipe by 1/3.

What is jaggery?

Jaggery, like sugar, is manufactured from sugarcane and is sometimes referred to as unprocessed sugar. This is because the molasses is not separated throughout the manufacturing process. After the sugarcane juice has been extracted and filtered, it is boiled until it has thickened into a sticky brown paste. After that, the mixture is poured into molds and set aside to cool.

The type of sugarcane and the juice in it determine the color of jaggery, which ranges from light golden brown to dark brown. It’s commonly mistaken for brown sugar because of its color.

Differences between jaggery and brown sugar

Manufacturing procedure

The way these two sweeteners are made is the most evident distinction between jaggery and brown sugar. Brown sugar is created by combining refined sugar with molasses in a precise proportion. Brown sugar has a toffee-like flavor and color thanks to the molasses. Dense cakes, cookie dough, and barbecue sauces frequently include this kind of sugar.

Sugarcane juice or palm sap, on the other hand, is used to make jaggery. Before being put in molds to solidify, the sugarcane juice is reduced to a thick dark paste. Because it is unprocessed, jaggery is browner in color and has a variety of flavors. Fruity, earthy, caramel tones with a hint of smoke are the most prominent flavors of jaggery.

Nutritional profile

The nutritional value of jaggery and brown sugar is another distinction. Even though the two have nearly identical calorie counts, jaggery contains a significant quantity of iron and other important minerals. Because of its mineral content, jaggery is a healthier alternative to brown or white sugar for those seeking to cut back on empty calories.

Brown sugar’s molasses can be argued to be a source of nutrients including calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium due to the molasses. These minerals, on the other hand, are present in such little quantities that they offer no actual value. Nonetheless, brown sugar is preferable to white sugar since white sugar lacks nutrients and may include Sulphur, which is toxic to humans but is still utilized in the refining process.


Another distinction between jaggery and brown sugar is the sweetness level. Jaggery is a less sweet sugar than brown sugar, despite its reputation as a healthy sugar. Jaggery has a distinct flavor from brown sugar due to its mineral content. As a result, if you use jaggery instead of brown sugar, you’ll need to use more of it to achieve the same sweetness.

Alternatives for brown sugar

Molasses with white sugar

Brown sugar may be substituted with a mixture of white sugar and molasses, which is exactly what brown sugar is composed of. Mix 1 cup (200 g) granulated white sugar with 1 tablespoon molasses to produce your light brown sugar. Increase the molasses to 2 tablespoons if you require dark brown sugar.

maple syrup with white sugar

Brown sugar is traditionally produced with a combination of granulated white sugar and molasses. If you don’t have molasses on hand, you may simply substitute maple syrup with practically no difference in the result of your dish.

1 cup granulated white sugar + 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup = a brown sugar replacement that will deceive even the most discerning palate.

The sap of coconut trees is used to make coconut sugar.

It’s typically advertised as a healthy sugar substitute since it includes vitamins, minerals, and fiber that aren’t present in refined sugar. In a 1:1 ratio, coconut sugar and brown sugar may simply be swapped.

Although coconut sugar resembles brown sugar in appearance and flavor, it does not contain as much moisture. This may change the texture of some baked items, making them somewhat drier or thicker than desired. Try adding a little more fat, such as butter or oil, to your original recipe to enhance the moisture content. You may also use a burner to melt the coconut sugar before adding it to your recipe.

Other FAQs about Sugar that you may be interested in.

What can I substitute for sugar?

How to counteract too much sugar in a recipe?

What Can I Substitute for White Sugar in a recipe?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can I substitute jaggery for brown sugar?” and discussed the difference between jaggery and brown sugar.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.