Can you substitute molasses for honey?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you substitute molasses for honey?”, and what are the other substitutes for molasses?

Can you substitute molasses for honey?

Yes, you can substitute molasses for honey. Honey has a golden color and a very sweet and floral flavor profile. To mimic the flavor of molasses, opt for the most deeply colored and intensely flavored honey such as buckwheat honey. 

Replace the molasses with honey in a 1:1 ratio. In some recipes, it is better to use a slightly less amount of honey than an equal substitution because honey is sweeter and thinner than molasses.

Best molasses substitutes


Sorghum, also known as sorghum molasses, is extracted from the sorghum seed. It has a sweet-sour flavor and a thinner consistency than molasses. Substitute it for molasses in a 1:1 ratio.

Maple syrup

Maple syrup has a malty-caramelly and a much thinner consistency than molasses. Estimate a 1:1 ratio for most of the baking recipes. But cut the overall liquids in the recipe by 5 or 15% so that your batter does not turn out runny. 

Use the darkest maple syrup variety when using it in place of molasses. The major consideration about this substitute is that it has a higher water content(34%) than molasses(20%). 

Dark corn syrup

This liquid sweetener has a sultry color and a complex flavor profile as compared to molasses. Replace it with molasses in a 1: ratio or use a mixture of half dark corn syrup and half honey or brown sugar.

Golden syrup

Golden syrup, also known as light treacle, is made by evaporating sugarcane juice. The result is a thick, sweet, and golden-colored sweetener. 

Use it as a replacement for molasses in a 1:1 ratio. However, golden syrup imparts a rather subtle color and flavor to the end product as compared to molasses.

Brown sugar 

Brown sugar is processed like regular sugar but the last step in its manufacturing involves mixing it with molasses. Therefore, brown sugar has a very close flavor profile to molasses. 

If a recipe emphasizes using a liquid sweetener, using brown sugar may not yield the desired results since it is dry. 

Estimate a 1:1 ratio for a savory recipe and use  ¾ cup brown sugar per 1 cup molasses in baking. If the batter looks too thick or the dough looks very crumbly, add 1-4 tablespoons of water to adjust the consistency.

A DIY mix

It is not a fixed rule to replace molasses with only a single kind of substitute sweetener. Instead, you can play around and mix a variety of sweeteners to achieve the desired results in baking and cooking. 

For example, you can replace a single cup of molasses with ½ cup honey + ½ cup brown sugar or ½ cup dark corn syrup + ½ cup maple syrup. This is just a single example of how you can mix and match. 

Things to consider before substituting

Molasses has a distinct flavor: Molasses has a very distinct caramel flavor with hints of coffee and slightly bitter and mineral-like undertones. The best substitute is what’s closest to this flavor description. 

Molasses has an intense dark color: The dark color of the molasses is a very important quality factor of the finished product. If you use a lighter-colored substitute for molasses, the end product such as beard will have a paler and lighter color instead of a tan color.

Molasses is a liquid sweetener: Every type of sweetener has a particular texture and it plays accordingly in the food product or dish you are making. 

This is a very important factor in baking. If a baking recipe calls for molasses, use a liquid sweetener as a substitute to keep the liquid to dry ratio of the batter/dough consistent.

Molasses is hygroscopic: Due to the hygroscopic nature of the molasses, moisture is drawn to it like a moth is attracted to light. This lays the foundation of the moist and fudgy texture of the baked goods.

How to make a DIY honey substitute?


You can also use the same amount of corn syrup instead of sugar in this recipe. Opt for light corn syrup for best results. 


In a saucepan, add sugar and water. Heat the mixture over medium heat until sugar dissolves and thickens. Use this mixture to replace honey in a 1:1 ratio. This recipe yields 1/4 cup (or 4 tablespoons) of a honey substitute.

Other FAQs about Molasses that you may be interested in.

Can molasses go bad?

How to tell If molasses is bad?

Does Molasses go bad?

What can I use instead of molasses in BBQ sauce?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you substitute molasses for honey?”, and what are the other substitutes for molasses?