Sugar beets are one of the two main sources for the refined white sugar that you find in grocery stores. According to some experts, it makes up almost a third of the sugar used in the United States. If you are looking for a beet sugar substitute, look at alternatives that come the closest to matching beet sugar’s qualities. Some of your best options are listed below.
Table of Contents
- Your best bet: Cane sugar
- A decent second choice: Barley malt syrup
- In a pinch: Honey powder
- Other alternatives
- Must-read related posts
Your best bet: Cane sugar
Beet sugar comes from sugar beets, which are a special type of beet that has a higher sugar content than the red beets that you might find in your local grocery store. Like red beets (and unlike sugarcane), these beets grow underground.
Cane sugar comes from sugarcane, which is a type of grass. Cane sugar is almost exactly the same thing as beet sugar. Aside from 0.05 percent of impurities, they both consist of sucrose and this makes them function in the same way in most applications. If anything, cane sugar will be an improvement on beet sugar, since beet sugar is not a good option for some baked goods.
You can use cane sugar to replace beet sugar without changing the measurements in your recipe. Just use exactly the same amount that the recipe indicates for beet sugar.
A decent second choice: Barley malt syrup
This is another European sweetener, but from a different plant and made with a very different process. Barley malt syrup is made from sprouted barley and has a consistency and appearance similar to those of molasses. Even though it is not in crystal form and is dark in color, it can be an effective replacement for beet sugar in many recipes. Use it as a beet sugar replacement in barbecue sauces and other dishes where its color and syrupy texture will not be an issue.
Barley malt syrup is about half as sweet as beet sugar, so you will have to use twice as much of it to get the same sweetening power.
In a pinch: Honey powder
Honey powder is dehydrated honey—honey without the moisture. It actually contains less than two percent of the moisture found in regular liquid honey. You can use honey powder in any application where you would want to use regular honey without the issues that might come with it in liquid form. There is no mess and no issues with it making a dish wetter than it should be since it has the consistency of cornstarch. Its crystals dissolve almost instantly in beverages, which make it an excellent sweetener for coffee and tea. You will still get the sweetness and other flavor notes.
Use honey powder as a 1:1 substitute for beet sugar.
Sucanat is a form of sugar that does not undergo the same amount of processing that most cane sugar undergoes. The result is that it retains a significant amount of its natural molasses content. Like beet sugar, its dominant flavor is that of sweetness with mild secondary notes that come from its impurities. You can use this type of sugar exactly as you would use beet sugar.
Date sugar differs from regular sugar in that it is made up of dried and powdered fruit rather than crystals. Still, it will provide a certain amount of sweetness that can make it an excellent substitute for beet sugar’s sweetness. Note that it does not dissolve completely the way that beet sugar would.