Date sugar is often recommended as a substitute for refined sugar due to the fact that it contains nutrients not found in crystallized sugars. The fact that it consists of ground, dried dates makes it unique among sugars. It works well in a wide variety of applications including beverages like coffee and tea. It is not necessarily the easiest type of sugar to find if you need some in a hurry; however, there are several other sweeteners that can stand in for it. Take a look at the following date sugar substitutes if you are out of it and need an alternative.
Your best bet: Coconut sugar
Coconut sugar is derived from the blossom of the coconut palm and should consist entirely of coconut sap. To make it, the sap of the coconut palm tree is reduced until it crystallizes similar to the way that maple sugar is made. Like date sugar, coconut sugar is minimally processed. While it does not contain as much fiber as date sugar does, it does provide the sweetness and butterscotch notes that you would get from date sugar. Because it is more of a standard sugar, it will melt. This is different from date sugar, which is not crystallized syrup and therefore will not dissolve completely. Use coconut sugar to replace date sugar in any application.
Coconut sugar has a similar level of sweetness to date sugar, so it can be used as a 1:1 substitute for it.
A decent second choice: Sucanat
Cane sugar typically undergoes a significant amount of processing before it gets to the shelves of your grocery store. Sucanat is cane sugar that has been minimally processed and thus retains much of its molasses content. Sucanat stands for sucre de canne naturel. The lack of excessive processing is what makes it a good substitute for date sugar. Its molasses content gives it the butterscotch flavor profile that you want from date sugar. In addition to how it tastes, sucanat has a similar brown color as that of date sugar so it should not cause your dishes to have a dramatically different appearance.
Like coconut sugar, sucanat consists of crystals and so will dissolve in water. As a result, it should work just as well or better than date sugar in most applications.
Use sucanat as a 1: 1 substitute for date sugar in any dish.
In a pinch: Light brown sugar
Light brown sugar will be the easiest to find and least expensive of any of the date sugar substitutes in this post. It consists of refined white sugar to which a little molasses has been added to give it the brown color and a mild molasses flavor. While it undergoes more processing than the substitutes noted above, its flavor and appearance make it a good substitute for date sugar. Light brown sugar also has the butterscotch and caramel notes that you would get from date sugar. Light brown sugar dissolves easily and will work in any dish that requires date sugar.
Use light brown sugar as a 1:1 substitute for date sugar.
Maple sugar has stronger butterscotch notes than the other date sugar alternatives on this list, which means that it should provide more of the flavor that you would get from date sugar.
Honey powder consists of dehydrated honey and can bring the honey flavor and sweetness to your dish. While it is not exactly like date sugar, it can still provide much of its benefits including a mellow sweetness and complex flavor notes.