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11 Healthy & Natural Substitutes for Palm Sugar in Baking/Cooking

Uh-oh! Does your local market don’t have a stock of palm sugar?

I know it can be frustrating, especially if you’re rushing to prepare some baked goods or staple dishes. But don’t worry, there are plenty of good alternatives for it.

Whether you want one that has a similar taste or one that’s much healthier, we’ve got everything covered below. So, continue reading to know which palm sugar replacement is best for your needs.

What Can You Substitute for Palm Sugar?

There are plenty of palm sugar substitutes on the market. And they have different flavors and consistencies that can affect your end product.

So, you must familiarize yourself with each one.

1. Coconut Sugar – best substitute of all time

organic coconut sugar

In terms of taste, color, and consistency, coconut sugar is the best palm sugar substitute.

Coconut sugar, also known as “coconut palm sugar,” is a natural sweetener with a similar cameral taste to palm sugar. Plus, it has the same brown color, except it’s lighter, which explains why some people often mix them up.

And although they look and taste alike, unlike palm sugar, it’s made from the flower sap of the coconut palm tree.

  • When substitute with each other, use a 1:1 ratio.

You may like: 17 Healthy & Tasty Coconut Sugar Substitutes

2. Golden Monk Fruit Sweeter – best natural fruit sweetener

golden monk fruit sweeter

Golden monk fruit or lo han guo is a sweet fruit native to Southern China.

Since it’s extracted from a fruit, it has no calories and contains properties that benefit the body. And that’s why golden monk fruit sugar is considered one of the best natural fruit sweeteners.

It also has a similar taste to palm sugar, except that it’s much sweeter.

  • To replace palm sugar, use a 1:1 ratio.

3. Maple Syrup – best natural replacement

maple syrup

If you’re looking for the best natural palm sugar replacement, grab a maple syrup.

Again, this is also a natural sweetener with no additives and artificial flavors. Which makes it a great substitute if you’re following a low-sugar diet.

If you’re not a fan of syrups, you can get them in the form of cream or honey.

  • 1 cup of palm sugar equals 2 cups of maple syrup.

You may like: Best Maple Syrup in the World Review

4. Honey – one of the top healthy alternatives

organic honey

Among all the things mentioned in this list, honey is probably the most agreed-upon healthy sugar substitute in any part of the world. Because it’s very popular for its versatility and health benefits.

Natural honey is made from nectars, so it has floral and fruity notes that linger in the mouth.

If you’re using it as a palm sugar replacement, adjust your other liquid ingredients as your needs. That way, you can achieve the right consistency.

  • 1 cup of palm sugar equals 1 cup of honey.

5. Jaggery – another healthy alternative

what is jaggery

Another healthy alternative you can get is jaggery.

Jaggery, also called gur, is another natural sweetener extracted from sugar cane. It has a similar taste and color to palm sugar, except it’s a little sweeter.

And since it’s non-refined, it has some minerals and vitamins that benefit the body.

You can find it mostly in India and several Southeast Asian countries.

  • 1 tsp of palm sugar equals 3/4 tsp of jaggery.

6. Stevia – sugar-free substitute

stevia sugar

Want a sugar-free substitute for palm sugar? Then, stevia is the right one for you.

It’s a natural sweetener that’s made from stevia leaves. And refined well to mix with beverages, mostly teas, and baked goods.

Although stevia has no calories, it’s 200 times sweeter than sugar. Which makes it one of the popular choices for diabetic patients.

  • Just use very few of stevia to replace palm sugar.

7. Brown Sugar – closest replacement

brown sugar

Suppose you can’t find any substitute for palm sugar listed above. You can use brown sugar instead.

Brown sugar is made from granulated white sugar with molasses still intact. And that molasses is what gives it a brown color and stickier consistency.

Aside from tasting similar to palm sugar, brown sugar dissolves the same, which would require little to no adjustment to your recipes.

  • 1 tsp of palm sugar equals 2 tsp of brown sugar.

8. White Sugar – most available substitute

granulated sugar

If there’s one palm sugar substitute that you can easily find anywhere, it’s white sugar. Since it’s the most in-demand and available type of sugar in the global market.

White sugar is almost similar to brown sugar, except that it’s less sticky. And it doesn’t have the caramel taste that other replacements offer.

Depending on where you’d use it, you can get it as granulated or powdered.

  • 1 tsp of palm sugar equals 1 1/4 tsp of white sugar.

9. Molasses – less sweet replacement


Molasses is a liquid sugar less sweet than white sugar. It’s one of the components removed when refining white sugar. And it’s also the ingredient that remains intact in brown sugar.

Molasses is stickier and thicker than other syrup types of palm sugar substitutes, which helps moisturize and thickness the consistency of baked products.

  • Use in a 1:1 ratio

10. Rock Sugar – milder substitute

rock sugar

Rock sugar is milder than palm sugar and its counterparts, white and brown sugar.

It’s made from cooling white, brown, or sugar cane syrups to large hard and angular crystals. Since rock sugar is more concentrated, it has more calories. And so, you may want to lessen its use than your usual measurement.

Although it looks hard and bulky, it dissolves and braises well.

  • 1 tsp of palm sugar equals 1 1/4 rock sugar.

11. Date Sugar – another natural substitute

what is date sugar

Date sugar is also a natural sweetener from the fruit of a date palm tree.

It has a caramel or butterscotch-like flavor. Which makes it a good natural palm sugar substitute. Plus, it can be made from scratch. That way, you can ensure that your sugar is all-natural.

The only downside about date sugar is that it has fiber leaves that don’t dissolve in liquid. So, you may find it a little uncomfortable and off-putting.

  • A 1:1 ration is enough.

FAQS About Palm Sugar

Is palm sugar and brown sugar the same?

Although they have similar uses, palm sugar and brown sugar aren’t the same.

Palm sugar is made from the sap of a coconut tree. In comparison, brown sugar is extracted from sugarcane.

Apart from that, the former is a natural sweetener that has no chemicals. And in contrast, the latter goes through many processes and contains several chemicals.

The only thing that makes them similar is that they both have a caramel taste, which makes brown sugar one of the best substitutes for palm sugar.

Is coconut sugar the same as palm sugar?

Coconut sugar is different from palm sugar. Since palm sugar is extracted from the sap of a palm tree. And coconut sugar is made from the flower sap of a coconut tree.

However, many often get confused between the two. But it’s understandable since they have similar colors and tastes. Plus, coconut sugar is also sometimes referred to as “coconut palm sugar.” Which makes the whole thing a lot more complicated.

If you’re unsure whether it’s palm sugar or coconut sugar, look at the ingredients listed on the package. If it mentions a “coconut,” it’s coconut sugar.

Where to buy palm sugar?

You can buy palm sugar in most markets around the world. Including several local and international online shops. Since it’s a highly popular ingredient in many baked goods and local cuisines.

Just remember to look at its ingredients to prevent buying coconut palm sugar. Which is a different type of natural sweetener.

Is palm sugar good for weight loss?

Palm sugar is good for weight loss since it’s a natural sweetener with no chemicals. Plus, it has a significantly lower glycemic index than a typical refined white sugar.

But suppose you want a much healthier option. You can get maple syrup, honey, jaggery, or stevia as a palm sugar substitute. However, depending on your choice, you may need to tweak your recipe a little.

So, you can maintain the original consistency of your dish or baked goods.

Can dogs have coconut palm sugar?

Dogs can have coconut palm sugar but in strict moderation.

Although it’s a natural sweetener, it contains medium-chain triglycerides, which may cause bloating and digestion problems.  

Plus, sugar is still sugar, whether it’s natural or not, which shouldn’t be often given to dogs as treats.

Also, before you let your dog try a treat or dish with coconut palm sugar, consult a veterinarian first. This is important, especially if your dog happens to have allergies or health issues.


Palm sugar is a great natural sweetener that has several good replacements.

Coconut sugar is the best substitute for palm sugar since they have similar taste and consistency. If you want natural and healthier alternatives, you can have golden monk fruit, maple syrup, honey, jaggery, stevia, or date sugar.

But if you’re looking for something easily available, you can grab molasses, brown, white, or rock sugar.

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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