Homemade Ingredients

How to Make A Molasses Substitute

4.73 from 66 votes
Made with 4 things you most likely have in your cupboard, my Homemade Molasses Substitute is a full bodied, full flavored, thick syrup that can replace molasses in any recipe!
Molasses Substitution

Hi Bold Bakers!

One of my goals when creating any recipe is to create things that you can easily make your own. By providing you with tools like my Egg Substitute Chart and my Corn Syrup Substitute recipe, I am hoping I’m giving you the go-ahead to take my recipes and make them meet your dietary needs, likes, and dislikes.

As many of you either can’t find molasses or might not want to use it, I created this super simple Homemade Molasses Substitute. Made with 4 things you most likely have in your cupboard, this is a full bodied, full flavored, thick syrup that can replace molasses in any recipe!

What is Molasses?

Molasses is that thick, dark brown syrup somewhere between the texture of real maple syrup and golden syrup. Molasses is made as a by-product of the refined sugar making process. Molasses is what’s left over after boiling down the cane juice.

There are a few different kinds of molasses: dark, light, and blackstrap. What differentiates them is how many times they have been boiled down to be made into sugar. Light molasses was extracted from the first batch of boiled cane juice, and blackstrap has been boiled down several more times. This process is what creates that unique flavor that goes beyond sweetness and really has a bit of a spiced kick. The kick is why molasses pairs so well with rich spiced desserts.

[ Find out how to make your own Brown Sugar at home with my How to Make Brown Sugar recipe! ]

What Types of Desserts Need Molasses?

Some of my favorite desserts like gingerbread cookies and sticky toffee pudding often include molasses. The texture and deep color you get from molasses adds a really unique texture and flavor, but guess what, this can be achieved by combining brown sugar, cream of tartar, water, and lemon.

What’s the Difference Between the Substitute and Real Molasses?

There is a slight flavor difference between molasses and my Homemade Molasses Substitute, as the flavor cannot be exactly replicated. The purpose of this substitute is to provide whatever you’re baking with the same texture as molasses, that moist dense chew.

This molasses substitute adds just the right toothy bite and is made by adding all the ingredients into one pot and simmering for just 3-4 minutes. It’s how quickly and easily this substitute comes together — and you’ll never worry about not being able to find molasses again!

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Why Did My Molasses Harden?

Over time, sugar crystals can form in your homemade molasses — but fear not, because you can still use it. Simply heat it gently in the microwave or on the stove until the sugar granules dissolve. Once it cools down, use as directed in your recipe.

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How to Make A Molasses Substitute Recipe

4.73 from 66 votes
Made with 4 things you most likely have in your cupboard, my Homemade Molasses Substitute recipe is a full bodied, full flavored, thick syrup that can replace molasses in any recipe!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 cups
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
4 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Made with 4 things you most likely have in your cupboard, my Homemade Molasses Substitute recipe is a full bodied, full flavored, thick syrup that can replace molasses in any recipe!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (16oz/450g) dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups (6floz/170ml) water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice freshly squeezed

Instructions

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, over medium heat, add the sugar, water, cream of tartar, and lemon juice.
  • Once the sugar dissolves, turn down the heat and let the syrup simmer steadily until it becomes a slightly thick syrup that drips off your spatula slowly. This will takes just 3 to 4 minutes. Don't worry if you think it is a bit runny at this stage because as it cools it will get thicker. 
  • Use this molasses substitute in any recipe in place of molasses. It will last 3-4 months in an airtight container at room temperature. After a while, if you notice it hardens, heat it back up again to dissolve the granules. It makes 1 1/2 cups of molasses substitute.
  • Check out my recipes like crockpot gingerbread, soft and chewy molasses, homemade bran flakes, and my ginger crinkle cookies that call for molasses. 

Recipe Notes

  •  For more precise instruction I suggest you watch my video

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Comments & Reviews

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newest oldest most useful
Christine Yagli
Member
Christine Yagli
5 months ago

I was so excited to see your molasses recipe since they don’t sell it here. However, your recipe calls for brown sugar, which they also don’t sell here. I was going to make the molasses to make the brown sugar. Oh well.

Sasha
Guest
Sasha
4 months ago

Hi Gemma, thank you for sharing the recipe! 😁 Just wondering if there’s any substitute for lemon juice? Thank you❤️

Kay
Guest
Kay
1 month ago

Can this be made successfully with light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar? Light’s all I have at the moment.

MPaniyur
Member
MPaniyur
1 month ago

Can you do a recipe for a maple syrup substitute? Is molasses an ingredient in maple syrup?

Angel M.
Guest
Angel M.
2 months ago

I don’t have lemon. What do I do now? 🙁

NICOLE T
Guest
NICOLE T
2 months ago

HELLO,
QUIVK QUESTION!!HOW DO WE STORE MOLASSES, MEANING FRIDGE OR DRY PLACE??
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR AMAZING RECIPES!!

Sara
Guest
Sara
2 months ago

I dont have cream of tartar. What should i do now?

stephanie
Guest
stephanie
6 months ago

Hi Gemma, I think I undercooked it before putting it in a jar (it’s not thick at all)
Would it be OK if I just put it back on the stove to cook it some more before putting it back into its jar ?

Karen
Guest
Karen
9 months ago

Is it possible to use light brown sugar for the substitution of molasses? That’s all I have at the moment.

Lynnette Siegl
Member
Lynnette Siegl
9 months ago

Hi Gemma

I just ran out of molasses while baking your best ever molasses cookies. With time to spare I got busy and made your home made molasses cookies. It turned out great! Fred and I took a little taste. It tasted great. I also was making Baked Beans; but I found it to be very sweet? what went wrong?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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