How to Bake With Coconut Sugar

Baking with coconut sugar is a little different than regular sugar. This article will teach you all that you need to know about this unique sugar and how to bake with it.

what is coconut sugar

What is coconut sugar? The sugar is made from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm.

What does coconut sugar taste like? It tastes nothing like coconut since it comes from the flower bud of the coconut palm, and not the coconut itself. It tastes a lot like a subtle tasting brown sugar. Some say that it has a slight caramel taste to it. 

What are the health benefits of coconut sugar? Coconut sugar has many health benefits, the first being that it is considered a natural sweetener. It has a glycemic index of 35, which is considered a low glycemic food. Coconut sugar has several benefits to it. It contains B vitamins, a high mineral content (potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron). It also contains glutamine.

Are foods made with coconut sugar considered sugar free desserts? No. Coconut sugar is actually made up of sucrose, with small amounts of glucose and fructose. It is considered an acceptable sweetener for those with diabetes because of the way that it breaks down in the body. One teaspoon of coconut sugar contains 15 calories and 4 carbohydrates. One teaspoon of brown sugar contains 11 calories and 3 carbohydrates compared to white sugar that contains 16 calories per teaspoon and 5 carbohydrates.

Is coconut sugar gluten free? Yes, coconut sugar is gluten free and there are several organic non GMO varieties available as well.

Where can I find coconut sugar? You will be able to find it at most health food stores. It is usually sold in bags but several stores have now started carrying it in the bulk section which helps save money.

coconut sugar

Tips for Baking With Coconut Sugar

1. Coconut sugar can be substituted for white or brown sugar in a recipe. However, I have not had much luck using it with recipes containing lemon. Remember that it has a brown sugar type taste, so you will want to use it in recipes that you could interchange white or brown sugar in.

2. Use coconut sugar on a 1:1 basis in recipes. For every one cup of white or brown sugar in a recipe, use one cup of coconut sugar.

3. Coconut sugar is more coarse than white or brown sugar, so if the recipe calls for creaming the butter and sugar, the recipe will have a speckled look to it after baking and will appear more porous.

4. For recipes using melted butter or liquids like milk or water or semi liquids like oil, yogurt, or applesauce, allow the coconut sugar to dissolve for approximately five minutes in the liquid. Stir occasionally. After five minutes, add the mixture to the rest of your ingredients in your recipe. When your recipe is cooked, it will have a very smooth texture similar to cooking with white or brown sugar. This works well for recipes like bread, muffins and brownies, or cookies using browned butter.

5. If you are unsure about switching over completely to using coconut sugar, decrease the amount of sugar that you use slowly. In a recipe using 1 cup of sugar, use 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup coconut sugar until you become used to the taste and can adjust to using more of the natural sweetener in your foods.

If you have any questions about baking with coconut sugar, you can always send me an email and I would be happy to respond. You can also find a link to buying coconut sugar in our store.

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  1. Have you ever tried making homemade pudding with Coconut sugar? if so do you have a recipe?

  2. I have a challenge for you…perhaps you could help me…I want to make a simple snow cone syrup out of coconut sugar with a gluten free/organic flavoring. Coconut sugar doesn’t typically do well with fruit flavors, so what would you do? How could I get a cherry coke or root beer flavor? Or what else would you suggest…I used to make a syrup from 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, and a kool aid packet and the flavors were limitless, but that obviously wasn’t a good option. I want to use the coconut sugar and water, but am having trouble finding a flavoring I can use that is cost effective and gluten free and organic. Any ideas?

    • burntapple says

      Challenge accepted. Let me look into this one more and I’ll get back to you. I made pixie sticks with coconut sugar and freeze dried fruit that I blended in a blender to make a fine powder. I’m thinking there might be a way to make a syrup out of it. Great challenge, thanks!

  3. I noticed you said it doesn’t go well with lemon.
    does that mean if I try to make lemon meringue cookies with it instead of white sugar, it would taste totally gross?

    • burntapple says

      I personally had a difficult time with the taste. Personal preference I guess. Since coconut sugar has more of a caramel taste to it, it tends to take away from the taste of the lemon for me. Others haven’t minded so if you try it let me know how it goes and how you liked it. Have a great holiday!

  4. I recently found a recipe for raspberry oatmeal bars and it calls for 1/2 cup of coconut sugar but I don’t have any on hand, would I be better off replacing it with white sugar or brown sugar?

  5. eleanor garcia says

    Love coconut cream pie. Want to try to make it alittle more healthier for my husband though. He has sugar diabetes. It is an old family recipe that calls for a cup of sugar and 2 cups of coconut flakes. Is this still a heathy combination or changing the white sugar to coconut sugarbe better?

    • burntapple says

      My husband has type 1 diabetes too. For us it’s about counting the carbs and coconut sugar has the same number of carbs as white sugar. The difference is that coconut sugar breaks down in the body slower than white sugar. Also know that most coconut flakes you buy from the store are sweetened. You can definitely try using coconut sugar. It is a little coarser than white sugar. Try to pulse grind it a little in the blender or a food processor to make it the same consistency as white sugar. The texture may be different and the taste may be a little different than what you are used to but I think it would be okay. If you do try it, let me know how it turns out. Always love hearing how different combinations work. Good luck, traci

  6. How do I replace l cup of packed brown sugar with coconut sugar? The “packed” part seems like it would throw off the equal equivalent.

    • burntapple says

      Yes, you just use the same equivalent. It will substitute just fine. Remember though that coconut sugar is more dense than brown sugar so the texture maybe a little different than what you are used to. Let me know how it turns out and what you end up making, traci

  7. Only use coconut sugar now but ready to do this years canning and unsure about using it in my pickling.

  8. I have just switched over to coconut sugar, I am having issues with my cookies. They are not spreading. Any tips.? I have tried 2 or 3 different recipes and it has happened to them all.

    • Coconut sugar is more dense than regular sugar. You can add a tablespoon or two of extra of liquid (milk, melted butter, oil) to see if it helps allow the cookies to spread. Also a note that many readers including myself find that the cooking time is less when using coconut sugar and making cookies. Let me know how it works for you!

  9. Hi there,
    Any thoughts on using coconut sugar in pumpkin pies this year? Instead of regular sugar?


    • I haven’t tried it but am going to this year. I’m also doing a pecan crust using coconut sugar. I think it will work out fine (cooking time might be decreased a little–coconut sugar seems to cook faster). Let me know how yours turns out!

    • I’ve used coconut sugar in my pumpkin pie for 3 years. It taste great. I’m not exactly sure how baking differs, I just keep a close eye on them! It’s great in Apple pie as well!

      • Thank you so much for letting me know. I am so excited for pumpkin pie and can’t wait to try coconut sugar in it! I’ve tried it with pretty much everything else but pumpkin pie. Have a happy thanksgiving!

  10. I love using coconut sugar! I was wondering though, if you could pulse coconut sugar in a food processor to make it not so coarse?

    • burntapple says

      Absolutely! I do it all the time. You can also make “powdered sugar” out of it too. Just use a ratio of 1 cup powdered sugar to 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder when blending.

  11. I want to make a cheesecake using cocnut sugar. Have you done it? Did it change the texture if the cheesecake? Any advice you could give me on this would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • burntapple says

      Cheesecake is one that I haven’t done yet (I’ve been off dairy for about six months–miss the cheesecake and am drooling thinking about it) but I have had several people reply with comments on other posts that they have made it before. One thing to do in order to not change the texture of the cheesecake would be to pulse grind the sugar first in a food processor or blender to make it a little more fine. That should help avoid changing the texture of the cheesecake. Let me know how it turns out!

  12. Amy Ledbetter says

    Have made any candies with coconut sugar? Wanting to make Christmas Crack any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Yes, I’ve made caramels with coconut sugar. It is a little bit tough but tastes good. Let me know how it turns out!

  13. Have you ever tried or have any suggestions about making jam with coconut sugar? Canned or not

    • Looking at some of the pectin websites they state that you can use coconut sugar. Most of the sites recommended blending the sugar in a food processor until finer. Otherwise the pectin binds to the larger sugar granules and causes some clumping. It was recommended that blending or grinding it into a finer consistency eliminated the clumping. Good luck!

  14. I make candied almonds with sugar, cinnamon and sea salt. Then I bake for 1 hour in 250 oven. How will the almonds do with coconut sugar? The taste and also the baking. Thank You So Much..

    • Ha!Ha! It works PERFECT. I know because I just made a batch of candied pecans with all coconut sugar and loved it so much I sent the recipe to my sister in law whose on a special diet. I’ll have our recipe posted soon, but yes, YES it works and tastes AMAZING!!! 🙂 My only suggestion is to mix the egg white and coconut sugar together for a little bit to allow the coconut sugar to dissolve a little.

  15. How does coconut sugar do in candies? I want to make Almond Roca.

    • I have found it to work really well, but it can burn easy. I usually start at a little lower temp and stir like crazy! 🙂 Good luck, it sounds like a delicious recipe! Let me know how it turns out.

  16. Can you make coconut sugar into a brown sugar consistency by adding something to it? I’m allergic to white sugar and want to make a blueberry crumble that calls for brown sugar.

    • burntapple says

      Coconut sugar already has a brown sugar like taste so you should be able to sub it easily. Blueberry crumble sounds delicious!! Let me know how it turns out!

  17. Hello. I’m looking to make subsitutions in a recipe that calls for white sugar. Would you use coconut sugar for both or just one? This is a recipe for cookies that also used mashed banana in place of oil.

    • burntapple says

      Yes you can use coconut sugar for both or just one. Just use it the same as you would sugar. Let me know how it turns out!


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