How to Bake With Coconut Sugar

Gluten Free

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. Hi there! I was wondering if you have used coconut sugar in a sponge cake? If you have, what were your results? 🙂

    • burntapple says

      I tried it once (I blended it first to make it a little finer consistency). It worked okay, not as good as the original but it did turn out okay. Let me know how it works!!

      • Hi, I put it in the food processor to make it finer too, and I thought it worked out well. Slightly denser than a ‘normal’ sponge but very delicious, not as sweet but to me, perfectly balanced taste, slightly caramel, and looked like colour of ginger cake. It wasn’t heavy though and it was a little
        dryer and cooked faster than a normal sponge but with the cream and jam filling it wasn’t dry to eat. I absolutely loved it and it’s definitely worth doing, but it wasn’t a ‘typical’ sponge texture because I also added in some ground almonds. Personally, now that I’ve tasted this, I won’t be using white sugar in my sponge cakes again.

      • burntapple says

        Awesome!! Thanks for getting back to me and letting me know how it worked. Excited to try it in a sponge cake now!

  2. Have you ever made ice cream with coconut sugar?

    • Yes, it works great. Just know coconut sugar has more of a caramel flavor so it may not work with certain flavors. Hope that helps!

  3. My apple pis recipe calls for 1/2 cup of white sugar Can I replace with coconut sugar?

    • burntapple says

      Absolutely. I’ve done it before with no issues.

      • Thank you!! I already tried it! It was great. My husband likes vanilla ice cream on top so I left off the icing. Next I will try making a regular apple pie.

  4. Hi! Making a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie tomorrow (vegan)- do you think coconut sugar would be ok? I would love a FAST reply as im making it tomorrow. Thanks in advance!

    • yes you could use coconut sugar for both. Too funny, I’m starting my pies tomorrow too and I’ll be using coconut sugar–chocolate pecan though and pumpkin. 🙂 Have a great Thanksgiving! Let me know how it turns out!

  5. Great post about the coconut sugar. I was a bit nervous to use it for the first time but your post answered all my questions and can’t wait to try it. Thanks 🙂

  6. Hi there. I have an out of this world recipe for carrot cake which uses 2 c white sugar. I’m thinking of making it using gluten free flour, coconut oil but what really scares me is replacing the sugar with coconut sugar. I have cut down the amount to 1 1/2 cups but curious if you’ve tried it with this type of cake. It also has a can of crushed pineapple in it. Thanks!

    • Yes, I’ve done it and it works. The texture is a little different and the cooking time was a little less than the traditional carrot cake. The gluten free flour was the kicker. I’ve tried it with almond flour and a gluten free flour blend and I had a hard time with the plain almond flour. Hope that helps and let me know how it turns out! Excited to hear!!

  7. Hello!

    You mention that it doesn’t pair well with lemon. Is that true for all citrus, or just lemon?

    I’m thinking of using it in place of white sugar in a strawberry-rhubarb pie that includes orange zest in the recipe, and would love your thoughts on how it might work.

    Thank you!

    • Coconut sugar has a caramel like taste. I guess it’s a personal preference/palate thing because others have written and liked the pairing but I don’t. I would think a strawberry rhubarb would be fine because of the flavor combination but I usually opt for very finely ground cane sugar in place of the white sugar for straight citrus recipes like lemon sugar cookies or lemon bars. Hope that helps!

  8. I’m making chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, do you think that they will be less chewy if i use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar?

    • burntapple says

      I wish I knew what recipe you were using. There are so many out there. I wish I could say for sure. Generally, coconut sugar tends to dry them out a little bit. But not too much. And if you pulse grind the sugar a little bit before you use it so it’s more of a white sugar/brown sugar like consistency it should be okay. Let me know how they turn out!

      • Just following you and learning about coconut sugar… I am going to use it in chocolate chip cookies. YOu said above that it tends to dry then out a little bit. I want a moist center in the do I get that and still use the coconut sugar? And also, you say it has a caramel flavor..I don’t taste that (It smells like cinnamon but doesn’t taste like that either!) but the recipe calls for brown sugar also…will both make the cookie have a caramel flavor?

      • burntapple says

        No I’ve done coconut sugar for both the white and brown sugar in the recipe and it does just fine. Your cookie will have a darker color to it. Try an extra tbsp of oil or butter for a less dry cookie. 🙂

  9. I’m making pumpkin cookies with gluten free flour. Do you think the slight caramel flavor will ruin the recipe.

  10. I would love to know how coconut palm sugar does in cookies, like chocolate chip and peanut Butter or sugar or empire cookies, thanks

    • It works great. cooking time is usually a little bit less than using traditional sugar. And you may want to pulse grind the coconut sugar to give it more of a white or brown sugar like consistency. Hope that helps!

  11. If a recipe calls for a 1 cup of sugar, could you measure out a 1 cup of palm sugar and grind the 1 cup of palm sugar and then add the full amount of the palm sugar to your recipes.
    Thank you

    • You will want to grind down enough sugar to equal one cup. Hope that makes sense. I’m sorry. It’s finals week. Brain fried. 🙂

  12. So does coconut sugar hold in less or more moisture than brown sugar?

    • burntapple says

      Less. I’ve had some people comment that cooking time is less and they have to add a little more (but not much at all!) moisture to their recipes. Usually an additional teaspoon to tablespoon.

      • If coconut sugar tends to make the cookie a bit dry.. how do accomodate that? I don’t want a dry cookie.. but I don’t know that I am to just add another tbls of milk that the recipe calls for. do you use coconut sugar and still get a moist cookie? I am doing chocolate chippers and want a moist cookie

      • burntapple says

        You could try a tbsp of oil or butter in place of the milk.

  13. if a recipe calls for both white and brown sugar do you use coconut sugar for both

  14. I have a recipe for a cream cheese frosting that calls for 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar. I’d like to substitute this with coconut sugar. So I’m just checking that I could process the coconut sugar in a food processor to make it confection-like, and use the coconut sugar cup-for-cup in the frosting recipe? I’ve never used coconut sugar in homemade frosting before. 🙂

    • burntapple says

      You should be able to use coconut sugar. It will take on more of a caramely taste. You want to blend one cup coconut sugar with one tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch for a couple of minutes until it makes a powdered sugar . From there you can use it in your recipe.

    • burntapple says

      You should be able to use coconut sugar. It will take on more of a caramely taste. You want to blend one cup coconut sugar with one tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch for a couple of minutes until it makes a powdered sugar . From there you can use it in your recipe. Hope that helps!

  15. Pierrette Chayka says

    I am making Irish Oatmeal Cookies, it calls for 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and also 1/2 cup of Packed Brown sugar. So would I use the Coconut sugar Pure & Unrefined to substitute both sugars with 1 cup of the Coconut sugar? Or just substitute the white sugar. And use 1/2 cup of Coconut sugar & 1/2 of Packed Brown sugar?

    • burntapple says

      Whichever you like. If you are using coconut sugar for the first time you may want to try just half and half at first until you adapt to the taste or you are welcome to go full board and substitute the coconut sugar for both the white and brown sugar.

  16. Priscilla Moya says

    Do you think I could substitute coconut sugar for this recipe?

    • burntapple says

      I would think that you would be able to for the cake portion with the tips that were given.

    • burntapple says

      I would think that you would be able to for the cake portion with the tips that were given. Let me know how it turns out!

  17. Annastacia Stefano says

    Thank you so much for creating this page and providing so many helpful tips!

    I’m going to attempt to make some chocolate no-bake oatmeal cookies (aka Gorilla Poop cookies) for my friend who has cancer. I’m hoping the health benefits of the coconut sugar will assist in her recovery. She has a hard time eating and keeping things down; therefore, I’m also using another special ingredient to help combat the naseua after her chemo treatments. My main concern is that the recipe starts off similar to candy because you have to boil the butter, milk, cocoa powder, and sugar until just before the soft-ball stage. I’m taking your advice on two parts….using half coconut sugar and half white sugar, and I’m letting the coconut sugar dissolve in the milk before I add the other ingredients and start cooking it. Wish me luck! If it’s successful, I’ll try the next batch with more coconut sugar and less white, and then another batch with all coconut sugar. Either way, I’ll let ya’ll know how they turn out.

    • burntapple says

      Fingers crossed they turn out! LEt me know how it works. I havent had those cookies in forever (we call them fart cookies in our family). But now I want some! 🙂

  18. nancy levin says

    I attempted using coconut sugar to make from scratch chocolate pudding. It tasted great but the pudding never thickened. Any suggestions for the future. Tks, Nancy

    • burntapple says

      I’m not sure why it never thickened. I’ve made chocolate pudding with it before and it’s worked fine. I wish I knew what happened…it’s so hard to help when I don’t know what recipe was used, etc. I wish I could help you more. I’m so sorry, I hate when I don’t have the answer! 🙁

  19. Can I use coconut sugar for a low carb cheesecake recipe? The recipe calls for erythritol in powder form.

    • burntapple says

      I would try it and see how it works. I’ve never used it in cheesecake but let me know how it works for you!

    • I’m sure it would work out but keep in mind it’s still a sugar. Better nutritionally and glycemically than refined sugar but still has 4 carbs per teaspoon. I’m not positive but believe the recipe will probably no longer be low carb if that’s your aim.

      • burntapple says

        It won’t be low carb. You’re right that it’s better nutritionally and glycemically–but the carbs are the same.


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    Organic Coconut Sugar 300g

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