Health & Lifestyle

Guidelines for substituting table sugar with maple sugar and syrup

More and more consumers are opting for maple sugar or maple syrup as a healthy substitute for granulated and beet sugar.
Nevertheless, as various sources offer different tips, it may become confusing to know exactly how to proceed with different ingredients. Certain recommendations indicate that a cup of sugar should be replaced by a cup and a quarter of maple syrup. Others suggest the contrary by asserting that a cup of sugar should be substituted with only three quarter cup of syrup.

The key, in fact, is to know how to strike the right balance: while certain guidelines may refer to sweetness proportions, others may indicate quantity proportions.

As such, the simplest way is to replace one cup of cane sugar with one cup of maple sugar instead of maple syrup.

The use of maple sugar ensures that flavours of the maple will remain present while make sure that the sweetness and liquid are properly balanced. To enhance the maple flavour, Grade A light or medium amber syrups give a mild maple taste while darker labels offer the most robust taste. This tip is sure to work for recipes that include milk or other liquids.

The perplexity in liquid and dry forms

The comparison between table sugar and maple syrup may prove to be a headache.

A cup of maple syrup at a density of 67º Brix consists of 214 grams of sugar and 105 grams of water. A cup of cane sugar, on the other hand, represents 210 grams of sugar. It can hence be concluded that both maple sugar and cane sugar are almost equivalent in the amount of sugar.

Nevertheless, the scenario is different regarding a cup of maple syrup as the latter consists of water which is absent in granulated maple sugar. Subsequently, a cup of maple syrup adds 105 grams of water apart from the existing quantity of sugar. The tip is to reduce other liquids such as milk or water being used for the recipe to obtain the needed consistency.

Brown sugar requires a different approach

Proper calculations and measurement should not be put aside when replacing granulated brown sugar with maple syrup or sugar. One cup of brown sugar represents 149 grams of sugar while a similar cup filled with maple syrup, the amount of sugar sums up to 214 grams. To obtain the right proportions for a recipe, using three quarter of a cup of maple syrup instead of a cup of brown sugar should result in the correct consistency for a recipe.

Powdered sugar has yet another story

Powdered sugar may be viewed as being rather similar to granulated table sugar. Even if maple syrup or sugar may be tempting to be used for the numerous health benefits, they may fail in recipes requiring specific techniques. Certain confection may solely be obtained with the use of powdered sugar.

Those wishing to experiment replacing powdered sugar with maple syrup will have to perform strict mathematical calculation, comparing the density, size of grain as well as the presence of moisture…These are key elements that may make the recipe a winner or a complete failure.

Temperature and measurements are not to be forsaken

Most recipes require using heat for cooking. And here lies another trap.

Temperature greatly modifies an ingredient. Usual conversions are based on ingredients at room temperature but once they go into the process of heating, the consistency may be largely modified. This may result in obtaining a different food item than initially expected while using a recipe and replacing sugar with maple syrup.

Another element not to be forgotten is the volume of ingredients being used. Dry products should be measured differently than liquid ones. It is crucial to levelling off dry ingredients; a flat knife blade will do the trick. To avoid any inexactitude, it is recommended to opt for weight measures instead of volume measures. They are known to be more reliable than volume measures that are faster and simply more convenient.

Conversion tips

  • One cup of maple syrup (240 ml) is equivalent to 319 grams of syrup
  • One cup of granulated table sugar fluctuates between 195 to 220 grams per cup
  • One cup of water weighs 227 grams
  • One cup of granulated table sugar is equivalent to one cup of granulated maple sugar plus 105 grams of water

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