Molasses provides a moist, rich flavor to baked goods and traditional favorites such as morning oatmeal or baked beans. The Colorado State University Extension suggests making substitutions in recipes to help with achieving healthy eating goals. The website recommends replacing at least part of the sugar in a recipe with molasses and measuring carefully. Because molasses is higher in moisture and has a different texture and flavor than sugar, it’s important to adjust recipes. Follow basic guidelines for substituting molasses for sugar in order to achieve satisfying results.

Things You'll Need

Substitute 1 1/3 cups molasses for each 1-cup of sugar.

Calculate the amount of molasses needed for the recipe. For example, to replace all of the sugar with molasses in a recipe calling for 2 cups of sugar, use 2 2/3 cups molasses. To replace half of the sugar, use 1 1/3 cups of molasses and 1 cup of sugar.

Reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/3 cup per cup of sugar replaced. For a recipe calling for 2 cups of sugar, reduce the liquid by 2/3 cups. This keeps the balance of moisture in the recipe correct, as molasses adds moisture to the recipe.


  • Use light molasses for a less intense molasses flavor.

  • Experiment by creating a small batch of the recipe the first time, such as a half batch of cookies. Evaluate the flavor, moisture, browning and cooking or baking times and make adjustments as needed.

  • For baking, the University of Illinois Extension suggest reducing baking powder by 1/2-tsp and adding 2 tsp. of baking soda for each cup of molasses that you substitute for sugar.