What Is Muscovado Sugar?

what is muscavado sugar

Sugar is a leading source of carbohydrates in the world. It is available in several varieties depending on the color or granular size. Most sugars come from sugarcane plants or sugar beet that are squeezed to get their sweet juice. This is followed by purification, crystallization, drying, and varying the molasses levels.

Muscovado sugar is a high moisture, powdered cane sugar rich in natural molasses. It has a moist texture, toffee-like taste, and is brown. Because of the labor-intensive process involved, muscovado is categorized as an artisanal sugar. It is also known as Khansari, Barbados sugar, or simply khan. 

Do you want to give a deeper flavor to your confections such as fudge, candies, cookies, and cakes? Then why not try muscovado sugar instead of white sugar. You can also add muscovado sugar to savory dishes for a better flavor in place of the normal brown sugar. The natural molasses and its unrefined nature leave it with nutrients such as potassium and iron. 

This writeup will focus on muscovado sugar, which has become a favorite to most food industries and homes in the recent past. But what is muscovado sugar? Read on to find out the meaning and more interesting facts about this tasty sugar type. 

Where does muscovado sugar come from?

Colombia and India are the leading producers of muscovado sugar. Other countries that produce muscovado are Pakistan, Brazil, China, Bangladesh, and Mauritius. The sugar is called Barbados in the Philippines where it is produced using small mills. 

Muscovado sugar is obtained from sugarcane where the extract is boiled to allow the liquid to evaporate. This leaves behind a brown sugar deposit. 

What is muscodvado sugar used for?

Muscovado sugar’s caramelized and smoky flavor makes it suitable for several uses such as making glazes, caramel sauce, and chutney. This sugar will also give you a mouth-watering taste when you use it instead of the table white sugar to make the following delicacies:

  • Fudge 
  • Dipping sauces
  • Marinades 
  • Yogurt parfaits 
  • Popcorn 
  • Salad dressings 
  • Glazes
  • Cookies 
  • Coffee and tea
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Brownies 

You may prefer muscovado sugar to refined white sugar due to its antioxidant properties and the minerals it contains, though it’s still another sugar. 

Is muscovado sugar the same as brown sugar?

Light muscovado sugar is similar to brown sugar since they are both lighter varieties. They both have a brown sugar feel and wet-sand look. The difference is that brown sugar is refined like white sugar, while muscovado sugar is refined minimally to ensure it remains with its molasses component. 

Is muscovado sugar the same as Demerara?

Demerara is a cane sugar variety with a pale amber color and fairly large molecules. While both demerara and muscovado have toffee flavor, demerara does not have a strong molasses flavor and has a coarse and dry texture. Nonetheless, you can use demerara instead of brown sugar, muscovado or white sugar. 

What is a substitute for muscovado sugar?

The best alternatives to muscovado are sucanat, rapadura, jaggery, kokuto, or panela. They are unrefined brown sugars. You can substitute them in equal amounts. When these are not available, you can use dark brown sugar although it has lower molasses content, finer texture, and milder flavor. 

Can I use light brown sugar instead of muscovado?

You can use light brown sugar as a substitute for light muscovado, although it does not have the same flavor due to varying molasses content. You can add some molasses into white sugar until it appears like wet sand to give it the muscovado sugar flavor. 

Can I use soft dark brown sugar instead of muscovado?

You can use moist, soft dark brown sugar instead of muscovado by adding a little molasses to it. The ratio of soft dark brown sugar to molasses should be 1:1. Brown sugar has lighter molecules than muscovado; thus, it packs more firmly meaning you will use a slightly less amount of it. 

If muscovado is not readily available, you can use soft dark sugar though it has low molasses content. The soft dark sugar is also more refined and has a milder taste and finer texture, but it is still a far much better option compared to light brown sugar.

Can I use black treacle instead of muscovado sugar?

If you have a fudge recipe that calls for muscovado sugar, yet you do not have any in the store cupboard, then we recommend substituting it for granular sugar and black treacle (or molasses added). This will give your fudge the nice brownish color that muscovado does. You will need to ensure that you get the right quantities in order to get the correct consistency and taste.


Is muscovado sugar healthy?

Muscovado sugar may be better than granulated sugar because of the nutrients it contains, but that does not exclude it from being a sugar.

Like all other sugars, too much consumption of muscovado increases health hazards such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. With its strong flavor, molasses content, and high moisture content, you will only have to use fewer tablespoons than the standard table sugar. 

Which kind of sugar is healthiest?

The rating system that you can use to determine the healthiness of carbohydrates is called the glycemic index (GI). It shows how high and how quickly the foods you eat increase blood sugar levels. Sugars with high ratings release glucose faster than sugars lower on the GI. 

When it comes to sugar consumption, white sugar has 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose and has a lower GI. The healthiest sugar is agave syrup whose GI value is the lowest. 

When it comes to blood sugar management, agave syrup is also a better option compared to other sugars followed by maple syrup and raw honey. These are natural sugars with more health benefits. Muscovado and other less refined sugars are next after these because of their organic nature but always remember that too much sugar or added sugar is bad for you.

Which is healthier brown sugar or muscovado?

Muscovado is similar to brown sugar when it comes to nutrient content although it is slightly better due to high molasses composition. Like brown sugar and refined white sugar, it has no dietary fiber, and your body will absorb it the same way as the other refined sugars. 

In Summary

You are now conversant with muscovado sugar variety; moist, powdered cane sugar rich in natural molasses. If you are more inclined to sugar flavors and natural molasses, this is the best option for you. You have also known the best alternatives for when muscovado is not readily available. With the right molasses ratio, white granulated sugar can work the same way as muscovado. 

What’s more, you can start enjoying your delicious fudge, cookies, popcorns, cakes, and other foods that require muscovado as an ingredient. Muscovado has a higher consumption rate than white sugar due to its organic nature and healthiness. 

 Like other moist brown sugars, muscovado is prone to drying if you do not store it properly. The best way to store muscovado, is to keep it in a plastic zip-top bag or an air-tight container that has a tight-fitting lid. To ensure that the sugar stays soft, place a slice of bread or apple in the container. You can also put a terracotta sugar saver made specifically for this purpose. 

If you want to know more about different sugars, read these articles:


Hi, I'm Sarah and welcome to Call Me Fudge! From a younger age I've always pottered about in the kitchen and even selling my fudge in the high school grounds. Cooking and baking to me is like second nature and I want to share this passion with you.

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