Sugar Free Brown Sugar Recipe

this sugar free brown sugar recipe is an awesome low carb alternative for all of your baking needs!A sugar-free brown sugar recipe is not something you really ever think about until you are working on going low carb.  And the holidays hit.  And then it ranks right up there as a ‘need’ next to toilet paper and oxygen.

“Wait…they MAKE that already,” you might say.  “There is a very tasty product called Just Like Brown Sugar that is sugar free!”  I get excited…I rush over to Amazon to view said product.  And I realize that there is no way that I am going to pay upwards of $20 for a little one pound pouch of the stuff.  No. Way.


And then this brilliant Trim Healthy Mama named Margaret comes up with a totally simple recipe, and said I could share it all with you.  And suddenly the world all makes sense again.  My kitchen can smell like spice cookies and we can all go caroling together in the snow.  Except for not that last part because it never snows down here in the South.  But we can TOTALLY do the spice cookies now.  And that nearly makes up for the no snow thing. (almost)

Today on Trim Healthy Tuesday, we’re going to make our OWN sugar free brown sugar! P1140038

A huge, HUGE thank you to Margaret for making winter baking and goodies possible for this mostly sugar-free Trim Healthy Mama. ♥

It really couldn’t be simpler.  Just add a bit of blackstrap molasses to your sugar-substitute of choice.  You can use erythritol or xylitol as the base.  You may also try it with Just Like Sugar, but I’ve not experimented with that one yet.

*An Important Update*: I’ve gotten some concerned comments about the fact that blackstrap molasses IS in fact sugar, so this recipe is NOT in fact sugar free. You caught me with your scientific facts.

Yes, there’s a teensy-tinesy amount of sugar in the blackstrap molasses. If you eat the entire cup of low carb brown sugar *bless your heart* you’ll get 3 carbs  from the sugar, and 12 1/2 calories.

Most of us will get far less than that per serving size when this is used in a recipe.* These are numbers I can live with. And to show my repentance, I’ve changed the name to low carb brown sugar on the photos.
It feels so good to get that all out in the open now. Carry on.


I also added a couple of drops of Frontier Butterscotch natural flavoring just to give a little more oomph to it.  Then you stir and crunch it around with a fork until it looks like this and smells like heaven.

P1140043[bctt tweet=”You won’t even believe how perfect this brown sugar is! #lowcarb”] It has the right smell, the right texture, and the right taste. Margaret is my food hero.  Here’s a pinnable, and your printable Sugar Free Brown Sugar Recipe

to pin!

this sugar free brown sugar recipe is an awesome low carb alternative for all of your baking needs!


4.5 from 13 reviews
Sweet Brown Recipe
Prep time
Total time
This delicious sugar free brown sugar recipe sub is affordable, so-super-simple, and best of all, it tastes and smells amazing! Yes, it's got a teensy tinesy amount of sugar in the blackstrap molasses. If you eat the entire cup of granules *bless your heart* you'll get 3 carbs and 12½ calories from the sugar. Most of us will get far less than that per serving size.
Recipe type: Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar free sweetener of your choice, like erythritol or xylitol
  • ¾ teaspoon molasses, blackstrap is preferred*
  • 2-4 drops extract of your choice: butterscotch, maple, or rum
  1. Measure your sugar sub into a small jar
  2. Add molasses and flavorings, and blend with a fork until evenly distributed.
  3. Use in your favorite recipes as a 1:1 substitute for the base sweetener you used.
*blackstrap molasses contains more nutrients and minerals than other types.

Xylitol does contain calories, and is toxic to dogs. It's also slightly sweeter than erythritol and can be used 1:1 with table sugar in recipes.
You may try adding in a ¼-1/2 t. of stevia extract for a 'Truvia' brown sugar blend. This will adjust the sweetness up a bit if using erythritol.

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    • Its_Gwen says

      It is a sugar, but this is in such a teensy amount, and just really used for flavoring. And Pearl approved this one prior to me posting it. :) So you’re good to go!

  1. Heather C. says

    This is how I have made brown sugar for years so it is nice to see molasses is ok on the plan. I keep a gallon in my fridg so will be making some up. thank you

  2. Buck176 says

    Umm molasses is a by product of processing white sugar and can contain anywhere between 15 to 60% raw sugar depending on the grade of molasses. That is not a teensy amount, nor is it just a “flavoring”. Anything you use this recipe in isn’t sugar free.

    • Its_Gwen says

      I guess I should say ‘almost’ sugar free. You’re right…it’s not totally sugar free. But my my calculations, it’s only 3 carbs per CUP from using the teensy amount of blackstrap molasses, so it works really well for what I’m using it for (which is more of a flavoring than a calorie source.)

      Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Christine Mayfield says

    We love bacon wrapped smokies and it calls for brown sugar. I told hubby last night that I remembered pinning this recipe and now we can have it and still be on plan =). Thanks Gwen!

      • Christine Mayfield says

        Take a pack of bacon and a pack of lil smokies. Cook the bacon until it is half way done, then cut each slice into thirds. Take the bacon and wrap it around a smokie and secure with toothpicks. Place brown sugar on the bottom of a baking sheet, put smokies on top then put more brown sugar on top of smokies. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bacon is crispy. I have heard of it being done in a crock pot but I don’t know if the bacon would get crispy enough (and the hubby and 5 kidddos love love love crispy bacon). We love to make triple batches for church events or get togethers =)

  4. Jeni says

    I am new to THM and so I am wondering about the new THM sweeteners – if I buy the blend, can I use that for this recipe?

    • Its_Gwen says

      Hi Jeni,
      You’d probably JUST want the erythritol for this recipe, since the blend has added stevia that makes it SO much sweeter. You’d end up using just a teeny amount, so you’d not get the flavor and bulk that this adds.

      Good question!

  5. Paul says

    Blackstrap Molasses is sugar made from sugarcane.

    Nutritional Value & Calories In Blackstrap Molasses 

    Amount: 2 tsp

    Weight: 13.67 g

    Basic Components

    3.92 g

    1.12 g

    Total Carbohydrates

    8.31 g

    5.85 g

    0.01 mg

    0.15 mg

    0.14 mcg

    Vitamin B6

    0.10 mg

    Pantothenic Acid

    0.12 mg

    117.53 mg

    2.39 mg

    29.38 mg

    5.47 mg

    340.57 mg

    7.52 mg

    0.14 mg

    0.28 mg

    0.36 mg

    2.43 mcg

    How many calories in blackstrap molasses (per 100 gm)

    Blackstrap molasses have about 332 calories per 100 gm of weight.

    • Gwen says

      Paul, darling. Thank you for the research. I’m aware that blackstrap molasses is from sugar cane, and is a form of sugar. I think I’ve already addressed this in another comment. If the 12.05 calories from blackstrap molasses per *cup* of this brown sugar sub bothers you, then perhaps this is not the recipe for you.

      The point of this post was to give a good alternative to *regular* brown sugar, which contains approximately 836 calories per cup. Give or take.

  6. Pamela Nail says

    The Brown sugar recipe sounds wonderful. My question is…when measuring for a recipe do you “pack” it like you would real Brown sugar? And yes I get that there is a teeny amount of sugar :-) Thanks, Pam

  7. melodie says

    Gwen, just made the brown sugar recipe for some thm granola bars….. was wondering how you store the left over cuz i only needed part of it. Thanks for all you help! Melodie

    • says

      Hi Nicole,
      Hmmm…mine wasn’t super hard to mix, but I live down south where the temps are warm. You may want to warm up your ‘lasses before mixing it in. I also use a knife or forkk to mix it all up, and use a jar larger that you’d think. That way it doesn’t spill while you’re stirring. :) It will start out clumpy and then suddenly become just right. Hope that helps and that you can get it to work out nicely!

    • says

      Gwen, you are so very gracious to those that respond in a not-so-nice way or jump to criticize. So sad they cannot just be happy for this awesome recipe. You have a grace I could only pray to attain. Also, I am living looking at your recipes! Also, I saw someone sdyong they were having trouble mixing it. I have always made mixed mine in my Kitchenaid with the whisk.

      • says

        Great idea! I just use a fork to mix, in a jar that’s a little bigger than my batch. But the whisk attachment is a great idea especially for bigger batches!

  8. Aubrey Freemantle says

    Hi….Your recipe for Sugar Free Brown Sugar mentions artificial sweeteners I’ve never heard of. I use Spenda as my artificial sweetener but the recipe suggests erythritol or xylitol. Those are not the ingredients for Splenda so I’m wondering if these are a grocery item or where do I buy one or the other?

    My second question is, what is the texture of the finished product? I want a substitute for brown sugar to sprinkle on my morning oatmeal cereal. The recipe doesn’t say but I don’t see how the thick molasses will distribute evenly through a powered sugar substitute and still be able to be sprinkled. Is this recipe suitable for my use?

    • says

      Hi Aubrey,
      The sweeteners in the recipe are sugar alcohols. I order mine online in bulk. Erythritol is frequently used with stevia blends in store products. You may check the Truvia in the small jar and try that for this recipe instead of the Splenda. The textures are so different…Splenda is fluffier and you want more of a granular texture. :) Hope that helps!

  9. says

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I have been searching for a sugar free brown sugar for awhile! I follow THM and am making lots of lifestyle changes with it.



  10. Lisa LeBlanc says

    I am living overseas and can’t get anything close to backstrap molasses…sigh. I was using a small jar of what I thought was molasses but turns out it is corn syrup! :( I do have some caramel flavoring-If I just put that in there, would it work or do I need the thickness of the molasses? Ideas? Thanks,

  11. Mary says

    Gwen, I would like to make a chocolate chip recipe and it requires you brown sugar. I can’t buy those sweeteners at the moment and only have truvia. Could I just pour molasses into the batter instead? :/ thank you so much!! All your recipes are wonderful <3

  12. Melissa says

    I LOVE all things Gwen!!! Just two short questions!
    How do you store the brown sugar and how long does it stay good?

    • says

      I store it in a glass canning jar and I’ve not yet had any go bad on me…so I’d say it keeps for months. :) I’ve usually use it pretty quickly though.

  13. Theresa Schanie says

    Do you think we can use this same recipe for your brown sugar with the gentle sweet blend?

    Thanks for your time.


    • says

      I’ve not tried the gentle sweet, but if it’s powdered then that may become clumpy if you try this recipe. But you could totally just add in a tiny bit of molasses to your final recipe. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it! I want to order some SB and try it out. :)

  14. Lynne says

    Hi Gwen! Could this be made and stored in an airtight jar and kept in the cupboard? How long of a shelf life would it have? Thank you.

    • says

      Hmmm…well the molasses is not to add sweetness- it has such a strong flavor, that a tiny amount lends that real brown sugar taste. I don’t think you’d get a brown sugar taste with honey or maple syrup since they have a much milder flavor, but you could try it!

  15. Tracie says

    So excited about this recipe. It will open up a whole new world for me. For instance Sweet Potatoes. Oatmeal…etc.

  16. Jo Davis says

    I did it with granulated stevia. Do NOT use it 1:1. Stevia is so stinking sweet. I cut it in half and Im really hoping these baked apples turn out. :/

    • says

      Oh yes…stevia is SUPER sweet.
      The recipe for Super Sweet Blend is 1 cup of erythritol to 1 teaspoon of stevia extract, and THAT is super sweet.

      If you’re using a stevia extract, what you can do is to use 1 cup of erythritol to 2 teaspoons of what you just made. Then you can “brown” that up with this recipe. If you want it closer to sugar quality sweetness, then only use 1 teaspoon of your super-dooper-way-too-sweet mix and cut in with a cup of erythritol.

  17. Kayla Corey says

    blackstrap molasses have 11 gram carbs per teaspoon I can’t find sugar free molasses anywhere where did you find these? I looked the internet they all have 11 so I think this is incorrect

    • says

      Hi Kayla,
      There is no such thing as sugar free molasses that I’m aware of, because it’s a byproduct of refining sugar cane.

      I’m thinking nutritional info varies from brand to brand, because I checked the site I like the most for nutrition info and my bottle of blackstrap molasses. On, they list regular molasses is listed as 8 sugars and 15 carbs for a Tablespoon (so a teaspoon would only be 5 carbs). On my bottle of blackstrap- which I prefer because it’s got a better mineral profile, one Tablespoon has 9 grams of sugar and 13 carbs.

      The thing with blackstrap molasses is that it has an extremely strong flavor, which is a plus here-you only use a tiny amount to create a whole cup of low carb brown sugar sub. I only use a teaspoon in this recipe (one third of a Tablespoon), and it yields a whole cup of “sweet brown” with between 4 and 5 net carbs. If you use a whole cup of this to bake 2 dozen low carb cookies, that’s contributing maybe 1 carb for like 5 cookies. Which is why I consider it “teensy.” :) And awesome.

      Compare that with regular brown sugar, weighing in at a whopping 213 sugars and 216 carbs per cup. That’s why I consider this to be a fantastic low carb option! But your opinion may vary.

    • says

      Sweet Blend is SO much sweeter, so you’d use a MUCH smaller amount in recipes. So while you *can* use Sweet Blend for this, you’ll get less of a brown sugar impact because you’re using a much smaller amount in recipes. Make sense?

  18. Nicole Gueck says

    Can u tell me how much gentle sweet I would use to make 1 cup of brown sugar in this recipe?

    In other words, if gentle sweet or what I start with should the recipe still work? And then would that still be 1:1 with the recipe I’m working with? Or less because if the stevia in the gentle sweet? Thanks!

    • says

      I think the powdered texture of the gentle sweet would be challenging with this recipe. I might just add a touch of molasses and a drop of flavoring to recipes to mimic the flavor, and order some granular erythritol if you want to make some of this to store. :)

  19. Karla says

    I have been making my own brown sugar for years with molasses and evaporated cane juice. I mix it in the mixer with the whip beaters. I will try this with a sugar free sweetener!

  20. Brenda says

    Hi, This is wonderful and thanks for sharing. After I started investigating Surkin Gold Brown Sugar $11.99 on Netrition site and seen the ingredients is basically Erythritol I thought why buy this when I can buy that and make my own. seconds later I came across you and this wonderful recipe and yes I can also live with that small amount of sugar. My question is I can just use Stevia and Blackstrap Molasses? Will any molasses work or is that the lowest in sugar (I have not investigated Molasses)?Thanks again

    • says

      Hi Brenda!
      Stevia is SO super concentrated, and it dissolves so easily that I don’t think it would make a suitable sub for this…but you could possibly use a blend of stevia & erythritol or xyltitol (similar to Truvia) and “brown sugar” it. :)

      Any molasses will work. I prefer the blackstrap because it’s higher in minerals, but I’ve used regular in a pinch. :) Enjoy!

  21. Tara says

    Hi Gwen! I was missing brown sugar and butterscotch on THM. Thank you for posting this! I can’t find Frontier Butterscotch Extract anywhere. :-( Do you know of another good kind to use? Or a website to shop for good extracts? Some of the butterscotch “flavor” I find has ingredients I’m not sure I want to eat. Thanks again!

  22. Marilyn says

    Can you please help me decide which sweetener to use in the brown sugar recipe? I have Gentle Sweet, Super Sweet and Stevia. Thank you for your great website!

    • says

      Gentle Sweet is powdered, so that wont’ work as well. Stevia is a super concentrated powder, so that one is out. That leaves Super Sweet Blend…which you can use for this recipe, but be SURE to label it as SUPER Sweet Brown…in recipes where I call for it, I use amounts that work for my recipe here. With the addition of the stevia to the Super Sweet, your end product will be at least twice as sweet *if not more*. So use less in recipes where I call for it. :)

  23. Kim says

    I would like to know if you use the granules or powdered. I have read so many forums that say powdered erythritol, in particular, doesn’t cause as much cooling effect as the granules. I am interested in purchasing the xylitol, but would like to know if you recommend powdered or granules. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Kim,
      I recommend buying granulated. I prefer it for cooking and baking purposes, as it measures and blends like sugar. If I want to make a smoother product, I’ll blend it to make it powdered. I don’t really think that the granulation size affects cooling a lot. Powdered erythritol is still pretty cool. Blending with other types of sweeteners does help this IME. :)

    • says

      You *can* use a stevia blend like Pyure in the same amounts given here. :) I just prefer to use straight erythritol or xylitol, since I use less of the stevia blend sweeteners to get a good sweetness level in recipes, and thus the brown sugar effect is less noticeable.

  24. says

    Hi there, Gwen! I’m only a couple months into a keto diet, and just recently venturing into trying a few treat-like recipes. I bit the bullet and purchased some Just Like Sugar Brown and was so excited at the prospect of an allowed brown sugar substitute… but I found I really don’t care for the flavoring they use in it (orange peel is one) and also its fine texture. So I’m really excited to discover your recipe! Question: do you have an opinion as to which flavoring (butterscotch or maple, e.g.) makes it MOST like good ol’ C&H Dark Brown? Thanks!!

  25. Elizabeth says

    So excited to come across this as I love baking chocolate chip cookies and I wasn’t sure how I’d do it without using brown sugar! My only confusion is the ratios… the recipe I use calls for 3/4 C. brown sugar, so would I measure this out the same as that or would it be different? :) I’m really new to this so I appreciate the help!

  26. Mary Lou Ballard says

    I found out I can’t handle Xylitol or Erthynol. They make me sick. I can tolerate Stevia fairly well with minimal allergy reaction. Do you have any suggestions so I can make the brown sugar? Currently I’m using mostly stevia and some coconut sugar to sweeten.

    • says

      Hi Mary Lou,
      You can simply add a quarter teaspoon of molasses to your recipe to get a flavor punch similar to brown sugar. Now, it is a sugar, so you may not want to use both coconut palm and molasses, as that may take your sugar count too high. I’d only add molasses when you’re making something with straight stevia. :) HTH!

    • says

      Gentle Sweet is so finely ground, I don’t think it would work as well. Super sweet blend is used in such tiny quantities, that it wouldn’t give you as much flavor punch as using just regular erythritol or xylitol. But it would definitely work. :)

  27. Jennifer Sisk says

    Hello! I still a newbie at THM and still slowly stocking up on special ingredients. Where do you find cocoa butter and backstrap molasses? I googled cocoa butter but not sure which one is best for baking. Thanks!!


    I can’t wait to try these! I’m doing low carb but sometimes you just want to have something that’s bread or cookie and this and the brown sugar recipe with the Splenda and molasses is going to be great.

  29. Donna Jenson says

    Just read you story about blackstrap molasses and butterscotch favor – THANK YOU FOR SHARING.
    Can hardly wait to share with my daughter – who lives on a sailboat in the South Pacific.


  1. […] Linked up at Trim Healthy Tuesday […]

  2. […] 7 tbs of Gwen’s Sugarless Brown Sugar (click here for recipe) […]

  3. […]  Sugar Free Brown Sugar Recipe at Gwen’s Nest. This was a THM game changer for me. Brown sugar has been a staple in my cooking for as long as I’ve been cooking. When I thought I had to give up the benefits of brown sugar I was devastated. The richness that brown sugar brings to a recipe, especially in baking is unmatched by any other ingredient. I use this in making cookies, my sauce for meatloaf, or sometimes for smoothies to add a rich deep, caramel, flavor.  […]