Muscovado Sugar Substitute

Easiest Swap Ever: Use Brown Sugar

A glass bowl of brown sugar cubes
Margarita Komine/Getty Images 

Muscovado sugar (sometimes called Barbados sugar) is an unrefined or partially refined cane sugar with a strong molasses flavor and a high moisture content. It has a rather coarse texture and feels sticky to the touch. It’s easy to find in some countries, but it is next to impossible to find in others. If you happen to live in one of those countries where it’s difficult to find, you’ll be happy to know there’s a simple substitute.


All you need to make a substitute for muscovado sugar is brown sugar. That's it.


This is easy and takes zero extra time. Replace the muscovado sugar called for with an equal amount of brown sugar. If the recipe calls for dark muscovado sugar, use dark brown sugar. If the recipe calls for light muscovado sugar, use light brown sugar. If it doesn’t specify one or the other, use dark. It’s the most common.

If brown sugar isn’t readily available where you live, demerara may be another option. As a last resort, you can also make your own brown sugar from granulated sugar and molasses.

How to Store Muscovado

Since muscovado and all other brown sugars have such a high moisture content, they’re prone to drying out, clumping together and becoming hard as stone if they aren’t stored properly. To keep your sugar from getting brick hard, follow these storage tips:

  • Store in an air-tight container with a tight-fitting lid or a plastic bag that closes tightly
  • Put a terracotta brown sugar saver in the bag with the sugar
  • Put a slice of apple or bread in the bag with the sugar