You’re a few steps into these community-favorite bran muffins when you realize: Bleep-bleep, you don’t have molasses. The recipe only calls for 3 tablespoons—so is it okay to substitute? I’ll cut to the chase: Yes. (And phew!) Today, we’ll cover molasses basics, our go-to molasses substitutes, and share swapping advice for a few of our favorite recipes.
What is molasses, anyway?
Simply put, molasses is a byproduct of sugar processing, whether that’s sugar cane or sugar beets. When sugar is refined, “the juice squeezed from these plants is boiled to a syrupy mixture from which sugar crystals are extracted,” according to The New Food Lover’s Companion. “The remaining brownish-black liquid is molasses.” Got it!