What is Organic Sucanat and How Do I Use It?

Written by: FreshJax Team



Time to read 5 min

If you love to sweeten your coffee, bake delicious batches of cookies, or use sugar to make just about anything, you’ll want to know more about the up-and-coming sugar alternative, sucanat. Among all the sweet, sugary organic spices out there, sucanat is just now coming into its own. As a more natural alternative to other sugars, sucanat is the perfect choice for a mineral-packed sweetener in all kinds of foods, including vegan dishes.

In this article, we’ll walk you through what this strange and wonderful sweetener is, how it’s made, what it tastes like, how it’s different from other sugars, and how you can use it to make healthy, all-natural sweet dishes. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Also: Huge Shout-Out to our FreshJax Friend Steve for providing the photos for this article. This is the ACTUAL cake he made this weekend. It was delicious… 


What is Sucanat?

Sucant in a bowl

Sucanat is short for the French “sucre de canne naturel,” which means “natural sugar cane.” The name comes from how it is processed, but we’ll get into that in a minute. Sucanat was initially introduced in 1978 by a Swiss company, Pronatec, as a natural sweetener and an alternative to sugar. It is made from sugarcane, as many other sugars are, but is less processed.

Sucanat retains the molasses that naturally occurs in sugarcane, thanks to the use of fewer processing steps, meaning the end result has a soft brown color and a more robust flavor than regular white sugar. Additionally, the processing methods are more environmentally friendly. Speaking of which, let’s talk a bit about how sucanat is made.


How Is It Processed?

Making sucanat begins by collecting sugarcane and crushing it. The juice is then extracted from the sugarcane and boiled. As it cools, it forms little brown crystals, which are the sucanat. It’s that simple!

To clarify how simple the processing of sucanat is, let’s compare it to the processing of traditional white sugar. White sugar is made by collecting and crushing sugarcane, the same as sucanat. Then, the juice is extracted and boiled. The crystals that form and the liquid, which is molasses, are divided, and the crystals are then moved for further processing. Next, the crystals are boiled and liquified again to remove the rest of the remaining molasses. Finally, the crystals are separated, dried, and ground into fine, regular crystals. This means white sugar goes through twice the processing of sucanat!


Sucanat - Flavor Profile

But what does this unrefined sugar taste like? Well, the way sucanat is processed means that the natural molasses in the sugarcane remains in it, unlike how the molasses is processed out of white sugar. This means that sucanat has a richer, stronger flavor than other sugars. It has a smoky caramel-like taste, with 13% molasses, while even dark brown sugar only has 6.5% molasses.

Moreover, sucanat has larger crystals, which might not dissolve as quickly as other sugars and one teaspoon of sucanat will have slightly less sugar than a teaspoon of brown or white sugar. On the other hand, because sucanat has a more robust flavor, you may need to use less of it as a sweetener.


Sucanat vs. Traditional White Sugar

Let’s compare sucanat and white sugar in their nutritional value. First of all, as sucanat retains that molasses, it also contains the minerals found in molasses. So, you can find calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron in sucanat, while white sugar has had all of those minerals processed out of it. Likewise, sucanat is only 88% sucrose, while white sugar is 99%.

More than this, sucanat and other unrefined sugars possess flavonoid and polyphenolic compounds, which means sucanat has potential antioxidant properties. White sugar does not include these compounds. In general, however, sucanat is still a sugar and should be consumed in moderation.


Sucanat vs. Other Sugars

How does sucanat compare with other sugars? Let’s take a look.

Compared to turbinado sugar, sucanat still has a higher molasses content. While turbinado sugar has some molasses in it, sucanat is purer. Additionally, turbinado sugar has been refined to produce a clear gold-colored crystal, while sucanat has a grainier, more opaque look. Nutritionally, turbinado sugar is quite similar to white sugar–only it has a trace amount of molasses and minerals.

If we compare sucanat with brown sugar, light or dark, we still have the processing to think of. Brown sugar is made from white sugar that has had its molasses added back into it, but even here, it still contains less molasses than sucanat. Again, that means fewer minerals and potential antioxidants.

Using Sucanat in baking a cake
Image Curtesy of our FreshJax Friend Steve. Thanks Steve!

How to Use Sucanat

Now that you know what sucanat is, here’s how to use it. Sucanat can be used as an alternative to other sugars in most recipes. However, you won’t want to use it as a one-to-one substitute. This is because sucanat has a coarser texture and more powerful flavor than pretty much any other sugar. So, depending on the use, you may need to use more or less, and you will want only to use it where a strong, caramel-like flavor is desired.

As a Sweetener

You can use sucanat as a sweetener for beverages like: 

  • tea
  • juice
  • lemonade
  • coffee
  • mocktails
  • Substituted for brown sugar in rubs or marinades

In these cases, try using the same amount, or slightly less, of sucanat as you would regular white sugar. You can easily taste the beverage to ensure it has the sweetness you like, and add more sucanat if necessary.

Sucanat being added to cake frosting
Here is the Frosting from the cake Steve made. It LITERALLY INSPIRED this Blog post. It was THAT GOOD!

In Baked Goods

Using sucanat in baked goods is a phenomenal idea. Try it in: 

  • Cookies (especially gingerbread or spice cookies)
  • Cakes (especially chocolate or carrot cakes)
  • Caramel sauce (makes a great topping and is definitely one of our favorites)

In most baked goods, that stronger caramel flavor of sucanat will bring them up a notch. The only time you won’t want to use sucanat for baking is when you’re making something that needs a delicate, soft sweetener and where that molasses touch would be too much.

When baking with sucanat, it is recommended to use 3 tbsp of it for every 2 tbsp of white or brown sugar in a recipe. Additionally, since the crystals are larger, it’s a good idea to grind them up more in a spice grinder if possible. This ensures that the sucanat melts and blends evenly into the recipe.


Want to Add Sucanat to Your Next Cup of Coffee?

If this guide to organic sucanat has piqued your interest in this unrefined sugar, check out our sucanat and other delicious spices at FreshJax! Our sucanat is organic, vegan, non-GMO, and is made from pure dried sugarcane juice. Try it in your next cup of coffee today!



Do you already use Sucanat in your cooking?

Are wholesome ingredients as important to you as they are to us?

How about that cake Steve made?

Leave us a comment and feel free to share this article with your friends and family.