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6 Piloncillo Substitutes for Sweet Delights

Ever decided to bake something sweet and realized you’re missing an ingredient? Yeah, us too. Piloncillo is one of those nifty little additions that brings a unique flavor to our favorite desserts.

Sure, it sounds fancy, but guess what? It’s just unrefined sugar. We’ve found some substitutes that’ll work just as well in case you don’t have piloncillo hanging out in your pantry.

Because, seriously, who has that on hand all the time? Buckle up as we explore the substitutes that can save your recipe in a pinch.

6 Easy Substitutes for Piloncillo

For those unfamiliar, piloncillo is a type of brown sugar used in Mexican and Latin American cuisine. It’s made by boiling down sugar cane juice until it reaches a thick syrup consistency, then allowing it to cool and harden into cone-shaped molds. It has a rich, caramel-like flavor that pairs well with chocolate or cinnamon.

SubstituteTasteTextureRatioSuitable Dish
Brown SugarSweetGranular1:1Baked goods, cookies
HoneySweet, floralViscous1:1Baked goods, desserts
Maple SyrupSweet, mapleViscous1:1Pancakes, waffles
Coconut SugarSweet, mildGranular1:1Baked goods, desserts
Date SyrupSweet, fruityViscous1:1Baked goods, desserts
MolassesSweet, richThick1:2Baked goods, cookies

1 – Brown Sugar

First, let’s talk about brown sugar. This stuff is in every pantry and is a no-brainer substitute for piloncillo. It’s made by mixing refined white sugar with molasses. So, it’s got that sweet and slightly sticky feel.

We recommend using an equal amount of brown sugar as piloncillo. This means if a recipe calls for 1/4 cup piloncillo, use 1/4 cup brown sugar instead.

Brown sugar is easier to find at most grocery stores. And hey, if you’re curious about more substitutions, check out this list of brown sugar substitutes. There’s a lot to explore!

2 – Honey

The sweet drizzle we all love—honey!

Sure, it’s thick and sticky, but honey is actually a great piloncillo substitute. Honey’s natural sweetness and rich flavor can mimic piloncillo well.

We recommend a 3 to 4 ratio for recipes. If you need 1 cup of piloncillo, use about 3/4 cup of honey.

Honey is much easier to find than piloncillo. Plus, it mixes evenly in batters and doughs. It also acts as a binding agent.

Have any extra honey? Check out our list of honey substitutes for more ideas.

3 – Maple Syrup

While we all love pancakes drenched in maple syrup, did you know it’s an awesome piloncillo substitute too? Pour that golden goodness into your batter for a sweet twist.

Maple syrup has a smooth, rich flavor. We recommend using it in a 1:1 ratio. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of piloncillo, use 1 cup of maple syrup instead. It blends easily and isn’t overly sticky.

When we run out of piloncillo, we always grab maple syrup from our pantry. For more sweet tips, check out our list of maple syrup substitutes.

4 – Coconut Sugar

The sweet charm of coconut sugar can’t be overlooked. We love its subtle, caramel-like flavor that adds a unique twist to recipes. Unlike regular sugar, coconut sugar comes from the sap of coconut palms.

Know that a 1:1 ratio works perfectly. This means if you need 1 cup of piloncillo, you just use 1 cup of coconut sugar.

Trust us, coconut sugar doesn’t overpower your dish, and it’s great for getting that rich taste. We’ve used it in cakes and cookies, and it blends so well.

Craving more info on coconut sugar swaps? Check out our coconut sugar substitutes for alternatives!

5 – Date Syrup

If you’ve got a sweet tooth and no piloncillo in sight, date syrup is your savior. We love it. Date syrup is thick, sticky, and naturally sweet. It does a great job replacing piloncillo in recipes.

Use date syrup in a 1:1 ratio. If you need 1 cup of piloncillo, use 1 cup of date syrup.

It’s not just sweet, it adds a deep, rich flavor. We always have it on hand for baking. Perfect for cookies, cakes, and more. It mixes well and brings the sweetness.

For more info on alternatives, check out our date syrup substitutes.

6 – Molasses

Last on our list is molasses! This rich, dark syrup is a fantastic substitute for piloncillo. Molasses brings an intense sweetness with a hint of bitterness, giving your baked goods an extra depth of flavor.

We suggest a 1:2 ratio. Need 1 cup of piloncillo? Simply use 1 cup of molasses. This swap keeps things simple and oh-so-tasty.

We’ve used molasses in our gingerbread cookies, and they turned out amazing. Molasses adds that classic richness and warmth. And it’s super easy to find at your grocery store.

For more molasses swap ideas, check out this list of molasses substitutes.