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Sucanat is a type of natural sweetener made from sugarcane.

It’s an unrefined, branded variety of sugar with a high molasses content, which enables it to retain more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in sugarcane (1).

This article explains what Sucanat is, its culinary uses, and how it compares with other types of sugar.

Sucanat, which has the appearance of brown sugar, in an orange bowl surrounded by other baked-good ingredients.Share on Pinterest
Nataša Mandić/Stocksy

Sucanat is short for “sugar cane natural,” or “sucre de canne naturel.”

It’s a natural sweetener and branded variety of whole cane sugar first introduced in 1978 by a Swiss company, Pronatec (2).

Sucanat is an unrefined sugar product made when the juice extracted from the sugarcane is filtered, heated, and cooled until tiny crystals are formed.

The molasses naturally found in the sugar is not removed, giving Sucanat a brown color and a strong, distinctive flavor.

Fewer steps are used to produce this type of sugar, making it more environmentally friendly and less processed than regular granulated sugar (1).

Summary

Sucanat is a branded whole cane sugar product. It’s unrefined and naturally contains molasses, which gives it a brown color and strong flavor.

Sucanat, much like table sugar or any other natural sweetener, provides approximately 15 calories per teaspoon (4 grams) of sugar (3, 4).

However, Sucanat is a noncentrifugal sugar. This means it’s produced via traditional dehydration methods without removing molasses. It’s naturally higher in minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron, than refined sugar products (1, 5).

In addition, noncentrifugal sugars are of scientific interest for their flavonoid and polyphenolic compounds as well as their potential antioxidant properties (5).

Nonetheless, you’d have to eat large amounts of Sucanat to obtain significant levels of these minerals and antioxidants for good health. Consuming that much sugar may increase your risk of developing obesity, cancer, and dental cavities (6, 7, 8).

Other natural whole food sources are rich in these minerals and antioxidants, and you should prioritize those in your diet rather than Sucanat or other noncentrifugal sugars.

Summary

Sucanat provides the same calories as table sugar and other natural sweeteners, but it has antioxidants, more molasses, and more minerals. Other foods should be prioritized for these nutrients, and consume Sucanat in moderation.

There are numerous sugar products on the market. Here is how Sucanat compares with white sugar and other natural sweeteners.

Taste or flavorTextureColorMolasses
Sucanatsmoky caramelcoarsetan brownhigh
White sugarmildly sweetfinewhitenone
Turbinado sugarmildly sweetmediumtan brownlow
Brown sugarsweetfinelight brownlow
Coconut sugarlight caramelcoarsedark brownhigh

Sucanat’s mineral content and processing practices are comparable to those of other natural sweeteners, such as rapadura sugar (1).

Due to its high molasses content, Sucanat is naturally higher in minerals, like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron, than refined white and brown sugar products are (1, 5).

Sucanat has a stronger flavor profile than white and brown granulated sugar, and you can use less Sucanat to sweeten beverages and baked goods (1).

It is less refined than commercial granulated white and brown sugars — also called table sugars — and contains less sucrose than these sugars (88% in Sucanat compared with 99% in table sugar) (1).

Summary

Sucanat has a strong, distinctive flavor compared with white and brown granulated sugars and other natural sweeteners. Due to its high molasses content, it contains more minerals found naturally in sugar cane.

Although Sucanat contains more minerals than regular table sugar, it’s still a natural sweetener and added sugar product.

Excessive intake of added sugars has been linked to the development of dental cavities and chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity (6, 7, 8, 9, 10).

In this regard, Sucanat should not be consumed in excessive amounts, and it should be treated with the same caution as other natural sweeteners or sources of added sugars.

That means you should consume Sucanat in moderation, just as you would with other added sugars.

Summary

Sucanat has a higher mineral content than regular granulated sugar. However, it’s still an added sugar and should be consumed in moderation. Excessive consumption of added sugars is linked to chronic diseases and dental cavities.

Sucanat can be used similarly too granulated sugar can be used. In fact, you can use it to replace granulated sugar or coconut sugar in baked goods.

However, its coarse texture and strong flavor may prevent it from being substituted in a one-to-one fashion.

Here is a quick guide based on America’s Test Kitchen’s recommendations for how to substitute Sucanat:

  • Coconut sugar. Use 1/4 cup (50 grams) of Sucanat in place of 1/3 cup (70 grams) of coconut sugar.
  • Granulated sugar. Use 3 tablespoons (37.5 grams) of Sucanat in place of 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of granulated white or brown sugar.

When using Sucanat in baked goods, try grinding it in a spice grinder first. Doing so may help it dissolve and create a smoother product.

Sucanat can be used in cookies, as suggested by America’s Test Kitchen.

You can even use it to make balsamic dressing for your salads.

Use Sucanat to sweeten beverages, like homemade juice, teas, or even coffee, or add it to muffins, cakes, peach cobbler, pies, and homemade granola bars.

If you prefer a savory recipe, try this teriyaki sauce with Sucanat for your stir-fry vegetables.

As you can see, Sucanat is quite versatile and offers a myriad of uses for your preference and culinary expeditions.

Summary

Sucanat is versatile and can be used in the same ways as table sugar. Use it to sweeten beverages or baked goods, like cake, cobbler, and pies. You can also substitute it for regular sugar in savory recipes, such as teriyaki sauce.

Sucanat is a trademarked, branded variety of whole cane sugar that has a high molasses and mineral content.

It’s comparable to other natural sweeteners, like rapadura, and is less refined than white and brown granulated sugars. It can be used to sweeten beverages or baked goods.

However, it should be consumed in moderation. Consuming too much sugar is linked to the development of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.