Reader Lee-Ann writes:
Tis Maple season up here in Canada and I have found a good source for Maple sugar, which I have heard is better for you. I love baking and have tried a couple recipes switching out the brown or white sugar for Maple sugar. What is your view on baking with Maple sugar and is it a one to one ratio with white sugar?
Hey Lee-Ann! I’m not sure about maple being better for you, however I can totally understand wanting to make the substitution from a flavor and convenience standpoint. When you say “sugar” I presume you mean “syrup” (we in the Midwestern U.S. often conflate those two words where maple is concerned). I know there is such a thing as granulated maple sugar and it can indeed be used as a 1-to-1 replacement for regular white granulated. It performs identically save for adding maple flavor and a vaguely brown color.
If you’re talking syrup, a cup of sugar and a cup of maple syrup are virtually identical. They have the same amount of sugar and calories in them and they deliver the same amount of sweetness. The main difference between the two is that maple syrup — like most syrup — contains water. In fact most maple syrup is one third water, sometimes more. That extra liquid can make a difference in a baking formula, so in order to compensate you’ll want to subtract an equivalent amount from the liquid portion of the recipe, either water or milk. Since a cup of maple syrup weighs 11 ounces, you’ll take 3.5 ounces (3.6 if you want to be truly precise) of some other liquid away. Thanks for a great question, Lee-Ann!