Food

The Most Common Types of Molasses & How to Use Them

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When it’s time for fall and winter baking, dark, sticky molasses gets pulled out from the back of my cabinet. There’s no replacement for the sweet, almost smoky flavors it adds to cookies and cakes, plus it plays oh-so-nicely with winter spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Molasses comes in different varieties and each has its own taste, use and how it was made.

Molasses labeling can be a bit confusing, so here’s a guide to the three most common varieties.

The most common forms of molasses are made from either sugar cane or sugar beet juice which is boiled down to a syrup. Sugar crystals are extracted from the syrup, and the remaining dark liquid is molasses. Molasses can also be made from sorghum, pomegranate, carob, and dates.

Usulphured vs. Sulphured Molasses

Sulphured molasses is molasses that has been treated with sulphur dioxide as a preservative. However, since the sulphuring process can leave the molasses with a strong pronounced chemical flavor and is less sweet, most commercial molasses is unsulphured.

Christine Gallary

Food Editor-at-Large

Christine graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, and she has worked at Cook’s Illustrated and CHOW.com. She lives in San Francisco and loves teaching cooking classes. Follow her latest culinary escapades on Instagram.



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