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There are no hard and fast rules to substituting agave and sugar in recipes, but this page should help you quickly decide how much you will want to use in your particular recipe, instead of table or cane sugar. Based on its sweetnesss, and the fact that it is a liquid, rather than solid like granualated cane sugar, most people use 2/3 to 3/4 (two-thirds to three quarters) as much agave as sugar. In other words, for each cup of granualated cane sugar, use 2/3 cup of liquid agave syrup. In general, substituting agave for sugar seems to be a matter of taste. Some people prefer 2/3 cup of agave per cup of white sugar, some 3/4 cup. Also, reduce the amount of other liquids by 1/4 cup for every cup of agave used. Lower the oven temp about 25 degrees F to prevent over-browning and add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of agave to your batter. (Agave is naturally acidic and the baking soda tempers it.)
If you are diabetic, keep in mind that agave does not reduce the calorie or carbohydrate content of the sugar syrup, and thus is not acceptable sugar replacements for people on diabetic diets.
You may also be interested in our page about substituting honey for sugar.
Moisture: If you just swap agave for sugar the finished product would likely be rather soggy and sticky. But, if we examine the rest of the ingredients in a recipe, we can determine which items will absorb some of the water in the agave and increase those to compensate. Or we can take the opposite approach and reduce some liquid from the recipe.
Density: A cup of granulated sugar weighs 8 ounces (1/2 lb or 1/4 kg; 250 grams). A cup of agave weighs 12 ounces (3/4 lb or 340 grams). So if you were to substitute agave in a recipe that calls for brown sugar, you'd be adding twice the amount of food. A cup of brown sugar weighs only 6. But a cup of maple syrup weighs 11 ounces and it slightly less sweet than agave; so you should use about 10% less agave than maple syrup.
Flavor: Agave has its own unique flavor, but much milder than honey. General it is a light and pleasing flavor, but if it conflicts with the desired taste of your recipe, there's not much you can do about it. However, most people seem to like the flavor that agave adds!
Faster Browning: Lower the oven temp about 25 degrees F to prevent over-browning and increase the time by 5%
These are general recommendations and since the type, quality and properties of the other ingredients affects how the sweetener acts, you may have to do some trial and error to get the exact substitution for the results you want. But these rations should work and be tasty!
Substituting plain water for the sugar syrup reduces the calorie content of canned fruit by approximately 205, 280 or 375 calories per pint, assuming 2/3 cup of thin, medium or thick syrup, respectively, is replaced with water. In many cases you can use water instead of sugar or other sweetener, because sugar rarely is used for preservative proprieties... BUT, the products may taste awful with no sweetness! I'll point out (in the recipes on other pages) when it can be done and how much it appears to affect taste.
Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book