Treacle vs. Molasses: Taste, Distinction, and Nutrition

Molasses and treacle are sweet syrups produced during the refining of sugar.

The syrups are byproducts of sugar processing, derived from what is left behind after the sugar crystals have been removed.

Molasses is manufactured in the United States, whereas treacle is manufactured in the United Kingdom. Because the two are commonly confused, it is critical to understand how and why they differ.

In this essay, we will look at the differences between treacle and molasses, how they are made, the recipes that use them, and if they can be swapped for one another.

Difference Between Treacle and Molasses

The primary distinction between treacle and molasses is the color and texture. British treacle is lighter in color and has a thinner texture. The American molasses, on the other hand, is thicker, denser, and deeper in color.

Aside from their look and texture, the syrups vary in four other ways:

  • Molasses and treacle are both sweet syrups manufactured from refined sugar. Manufacturers heat sugar cane and sugar beet juice to make sugar crystals, then filter the crystals to make molasses or treacle.

How distinct molasses and treacle are depends on how long the liquid boils. Treacle boils for a shorter amount of time and has a lighter, thinner texture with more sugar. Molasses often boils for a much longer period of time, resulting in a darker, thicker liquid with less sugar.

  • Tracey is classified into two grades: light and dark. Light, also known as golden syrup, is the lightest in color and taste, while dark, also known as black treacle, is darker and bitterer.

Molasses comes in three varieties: light, dark, and bootstrap. Dark molasses is darker and thicker, whereas light molasses is thinner and sweeter. Blackstrap molasses is the darkest in color, has the thickest texture, and has the most bitter taste of any molasses.

  • Taste: Although there are many different types of treacle and molasses, treacle is thought to be sweeter and less bitter than its American counterpart. Molasses, on the other hand, has a more bitter taste and is hence less sweet.
  • Because treacle syrup is sweeter and thinner, it is often used to sweeten baked items such as treacle sponge and desserts such as treacle apple pudding. However, since molasses is thicker and more bitter than treacle, it is used in savory dishes such as mustard and molasses glaze, BBQ sauce, and ginger molasses marinade in addition to being used as a sweetener.

Treacle vs Molasses Comparison Table

Category Treacle Molasses
Used in UK USA
Production Made from the juice of either sugar cane or sugar beets Made from the juice of either sugar cane or sugar beets
Boiling Time The juice of sugar cane or sugar beets juice is boiled for a shorter time The juice of sugar cane or sugar beets juice is boiled for a longer time
Flavor Sweet and with mild bitterness Bitter with mild notes of sweetness
Color Lighter Darker
Texture Thinner Thicker
Types Golden syrup and black treacle Light, dark, and blackstrap
Uses Sweet recipes Sweet and savory recipes

Nutritional Content Breakdown: Which One Is Healthier?

The nutritional chart below shows that light treacle, commonly known as Golden Syrup, contains the highest calories, carbohydrates, and sugar and the least minerals and vitamins.

Dark treacle, light molasses, and dark molasses all have nutritional profiles that are comparable, with dark molasses having the fewest calories, carbohydrates, and sugar. Dark treacle, on the other hand, has more minerals and vitamins than both light and dark molasses.

However, blackstrap molasses is the most nutrient-dense of all the syrups; it contains the fewest calories, carbs, and sugars and the greatest concentration of vitamins and minerals, making it the nutritional winner.

Treacle vs Molasses: Nutritional Profile

Category (1tbsp) Light Treacle Dark Treacle Light Molasses Dark Molasses Blackstrap Molasses
Calories 72 64 60 58 42
Carbs 19g 17g 15g 14.9g 11g
Sugar 19g 17g 13g 14.9g 11g
Vitamins & Minerals    
Calcium 0.38% 14% 6% 5% 20%
Iron 0.74% 27% 18% 12% 45%

Can I Substitute Treacle for Molasses & Vice Versa?

You may use treacle in lieu of molasses and vice versa, as long as you use the correct quantity of treacle to replace the correct amount of molasses.

Molasses has a stronger taste and a thicker texture by definition. If you wish to substitute light molasses, you might use a 1:1 blend of light and black treacle.

Replace black molasses with dark treacle in the same proportion, or a pinch more if you desire a stronger taste.

Blackstrap molasses is quite bitter, and black treacle may not have the same taste and texture. It will, however, be near enough. To obtain a fuller taste and texture, replace blackstrap molasses with additional treacle.

Using molasses instead of treacle may result in a bitter taste and thicker texture in your dishes. To prevent the harshness and concentrate on the sweeter flavors, substitute molasses for treacle in equal parts and add more sugar or another sweetener, such as simple syrup. This product will make your molasses less thick and sweeter.

Other ingredients may also function as treacle or molasses alternatives. They may not, however, have the same taste, color, or texture as the aforementioned syrups. Honey, maple syrup, agave, light and dark maize syrup, and sorghum molasses are other semi-sufficient alternatives.

How to Cook With Treacle & Molasses

Using treacle and molasses in your cuisine isn’t rocket science. These syrups may be used straight from the jar and added to recipes.

Because of their thickness, both syrups should be poured with a spoon rather than directly from the tin. You may also want to reheat the container in hot water to soften the viscosity of the syrups and make them easier to handle.

When you require precise measures and don’t want half of the syrup to adhere to your spoon or measuring cup, spritz or oil your equipment before measuring. This ensures that no syrup residue remains on your measuring spoon or cup and that the syrups easily slide off.


Finally, since molasses and treacle are both byproducts of the sugar refining process, they have many similarities. They are sweet, thick, and black, with some types also having bitter properties.

Light treacle is the sweetest and thinnest in texture; it contains the most sugar and so has the least nutritious value. Light molasses and light treacle are similar, but light molasses is darker, thicker, and more bittersweet by nature. Dark treacle and dark molasses are the same. The most nutrient-dense syrup is blackstrap molasses, but it lacks sweetness and has a very strong, bitter taste that distinguishes it from the others.

The natural sweetness of treacle is more typically utilized in pastries and baked products, but the rich caramel taste of molasses is employed in both sweet and savory meals such as marinades and BBQ sauces.

It all boils down to personal choice in the end! Whatever choice you choose, whether British treacle or American molasses, we are certain you will be pleased with the completed product’s flavor and look.


Is treacle better than molasses?

Both have a strong, fragrant flavor that provides a distinct finish to food and drink dishes, but they vary somewhat, with treacle being a sweeter product with a lower bitter taste than molasses.

Can you substitute molasses with treacle?

Because the two products have comparable rich flavors and dark colors, black treacle may be an excellent alternative for molasses. This includes pre-made oven-bake casserole sauces and Worcestershire sauce flavorings.

Is blackstrap molasses and treacle the same thing?

Molasses, sometimes known as treacle, black treacle, or blackstrap molasses in the United States, is basically what is left over after cane sugar is cooked to generate sugar and most of the sugar has been taken.

Is treacle sweeter than sugar?

It is roughly half as sweet as refined white sugar, so you may be tempted to add more to get the desired sweetness. It tastes like black treacle or molasses to me. It’s fantastic for making bread; you may have seen BARLEY MALT on the ingredient list of breads that utilize it as a yeast food.

What ingredient do Brits call treacle?

Treacle is an uncrystallized syrup formed during the sugar production process. Trafle, often known as the British form of molasses, is thick and black with a sweet, mild bitter flavor.

How healthy is treacle?

Is black treacle healthy? It does, however, have remarkable nutritional qualities. Because of the large percentage of molasses present, black treacle has a strong nutritional profile that includes vitamin B6, potassium, calcium, and iron.

Is there a lot of sugar in treacle?

Light treacle is the sweetest and thinnest in texture; it contains the most sugar and so has the least nutritious value.

Does treacle go bad?

Tins and bottles of black treacle will include an expiration date as well as a warning to “dispose of upon expiry,” implying that, although being a long-life product, it does go bad.

Is golden syrup the same as treacle?

Treacle is darker in color and has a stronger flavor than Golden Syrup, although it is not as sweet. It may be used in lieu of Golden Syrup in many recipes, but it is often used with Golden Syrup in others, such as our Old English Gingerbread.

Why not use blackstrap molasses?

Every spoonful contains just 45% of your daily sugar allowance and 1% of your daily sodium allowance. For these reasons, it should never be substituted for molasses unless a recipe expressly asks for blackstrap.

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