What Is the Difference Between Molasses & Sorghum?

Molasses and sorghum are often compared to each other. Both are types of sweet syrup, but there are some very distinct differences regarding origin and how each type of syrup is made.

Parkin
credit: Paul Brighton/iStock/Getty Images
Spoon of molasses with bread.

Origin

Sugar Cane Field
credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
Sugar cane field.

Molasses syrup is made from sugar cane and is essentially uncrystalized sugar. Sorghum is made of juice derived from the sweet sorghum cane stalk, a crop native to Africa.

Processing

Watched Pot HDR
credit: jimd_stock/iStock/Getty Images
Boiling pot.

To make molasses, sugar cane is crushed and the juice is extracted and boiled down into a syrup. This syrup is boiled again with the addition of milk and an alkaline solution. The mixture is left to sit for two days until it begins to granulate, at which point the syrup is drained out, packaged and sold as molasses. To make sorghum, the juice is squeezed or pressed out from the sweet sorghum cane stalk and boiled down into syrup form. It is not as heavily processed as molasses.

Other Differences

Spoon of syrup
credit: Image Source White/Image Source/Getty Images
Amber color sorghum on a spoon.

During processing, molasses loses some of its sweetness. Sorghum has a sweeter taste because none of the sugar is removed when it is made. Molasses is also much darker than sorghum, which is a light amber shade.