Today I want to talk on all the types of sugar! Have you ever thought what’s the difference between light brown sugar and dark brown sugar? Or can I use brown sugar instead of white sugar in this recipe?
Let me help break down the different types of sugar so you know their uses in a recipe. Overall, you are gonna learn a lot of stuff all about sugar.
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My parents divorced when I was younger so I knew learning to cook and bake was something I had to learn. I started to master cooking fork-tender pork chops for my dad and I, and then went on to attempt cookies, cakes and more.
As I spent time in the kitchen, using old-school cookbooks, I became more confident. I then researched all the types of sugars to learn the differences. It helped me a lot when it came to the recipes, knowing what kind of sugar I need for this specific recipe.
Types of Sugar You Need To Know
Granulated sugar is one of the most used sugars in many baking recipes. It is a refined sugar that has many purposes.
If you see a recipe call for ‘sugar’ with no other words before or after, it generally means granulated.
If a recipe called for (caster sugar) superfine granulated sugar, instead of buying a whole bag for one recipe, put your sugar in a food processor or blender and pulse until it becomes a lot finer.
This will give you a smoother sugar that you won’t taste the grit when you bite in.
Cane sugar comes from you guessed it, sugar cane! You will find cane sugar is a slightly larger grain and is slightly darker in color. It is similar to granulated sugar but it does have a larger price tag on it.
You can use cane sugar like you would granulated sugar in recipes.
A raw sugar cane sugar that is hardly refined. Demerara is amber colored and larger granules that can be used to top baked goods for that sugar-crusted top, or even sweeten a cup of coffee or tea!
Some recipes use a larger granule sugar on top for that bakery style muffin look and this is a wonderful sugar to use and buy for that. It has a mild and subtle molasses flavor.
This light, soft sugar is a sugar that has been ground down into a really fine powder. Top your French toast, use in frosting recipes, toss in the recipe for sugar cookies and more.
Many recipes call for powdered sugar for its powder-like consistency. It adds that sweetness and makes the batter even creamier. I love it on puppy chow, one of my favorite desserts.
Light Brown Sugar
Light brown sugar offers a wetter and almost sandy texture. It is a white sugar that has a little bit of molasses added in. It will give you that caramel flavor when you use it for baking cookies and other sweets.
Brown sugar is also great for cooking to add sweetness to a dish.
We make steaks and use a small amount of brown sugar in the rub and it gives the steaks the perfect crust as it cooks on the grill. This sugar is super versatile.
Dark Brown Sugar
Dark brown sugar is darker in color and has more molasses mixed in. Sometimes a recipe calls for a dark or light brown sugar. The difference is dark brown sugar is going to bring you a deeper caramel taste whereas light brown sugar offers a mild and softer flavor. So maybe you don’t want that to stand out in a recipe you go with light brown sugar.
Can you use light brown sugar in replace of dark brown sugar in a recipe? Absolutely, these two sugars and so similar you can use one or the other. It will slightly change the flavor but you won’t risk the texture!
Similar sandy wet and dark appearance to a brown sugar this Muscovado sugar is called for a lot in things like marinades, barbecue sauce and more. A very deep and rich flavor much stronger than a dark brown sugar.
Muscovado sugar (also known as Barbados sugar) is an unrefined cake sugar that hasn’t removed the molasses. Same as brown sugar you have the option of a light or dark blend.
You will find this sugar looks very similar to a brown sugar, but note it is not the same. Turbinado sugar is used a lot for sweetening up drinks. Sometimes you might bake with this sugar but more often you reach for an actual brown or granulated sugar for the recipe.
Can You Make Powdered Sugar
In a pinch, grab granulated sugar and a blender or food processor and let me share how to make powdered sugar!
If you want to give a smoother consistency add in a small amount of cornstarch to help give a silkier consistency.
Overall you can see not all sugars are equal. I hope this helps you master sugar in the kitchen! What is your favorite go-to sugar for baking?