So many sugars, so little time!
You have your favorite cookie recipe in hand, but you can’t remember whether that cup of sugar means you’re supposed to add granulated sugar or brown sugar to the batter. Come to think of it, what does the 10x mean on the powdered sugar package you have in your cupboard? There are many types of sugars available that can sweeten anything from cookies to teas, but how do you know which one is best suited for your needs? The bulk food aisle has a wide range of sugars for home bakers or professional pastry chefs. Check out the information below to learn more about the sweet stuff.
Regular Granulated Sugar
Regular granulated sugar is a fine grained sugar and is one of the most versatile sugar products available. This type of sugar can be used at home in coffees, teas and cereals. Granulated sugar is also a staple in baked good recipes and can be used for canning and preserving.
Fruit Granulated Sugar
Similar to regular granulated sugar, fruit sugar has a finer grain texture, making it useful in powders for pudding, gelatin and drink mixes. Just like regular granulated sugar, it can be used to sweeten coffee and tea and can be used for canning and preserving.
Confectioners’ (Powdered) Sugar
Confectioners’ sugar is granulated sugar that has been ground to a smooth powder. The powder is then sifted and is refined with a small amount of cornstarch to prevent caking. The most common type of powdered sugar is 10x, which is what most home users use in recipes for baked goods. 6x powdered sugar has larger grains than 10x. In addition to baked goods, confectioners’ sugar can be used to make candies, frosting, glazes and fudge and can also be used as a topping for pancakes, French toast and funnel cakes.
Brown sugar contains molasses syrup and can range in color from light brown to golden brown. All brown sugars tend to clump together because of the moisture content in the granules. Light brown and golden brown sugars have a soft and moist texture with a hint of molasses flavor. Both are commonly used in baked goods, but can also be used as a sweetener for hot cereals, fruits and beverages. Dark brown sugar has the same texture, but a much richer molasses flavor. Dark brown sugar is most commonly used in full-flavored baked goods such as gingerbread.
Raw sugar is minimally processed, leaving it with a high molasses content which gives the sugar a rich, complex flavor. Raw sugar can be used as a topping for pastries, desserts and other baked goods.
Fructose occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables and honey as well as fruit and vegetable juices, giving these foods a sweet flavor. Crystallized fructose is great for use as a sweetener in a wide array of foods and beverages.
This unrefined sugar is made from the first crystallization of cane juice. Its large golden crystals and crunchy texture make it delicious in beverages, sauces and toppings.
Sucanat is whole cane sugar made from cane juice. It contains 100% of the cane's natural molasses in each granule. Sucanat has a rich flavor and is quick dissolving, making it suitable as a substitute for brown sugar or as a sweetener in coffee.
Evaporated Cane Juice
Evaporated cane juice is made directly from milled cane sugar. The juice is evaporated into syrup, then crystallized and cured. The finished product is a medium sized crystal with a blond color and distinctive warm molasses flavor that can be used in place of regular granulated sugar in everything from beverages to baked goods.