Types of Sugar Used in Baking Sugar is an integral part of the baking that we do in our day-to-day life. Sugar is always primarily seen as only a sweetener, but it also plays a vital role in the development of taste, texture, and appearance of baked goods.It is also used in rolls and breads; where it feeds the yeast which helps the bread rise.

When you hear the word sugar, the very first thing that pops up in your mind is white granulated sugar, which we use commonly to sweeten our morning cup of tea or for baking. However, do you know that there are different varieties of sugar? Which type of sugar is used in baking? If not, then read on this blog till the very end to know the common types of sugar used in baking and their uses.

Common Types of Sugar for Baking

There are different varieties of sugar, but the following eight types are the most commonly used when it comes to baking recipes like cookies, muffins, and cakes.

1. Granulated Sugar:

Granulated sugar is a highly refined, multi-purpose sugar. It is also sometimes known as white sugar or regular sugar. It is made from sugarcane and sugar beets. It is the most common type of sugar used in baking and cooking. The fine crystals in granulated sugar don't cake together, which makes it perfect for measuring, sprinkling onto food and dissolving into drinks.

2. Castor Sugar:

Castor sugar is nothing but superfine granulated white sugar. Since the crystals are so fine, it dissolves much quicker than standard granulated white sugar. You can make your own by using a food processor to break down granulated sugar for a few seconds until a finer texture is achieved. It is ideal for making syrups, meringues, cocktails, and light & tender cakes.

3. Powdered Sugar:

Powdered sugar is also known as confectioners' sugar. It is a type of white sugar that has been grounded into fine powder through different sized sieves. The most common and finest in size is 10X powdered sugar. To prevent clumping, a small amount of cornstarch is added at around 3%. Powdered sugar is ideal for dusting, icing, frosting, as well as decorating baked goods as it easily dissolves in liquid to create a thick, spreadable substance. It can also be used in cakes and cookies to give a more dense texture.

4. Coarse Sugar:

Coarse sugar is also called as nib sugar or pearl sugar. It has a hard texture and an opaque color. As the crystals are large in size, they hold their shape and doesn't melt when exposed to high temperatures. Coarse sugar is used mainly for decorating pastries, cookies, buns, and comes in a rainbow of colors. It also helps to give baked goods or candy a little texture.

5. Sanding Sugar:

Sanding sugar is another large-crystal sugar which is between white granulated and coarse sugar in size. It is mainly used for decorating and comes in many colors. It adds extra texture and crunch to cookies and other baked goods. It also reflects light and gives off a sparkly shine. And, who doesn’t love their baked goods sparkly?

6. Brown Sugar:

Brown sugar is refined white sugar that has varying degrees of cane molasses added to it. Basically, there are two types of brown sugar; light brown sugar and dark brown sugar. It adds caramel flavor and golden brown colors to cookies, cakes, and muffins. Light brown sugar is used more often in baking, sauces, and glazes. Whereas, dark brown sugar is used in richer foods, like gingerbread, because of the rich molasses flavor.

7. Turbinado Sugar:

Turbinado sugar is a type of refined raw cane sugar that has only had the surface molasses washed off. It is light in color and usually has large, medium-brown crystals. It is slightly lower in calories than white sugar due to the moisture content. It has a delicate caramel flavor and is commonly used to sweeten beverages and can also be used in baking.

8. Muscovado Sugar:

Muscovado sugar is a type of unrefined cane sugar in which the molasses isn’t removed. It comes in a dark brown color with a sticky and sandy texture. The sugar crystals of Muscovado sugar are a little larger than the regular brown sugar. It can be used as a substitute for brown sugar, but its flavor is much stronger. It is mainly used in sweets with rich flavors such as gingerbread, coffee cake, and fudge.


I hope now you have a fair bit of idea about the various types of sugar and their uses in baking. It is important for you to use the correct types of sugar as it can affect your recipe. Now it's time to make sure you are stocked up and ready to bake!