Cane Sugar Vs Brown Sugar: What’s The Difference?

Cane Sugar Vs Brown Sugar

Sugar, without a doubt, is a must-have ingredient in the kitchen of every house. Indeed, whether it’s the ordinary or diabetic type, nearly everyone uses sugar.

But do you know that there are tons of different kinds of sugar besides the conventional white granulated one? And many of them get mistaken for one another easily, especially cane sugar and brown sugar. 

If you’re also interested in these 2 types yet cannot tell them apart and decide which one is the most suitable for your needs, today’s post will clear your path. 

Quick Facts

Cane sugar:

  • Extracted directly from sugarcanes.
  • A full-bodied and deep, vanilla-like taste.
  • Bigger particles.
  • Blonde to light brown.
  • Retained natural molasses.

Brown sugar:

  • Not extracted directly from sugarcanes.
  • A toffee-like (lighter one) or caramel-like (darker one) taste.
  • Smaller particles.
  • Different shades of brown.
  • Added in molasses.

They Don’t Taste The Same

Cane Sugar

Sugarcane is the original base of all sugar before it has gotten processed. Indeed, sugarcane is a plant with an incredibly high sugar content that gets chopped, processed, and refined.

Unlike other granulated sweeteners, as this type involves sugar derived straight from sugarcane, this type retains a few natural nutrients and elements found in sugarcane plant pulp. However, the amounts are relatively small.

Due to its direct extraction from sugarcane, the flavor offers greater richness and dimension compared to different sweeteners: It boasts a gentle dainty or fruity scent and virtually tastes similar to vanilla. The different richness level depends significantly on its molasses and other minerals remaining within the particles.

Brown sugar

People manufacture processed brown sugars in large facilities utilizing unrefined raw sugar supplied from local sweetener factories or imported sources rather than straight from sugarcane. The remelting and filtration of natural sucrose contaminants is the first step in the manufacturing process.

After crystallization, it granules manufactured are uniform in color. Then, redissolved coarse sugar gets condensed and recrystallized until a solid brownish mixture containing particles comes into life. 

However, the centrifugation doesn’t remove the molasses entirely, and the molasses’ content level is actually what colors these granules. So if the coated molasses value is high, your sugar will be in darker colors and otherwise.

And its taste largely depends on how deep its color appears. Bright colored one has a toffee-like flavor while being softer and less nuanced than deeply browned sugar. Indeed, the darker type provides a more powerful molasses taste and is more caramel-like.

Do They Look Alike?

No, they don’t. The significant visual distinction between these two depends on how people manufacture them rather than their underlying ingredients.

When it comes to products manufactured from sucrose pulp, these two both begin as raw ingredients. The organic liquid which yields brown sugar undergoes filtration and is then heated until it hardens.

These granules then go through refinement by getting washed in a syrupy mixture and spun in a machine. The refining procedure yields these white granulated sugar, to which people introduce molasses to achieve that brownish look of brown sugar. 

As a result, brown sugar usually exists as smaller granules, and their brown range varies from one to another.

On the other hand, all forms of cane sugar only go through the heating and filtering processes, which ensures they retain most of their original molasses. As a result, its various kinds might vary in the remaining molasses and moisture level.

As it usually carries most of the molasses and fluids from the original sugarcane, it features a golden to bright brownish color. Also, as the refining process is down to the minimum, the particles are much bigger.

How Are They Different In Usage?

Not only do these two types differ in look and taste, but they also tell themselves apart when it comes to usage. Now, you might be wondering how different in use they could be. 

Although both types are excellent for savory dishes, desserts, bakery products, drinks, and so on, each of them serves a specific use in different recipes.

Cane sugar

Savory recipes: If you enjoy barbeque, this is the most excellent way to accentuate the grilling sweet taste. It also works well as a coating for meaty entrees. Furthermore, you may utilize it to marinate foods or vegetables before barbecuing or braising them.

Loaves: Many bakeries utilize regular sugar in their loaves, but you may replace it with this type for a more molasses taste. The tone of the baguettes is darker as well.

Desserts: This organic cane sweetener is ideal for making caramel-related sweets and treats. It’s also the most outstanding selection if you want to prepare your caramel or toffee syrup.

Bakery pastries: It’s ideal for adding a stronger, fuller taste to pastries like biscuits, pies, and even sweets. The result will be a dark brownish, delicious shade for your baked delicacies.

Drinks and sauces: It is a healthy substitute for white granules in coffee and tea. It provides a delicious molasses touch with only a scoop of it. Furthermore, it is an excellent complement to salad sauces.

Brown sugar

Savory recipes: Most bacon manufacturers nowadays utilize this to enhance the smoky taste. As it has a subtler flavor than cane or white sugar, it doesn’t overshadow the ingredients’ natural sweetness and compliments them real nice. That’s also why marinading or preparing meat dressings utilizing this type are also an excellent idea.

Loaves: Given that it is lighter, it is ideal for baking fluffy sweetbreads. In addition to ordinary sandwich loaves, it’s also advisable to utilize this type when baking baguettes, french waffles, or toast buns.

Desserts: Because this one holds moisture effectively, it is often perfect for caramel pudding and desserts. It’s also fantastic for cocoa sponge cake, lava cake, and crumb pastries.

Bakery products: Most bakeries use white granulated sugar in caramel chocolate biscuits, but we recommend using this type exclusively for a better version. Brown sugar biscuits and cinnamon buns are two alternative sweets to test.

Drinks: For your beverage, you can use it instead of the traditional white one. It’s also a preferable alternative when used as a sweetener in fruit drinks. It isn’t as full-bodied as cane sugar, but it does add a molasses kick to your beverage.

Different uses: Aside from eating usage, it also works well as a skin exfoliator or scrub. Apart from that, it’s ideal for domestic hacking treatments like preserving cookies fresh, cleaning marks from garments, and eliminating unpleasant smells from the refrigerator.

Which One Is Healthier?

Despite their wide variation, sugars are chemically quite alike. They consist of glucose, fructose, and sucrose – the three main types that are naturally available in food. 

The molecular structures of glucose and fructose vary somewhat, whereas sucrose is composed of one glucose and one fructose.

That’s also why people only differentiate these sugar types by their origins (such as extracted from sugarcane or beet), taste qualities, and degrees of refining when it comes to sugars.

Now, to answer which one is healthier, we’d go for cane sugar, although there has been no particular answer to the real question here.

Sugars that received minimal refining, including cane sugar, turbinado types, and coconut ones, possess the more significant (although limited) concentration of nutrients and antioxidant chemicals.

However, despite containing more nutrients, vitamins, and healthy substances, the general nutritional variations are minor when it comes to metabolism function.

Can They Substitute Each Other?

Without a doubt, yes.

According to the earlier sections, there isn’t much of a difference in their culinary applications. So you might utilize either cane or brown ones in whatever recipe you like.

Select cane sugar if you’d like a richer appearance and a more powerful flavor in your flavorful meals or sweets. Brown one is a good substitute for molasses if you prefer a gentler flavor but still need the molasses in your recipes.

Which One is More Expensive?

The more natural the product, the higher the price. There is just one thing that matters: the quality of the ingredients that your system is consuming. In the exact way that ordinary veggies are less expensive than organic varieties when you purchase at the local supermarket.

With sugar, it’s a similar story. Cane sugar is considerably pricey than conventional brown one as it is in its most organic state.

Is Cane Sugar All Natural?

No sugar is completely raw and unprocessed. And this one still has to undertake specific refinement. However, as the processing is minimal, the outcome product still maintains its rawest content. That’s why we don’t call it “all-natural,” but we term it “organic” sugar.

Can you use cane sugar for baking?

Most definitely! Cane sugar can be used for most any baking recipe that calls for sugar. It will add a touch of sweetness and a nice flavor to your baked goods. When choosing cane sugar, make sure to get the unrefined variety. This type of sugar is less processed than the refined kind, so it will retain more of its natural nutrients.

Can cane sugar be used in place of other sweeteners?

Yes, you can use cane sugar as a replacement for other sweeteners in baking recipes. For example, if a recipe calls for honey or molasses, you can easily swap in cane sugar. Just make sure to adjust the amount of sugar called for in the recipe, as cane sugar is sweeter than other sweeteners.

How do I store cane sugar?

Cane sugar can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It will keep for up to 6 months.

Does cane sugar taste different?

Yes, cane sugar has a different flavor than other types of sugar. It is a bit sweeter and has a more subtle flavor than refined white sugar. This can be a great option for baking recipes that call for a touch of sweetness.

Does cane sugar expire?

Yes, cane sugar will expire. It will keep for up to 6 months when stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. After that time, the sugar may start to lose its flavor and sweetness.

Why is brown sugar healthier?

Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar because it is less processed. It contains more of the natural nutrients that are found in cane sugar. Brown sugar also has a slightly different flavor and sweetness than white sugar. This can be a great option for baking recipes that call for a touch of sweetness.

Which brown sugar is best for baking?

There are two types of brown sugar that are best for baking: light and dark. Light brown sugar is the most common type and has a mild flavor. Dark brown sugar is darker in color and has a richer flavor. Choose the type of brown sugar that will best suit the flavor profile of the recipe you are baking.

Tamara Pierce

Tamara Pierce is a food writer at Elapasony, passionate about exploring diverse cuisines and sharing recipes and food experiences. From trendy restaurants to local hotspots, she's always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors.

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