Caster sugar is widely used in making desserts or any kind of drinks because it dissolves very quickly. Caster sugar is different from granulated sugar as granulated sugar is found in the form of cubic crystals while the texture of caster sugar is almost like that of table salt. There is no difference in taste between regular granulated sugar and caster sugar and the only reason it is used is because caster sugar dissolves very easily. This is specially beneficial in the case of making meringues which is prepared by whisking egg whites with caster sugar.
There are basically two types of caster sugar available and they are white caster sugar and golden caster sugar. White caster sugar is made from sugar cane or sugar beet that has been refined and it is white in color and it does not change color while baking. Golden caster sugar, on the other hand, is light golden in color and is made from unrefined sugar which has molasses left in it. It has a more complex flavor than white caster sugar and it darkens after baking. This is the preferred sugar of choice for making baked caramel custard. There are many substitute for caster sugar that you can use if you are out of it.
How to Make Caster Sugar?
If you do not have any caster sugar and your recipe calls for it, before looking for a viable caster sugar substitute, you can try making caster sugar at home. It is very easy to make caster sugar at home and all you need is regular granulated sugar with a food processor or a coffee grinder. Just grind a cup of granulated sugar in a coffee grinder or a food processor until you get a fine powder. Your caster sugar is ready for use.
Substitute for Caster Sugar
If you do not want to be bothered with making caster sugar at home, then you can try various caster sugar replacement. Deciding on which substitute to use depends to a large extent on which dish you are preparing.
- If you are baking a cake where the color of the sugar is of no importance, then you can use brown sugar or demerara sugar. Using brown sugar or demerara sugar won't change the taste of the baked cake.
- If you need a substitute for caster sugar for making puddings, pies or pastries, you can use maple syrup or corn syrup.
- You can also use good quality honey as a caster sugar substitute although baked products tends to get more moister and chewier when honey is added. Honey also brings about a slight color difference to the baked product.
- If you are watching your weight, then you can use artificial sweeteners instead of caster sugar in your recipe.
- The best substitute for golden caster sugar is dark brown sugar and muscovado sugar. Both dark brown sugar and muscovado sugar gives intense flavor to the dish that it is added to.
- Another viable substitute for caster sugar is powdered sugar. However avoid using powdered sugar in drinks and cocktails as it tends to make the drinks cloudy.
Many people assume that caster sugar and powdered sugar are the same thing. However there is some difference between caster sugar and powdered sugar. Powdered sugar is completely pulverized into fine powder and it is much finer than caster sugar. Moreover, powdered sugar has some amount of cornflour added to it, to prevent it from clumping. They are both used in baked goods and drinks, and get instantly absorbed. If you are considering caster sugar vs granulated sugar then the main difference between them is that caster sugar is finer than granulated sugar.
The glycolic acid content in caster sugar is very high as it is made from cane sugar. So what is a better substitute for caster sugar? Powdered sugar or granulated sugar? Powdered sugar is the best substitute for caster sugar, followed by demerara sugar and brown sugar.