Superfine Sugar

Cyd Converse

Some recipes call for superfine sugar - but what does 'superfine' really mean? Can you use regular sugar instead? Find out here!

Have you ever come across recipes for baked goods that call for superfine sugar? Perhaps you haven't had any in the house  and  have used standard granulated sugar - or caster sugar - instead?

If so, you've probably noticed that the texture of your baked item isn’t quite  what it should be!

That's because superfine sugar - also known as baker's sugar -  is actually granulated sugar that has been ground down into even smaller, finer crystals. These much finer crystals yield a far lighter texture to your baked goods, making it the perfect type of sugar for preparing angel food cakes or meringues

Angel Food Jam Cake Photo

Superfine sugar tends to dissolve better into mixtures, so it's also the best type of sugar for creaming with butter.

And because this type of sugar dissolves well even in cold mixtures, you will find it used in many bars as a sweetening agent for cocktails. It's also perfect for homemade limeade!

In short - for any recipe where the end result should be light and fluffy, superfine sugar is the way to go. And whilst it's a good idea to always keep a bag on hand in the pantry, it's very easy to make your own if you've run out!

Angel Food Jam Cake Picture

Simply use a food processor or spice grinder to process granulated sugar until it is very fine. 

What is the difference between  superfine sugar and powdered (or confectioners’) sugar?

It's common to confuse the two, but they are two completely different forms of sugar - so it's important to know the difference. If you use powdered sugar instead of superfine, you won’t achieve the correct consistency in the recipe.

Powdered sugar is granulated sugar that has been pulverised into an extremely fine powder - it's perfect for decorating or slightly sweetening parts of a dessert without creating a grainy texture, but cannot be used as a substitute for superfine sugar in recipes.

Key Lime Pie Meringue Bars Image

Golden superfine sugar

You may find some recipes, particularly older British recipes, call for golden superfine sugar.

This type of sugar is made from unrefined sugar cane or beets and is ground from golden granulated sugar. Unlike normal superfine sugar, golden superfine sugar has a pale golden brown color and adds a buttery, caramel-like flavor to recipes.

Lemon Meringue Donuts Pic

Use superfine sugar to make candied flowers

A fun thing to do with superfine sugar is create candied flowers (also known as sugared flowers), popular in decorating cakes, mousses, and cupcakes.

It is important that you use true superfine sugar for these though and not one you’ve made at home. This is because the  flowers won’t sparkle as much and may end up being a little more powdery than they should. 

Orange Cookies with Edible Flowers Picture

To crystallize flowers at home, you will need:

edible flowers of your choice
2 cups of superfine sugar
2 large eggs whites
a small, soft artist’s brush.

  1. Simply whisk egg whites until frothy. In a separate bowl, add the sugar.
  2. With the tweezers, delicately dip the flower into the whisked egg, ensuring an even coat on each side. 
  3. Hold the flower over the bowl of sugar and use a teaspoon to sprinkle sugar over the flower evenly; shake off an excess sugar. 
  4. Place the flowers on a single layer on a wire rack and allow to dry in a warm, dry area. 
  5. Once dry, store the flowers in an airtight container in a single layer to prevent any damage. 

Cyd is a native of Upstate New York, born to a family of women who love to cook and host parties. She shares her love of all things food, home and entertaining on her blog, The Sweetest Occasion and on Instagram.

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