Can you bake with raw sugar? (3 Various items)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you bake with raw sugar? We will discuss if baking with raw sugar is viable and the impact raw sugar can have on various baked items. 

Can you bake with raw sugar?

You can bake with raw sugar if you make a runny batter for baking. A high liquid content gives the sugar enough time to dissolve, hence does not have a negative impact on the texture. In moist cakes, for example, raw sugar has plenty of time to dissolve.

On the other hand, dough such as that made to bake shortbread has very little moisture. It will not dissolve the sugar granules and hence have an adverse effect on the texture. 

Muffin batter and cookie dough just about manage to solvate the sugar, therefore might not be affected by the solid sugar granules. 

You can substitute granulated sugar with raw sugar if you don’t have granulated sugar. However, using granulated sugar instead of raw sugar can affect the texture; significantly in some foods.

If your dessert needs creaming such as in meringues and frostings, you must not substitute granulated sugar with raw sugar because the big grains will hinder the creaming process.

What is raw sugar?

Raw sugar is minimally refined cane sugar. Raw sugar is an alternate term for coarse sugar that is not granulated. It has larger crystals and makes for an appealing choice in most cases such as for topping and frosting. 

Raw sugar is also called turbinado sugar. Turbinado is less processed and has large, coarse crunchy granules. TUrbindo can be substituted with white sugar in a 1:1 ratio. Turbinado sugar causes baked goods to have a darker color and a more coarse texture.

How can you make most of raw sugar in the absence of granulated sugar?

A reason for using raw sugar is because you run out of granulated sugar.

In such an instance, the best thing to do is to grind them into fine particles in a food processor or spice grinder before you add them to your baked dessert. 

If you add the whole, raw sugar to your baking dough, add a couple of teaspoons of water to allow it to dissolve in the moisture and hence prevent your muffins or cookies from becoming grainy.

Other times, people like to opt for raw sugar deliberately because it has a more complex, molasses-like flavor. 

Raw sugar is not mixed as an ingredient to baked goods, rather is used to sprinkle on top at the end of the recipe. In scones, muffins, or quick bread, it is often a requirement. 

Some people are not bothered by the terms granulated sugar and raw sugar and often use them interchangeably. 

How do baked desserts with raw sugar compared with granulated sugar?

When a cooking place tested swapping granulated sugar with raw sugar, the results were astounding with mixed signals. 

The baked goods that were made with raw sugar had a hint of molasses to them. The flavor of molasses was not a downgrade in terms of taste, however, some people would prefer the clean flavor that fine sugar has to offer. 

  1. Layer Cake

When layer cakes were tested with raw sugar instead of granulated sugar, the results turned out to be better. Cakes that were made with granulated sugar had a moist and uniform crumb with a texture that was fluffier. 

  1. Muffins

The muffins did not turn out to be as good as the layer cake. The muffins were denser and tougher and did not have as good a texture as those made with granulated sugar. Moreover, the muffins were short and thick with a distorted appearance.

In muffins, the raw sugar did not dissolve, hence causing the texture to be subpar. 

  1. Sugar cookies

Sugar cookies made with raw sugar would be mounded instead of the usual flat. Besides the initial shape, a difference in texture can also be observed as raw sugar cookies can be dry. 

  1. Shortbread

Shortbread can not be made with raw sugar. There is distinctive inferiority in taste and texture if shortbread is made with raw sugar. The sugar crystals do not dissolve and appear to have a brittle and grainy texture.

If you make pourable cake batters, the sugar grains have enough time to dissolve before it bakes into a fluff. If you put the sugar in a dough, the absence of liquid parts makes the sugar particles retain even after it is baked, hence causing a grainy texture. 

Other FAQs about Baking that you may be interested in.

Can you bake with olive oil instead of vegetable oil?

Can you bake with I can’t believe it’s not butter!?

Can you bake with ghee?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you bake with raw sugar? We discussed if baking with raw sugar is viable and the impact raw sugar can have on various baked items. 

Citations

https://www.myrecipes.com/extracrispy/what-is-raw-sugar
https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/10873-baking-with-raw-sugars
https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/cut-back-sugar-baking-3238.html

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.