What's the difference between light and dark brown sugar?

Some recipes call for light brown sugar and others just say brown sugar. What is the difference between light and dark brown sugars and can they be interchanged in a recipe ? And what about using white sugar instead of brown sugar ?
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Brown sugarBrown sugar is simply granulated “white” sugar that has been combined with pure cane molasses.

The difference between light and dark brown sugar is simply the amount of molasses added. Molasses is a natural by-product of the sugar-making process.

When a recipe calls for “brown sugar,” it is usually referring to light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar should be used only when specified. This is important when baking recipes sensitive to moisture and density (such as cakes) because of the difference in moisture content between the two types of brown sugar.

In other applications, substituting dark brown sugar over light brown will yield a deeper flavour with more caramel, much like adding molasses would do.

Using white sugar when a recipe calls for brown (or vice versa) is problematic. Molasses is hygroscopic, meaning that it likes to hang on to moisture. As a result, baked goods made with brown sugar end up moister, heavier, and chewier, while those made with white sugar end up lighter and crisper.

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