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What is superfine sugar?

Superfine sugar

Superfine sugar is granulated sugar that has been ground into finer crystals than regular granulated white sugar. Also known as caster sugar, it is popular with bakers because the smaller crystals cream very easily into butter and dissolve more readily into meringues and batters. This leads to products that have a finer crumb and lighter texture when finished, a result that is preferred by many bakers. Superfine sugar is specifically called for in recipes that are very light, such as meringues and angel food cakes.

You can substitute superfine sugar into recipes that call for granulated white sugar and get good results, but you will not necessarily get as good a result if attempting to substitute regular sugar into a recipe that calls for superfine sugar. This is because recipes that specify superfine sugar to be used often count on the fact that the sugar dissolves so easily to get the best finished product possible. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry superfine sugar – or baker’s sugar, as it is sometimes called on packaging – there is no need to worry because you can easily make your own by processing regular granulated sugar in the food processor until it is very fine. A minute or so is usually more than enough time to process the sugar and the newly chopped crystals will work just as well in recipes as store-bought superfine sugar.

Superfine sugar is not the same as powdered or confectioners’ sugar and the two types of sugar are not interchangeable. Confectioners’ sugar has been pulverized to a powder that dissolves almost instantly in liquids and will not incorporate into a recipe the same way that superfine sugar will.

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  • Great info, and great way to do it yourself!

  • Culinary Collage
    January 3, 2012

    Thanks for the info and Happy New Year!

  • Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe
    January 4, 2012

    This is one of those weird random things my sister and I did at the same time. We’re becoming famous for that – I print out a recipe to try fondant and walk in her kitchen to find a pile or marshmallows because she plans to try fondant. We do that all the time now.

    Superfine sugar was another one of those things. I looked and looked and couldn’t find it. I ground some a few times but with mixed results. I finally saw some on the King Arthur website while ordering a Christmas gift, so when it came, I told her I had gotten it. She walked into her pantry and came out with a hug bag she had found the day before! LOL

    I have one question. Do you know the ratio you should use when replacing regular sugar? Because the superfine is a smaller grind, more of it will go into your measuring cup than the regular grind, so unless you’re measuring by weight, it could affect the outcome. Would you think maybe remove a tablespoon per cup or something like that?? I’d be afraid to mess up a recipe otherwise. Unless I was making whipped cream or something just by taste.

  • Nicole
    January 4, 2012

    Chris – You can use superfine sugar in a 1:1 ratio when substituting it with regular sugar. I haven’t had a recipe [measured by volume] yet where it has thrown off the finished product, and most recipes are not that sensitive to the change of a very small amount of sugar.

  • Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe
    January 4, 2012

    Cool, thanks. I was afraid to bake with it unless the recipe was by volume.

  • CookwareBliss
    January 9, 2012

    Great information regarding cooking with sugar.

  • Nina
    December 22, 2014

    Thanks for info on superfine sugar! Have a baking book that Only calls for this & haven’t been able to find it. Now will process my own thanks to your help!

  • Ellen
    December 4, 2015

    This is the only web site that addressed this issue directly. Thanks Chris for asking the question and Nicole for the answer.

  • Sophia
    March 12, 2017

    thanks for the info! I had gotten some Domino superfine sugar thinking it was regular granulated sugar that left me thinking–‘what the heck–how am I suppose to use this!?’ now I know! But here’s a good question–so I can just use this sugar like regular granulated sugar? Like, in cookies?

  • Sharyn
    August 9, 2017

    Thank you. The exact information for which I was on the hunt! I cook…the art of baking has always alluded me! Now that I am intrigued with fun desserts and ice cream I am on a new adventure. One which is so much more precise than my comfort zone! Thank you. One reason it has taken me so long to dive into this world is that I’m prone to avoid mistakes and you surely can make mistakes on this side of the table! Did I say: “Thank You”!!!!

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