When baking desserts does it make a difference if you use cane sugar versus beet sugar?

  • Posted by: cookrg
  • December 15, 2011


Hilarybee December 16, 2011
I have noticed a significant difference between sugar beet sugar and cane sugar in a number of scenerios:

For your average drop cookie, beet sugar will likely work fine. But it does tend to flatten a baked goods- I have found that sugar beet baked goods do not rise properly. So if you are making a fluffy cake, you want pop overs or muffins with perfect tops, I wouldn't recommend beet sugar.

Technically, beet sugar is a one to one cup replacement for cane sugar. But it is of lower quality- and whenever you are working with something that is a bit cheaper, it has down points. I tend to use beet sugar only when nothing else is available.

I find beet sugar does work well to make syrups and solutions. At my bakery, we use organic cane sugar from Florida Crystals and C&H superfine for more technical jobs.
angiegeyser December 16, 2011
Beet sugar comes from genetically modified sugar beets, do if avoiding GMOs is important to you stick with cane sugar.
nutcakes December 16, 2011
I once went to a Baker's Dozen meeting where C & H discussed this topic but for the life of me I don't remember the fine points.I don't think it matters for everyday home baking, but may make a difference when you are making higher skill level products and base for buttercreams. Here is an older article to read, but the SF Chronicle always had a great food section:
The S. December 16, 2011
Coming back to add that if you are using the more common organic cane sugar, it is less white, so if that matters to you in a recipe you might watch out for that. I felt my peppermint meringues (swirled with red) were a little striking because of being slightly off white but I decided I didn't care.
The S. December 16, 2011
No. Ever since my Costco got the organic cane sugar this past fall, it is all I have used. It makes no difference to the recipe, but has a nicer flavor (and of course is organic/less processed if that is important to you).
nutcakes December 16, 2011
I think cookrg is talking about regular C&H type sugar, not necessarily the organic type. Just the type you buy in the grocery store that is labeled Cane Sugar. No one labels sugar beet sugar. Some house brands specify cane sugar, like Fresh & Easy Markets.
Recommended by Food52