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What is Caster Sugar?

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I'm making a recipe that calls for 4 tbsp of caster sugar. Never heard of it. Can I substitute regular sugar for it?

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  1. It's also known as superfine sugar. This sugar melts and gets incorporated into things much more quickly because it's so fine. It's esp. useful in things like meringues. I've had success substituting regular sugar by simply grinding up the sugar (e.g. in a coffee grinder) until it's very fine.

    5 Replies
    1. re: SJ

      But don't mistake it for 10X Superfine, which is also known as powdered sugar. Caster sugar is available in some gourmet grocery stores, but it is usually very expensive. I'm going to try the coffee grinder next time I need it!

      1. re: Kirk

        A food processor works too.

        1. re: Kirk

          Places that use caster sugar would call 10x 'icing sugar'.

        2. re: SJ

          Domino makes a superfine sugar that I find in grocery stores (Stop & Shop, StarMarket) in the Boston area. It's sold in a box that looks a lot like powdered sugar. I use it when I make pitchers of ice tea and lemonade in the summer. It shouldn't be difficult to find.

          1. re: SJ

            Alternative Names%3

            Bar Sugar

            Berry Sugar

            Castor Sugar

            Extra Fine Sugar

            Fruit Sugar

            Instant Dissolving Sugar

            Ultrafine Sugar


            Excellent for sprinkling over fruit or cereals, or in creamed mixtures, meringues and baking.

            Superfine Sugar is used commercially in powdered preparations and dissolves easily in cold beverages.

            Used in the preservation of fruits.

            I found it as berry sugar... I want to make straberry flavored liquor mmmm.... with my own fresh berries!!

          2. This was a subject of some discussion at my house recently. Caster sugar is also what British people call "granulated sugar".

            4 Replies
            1. re: James G
              Caitlin McGrath

              I do believe caster sugar is finer than the granulated sugar we get in the US, though, even if not as fine as our superfine granulated sugar. I think granulayed sugar is probably a fine substitution in most recipes.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                Domino does sell an extra-fine granulated sugar that sounds pretty close to that description of caster sugar. It's mostly sold to the food service industry, but I've had good luck finding it in Asian supermarkets in the Boston area -- it comes in 5 lb. light brown bags, not their usual yellow and blue. It's finer than regular gran. sugar, but not as fine as the superfine available in the pricey little boxes.

              2. re: James G

                no James caster sugar is caster sugar and granulated sugar is granulated sugar. Regular American sugar is what Brits call granulated sugar. Caster is finer. It is lighter to use in cakes etc.

                1. re: James G

                  No, we don't, granulated sugar is regular sugar.

                2. Caster sugar is a fine grind of granulated sugar. C&H makes a Baker's Sugar (available at supermarkets here in California) that works well in recipes that call for caster sugar.

                  Link: http://www.chsugar.com/Consumer/ch_bs...

                  Image: http://www.chsugar.com/Consumer/image...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Nancy Berry

                    That's what I use here in Michigan, too. I don't really even buy "plain old sugar" anymore. The baking sugar is a bit more expensive, but I don't go through a whole lot of sugar, so it's not worth it to me to try to store multiple types. It measures the same. It's sold in what looks like a cardboard milk carton.

                  2. Caster sugar, like everything else, is available from Amazon. You can find it, and the Domino Bar Sugar substitute there or enough info so you can look in your own area. In a large grocery -- you might try the liquer mixes, supplies area rather than the bakiing aisle.

                    Caster sugar is also available on line from King Arthur flour.

                    1. Superfine sugar makes all the difference in making meringue "cookies". Once I read a recipe that explained the whole sugar thing in meringues...need complete dissolving of the sugar in the egg whites, I was finally able to make very successful meringue "cookies". I "made" my superfine sugar by putting it in the food processor. I have a Wolfgang Puck food processor that came with small "bowls" and I used one of these. Thank goodness, because here is the HUGE CAVEAT about "making" your own superfine sugar in your food processor...it will scratch up the plastic "bowl". Since this is not a serving bowl, not a big deal to me, but I think I would have been unhappy if the main "bowl" of the processor had been scratched. It literally rendered the plastic opaque. Given the success of my meringue "cookies", I highly recommend making sure you use superfine sugar. But, you'll have to decide about the damage to your equipment. The coffee grinder sounds like a good idea, provided coffee flavor is not picked up during the sugar grinding. We're not coffee drinkers, so I don't have one and, therefore, cannot try it out.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: The Gunk

                        I used my "MAGIC BULLET" to make caster sugar and it worked amazingly well and it didn't scratch the jar at all!! :o)

                        1. re: weez1959

                          This is a great thing to know because I love my Bullet and would like to continue to use it...lol

                          1. re: The Gunk

                            One thing to consider when your plastic bowl got "sandblasted" ... that plastic had to go somewhere, presumably into your sugar. Since you are still here it appears its not a grave problem.

                            1. re: The Gunk

                              I make fine sugar all the time in my food processor and do not get the "scratches" or "opaque" look. It's the heat created by the friction between the metal blades and sugar crystals that causes this to happen to your plastic, there are no shavings. It's not enough heat to melt the sugar but can cause micro marring in the polished plastic. Pulsing the sugar for shorter periods so it doesn't create heat is the best way to process the sugar and make it fine.
                              It's also worth noting that thinner, smaller blades would cause less friction so the process time can be increased. A spinning blade coffee grinder or something like my kitchenaid mini chopper will do the job well.

                            2. Caster sugar must be an Australian thing - it's the main sugar we use for baking over here. My guess is it's what you guys call granulated sugar. Like everyone has said here it is a fine sugar - imagine a very fine beach sand, that's probably about the right texture. I've made my own caster suger before (even though it's VERY readily available here) by running raw sugar through my thermomix to get the right size granules. But the coffee grinder as previously suggested is an excellent idea.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: TheHuntress

                                I know from British cookbooks that it is equally the standard there in baking. Granulated sugar in the US has larger grains, though smaller than raw sugar's grains. We can buy finer-grained sugar, but it does tend to cost quite a bit more.

                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  So your granulated sugar must be like what we just call white sugar. Caster sugar is about the same price as white sugar here - I never actually thought that people used anything other than caster sugar in baking (except if a recipe specifically called for a different sugar). Goes to show how ignorant I am LOL

                                  1. re: TheHuntress

                                    Yeah, sounds about right, about white=granulated; people call it white sugar here, too, colloquially. Superfine sugar isn't a standard ingredient called for here, and is priced higher than plain granulated, which is what American baking recipes most often call for.

                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                      Thanks for that, it's something I can remember when using an American recipe :)

                              2. C & H Sugar carries it in a carton and calls it "bakers sugar".

                                1 Reply
                                1. I checked with sevreal sources on this, and was told that Castor sugar would be equivalent to the C&H "Baker's Sugar" now on store shelves. It is a finer grind than table sugar, but not as fine as powdered. Hope this helps.

                                  1. C&H makes something called "Baker's Sugar" which is the same thing. Most grocers that carry the granulated sugar from C&H will likely carry this as well.

                                    1. Primarily the distinguishing differences are caper is superfine, & prized for ability to absorb very quickly. It is not an "Australian thing" on the contrary it is internationally, globally used in the baking industry.

                                      1. I simply call it powdered sugar.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Mixalis

                                          Actually no, powdered sugar also contains cornstarch, which can make it a bad substitution in some applications.

                                          1. re: ePressureCooker

                                            Wow now I learned something today I had no idea of !! Thanks for sharing that.

                                        2. Simply use a glass container and you won't get the sandblasting effect or sugar blasting effect.

                                          1. In the UK you have granulated and a finer sugar which is called caster.....Here in the U.S, all white sugar is caster sugar because the grains are smaller.....there's no difference at all regarding taste.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Chris603

                                              Not correct. Most U.S. white sugar is granulated sugar. I have no idea how it compares to granulated sugar in the UK, but it is NOT the same as caster sugar. Caster sugar is much finer than US granulated sugar.

                                              1. re: Chris603

                                                And even finer than caster sugar is icing sugar.

                                                1. re: Harters

                                                  Yes. Typically called powder sugar in the US.

                                              2. I just spotted this in new packaging in my local supermarket: "Quick Dissolve Sugar" from Domino, in a 12-ounce vaguely egg-timer-shaped plastic bottle.

                                                1. Whati is caster sugar please??????

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. I'm making a recipe that calls for 4 tbsp of caster sugar. Never heard of it. Can I substitute regular sugar for it?

                                                    3 Replies
                                                      1. re: nancysmithson

                                                        You can make your own or buy superfine sugar at the grocery store. If all you have is regular granulated, then put sugar in a food processor and process with the blades for a minute or two. But not too long. I cup of sugar will usually take about 1 minute.

                                                        1. re: nancysmithson

                                                          I'm thinking I'll just add some cognac....and maybe even lick the spoon!

                                                        2. Try screwing the blades to your blender onto a wide mouth quart glass mason jar and blend the sugar into the jar. Unscrew the blades and replace with the cover,label it and you'll have enough for other recipes.

                                                          1. I realize this thread is ELEVEN years old, but here is some information that has not been shared before about "caster sugar" and why it is called that. Cane sugar has been around for at least 8,000 years but in very limited amounts until sugar cane was imported to the Caribbean soon after Columbus' voyage, where sugar production quickly became a major new world industry. But sugar's attraction for humidity meant that what may have been shipped and bought as granulated sugar easily became giant sugar cubes or blocks. It was often sold as "loaf sugar." Housewives and hired kitchen staff used wooden mallets and other blunt instruments to break up the sugar, which was then put in sugar "casters," which are similar to salt shakers but larger, and were placed on the table as a condiment. The size of the holes in any given caster determined the size of the sugar granules that could be shaken out. Fine sugar dissolves quickly, therefore most sugar casters had fine holes. The larger "granules" that remained in the caster were added back to the next sugar pounding when the caster was refilled. Sugar casters were often made of silver or silver plate and are quite collectible today. Here are some: http://tinyurl.com/l63gebj

                                                            In today's world, "caster sugar" simply means "fine sugar," which is different than "powdered" or "icing" sugar which has corn starch added to it to keep it from clumping. Sorry I didn't see this thread years ago, but here's to better late than never! '-)