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Mar 17, 2003 02:58 PM

What is Caster Sugar?

  • b

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".

            5 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.

                  1. re: mecmat

                    Smartie is right...

                    USA "sugar" is sold in both the USA and the UK as "Granulated" or "Fine Granulated" Sugar in supermarkets.

                    "Caster Sugar" as sold in the UK doesn't appear to be sold in the USA except as an unusual import. I'm hoping the "Extra Fine Granulated Sugar" (EFSG) that IS sold in the USA is the equivalent of UK "Caster Sugar", since EFSG is not sold in the UK.

                    There - clear as mud ;-)

                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.



                  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 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

                          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.