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Jan 26, 2007 01:03 PM

Can I use demerara sugar instead of regular brown sugar?

I have a recipe that calls for dark brown sugar. Can I use demerara sugar instead? Will the "crunchiness" of the demerara dissolve during baking?

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  1. I think you might be looking for trouble, Jo. I would imagine that the coarseness of the demerara sugar makes it less sweet, ounce for ounce, than regular brown sugar. An analogy would be kosher salt and table salt. The kosher salt, which is composed of much larger crystals than table salt, is about half as salty as table salt.

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    1. re: FlavoursGal

      My husband did the shopping tonight and golden brown sugar was sold out (on sale!) so he bought demerara sugar instead. I used it in my recipe for chocolate chip - almond - oatmeal cookies and it was fabulous!! It wasn't so terribly sweet, no compromise in the texture, and the appearance of the cookies was absolutely "cookbook-photo-perfect"! I have to put a quota on the cookie consumption tonight!

    2. I use them interchangeably, but then again, I rarely follow recipes to a t.

      I used demerara sugar instead of brown sugar in the cinnamon & sugar filling in my last batch of sticky buns. They turned out fine. Maybe they were a little less sweet than they would have been with the same dry measurement of regular brown sugar, but I didn't notice any crunchiness or odd textures.

      1. Demerara comes in many sizes too, some finer than others. The larger crystals don't dissolve quite as well and in more delicate baked goods, it can affect the texture, not to mention the taste. You might want to dissolve the sugar in the liquid part of your recipe first to get a head start.

        1. The answer to your question is no, they won't dissolve. But don't despair!!

          I did this two days ago, with success!!

          I wanted my banana muffins to have a spicer taste, so I ground together deep dark brown sugar and raw sugar in my spice grinder (dedicated coffee grinder).

          Both sugars have crystals too big for baking (which I have tried- this throws off the texture and puts big "holes" in the final product), but when ground worked just fine.

          Bonus- the brown sugar grinding produced some little "pebbles" that would not grind down. I added them to each muffin. They melted and turned into yummy brown sugar "chips."

          1 Reply
          1. re: julietg

            Forgot to mention. Clean out the coffee grinder by grinding a little bit of white rice in it, or it'll be sticky!

          2. If you want to use a less-processed, more flavorful sugar in place of brown sugar, I'd recommend light or dark muscovado sugar. I've used finely ground demerera sugar with great results, but it seems to better replace granulated than brown sugar in baking.