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Apr 9, 2013 12:29 PM

Baking with Vegan Cane Sugar

Hi everybody!

I'm making brownies tonight for a party tomorrow and I have a bag of Vegan Cane Sugar at home (the Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value brand). I've used it once before and I recall having to use FAR LESS of it than the normal amount of sugar called for in the recipe. Sadly, I don't remember what recipe that was, I think something like a jam.

The sugar has slightly coarser granules than regular white sugar (not quite as coarse as turbinado, somewhere in between) which would make me think I'd need more, not less. Maybe it has something to do with the "purity"? I really have no clue.

Does anyone have any tips or advice on using Vegan Cane Sugar in baking? The bag doesn't make any recommendations and I couldn't find anything on their site either.

For reference, here is the recipe I'll be using (the recipe is not vegan, but I'm posting here because of the nature of the product in question)

And by the way, I don't own a kitchen scale, so measuring by weight isn't an option for me at the moment.

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  1. My understanding is that it just uses a non-animal filtering method (and I believe only Domino and C&H use bone char, so much of the regular sugar in stores is "vegan"). You probably need to use a touch more if it's coarser, but if you plan on doing a lot of baking, spend $20 on a scale.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ferret

      Ahh, I see now...looks like they actually use "bone char" from animals to lighten/whiten the sugar. The vegan sugar uses a carbon source to lighten it....who knew?

      1. re: Science Chick

        We're cross-replying. The bone char filtration is primarily limited to the 2 majors, Diamond and C&H ( and beet sugar doesn't use it).

    2. Yeah, I use cane sugar as a vegan baker and I weigh it and use it just like regular sugar. (You don't really need to weigh it anyway unless you're a stickler.)

      You should be fine using it as you would ordinary sugar.

      1. I would venture a guess that, if you were making a jam, that you used less sugar than called for because the fruit was very sweet naturally. Sugar measurements are always pretty much approximate for jam, I think, since you don't know how sweet your fruit will be!

        For your brownies, I'd just go with the recipe.

        1. I use this same product. Cane sugar is cane sugar and I never have noticed a difference with this product. Use it as you would any "non-vegan" cane sugar. Honestly, it comes from the cane plant could it be "non-vegan"???!!!!! But it isn't like agave, which has a higher fructose content and is sweeter in taste. Cane sugar is mostly sucrose, whether organic, "vegan" or otherwise....

          1 Reply
          1. re: Science Chick

            The "vegan" part is the absence of bone char in the filtration (I don't see the fuss, but I'm clearly no vegan). The difference in amounts is much like the difference between measuring sea salt/Kosher salt/table salt. Yes, it's the same ingredient, but a more densely packed granular shape makes for greater weight than a coarser granule. That's why weighing ingredients is best for baking.

          2. I appreciate everyone's responses but I think I didn't phrase my question clearly.

            I understand what makes this sugar vegan compared to regular white sugar. I also understand the importance of weighing ingredients in baking, and how the difference in granule sizes can yield different results when measuring by volume instead of by weight.

            My question was more to see if anyone had experience using this specific product with the strange results I encountered, which was a higher concentration of sweetness cup-for-cup.

            I'll make my brownies tonight as 1:1 per Peaches recommendation and post back as to the result. Fortunately, with these brownies, the sugar is added directly to the melted, unsweetened chocolate, so I can easily taste it at that stage and adjust the sweetness level accordingly. Oh woe is me, I have to go eat spoonfuls of melted chocolate and brownie batter tonight... :-)

            Thanks everybody.

            2 Replies
            1. re: EggyEggoo

              There's no reason for it to be sweeter.

              1. re: EggyEggoo

                i have used that specific product and did not experience any difference in sweetness between that cane sugar and any other cane sugar.