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Baking with Vegan Cane Sugar

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EggyEggoo Apr 9, 2013 12:29 PM

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) http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/0...

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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    antimony Apr 11, 2013 09:41 AM

    I've never found it to make a difference. Some of the vegan cane sugar I've bought was coarser, some wasn't, some was whiter, some a bit blonde, but I've always used it one-for-one with regular granulated sugar. I'm entirely certain I've bought that exact brand several times. I've used it in recipes that I've made many times with non-vegan cane sugar, too, so I know it turns out the same.

    (And I bake with cup measures.)

    1. e
      EggyEggoo Apr 9, 2013 04:04 PM

      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
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        ferret Apr 9, 2013 04:18 PM

        There's no reason for it to be sweeter.

        1. re: EggyEggoo
          westsidegal Apr 15, 2013 06:20 PM

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

        2. Science Chick Apr 9, 2013 02:20 PM

          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 anyway....how 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
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            ferret Apr 9, 2013 03:12 PM

            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. v
            Violatp Apr 9, 2013 01:35 PM

            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. Peaches to Poutine Apr 9, 2013 01:31 PM

              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. f
                ferret Apr 9, 2013 01:14 PM

                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
                  Science Chick Apr 9, 2013 02:22 PM

                  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?
                  http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/...

                  1. re: Science Chick
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                    ferret Apr 9, 2013 03:14 PM

                    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).

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