Sucanat is evaporated cane juice, which means that it is unprocessed. The lack of processing is the main way in which it is different from sugars like brown sugar or white refined sugar, which are almost always processed to some extent. The amount of processing that most different sugar types undergo will differ depending on the type of sugar, but the reason is to remove impurities. These impurities include molasses, which affects the flavor and color. Usually, highly processed sugar is lighter and has a more muted flavor when compared to raw or minimally processed sugar.
How else does Sucanat compare to sugar? Is there a difference in flavor? Can you use it in place of sugar and can you use sugar in place of Sucanat? Find the answers to these questions below in this SPICEography Showdown.
How does the flavor of Sucanat differ from the flavor of sugar?
Sucanat’s lack of processing means that there is more of the natural molasses content. It is not added back to refined sugar crystals the way it is with the different types of brown sugar. It doesn’t have to be since it was never removed in the first place. That molasses content plays a significant role in Sucanat’s flavor and aroma. The molasses gives Sucanat rich caramel flavor notes that are stronger than those found in brown sugars. Note that Sucanat is 13 percent molasses, while light brown sugar is only 3.5 percent molasses and dark brown sugar is 6.5 percent molasses.
Sucanat has larger crystals, which means that it will take longer to dissolve when compared to brown sugar. It also means that it may not seem quite as sweet as brown sugar. There will be slightly more sugar in a teaspoon of brown sugar than there will be in a teaspoon of Sucanat. In addition, brown sugar will offer more surface area when compared to the surface area of Sucanat crystals.
Can you use Sucanat as a substitute for sugar and sugar as a substitute for Sucanat?
Sucanat can be used in place of sugar (and vice versa), as long as you are mindful of the differences in flavor and crystal size. Sucanat is best used as a sugar substitute in applications where stronger caramel notes are desirable. This means that while you should not expect the same results that you would get from refined white sugar, you can get similar results to a dark brown sugar or muscovado sugar. Use Sucanat as a sugar substitute in chocolate desserts, barbecue sauces, and gingerbread. Similarly, you can use turbinado, muscovado or dark brown sugar in place of Sucanat. The turbinado and dark brown sugar should provide depth of color without the slight metallic bitterness that you might get from Sucanat’s molasses content.
When should you use Sucanat and when should you use sugar?
Sucanat is not refined, which means that animal products are not used in its production. As a result, Sucanat is a good sweetening option for vegan dishes. Refined white sugar and brown sugar that is made using refined white sugar are processed with bone char, which means that vegans will want to avoid them. You can also use Sucanat in applications where you want its larger crystals or deep molasses flavor. Use white or light brown sugar in dishes that require a more delicate flavor.