Food & Drink

What is Caster Sugar?

Caster sugar, also known as castor sugar, is a fine granulated sugar widely available in the United Kingdom. Although it’s not as popular in the United States, you will find it in baking aisles under the “superfine” name. Its texture lies somewhere between regular granulated and confectioners sugar. Why is it called that? This type of sugar was used to sprinkle fresh fruits with sugar in years past.

Caster sugar is available in white (regular) and golden. The golden variety is unrefined and processed to maintain some of the molasses, similar to brown sugar. It has a warmer, more caramel-like flavor than white caster sugar. 

Caster sugar is a granulated sweetener with a very fine consistency. Caster sugar is also known as superfine sugar. It contains finer grains than table sugar but not as finely as confectioners sugar. Castor sugar is the best sugar for baking, desserts, and cocktails because of its texture. Please continue reading to learn more about caster and substitute it when in a pinch.

What is Caster Sugar in the USA?

Caster sugar is also known as superfine sugar or baker’s sugar in the United States. Caster sugar can be used in the UK and the USA to refer to a cube of sugar that has been ground to a consistency of granulated sugar and powdered sugar in coarseness.

Caster Sugar vs. Granulated Sugar

Only the texture of caster sugar and granulated sugar makes a difference. Caster sugar is more refined than coarse and faster in creamed mixtures or whips. Caster sugar is used in delicate baked goods such as meringues, souffles and sponge cakes.

Castor sugar dissolves easily, so it is often used to sweeten drinks. Many bartenders prefer to use caster sugar instead of simple syrup when making cocktails.

Caster Sugar vs. Powdered Sugar

Confectioner’s sugar and icing sugar are both finer than caster sugar. The United States typically uses powdered sugar as a 3-5% sugar source. It usually contains cornstarch or an anti-caking agent. Cast sugar is not as powdery and does not contain any agents that prevent clumping.

What can I use as a substitute for Caster Sugar?

You can make your caster sugar, which is the best substitute. Powdered sugar can cause baked goods to have a thinner texture than caster sugar. This could even lead to the end of your recipe. Substituting regular granulated sugar may have the opposite effect and give your recipe a grainy texture. It’s better to make your own.

How To Make Caster Sugar?

Make your caster sugar in just minutes using the steps below.

  1. Add 1 cup of caster sugar to your recipe.
  2. Only grind the granulated sugar for a few seconds until it becomes a finer texture but not enough to make a powder clumping.
  3. When using homemade caster sugar, strain it through a fine strainer to ensure precision.

Caster sugar can make smooth, consistent sweetened baked goods and add sweetness to beverages. If you are asked to use caster sugar in a recipe but don’t have it on hand, don’t go for powdered sugar. Instead, make your caster sugar using a blender, food processor or spice grinder.

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