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Everything You Need to Know About Sweeteners 05:23

Rose Lawrence

Understanding the basics of sweeteners will allow you to mix and match your favorites in order to achieve new flavors and textures.

Everything You Need to Know About Sweeteners 05:23

Rose Lawrence

Understanding the basics of sweeteners will allow you to mix and match your favorites in order to achieve new flavors and textures.

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Serving Size

The Steps

  1. 1. The most common sweeteners are powdered sugar, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, raw cane sugar, buckwheat honey, and maple syrup. Powdered, granulated, and light brown sugars are more processed than the other types of sweeteners, and therefore lack the minerality and complex flavors typical of some of the other varieties. 00:06

  2. 2. Granulated sugar is the most processed of all the sweeteners. As a result, it has a pure white color with uniformly sized and shaped crystals. Granulated sugar is most commonly used because it easily dissolves and yields a clean flavor. 00:29

  3. 3. In terms of processing, powdered sugar is the same as granulated sugar, but is further ground into a fine powder. Powdered sugar is used in recipes where the sugar needs to be dissolved thoroughly and quickly, like in frostings and glazes. 01:00

  4. 4. Brown sugar is produced by taking granulated sugar and re-adding the molasses that was extracted during processing. Brown sugar tends to clump together when pressed. To prevent brown sugar from compacting and hardening, add an apple slice to the storage container. 01:23

  5. 5. Raw cane sugar is minimally processed, meaning the molasses and minerality remain intact. The texture of raw cane sugar lies somewhere between that of granulated and brown sugar. Because the molasses was not removed and re-added during processing, raw cane sugar remains granular and is not easily compacted. As a result, raw cane sugar, like granulated sugar, dissolves easily to produce a clean flavor. Unlike granulated sugar, raw cane sugar is minimally processed and retains its minerality, providing a deeper, more nuanced flavor. 02:01

  6. 6. Honey is commonly used in Middle Eastern desserts and pastries. Because honey has such a recognizably strong flavor, it is typically used in recipes where the end product is meant to taste like honey. Recipes that require a more subtle sweetness often will not call for honey. 03:01

  7. 7. Molasses is the by-product of stripping sugar. It is thick, coats well, and yields a chewy texture. As a result, recipes that require lots of air will typically not use molasses as a sweetener. 03:26

  8. 8. Maple syrup begins as sap from a maple tree, and is then boiled down to become a sweetener. It has a light flavor and can easily be substituted for other sugars. Maple syrup is graded based on color; the lighter the color, the more mild the flavor. 04:17

What You'll Need


- Granulated sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Brown sugar
- Raw cane sugar
- Buckwheat honey
- Molasses
- Maple syrup

Chef Notes

Inverted sugars are sugars that are liquid at room temperature. Buckwheat honey, molasses, maple syrup, corn syrup, and simple syrup all fall within this category.

Buckwheat honey is one of many types of honeys. Specifically, buckwheat honey is collected from the bees that visit the buckwheat plant. Compared to other types of honeys, buckwheat honey has a darker color and richer flavor. Though Chef Rose refers to buckwheat honey in this tutorial, other types of honeys can be used as sweeteners as well.

Some raw honeys remain liquid at room temperature, while others remain solid. When baking, you may substitute one type of liquid honey for another, but be careful substituting a solid honey for a liquid. Typically, solid sugars can be exchanged for solids, and liquids can be exchanged for liquids, but substituting liquids for solids is not always recommended.


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Taught by


Chef Rose Lawrence

Los Angeles

Rose Lawrence is a master of all things artisanal. Initially gaining recognition for her handmade, wild yeast bread, Ro... read more