Cane sugar in a wooden spoon and bowl on a black background. Shallow depth of field
What Sets Turbinado Sugar Apart From Other Refined Sugar
By Margaret McCormick
You might see granulated sugar, brown sugar, and turbinado sugar often stocked side-by-side at the grocery store, but these three types of sugar are different from each other and shouldn't be used interchangeably. While they are all sweet, when it comes to baking, many cooks prefer the sweetness of turbinado sugar to top their treats.
What makes turbinado sugar distinct from white and brown sugar is its light brown color — a sign of the presence of molasses — and its rough, choppy crystals. Turbinado sugar is more minimally processed than regular sugar, which removes the molasses from it and leaves it a bright white color, while brown sugar is created when some molasses is returned to white sugar.
Recipe testing expert Jack Bishop of America's Test Kitchen uses turbinado for sprinkling on top of muffins and a creme brulee crust, and he encourages home bakers to keep a box of it on hand, stating it's "the best choice." Turbinado is great finishing sugar for sweet and crunchy embellishment to cookies, cakes, and quick bread.