How to Use Turbinado Sugar in Place of White Sugar

Raw Sugar
Turbinado, or raw sugar, is an alternative to white granulated sugar. (Image: miwa_in_oz/iStock/Getty Images)

Turbinado, or raw sugar, is an alternative to table sugar, traditional brown sugar and artificial sweeteners. Turbinado is indeed sucrose, its name derived from the turbine it is spun within when it is made. Turbinado granules are slightly larger than those of table sugar, lending texture to baked goods, and its molasses retention gives it more flavor and color. Because it is less processed than table sugar, it retains some trace minerals. Use it as you might regular table sugar -- in tea and coffee, for macerating, or for topping muffins and scones.

How Sweet It Is

Turbinado is yielded in the first pressing of ripe sugar cane. It comes from the remainder of raw sugar cane juice that has been stripped of impurities, leaving behind molasses, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, and trace amounts of niacin, manganese and copper. It does not melt quite like table sugar when subjected to heat, but it is nonetheless useful for baking. In its granulated form, it imparts capricious sweetness to plain yogurt, pudding and less-than-ripe fruit.

How Much Turbinado Should I Use?

Follow a 1-to-1 ratio whenever you want to use turbinado instead of table sugar. Or use it in place of brown sugar in cookies, cobblers and pies. Owing to its molasses content, turbinado works particularly well in brownies, chocolate recipes and craft espresso beverages, and as the basis of a simple syrup for use in cocktails. If you are watching your sugar intake, mix turbinado with zero-calorie sweeteners. Add some minerals to your cheesecake by using turbinado instead of table sugar.

Depth of Flavor

Make sure turbinado's signature molasses flavor and texture are compatible with the other flavors and textures in your recipe. Turbinado might not work well in a delicate mousse, a sweet souffle or mixed into an all-citrus based recipe. Because of its higher moisture content, it works wonderfully in rustic fruit tarts, and for caramelizing, melting, and the making of glazes and candies.

Other Uses

Turbinado is perhaps the ideal natural sweetener for smoothies and protein shakes. The molasses adds depth of flavor to most fruit and banishes the flat bitterness associated with some brands of meal replacement shakes. Also, any homemade chocolates and sweet-savory treats are best rolled in turbinado. The larger granules make for more stunning presentations, tastes and sensations upon the palate.

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