“The last taste of sweet is the sweetest last, that last forever. All you need is the right sugar in the right proportions.”

 “Here is a quick guide to sugar types and their substitutes.”

Sugars are used as sweeteners and are manipulated more in a formulation for their tenderizing effects. They inhibit gluten formation at high usage levels and raise the gelatinization temperature of the starches during baking. This can lead to increased finished cake volumes, more open grain and softer texture. Sugars are also hygroscopic. They help retain the moisture left in the baked cake, thereby keeping the cake more moist and edible longer.

Sugars aid in crust color formation. Caramelization is a reaction of sugars exposed to high temperatures, creating brown crust colors and caramelized flavors. So as the sugars are increased in the formulation, crust color is also affected. Another color reaction that happens in baking is the Maillard browning reaction. This reaction requires reducing sugars and proteins in the presence of high temperatures. It is said to happen at slightly lower baking temperature than caramelization. Sucrose is the only non-reducing sugar added to cake and therefore cannot react in the browning reaction. This is why that small amount (5 to 15%) of a reducing sugar added to chemically leavened bakery products has so large an impact on a cakes crust color.

Syrups such as invert sugar, corn syrup, malt, molasses, or honey are used either for the particular flavor they furnish or as moisture-retaining agents.

Here are some of the most common types of sugars used in baking.

Granulated Sugar