Cane Sugar Vs Brown Sugar: What’s The Difference?

cane sugar

Sugar is a common natural sweetener present in most kitchens. It has been part of the human diet for thousands of years. Although sugar has a lot of variants, Cane Sugar and Brown Sugar are one of the most common variants.

The difference between Cane Sugar and Brown Sugar is that: Cane Sugar is extracted from cane juice which involves boiling and filtration process while still retaining its natural moisture and molasses. It’s still at its rawest form that’s why it’s considered organic.

While the Brown Sugar also goes through the same process, the difference is it’s being refined after filtration until it crystallizes. It has a little bit of molasses content left which explains its brown color.

Cane Sugar and Brown Sugar Doesn’t Taste The Same

Brown Sugar

Cane Sugar’s flavor has more body and depth. It almost tastes like vanilla with a mild floral or fruity aroma. The molasses and other minerals left inside the crystals made a difference.

Brown Sugar, on the other hand, may vary in flavor depending on how brown it is. Light brown sugar has a more toffee-like taste, it’s milder and less complex. Dark brown sugar is more caramel-like with a more enhanced molasses flavor.

Does Cane Sugar and Brown Sugar Look Alike?

Cane Sugar has bigger crystals and it’s very dark brown in color due to its higher molasses content. Brown Sugar, are more smaller and it comes in different hues of brown.

How Are They Different In Usage?

Cane Sugar

cane Sugar

SAVORY DISHES: If you’re a barbecue fan, cane sugar is the best addition to enhance that smoky-sweet flavor. It’s also a perfect glaze for meat dishes. On top of that, you can use it for marinades on your meats or veggies before grilling or roasting them.

BREAD: Most bakers use brown sugar in their bread but you can try replacing it with cane sugar for an enhanced molasses flavor. The color of the bread is more deep brown as well as the cane sugar boosts it’s color.

DESSERTS: This raw organic sugar is perfect for making caramel ice cream. It’s also the best option when you’re trying to make your homemade caramel or toffee syrup.

BAKED GOODS: Perfect for that deeper and richer flavor for your confections such as cookies, cakes, and even candies.  A deep brown rich color will be the effect for your baked goodies

LIQUIDS: I personally like cane sugar for my coffee. With just a teaspoon of it, it adds a sweet molasses kick to it. In addition to that, it’s also a perfect addition to salad dressings.

OTHERS: Cane Sugar Juice is also perfect for a soda substitute.

Brown Sugar


SAVORY DISHES: Majority of Bacon Producers use brown sugar as an ingredient. Compared to cane or white sugar, brown sugar offers a milder taste to not overpower the smoky taste. It’s also perfect for marinades and sauces for meats.

BREAD: Since it’s lighter than cane sugar, it’s perfect for making airy sweetbreads. I always use them when making bread rolls, milk toast, bread pudding, and for regular bread loaf.

DESSERTS: This sugar retains moisture quite well that’s why it’s commonly used for caramel fudge and brownies. It’s also perfect for a chocolate moist cake, pound cake, and crumb cake.

BAKED GOODS: Most people use white sugar for their chocolate chip cookies, but for a healthier option I only use brown sugar. Other cookies to try are brown sugar cookies, and brown sugar cinnamon roll.

LIQUIDS: You may substitute brown sugar with white sugar for your coffee. It’s also a healthier option as well for using it as a sweetener for fruit juices. It’s not as dark as cane sugar but has a hint of molasses flavor to it.

OTHERS: Other than ingesting it to our bodies, it’s also a perfect body exfoliate or scrub. Other than that, it’s perfect for home hack remedies such as: keeping cookies fresh, removing clothes’ stains and removing smelly odors from the fridge.


Which One Is Healthier?

It all boils down to, “Which type of sugar will bring significance to my overall health?”. We’ll show you how they differ with their nutritional value. Let’s compare.

According to every 1 tsp of..

Cane Sugar has..

  • 11 calories
  • 0g total fat
  • 0g cholesterol
  • 0.8mg sodium
  • 4mg potassium
  • 2.9g carbohydrates
  • 9g dietary fiber
  • 2.9g sugars
  • 0g protein
  • 0.2% calcium
  • 0.1% iron

Brown Sugar has.

  • 11 calories
  • 0g total fat
  • 0g cholesterol
  • 0.8mg sodium
  • 4mg potassium
  • 2.9g carbohydrates
  • 0g dietary fiber
  • 2.9g sugar
  • 0g protein
  • 0.2% calcium
  • 0.1% iron

If you compare both, there’s zero difference. Both contain the same nutritional value. I don’t think it matters which one you’re going to choose for the sake of “healthier option” because both of them are healthy sugars.

Both are better sweetener option when you’re trying to cut down calories instead of the regular refined white sugar.

Still, it’s good to note that anything taken beyond moderation is UNHEALTHY and RISKY for you. If you’re diabetic or you have other health issues pertaining to sugar, always seek your doctor for advice.

Can Brown Sugar Substitute Cane Sugar?

Yes, certainly. Brown sugar might not replace all the body and depth that Cane sugar offers, however brown sugar is still a better alternative.

If you refer to the table above, its culinary uses don’t have much of a gap. You may use cane or brown sugar in any dishes that you prefer.

If you want a deeper color and strong taste for your savory dishes or desserts, then try cane sugar. If you prefer a milder taste but still want the molasses in your dishes, opt for brown sugar.

Which One is More Expensive?

The more organic the food, the more expensive it gets. It all boils down to the quality of the food your body is getting. It’s the same as when you shop in grocery markets, regular vegetables are cheaper than organic ones.

It goes the same with sugars. Since cane sugar is at it’s rawest organic form, it’s more expensive than a regular brown sugar.

My Personal Pick: Which One’s The Best?

First of all, both sugars on his list are outstanding. It’s actually hard to make a pick. However, weighing down some certain factors quite affect my decision.

If I were to pick, I’d go for Brown Sugar. Why? I like the taste of Brown Sugar, especially the dark brown variant. It’s almost the same as Raw Cane Sugar.

The taste is not that strong and the crystals are cleaner. You don’t taste much molasses compared to cane where some of the molasses’ debris float on your coffee.

It’s perfect for my baked goods especially breads and cookies. Cane sugar makes the bread denser and less airy which is not “my type”. Brown sugar does a good job by making perfect airy baked goods while also retaining it’s moist texture.

I also like the fact that it does a lot for home remedies. I personally use it to keep my fridge smelling clean. For some reason, it absorbs or eliminates bad odor that lingers in the fridge.

I also use it for removing grease from my hands after mixing dishes or frying. It works perfectly plus, it removes undesirable odor from your hands.

And last but not least, it’s a cheaper alternative without compromising its health benefits. Cane sugar might have higher quality but it doesn’t have much difference when it comes to nutritional value. For the price and health value, Brown Sugar surely won me over.


“Moist Brown Sugar Cookies”


  • 1 ¾ cups brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 200g melted butter (unsalted)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda


  1. Preheat your oven to 117 degrees celsius.
  2. Prepare baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Start stirring butter, 1 ½ cups brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix well.
  5. When it reaches in a dough-like consistency, let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  6. Use your ice cream scoop and form balls of cookie dough onto baking sheets.
  7. Add remaining ¼ cup of brown sugar and place in a clean bowl.
  8. Roll each ready-made cookie dough into sugar and arrange it back to the pan.
  9. Press each cookie at least 1 inch thick.
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the top has cracked and golden in color.
  11. Once done, let it cool for 5 minutes.
  12. Serve with vanilla ice cream or sprinkle some chocolate syrup.

This recipe can make about 14-16 cookies.


  1. I prefer to have cane sugar, NOT brown sugar. I hate the way brown sugar becomes the dreaded brick within weeks. At least the cane sugars stay loose in my storage jars.

  2. I live in the USA, Pacific NW, and buy C&H Cane sugar, and usually buy granulated, which is called white. We just call it white sugar, and ppl use that term interchangeably for either cane or beet sugar. Most ppl don’t differentiate in the various “brown sugars” unless they are wanting light brown or dark brown. I prefer C&H b/c I know they don’t process it with animal bones to It’s interesting to see how ppl label foods around the world. I am going to take ur instructions to heart and buy “brown” cane sugar to avoid the dreaded brick, LOL. And I’m going to tweak a couple of ur recipes to make them more diabetic friendly, i.e. half the sugar and half monk fruit, or something, they sound delicious.

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