Granulated sugar... sounds very unfamiliar. But don't be surprised when I say that this is actually the common white table sugar that you always bake with. So then comes the question. What is granulated sugar? And why not just simply call it sugar?

Well, there are several types of sugar. Brown sugar, powdered sugar, decorating sugar, sanding sugar, and of course, granulated sugar. So, we know the basic difference between brown sugar and white sugar (the color from the added molasses), but what's the difference between powdered sugar and granulated sugar or decorating sugar and sanding sugar?

The answer lies in their different crystal sizes. Now, let us go deeper into what granulated sugar is and why it is the most common sugar used in baking.

What Is Granulated Sugar?

bun, wheat, cinnamon, candy, cake, dough, bread, sweet, pastry, elephant ears, Sugar
Julia Gilman

First of all, you might be wondering what "granulated" even means. Something that is granulated is made up of many tiny pieces. The gran in the word granulated comes from the Latin granum, which means "grain" or "seed." This word is good for describing things like sugar or salt that feel gritty. Granulated sugar has this coarse feeling because it has had all of the naturally present molasses refined out of it. 

The fine crystals in granulated sugar don’t cake together, which makes it perfect for measuring, sprinkling onto food and dissolving into drinks. That is why granulated sugar is used more than other sugars in baking.

When to Use Granulated Sugar

From cookies to cakes to muffins, we always need sugar to get that taste just right. Here are some recipes that make great use of granulated sugar.

Funfetti Cake In a Mug
candy, sprinkles, cake, sweet, goody, cream, chocolate, sweetmeat
Domenica Garcia

This funfetti cake in a mug is a simple, delicious dessert. You simply need a mug, flour, and most of all, granulated sugar, along with some other ingredients. Even in this simple recipe, granulated sugar is important to prevent caking. Also, the sugar melts in the microwave which spreads the sweetness evenly throughout the cake. So enjoy your dessert with less stress.

Apple Crumble Bars

pie, slice, ice cream, dessert, apple, Sugar, topping, crumble, cinammon
Josi Miller

Thinking of apples this fall? Try making these apple crumble bars. Granulated sugar prevents caking during the baking process which is perfect for making this soft and sweet dessert.

Peach and Raspberry Cobblers

raspberry, berry, sweet
Hannah Linn

How about some peach and raspberry cobblers? Sounds healthy, delicious, and sweet. Granulated sugar is just perfect for this savory dessert.

Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

water, chocolate
Santina Renzi

Yes! Vegans can enjoy chocolate cookies thanks to this recipe, which, of course, uses granulated sugar. While the white sugar on top is powdered sugar for just a light crust on the outside, the real flavor comes from the granulated sugar which is used during the mixing process. Again, the granulated sugar keeps the mixture from caking and facilitates your baking.

Banana Bread Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

banana bread muffin, Baking, baked good, muffin tin, muffin tray, muffins, muffin, banana, banana bread
Jocelyn Hsu

Yum! Bananas and peanut butter always go well together, right? This recipe will blow your mind. Granulated sugar always makes those batch of cupcakes perfect. But be careful to use those sugars in the right places. While granulated sugar is used for the cupcakes, powdered sugar is used for the frosting. This is because powdered sugar is more finely ground than granulated sugar, making the frosting smooth, while the granulated sugar prevents caking when mixing the ingredients of the cupcake.

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

sweet, cake, chocolate, muffin, pastry, goody, cookie, candy, blueberry muffin
Jocelyn Hsu

Time for some blueberries, one of the healthiest berries in the world. Make these healthy, but tasty blueberry crumb muffins for a quick breakfast before school. Granulated sugar will give you energy to survive your chemistry class.

Boston Cream Pie Cupcake

cream, chocolate, cupcake, peanut
Grace Nguyen

Oh, that perfect blend of pastry and cream! This Boston cream pie cupcake will not disappoint you. Never underestimate the power of granulated sugar, which prevents caking and makes the cream so smooth. This smoothness also comes from the stirring and heating process which mixes and melts all the ingredients together.

Well, of course, granulated sugar always makes things much sweeter and tastier. But don't forget that too much sugar is never too good for you. Sugar has been linked to the increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, acne, and other physical problems. Also, it could accelerate your skin aging process as well as lead to fatty liver. So while enjoying these treats, be careful to avoid a sugar rush!