Cane sugar and sugar have similar appearances, but cane sugar has larger crystals than sugar and a golden color. Sugar consists of small, white crystals.

Sugar and cane sugar have different origins. Cane sugar is exclusively made from sugar cane, while white sugar comes from either sugar cane or sugar beets, and the sugar’s source is usually not identified when the product is sold.

Comparison Chart: Is Cane Sugar the Same as Sugar?

Cane Sugar vs Sugar

Cane sugarSugar
IntroductionCane sugar is a type of unprocessed sugar made from sugar caneSugar, otherwise known as white sugar or granulated sugar, is a processed sugar made from sugar beets or sugar cane
OriginSugar cane (exclusively)Sugar beets or sugar cane
HistoryFirst grown in southern Europe. Brought to the Americas in the 15th centuryFirst grown in southern Europe. Developed in the 19th and 20th centuries
UsesBaking cakes, muffins, breads, brownies, cookies, biscuits, and moreBaking cakes, muffins, breads, brownies, cookies, biscuits, and more (Can be used exactly the same as cane sugar)
PriceAffordableVery affordable
Is it healthy?No, but it’s healthier than sugar because it’s unprocessedNo

Cane Sugar Explained

Cane Sugar vs Sugar

Cane sugar is a type of unrefined sugar made from the sugar cane plant. Cane sugar granules are golden-yellow in color. Organic cane sugar is pure sugar, containing 100% cane sugar.

Cane Sugar Origin and Production

Sugar cane is grown in Africa, southwestern Europe, tropical Asia, southeastern USA, South America, and the Pacific. After the sugar cane plant is cut and harvested, cane juice is extracted, purified, and crystallized into unprocessed cane sugar.

Where to Buy Cane Sugar 

Cane sugar is available to buy in supermarkets, although most stores only stock one or two cane sugar products. You can find better deals for cane sugar online.

How to Use Cane Sugar

You can use cane sugar as a 1:1 substitute for sugar in sweet bakes. In any dish that calls for sugar, cane sugar can be used.

Cane sugar is best used to make cookies, bread, and crumbles. Below, you can find a recipe for simple, three-ingredient cane sugar cookies.

Ingredients: (makes 15 cookies):

  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and line a baking tray
  2. Cream the cane sugar and butter until the mixture turns smooth
  3. Mix in the whole wheat flour and combine to form a firm dough
  4. Roll out the dough then shape the cookies and put the cookies on the baking tray
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/ 300°F and bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until golden

Is Cane Sugar Healthy?

Cane sugar is still sugar and has the same negative health effects as other sugars in excess, such as diabetes and tooth decay. However, cane sugar is healthier than regular sugar.

As an unprocessed sugar, cane sugar is rich in minerals, vitamins, and trace elements, including phosphorus, calcium, and vitamins A, C, B1, B2, and B6. Cane sugar is a source of phytonutrients called polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants.

Sugar Explained

Cane Sugar vs Sugar

Sugar is a sweet-tasting, refined carbohydrate sourced from sugar cane and sugar beet plants. Sugar is made from sucrose, fructose, and glucose, and undergoes a refining process that results in nutrient loss.

Sugar Origin and Production

Like cane sugar, sugar comes from cane plants, which are grown in tropical climates around the world. Sugar beet is another plant that is used for sugar harvesting. This plant is grown in regions including France, Russia, Germany, the United States, and Turkey.

To begin with, the process of making sugar is the same as the process of making sugar cane. Stalks from the sugar beet or sugar cane plants are cut down and harvested. The juice from the plants is extracted and crystalized. Next — and this is what differentiates the sugar-making process — the raw sugar is taken to a refinery to be refined and processed.

Where to Buy Sugar

Sugar is a popular ingredient found in the coffee or baking aisle in supermarkets. There are usually several varieties and brands of conventional sugar to choose from. Organic sugar is more expensive than sugar derived from intensively-farmed sugar cane.

You can also buy sugar online. The bigger the packet of sugar, the more affordable the sugar is per gram.

How to Use Sugar

You can use sugar in a variety of sweet bakes including brownies, cakes, cookies, and pancakes. You can also use sugar to make syrup, sweeten beverages, and sprinkle them onto breakfast dishes.

Sugar is a popular ingredient in cupcakes. You can find an easy recipe for basic cupcakes below.

Ingredients: (makes 12 cupcakes):

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 370°F. Line a cupcake or muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases
  2. Use a wooden spoon or whisk to cream the sugar and butter
  3. Once the mixture is soft and light, add the flour, eggs, and milk and stir to combine
  4. Divide the mixture into the 12 cupcake cases and bake for 15–20 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes are golden

Is Sugar Healthy?

In small amounts, sugar is unlikely to cause harm. However, too much sugar can have a range of health effects, including an increased risk of heart disease, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, acne, depression, and cellular aging.

When sugar is processed, a lot of the nutrients found in the sugar cane or beet plant are lost. This means that there are no health benefits to balance out the negative health effects associated with sugar consumption.

Choosing Sugar vs Cane Sugar

Sugar and cane sugar can both be used in recipes that call for sugar. However, cane sugar has bigger granules than white sugar, and cane sugar contains nutrients, while white sugar is refined and nutrient-free.

You can use cane sugar as a healthier alternative to white sugar, but keep in mind that all types of sugar should be consumed in moderation. For a healthier cooking option, use date paste, honey, or coconut sugar in place of sugar or cane sugar.


Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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