Bakers, beware: If you're leery of white sugar, check out the dramatic differences that resulted when we subbed other sugars into the same recipe.
Photo: Randy Mayor
The reason sugar alternatives make for tricky baking has to do with the sugar-facilitated chemical reactions that happen during beating and cooking. Those reactions determine volume, texture, moisture, and browning. Bakers may swap in other sweets for health reasons (raw sugar and honey are assumed healthier than white, though there's really little difference). But the price can run high, as the following examples—in which we subbed alternatives into a classic pound cake recipe—show. That's why we usually use white sugar in our recipes, adjusting portion sizes and other ingredients to cut calories.
NOTE: Calories in cake come from all ingredients, not just the sweeteners. The difference from slice to slice reflects the relative calorie contribution of each sweetener.