This Is How You Can Instantly Add More Flavor To Cakes

This ingredient is an easy swap in cake recipes.

What’s your favorite flavor of cake? Is it a classic vanilla cake or moist chocolate cake? Maybe you like a combination of both vanilla and chocolate flavors? Perhaps you’re a fan of the warm, dark red hue of the red velvet cake with its cream cheese frosting? 

Whatever flavor you love, cakes are universally well-loved. If you bake cakes, you’ll know that one of the key ingredients in any of these cake recipes is the sugar. Usually, cakes reicpes are made with white granulated sugar, but did you know you could easily swap out the sugar with another kind that will instantly add more flavor to your cakes, no matter which flavor of cake you are making? 

That ingredient is brown sugar, particularly dark brown sugar

Photo by Gabriela Sanda from Pixabay

Why change white sugar to brown sugar? 

To understand how brown sugar can change a recipe for the better, you need to understand that brown sugar is basically white granulated sugar that has either been mixed with molasses or hasn’t been refined or processed so much that all that is left is the white granules. White sugar, in essence, has been so refined that all that is left is a pure-tasting sweetness.


Brown sugar on the other hand still contains the minerals, molasses that determines how dark a brown it is. This is why the flavor of your cake when you use brown sugar will suddenly taste richer and your cake will be more dense and moist since brown sugar is more hygroscopic than white sugar. (Hygroscopic means the substance absorbs moisture from the air.) That’s why it looks and feels softer and more moist that it easily clumps compared to white sugar which stays separate. 

You might be wondering, when can you use brown sugar for white sugar? You can actually switch the two almost interchangeably with maybe a tiny tweak to the recipe. Don’t worry though. The tweak is necessary only if there isn’t an ingredient like baking soda in the ingredients list to neutralize the acidity in the brown sugar. 

If you do substitute brown sugar for white sugar in your cake recipe, remember to do this: 

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Add baking soda to your recipe. 

Baking soda (or bicarbonate of soda) is an alkaline ingredient, and this will react to the acidity that is in brown sugar aka the molasses. Not only that, it will help neutralize its effects on your cake while helping your cakes brown, too. As little as 1/8 teaspoon, or a pinch of baking soda, will help your batter balance itself out from this acidic ingredient. 


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However, only do this if there is no baking soda in the recipe. 

This easy swap is fantastic with chocolate cake recipes. If you do decide to take a leap of faith and swap out the white sugar with brown, here are chocolate cake recipes that we know will be super delicious: 

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