Sugar Overload Rant

One thing I detest in cakes and cookies is the gritty feeling of sugar within the teeth.

In this day and age, where everyone seems to be watching their sugar intake, it amazes me when I see recipes or baked goods with raw sugar crystals on top. “Adds a nice crunch” stated a recent recipe I saw. To me it adds the same crunch as an improperly-cleaned piece of seafood.

Because of health reasons I haven’t baked in months, so I’ve been buying my baked goods. At Christmas I found a bakery that had freshly-baked mincemeat tarts, something I love; I normally make my own. Pretty good, except for sugar on top. I scraped off most of the sugar, but couldn’t get it all. Same with a lemon-poppyseed loaf I saw yesterday, except that I didn’t buy it because of the loads of sugar crystals on top.

I also can’t understand the need to dust things like madeleines with icing sugar. It adds nothing to the cake, and makes the hands sticky. One of these days someone is going to do the same with financiers, which defeats the purpose of it, i.e. to not soil your hands or clothes.

I feel the same about dusting with cocoa. In this case it makes me cough.

I realize that this is all personal, but am I alone in this?

End of rant!:woozy_face:


I can’t join you. I like the crunch of sugar (and salt) crystals.


Sorry dude or dudette, the crunch of sugar on a slice of lemon loaf is good for my pleasure center.



I like the crunch of sea salt, or or other finishing salt as well.


I doubt you are alone in this but I like the crunch of sugar. My neighbor sometimes makes me a lemon bunt cake for my birthday. One year she made it in a way where there was a crust of lemon-flavored sugar all over it. I called and told her it was the best ever and asked her secret. Her “secret” was that she messed up the sugar syrup she soaks it with. She had not properly dissolved the sugar.

I agree with you on the cocoa powder.


I also like the crunchy sugar on a lot of things. Not all, but many.

However, to some extent I can agree on the powdered sugar. Lots of things don’t benefit from it. Yes, it’s pretty, but something like a madeleine doesn’t need it and is no better for it.

Cocoa powder is fine so long as you do it early enough that it has time to hydrate. I don’t like it otherwise.
It’s one of the things I love about Stella Parks’ tiramisu— she specifically calls for it to be dusted and then allowed to sit so it hydrates and there’s no dry, cough-inducing powder.


You are not alone. I only like sugar on top of baked goods as part of a cinnamon spice (ginger and/or nutmeg optional) streusel coffee cake. And that sugar must be brown and finely granulated.

If it “crunches” or is part of a whitish glaze like on Krispy Kreme donuts or lemon pound cakes, etc., I’ll nearly likely always choose not to eat it. Oddly, I do like chocolate covered honeycomb/seafoam or “Crunchie” bars. But ONLY once in a blue moon and in small pieces.

Aww, c’mon. I can’t say I like the crunch of sugar, but I don’t think it’s the same as sand or shell. shudder. :grimacing:

While I don’t seek out the crunch of sugar, there is a pound cake recipe I like a lot, where there is a chewiness to the surface that I think comes from sugar.

A favorite sugar crust recipe for me is this cake from Flo Braker:

I don’t like the pound cake itself as I have almond paste cakes I like a lot more, but the citrus glaze is what makes this cake stand out.

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My Dark Secret is that I don’t like sweets. I moved into this house in 1995, bringing 1/4 of a bag of sugar from the old place, and I still haven’t finished it. I make an exception for pecan pie and pecan bars, though not frequently.


If you bake cakes/quickbreads, try using some of the sugar called for when greasing the pan. Instead of flour use white sugar. You would think it makes the crust stick. It does not, but it adds just a bit of caramelly crunch. I never tried using brown sugar to dust the pan interior for fear that brown WOULD make the batter stick.


I do like this cake a lot (with a 25% sugar reduction in the batter) because of the citrus/almond flavor combination, but I agree that the crunchy citrus glaze is exceptional.

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i don’t mind a bit — a bit — of raw sugar.and i’m okay with a bit of cocoa, though i agree, it can be irritating. agreed on powdered — and not just because my wardrobe is mostly black:) always ask for my cannolis without.

but what i really — really — hate is glaze on scones to the point that i just won’t order them. way too sweet.


I also prefer no powdered sugar glazes on most baked goods, especially scones.

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Texturally I am fine with sprinkle sugar or salt on top as a finish. But I hate desserts that are overly sweet, whether that be in the batter or too much glaze/icing/frosting. I will scrape that off and throw it out. American desserts always seem too sweet to me. I strongly prefer French pastry where the dough itself may be unsweetened but then there is a fruit or chocolate or nut filling.


I’ve always used sugar to dust the buttered pan when making quickbreads. I don’t know why - maybe it was in some old, first recipe I tried, and it just “stuck”?

I do like the sort of caramel edges it gives all around. Sometimes I dust the top with regular granulated sugar, too. It doesn’t stay crystalline (individual crystals, I mean) but can sometimes give a bit of a sugar-glass crust to the top of each slice.

Brown sugar, I’m not sure if the molasses would cause sticking, but the main reason I haven’t tried it is that it’s so wet it’d be hard to shake it around for an even coating the way I can do with white sugar.

To Barney’s OP - I do not like the really big crystals of sugar folks tend to put on various desserts. I also don’t like big crystals of finishing salts on meats. As I’ve gotten older, it just seems unpalatable and almost as if it hurts to bite down.

The “top with sea salt” trend has us avoiding a lot of baked goods and candies. And hard-pass on commercial frosted cupcakes with the inch of frosting that overwhelms the cake. But for homemade sugar cookies, dipping the press-glass in sugar before stamping is mandatory. And for my not-very-sweet blueberry muffin tops, that 1/8 - 1/4 tsp of ordinary granulated (not large-crystals) sugar sprinkled on before baking is also a must-have. Cinnamon-sugar-nuts streusel toppings on quick breads are a definite always enjoy.

One reason I like Bundt cakes is they’re unfrosted. And I usually leave off a recipe’s pour over glaze (which softens the crispy edges) but instead drizzle that or barely dust with powder sugar (which adheres to the cake) for decoration.


I think I might get where you’re coming from. If I get any sweet bakery from walmart, the sugar in the cookies, cake frosting, etc, has the crunch of sugar granules, like they never broke down through the mix and bake. I do hate that.

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I LIKE crunchy salt or sugar. I have a batch of choc chip cookies that contain ONLY 70% Girardeli choc chips. They’re quite good, but I have a sweet tooth. So I tried rolling some in Demerara vs regular granulated sugar.

I like the caramelization of granulated, but I REALLY like the crunch of a layer of Demerara all over the cookie.

I use decorative crystals to get ‘frosted’ edges on sugar cookies all the time by rolling the log of dough in them before slicing.

Powdered sugar on brownies is part of the fun. Super dark chocolate plus the powder sugar = balance.