Best Sugar For Creme Brulee

The signature of a Creme Brulee is the caramelized crust. You sprinkle sugar over the top of the delicate custard and caramelize it with the flame of a kitchen torch. The type of sugar you use is very important.

If it is too thin, it does not caramelize into a decent crisp crust. If the sugar is too coarse, it may not caramelize quickly enough and you may melt the custard. Cracking into a perfectly torched sugar crust is a delightful experience and the following three sugar types are the best for creating it. This will help you in shortlisting the best sugar for Creme Brulee.

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Turbinado sugar

Turbinado sugar, or sugar ‘in the raw,’ gets its name from the technique used to make it. The raw sugar is spun in a centrifuge or turbine. Refined sugar products go through much more processing after this stage.

Turbinado looks somewhat like brown sugar but the crystals are harder, paler and larger. It is slightly finer and less sticky than Demerara sugar. Turbinado sugar makes a crisp crust that is not too thin with a delicious, complex flavor due to the molasses content.

Turbinado Cane Sugar (6 lb. bag)

Turbinado Sugar by Sugar In The Raw is made using 100% natural pure cane sugar.

You can reclose the bag so you keep the sugar fresh. This 6-lb. “baker’s bag” is perfect for baking.

Bulk Raw Cane Sugar (10 lb. bag )

Kauffman’s Fruit Farm, sellers of this product, buy large quantities of raw sugar and repackage it into more practical sizes for your baking needs. They offer these bags at a reasonable price.

As their bulk foods are packaged in random weight measures you will receive at least as much as you ordered, or even slightly more. Buying in bulk quantities helps you to save.

Raw Sugar Natural Cane Turbinado Packets

If you would rather buy your raw sugar in packets, try out this pack containing 500 packets from Sugar In The Raw. It is easy to store the box in the pantry and use the packets as you need them. You may prefer the convenience of using packets and they help to prevent spillage and waste.

Crystal sugar

Crystal sugar goes through various chemical reactions as a part of the juice purification process. The sugar cane or sugar beets are crushed and the juice is purified and boiled to produce thick syrup. The raw sugar crystals are extracted from the syrup, usually with the use of a centrifuge. The liquid left behind is the dark, sticky molasses.

If you have a large-grained crystal sugar that you like using, try using your food processor to break down some of the crystals before putting it on your Creme Brulee.

Crystal sugar is free of contaminants and melts clean and easily. The white crystals give a great visual cue when making the crust. As they are torched, the white sugar turns a golden brown so it’s easy to monitor when the crust reaches perfection and you won’t end up going too far and burning the sugar which makes it taste bitter.

Pure Cane Sugar Granulated white - 2 lb boxes (6 Pack)

C&H® Granulated Sugar is a well-known brand and its use in Creme Brulees is well documented. Get a 6-pack of 2 lb boxes of this pure cane granulated white sugar for easy and convenient use.

Canned Granulated White Sugar (1 half case)

This Future Essentials canned white sugar is ready to use and one of its biggest advantages is that it has a long shelf life. The six 25oz cans have a total net weight of 9.375 lbs.

White Sugar/Granulated Sugar - 500gm

Mother Organic white granulated sugar is cultivated in India and contains no pesticides, chemicals or fertilizers. It has no additives and no polish. The company uses the latest organic farming technology to improve the quality and nutritional standard of its products.

Demerara sugar

So, next on our list of best sugar for Creme Brulee is Demerara. Some people erroneously assume that Demerara sugar is just brown sugar. Unlike brown sugar which is just white sugar lightly bathed in molasses, Demerara sugar is a large grained, rather crunchy sugar that’s partially refined.

Demerara sugar used to be manufactured and shipped from the port of Demerara, in British Guyana but is now grown in other places too. The light brown sugar has a caramel-like flavor that lends complexity and depth to baking.

The crunchy, large crystals make it perfect for the crust of a Creme Brulee and it’s not too moist and clumpy like brown sugar.

Demerara Sugar, 10 Pound Box

This Demerara Sugar by D'allesandro's has a smooth, natural molasses flavor. The large, light brown crystals make it great in baked desserts. It is gluten-free, Kosher Parve Certified and Non-GMO.

Fairtrade Demerara Sugar - 1kg (2.2lbs)

This Demerara sugar by Tate & Lyle has large amber crystals that deliver a distinctive textural crunch. This sugar is traded in compliance with Fairtrade standards.

Demerara Sugar (Mauritius) 3 Lb Tub

This product sold by ChefShop is imported from the island of Mauritius. It is made from cane sugar grown in rich, volcanic soil. Pale, delicate and large-grained, it’s perfect for use in desserts, especially as a crust for a Creme Brulee. The more you buy, the less it costs to ship.


A Creme Brulee may not be as easy to make as cookies but using the best sugar for Creme Brulee can go a long way to helping you produce the perfect crust.

Some chefs prefer to use Turbinado or Demerara sugar for the rich, complex taste and the fact that they create a crust that’s not too thin. Others prefer using crystal sugar because it is free of contaminants and melts so easily and cleanly. It also gives them more control over the color of the crust.

It’s up to you to experiment and find out what works best for you. Time is of the essence as too much heat for too long heats up the custard. With a bit of practice, your Creme Brulee will have that delicious, crunchy crust you’re looking for.

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