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Rock Sugar vs Regular Sugar

Rock Sugar vs Regular Sugar

Need to know the difference between rock sugar and regular white sugar? Well, you came to the right place!

In this article you will learn not only what makes rock sugar different from granulated sugar, but also when and how you can use them no matter what you are making.

While most are familiar with white sugar (also called table sugar or granulated sugar) rock sugar is not as commonly used in the US.

But that doesn’t mean the two can’t be used interchangeably in many applications. So without further delay, let’s get to the answers to all your questions.

What is Rock Sugar

top view of bowl of rock sugar

Rock sugar is produced by cooling sugar syrup until it forms into crystal like pieces. The sugar syrup is made by mixing water with sugar. Numerous types of sugar can be used to make rock sugar, including granulated, cane sugar, and brown sugar.

Rock sugar, also known as sugar candy and rock candy, is a popular sweetener most commonly used in Asian cuisine.

When comparing equal amounts of rock sugar and regular sugar, rock sugar is noticeably less sweet. For this reason, rock sugar is a popular way to add a subtle level of sweetness to all sorts of recipe and beverages.

Related: Palm sugar vs brown sugar

Rock Sugar and Granulated Sugar Uses

top view of bowl of granulated sugar

Both regular sugar and rock sugar are versatile sweeteners used in all sorts of dishes. Regular sugar is a common ingredient in baked goods and is also a great sweetener for beverages like coffee and tea.

Rock sugar can be found in many Asian recipes. It is used to sweeten desserts and beverages, as well as many savory main dishes.

Because rock sugar is less sweet by volume than regular sugar, it is particularly well suited for recipes that you want to avoid overpowering with sweetness.

Generally speaking, you can use rock sugar and regular sugar interchangeably but care should be taken to ensure the right level of sweetness is achieved as they are not a 1:1 substitution.

Related: Coconut sugar alternatives

How to substitute rock sugar with granulated sugar

cup of coffee and rock sugar on a stick

Since it is much sweeter than rock sugar, you will use less regular sugar than your recipe calls for in rock sugar.

This holds true no matter what type of recipe you are making. Start by using half as much granulated sugar as rock sugar and give your recipe a taste.

You can slowly add more if you find you want more sweetness.

Related: Vanilla sugar replacements


2 teaspoons of rock sugar equal 1 teaspoon of regular sugar

How to replace granulated sugar with rock sugar

closeup of a mound of regular white sugar

The same ratio holds true when swapping white sugar with rock sugar. That means to maintain an equivalent level of sweetness you will want to use twice as much rock sugar as white sugar called for in your recipe.

Just like above, add your sugar and taste. And if you want to add more just do so slowly until the right flavor is achieved.

Related: Maple sugar alternatives


1 teaspoon of regular sugar equals 2 teaspoons of rock sugar

Does rock sugar taste different than regular sugar

cup of tea and stick of rock sugar

While the flavor of rock sugar and regular sugar is quite similar, the level of sweetness is not the same.

Rock sugar is less sweet than regular sugar. This means that when equal amounts of the two are used, a dish with regular sugar will taste significantly sweeter than one made with rock sugar.

Related: Palm sugar substitutes

Bottom Line

Both of these sugar are excellent all around sweeteners that can be used in everything dinner and baked goods to sweetening beverages.

The primary difference to keep in mind, is that regular sugar is sweeter than rock sugar when comparing equal volumes.