What is Pearl Sugar?

By Cook's Illustrated Published November 2013

Some sweet bread recipes call for Swedish pearl sugar. What is it?

CRUNCHY CRYSTALS: Use Swedish pearl sugar to garnish baked goods.

Swedish pearl sugar is made by compressing sugar crystals to form larger, round particles that won’t dissolve in baked goods. (Another larger type of Belgian pearl sugar used almost exclusively in Belgian Liège waffles melts into the dough.) That quality makes it perfect as a finishing touch for cookies and sweet breads. When we mail-ordered a bag and used the crystals to top sugar cookies and sweet breads, we found that the “pearls” maintained their crunch and shape during baking in both applications. Use it as you would turbinado sugar: Sprinkle a few teaspoons onto muffins, biscuits, cookies, or breads (brushed first with beaten egg white) before baking.