Monday, 23 August 2010


I nearly had a mini heart attack last night dear readers. Not because my arteries are clogged with cakey goodness, and not because Johnny Depp turned up on my doorstep.
Nope, it was because my worst nightmare came true.
I had no caster sugar.
I panicked, I cried a little, I tried to convince myself that it would be OK to wait until tomorrow to make cakes. But nothing worked.
And then, in my time of need, inspiration struck.
Why do I always default to using caster sugar in my cakes?
I have Ready Roll icing...and I have icing sugar. Both of which...are sugar. So maybe I could use them instead of caster sugar?!
I stood nervously for a good minute until deciding that although I had come to considering drastic measures for the sake of cake, it had to be done. A lack of caster sugar wasn't going to get in the way of Cake.
So my friends, can you subsitute any sugar for caster sugar? Honestly? Yep! Read on...
I got my trusty big box of ready roll out and it is seriously like a brick of icing. Ooh that's given me an idea, I could live in a house of icing with icing bricks and liquorice windows and a door made of cake with a garden of buttercream and sugar flowers...
Ahem, where was I. Experiment 1: Ready Roll Icing Sugar
As we all know, ready roll is a nightmare to roll straight from its cosy foil bed in a box. So instead of waiting around for it to warm itself up and get acclimatised to my kitchen, I cut off a big chunk and threw it in the microwave where it bubbled up and went mushy.
However, as the picture below will reveal, it does harden up again crazy quickly, so when you mix it into your butter you will end up with a weird pool of melted butter with floating lumps of icing sugar...
I have to admit I was a little alarmed at this point and feared for my cake in the making. But I continued readers, for the sake of Cake Science (a recognised and respected branch of science...)
Ok, I'm aware the image below doesn't exactly look appetising.
It's melted butter, lumps of icing sugar, egg and flour...I can hear you drooling now...
But! Although again alarmed at such an...interesting looking mixture, I figured I'd come this far now, so it was only right to throw my mix in the oven and pray for cake.
Experiment 2: The Icing Sugar
Now, I really wasn't sure about this one. 'But you were about ready roll?!' I hear you mutter in doubt.
Well, no, but Icing sugar just seemed too powdery to be mixing with the likes of cake mixture. By rights it belongs with butter to make delicious buttercream, not getting down and dirty with eggs and flour...
But I knew it was time to take Icing Sugar away from its pretty pink packaging and life spent sitting on top of The Cake. It was time for it to get beaten, mixed and cooked in the oven.
Add a lil' egg and flour...
And as you can see this mixture looks a lot more like the cake mixture we all know and love. Largely because there are no lumps of Ready Roll floating about...
Now I know what you're thinking readers, 'There's no way using that weirdo sugar worked. What a waste of tasty Ready Roll icing and a cruel infliction of suffering for Icing Sugar'. But it did, and rather well I'll have you know...
Tudaah! Ready Rolls on your left, Icing Sugar on your right.
No idea why they're different. I only bake the cakes for science, I don't actually know why strange and wonderful things happen...all's I care about is that the end result is edible!
Of course as my aged and wise father pointed out after 'testing' the final products; a task that meant he had to consume all my cakes just to make sure there was consistency across the cakes...
Sugar is sugar, no matter what form it is in. I can see how the idea of putting ready roll into a cake would appear not to work because it looks so solid, and it goes against every cakey bone in our body that screams at us that it is not normal and only Caster Sugar will do.
But as I have proved dear readers, our screaming bones are wrong.
So next time you've got a basement full of Read Roll and Icing sugar (like you do...), but no caster sugar. Do not panic! Go forth and bake that Cake!
Next time, can you use bread cakes?! Stay tuned...

^ Icing Sugar innards ^

^ Ready Roll ^


  1. Have to say, I never ever use caster sugar for anything - granulated is more multi-purpose, I think a bit cheaper, and I've never found it makes cakes at all grainy. Interesting that the icing sugar worked well though!

  2. This Is a flipping brilliant post Hun, so interesting and highly amusing x

  3. Ooh intriguing. I've used granulated before and got a kind of shiny brownie like top so I've always thought it makes me cakes heavier.
    I think my gran told me to always use caster so I took her word for it :p xx

  4. Thanks 'How to be Perfect'! :D
    I aim to inform and amuse :p xx

  5. I've used caster sugar and normal granulated sugar, but my baking standard is soft brown sugar. I usually have at least half a dozen different sugars ;) I am slightly stunned that the ready-to-roll icing worked out!!

  6. Aah I love brown sugar cakes :D
    Haha not half as stunned as I was! :p xx