Learn how to make delicious, versatile cannabis sugar using a cannabis alcohol tincture and white sugar for a staple cannabis recipe that can be used to make a wide variety of medicated recipes.
WHAT IS CANNABIS SUGAR?
I have to admit, it really took me some time to wrap my head around the science of making cannabis edibles the correct way. Now that I feel a bit more advanced in my culinary cannabis skills, I wanted to try something new.
Most of my cannabis recipe inspiration comes from Instagram or cannabis cooking shows on Netflix, and somewhere along the way, I saw someone making cannabis sugar.
I love the idea of cannabis sugar because like cannabutter or cannabis-coconut oil, once it’s made, it can act as a staple recipe to easily infuse all other recipes.
I also love the versatility of cannabis sugar, once it is made you can use it for so many different recipes including cannabis brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and even cocktails and drinks or a scoop in your morning recipe.
Plus, if you’re looking for a very, very potent recipe – you could use both cannabis coconut oil AND cannabis sugar together for a double dose of CBD or THC.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE CANNABIS SUGAR
Unfortunately, this is not a quick recipe and there are a few things you need to do before you can even get started making infused sugar. Here’s what you need to do first:
- Decarboxylate your cannabis flower
- Make a cannabis alcohol tincture
- You can not make cannabis-infused sugar without the alcohol tincture
- You can not make cannabis sugar with coconut oil or any other type of fat
WHY THE COMPLICATED PROCESS?
Culinary cannabis truly involves a lot of science, and there are tried and true processes to follow in order to get the best quality final product.
Dried cannabis flowers do not naturally contain high amounts of THC or CBD, they contain THCA and CBDA, an acidic form of the cannabinoids.
Applying heat or solvents, in this case, heat and alcohol, decarboxylate the THCA and CBDA into the active forms of THC and CBD, a process called decarboxylation.
Flavoring sugar: Two basic methods
Let’s explore two different ways to add flavor to sugar: the “infusion” method and the “addition” method.
Infusion: Cover whole ingredients with sugar
One method for adding flavor to sugar is burying whole ingredients (like coffee beans or vanilla beans) in a container of sugar. Over time, the oils and small particles from the ingredient impart aroma and flavor into each spoonful of sugar.
With this approach, the source of the flavor isn’t usually consumed along with the sugar. It’s either removed before it’s used or simply left in the container to continue infusing the remaining sugar.
Pros: It’s easy to identify the flavor of the infused sugar if it still has the ingredient in it — plus it looks elegant, adds some color, and makes a nice gift.
Cons: The flavor can be subtle, and infusion takes time.
Addition: Blend ingredients into sugar
Another way to make flavored sugar is to blend ingredients (sometimes using a food processor) into sugar. With this approach, the flavorful ingredient and sugar are consumed together. This technique works well for delicate ingredients like flower petals, as well as extracts.
Pros: The sugar is fully flavored immediately after blending; it’s ready to use or give as a gift.
Cons: It can be difficult to identify the flavor visually, since the ingredient is usually broken down into small pieces (if present at all). If the flavor is imparted by means of extract, the additional moisture can make the sugar clump slightly.
We’ll offer both infusion and addition versions of all the flavored sugars, so you can choose what works best for you.
If you’re adding whole ingredients to the sugar, be sure to shake the jar well before setting it aside to infuse. This will distribute the flavor evenly and hasten the infusion process.
Six sweet ideas
Let’s introduce the six flavored sugars we’re most excited about!
Note that there aren’t weights listed for the infusions and additions below. You can use about 1 cup of sugar without being exact. For those of you who want to use a scale, 1 cup of granulated sugar weighs 198g.
1) Vanilla sugar
Vanilla sugar is the cream of the crop in the flavored sugar world. Vanilla beans are valuable and so is time — two important ingredients in well-made vanilla sugar. The final product is complex, aromatic, and can elevate a basic recipe (or cup of coffee, I might add) to new heights.
- Infusion: 1 cup sugar + 1 vanilla bean; infuse for at least 1 month.
Split the vanilla bean lengthwise for a more robust flavor. This will also add flecks of “vanilla caviar” (seeds inside the pod), which looks stunning.
- Addition: 1 cup sugar + 1/2 vanilla bean; blend in a food processor.
You won’t need as much of the bean since you’ll be using the entire thing, pod and all. Start with using half a bean, adding more if you’re working with small beans.
Best used: Sprinkle on top of sugar cookies or snowball cookies; add to coffee.
2) Citrus sugar
When it comes to citrus sugar, you have options. My personal favorite is orange-flavored sugar because of the nostalgic smell; it reminds me of eating oranges while sitting in the sand (my family’s go-to beach snack). You can also play around with lemon, lime, and grapefruit sugar.
- Infusion: 1 cup sugar + about 1 tablespoon zest*; infuse for at least 24 hours.
*Finely grated rind of orange, grapefruit, lemon or lime.
- Addition: 1 cup sugar + 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon lemon, lime, or orange oil; mix together.
Even if you’re relying on citrus oil to impart the majority of flavor in your sugar, add a bit of fresh zest for color.
Best used: In practically any baked good made in wintertime; as a brightly flavored topping on muffins or quick bread, or in fruit pies.
3) Coffee sugar
- Infusion: 1 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons whole roasted coffee beans; infuse for at least 1 week.
Remove the coffee beans before using the sugar for subtle flavor. Or, after the sugar has infused for about a week, pulse the sugar and beans together in a food processor for strong flavor (which technically combines the infusion and addition techniques).
- Addition: 1 cup sugar + 2 teaspoons espresso powder; stir together.
For best results, use real espresso powder rather than instant coffee powder. You’ll get more flavor and zip out of the real stuff.
Best used: As a coating for chocolate truffles or sprinkled on top of a chocolate cake.
4) Lavender sugar
- Infusion: 1 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers; infuse for at least 1 week.
Sift out the lavender flowers before using for a smooth, pure look. The sugar will have a floral aroma and a hint of lavender taste.
- Addition: 1 cup sugar + 1 to 2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers, pulsed in a food processor.
Use this method if you’re looking for light purple flecks and added texture in your baked goods.
Best used in: Sponge cakes or shortcakes; sweets you’d serve at tea time.
5) Rose sugar
- Infusion: 1 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons dried rose petals; infuse as long as you can.
Like with lavender flowers, sift out the rose petals before using for a nuanced flavor. A long infusion period will maximize the smell and taste of the final sugar.
- Addition: 1 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon dried rose petals, blended in a food processor.
If you don’t have rose petals, you can try using rose water instead. We’ve found that some varieties have a borderline soapy taste, especially if too much is used. Be sure to start with a small amount (about 1 scant teaspoon per cup of sugar) if you want to give this approach a try.
Best used: To sweeten whipped cream, tea, or cocktails; anything that you want to seem fancy.
6.) Rosemary sugar
- Infusion: 1 cup sugar + 1 generous tablespoon or a few small sprigs of fresh rosemary.
If you remove the rosemary before using the sugar, it’ll add an elusive, herbaceous flavor that no one but you will be able to put their finger on. Everyone will love it!
- Addition: 1 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon dried rosemary; mix together.
If you can’t remember when you bought your dried rosemary, it’s best to start fresh (or double the amount to compensate for the potentially weak flavor).
Best used: In shortbread or sprinkled on top of breakfast bread pudding.