The Sugar Tip To Make Lemon Desserts Way More Flavorful

Whether added to iced tea, pound cake, or even a shot glass, the humble lemon seems to pop up in everything we eat and drink. Ever fragrant and delightful, the bright taste and citrusy smell of lemon is pretty well integrated into our diet at this point, which is especially apparent when you consider the amount of desserts that involve the tangy yellow fruit. Outside of vanilla or chocolate, the flavor of lemon is perhaps the most common when it comes to sweet treats, from lemon loaves to tea cakes to the filling of a fruit tart.

So, when you have a big batch of lemons and decide to make a dessert with them, it might help to know that there is a simple step to bring even more flavor to your sweet creations. By mixing grated zest with the sugar the recipe calls for, you can further infuse the essence of citrus, doubling its impact in your baked goods.

The many ways to enjoy lemon-infused sugar

Infusing your sugar with lemon is quite simple and will create a big result. To do so, place the amount of sugar your recipe calls for in a bowl and zest the lemons on top of the granulated pile. Using a food processor or just clean fingers, mix the zest and the sugar as evenly as possible (the point is to let the essential oils of the lemon imbue into the sugar). Once it's all evenly distributed, let the mixture stand for at least an hour to fully integrate together before using — this time can be applied towards getting the rest of the recipe prep ready to go.

Use lemon-infused sugar for all types of desserts for a boost of flavor. You can grind it into a fine powder and use it to create a super rich glaze for a lemon cake, doubling the aroma and taste of the citrus fruit in each slice. Alternatively, you can use this infused sugar to add a different flavor to standard baked goods. For example, sprinkling it in dough for basic sugar cookies before letting them cook in the oven will give a bright citrusy pop in each bite. Or, add a bit of the mix to a strawberry shortcake for double fruit flavor.

You can infuse sugar with even more flavors

Aside from lemon, you can also create infused sugars with a wide range of other add-ins. Ground dried spices such as cinnamon can be a great choice, and will work wonderfully for baked goods such as pumpkin bread and cinnamon rolls. Or, instead of lemon, try some orange zest for your infused sugar or even lime zest, which would be great for a key lime pie. To create any kind of infused sugar ahead of time to have on hand, simply mix the ingredient into a helping of sugar, and leave it all in an airtight container. It can be kept fresh for up to three months when stored properly. 

There are many ways you can use your creation. For example, vanilla-infused sugar (made by submerging a split vanilla pod into a bowl of sugar), is perfect when stirred into a fresh cappuccino. Meanwhile, cayenne pepper-infused sugar provides a surprisingly spicy and sweet flavor that works for Mexican hot chocolate or other rich baked goods.