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Can I substitute light or dark brown sugar instead of white sugar in making fruitcake?

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Almost certainly, yes. The problem is, you will end up with a fruit cake :-) Sorry, I had to. You will have slightly more of a molasses edge, and more tendency to retain moisture, but that is probably in the noise. Especially if large amounts of rum or bourbon are involved at any point. If you want a precise answer, you will want to post your recipe as there are a broad range of fruit cake styles and recipes. But no matter which one, you still end up with a fruit cake. Arghhh! Can't stop! – SAJ14SAJ Feb 19 '13 at 2:50
Why so much hatred for fruit cake? I love fruit cake :) – Dharini Chandrasekaran Feb 19 '13 at 16:20
All the fruit cakes I've ever made had brown sugar in the recipe anyway! And frequently black treacle as well. I like the dark ones. – Matthew Walton Feb 20 '13 at 13:30

When substituting brown sugar for white sugar, be mindful if you are measuring by volume. Brown sugar packs down a lot and you may end up using more (by mass) sugar than you intended.

Your cake will be tasty. You may notice a slight texture difference, but it should be fine.

Alas, it will still be a fruitcake.

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It'll be fine as long as you're cool with the molasses flavor.

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In addition to the slightly "darker" flavor, you should expect the result to be more moist than with ordinary sugar. You may find you'll need to reduce the moisture in the recipe, or cook it longer.

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