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How to make Brown Sugar - For those times you need brown sugar but all you have is white! Now you can easily make your own with just 2 ingredients.

How to Make Brown Sugar (Bold Baking Basics)

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Hi Bold Bakers!

Brown Sugar is a fantastic ingredient in baking that shouldn’t be left out. It adds a caramel flavor and depth to recipes. I know it’s not available in all countries but I don’t want you to leave it out of your baking so I’m going to show you how to make it so you never have to leave it out again.

It couldn’t be simpler to make your own Brown Sugar, just mix together sugar and molasses (or treacle).

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This makes a light brown sugar: it is slightly caramel in flavor and is golden in color. 

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Store in an air-tight container for months. Brown Sugar has a tendency to clump together. To prevent this add a slice of white bread in the container and that will keep the sugar dry and fine.

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To make Dark Brown Sugar it’s the same deal. You just want to double down on the molasses. You will see, feel and smell a big difference between the Light and Dark Brown Sugar. The dark has an even richer, deeper caramel flavor.

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Brown Sugar is ESSENTIAL in recipes like my Chocolate Chip Cookie, Brownie Recipe, Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Mug and Gingerbread. All of these recipes have something in common, they have a caramel flavor with a gooey, treacly texture. Brown Sugar does that, that’s why I don’t want you to leave it out.

This recipe is part of my Bold Baking Basics Series. There you will find useful recipes like How to Make Cake Flour, How to Make Buttermilk and lots more to help you become a better Bold Baker.

4.97 from 29 votes
How to make Brown Sugar - For those times you need brown sugar but all you have is white! Now you can easily make your own with just 2 ingredients.
How to Make Brown Sugar (Bold Baking Basics)
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • Light Brown sugar
  • 1 Cup (8 oz/240g) white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons molasses (treacle)
  • Dark Brown sugar
  • 1 Cup (8 oz/240g) white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons molasses (treacle)
Instructions
  1. Combine sugar and molasses in a mixing bowl. Using your fingertips rub in the molasses until the molasses is completely incorporated and the sugar turns brown.
  2. Store in an air-tight container for months. Because of the moisture, brown sugar has a tendency to clump together, to prevent this add a slice of white bread in the container and that will keep the sugar dry and fine.

 

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Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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133 Comments

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  1. Maimuna Manzoor on December 2, 2018 at 2:11 am

    Hey Gemma…I am planning to make homemade brown sugar . Can you tell me where can I find molasses ?..and if you can please pin a link as to what brand works best to make this brown sugar?. Looking forward to your reply.
    Thank you 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on December 2, 2018 at 5:26 am

      Hi there,
      Molasses is not so much a brand. Molasses is what is removed from sugar cane/beets/coconut/palm etc, in the making of white granulated sugar. It is just called molasses. A lighter version which will also work well for you, is treacle.
      Depending on where you live you may be able to buy a sugar which already contains the molasses, a dark brown sugar/muscavado/jaggery for instance. Do not focus on the brand, ask at your store or market,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Olga Allen on October 27, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Hi Gemma, I would like to know if you can use Splenda instead of white sugar with the molasses? I’ve used splenda in a carrot cake and it was really good. I am diabetic and also bake for friends who are diabetic. Thank you for all the information you share with us.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 28, 2018 at 6:49 am

      Hi Olga,
      you sure can! I am happy that you find Splenda works well for you in carrot cake, well done you. You may also be interested in some of the new age sweeteners.
      You are coming to this at a time when there are a number of great alternative sugars available. Here we use one called Lakanto, but there is Truvia, and Swerve, really all much the same thing, using either monk fruit or stevia for the sweetness, and an alcohol sugar such as erythritol or xylitol, which will caramelize, and behave like real sugar in a bake. Stevia and Monk fruit will not caramelize on their own, but will be great in drinks and some puddings/custards etc. Do a little research into these products, they are a little expensive at the moment, but for you it would be so worth it!
      The difference for you is that these subs will caramelize, and that is important for browning, crisping etc.
      Thank you for being here with us, and for this input,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Trish on October 27, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    I would use coconut sugar because it is already brown in color and it is much healthier than white sugar.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 28, 2018 at 6:39 am

      Hi Trish,
      This is true. Coconut sugar is less refined than white sugar. It is still a mix of fructose and sucrose though, and has a similar effect in the body. A little low on the glycemic index, and really nice too in all sorts of bakes.
      Thank you for this input,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. KazBlue on October 27, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Love the recipie and would like to be able to get the jars you use they are sweet but cant find the link 🙁

  5. Phyllis Knight on October 21, 2018 at 7:11 am

    Thank you so much! I can’t get good brown sugar where I live but I can now make my own. I can’t wait to make this.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 21, 2018 at 7:47 am

      I’m delighted to hear that :).

      Best,
      Gemma.

  6. Claudia Moema on October 15, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Hi, Gemma. It is a nice recipe.Thanks. Here in Brazil we have a delicacy from the Northeast of the country called “rapadura”. It is made from the hardened syrup of sugar cane after some boiling. You should try it.
    Thanks, again form all your recipes and teaching!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 17, 2018 at 7:11 am

      Hi Claudia,
      I should come to Brazil to try it! I would love that. I will research this right now!
      Than kyou for letting me know about this, I rely on you bold bakers for my tips too, especially regional ones.
      That sounds a bit like Jaggery, from India, I wonder if I am right!
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Karen on October 7, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Thank you! My sister and I both are excited to do this! Oh, btw, your waffle recipe is delicious. I ordered the pan and we had them for breakfast this morning. We loved them. Thank you for all the great recipes and tips.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 8, 2018 at 1:15 am

      Thank you again Karen, and thanks to your sister too, it is good to have you with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Bint Moussa on October 1, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Hi gemma. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it is life saviour. I have a question i did follow the recipe for the dark brown sugar but even with 2tsp of molasses it looks more golden than dark brown. Am i supposed to add more molasses or leave it as is?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      Hi there,
      If you want a dark brown sugar then you need more molasses! Try it, you may need a lot more but add one teaspoon at a time,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. anirudh.m on September 22, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Hey Gemma. I have a few questions.

    1) I’ve heard that jaggery and brown sugar is the same thing but I feel there is a difference in the flavour. Does it make a difference after baking? Is jaggery light or dark brown sugar?
    2) We get brown sugar here in India but it is not clumpy and soft as in the US and other countries; it is in a crystal form. I’ve actually been using pancake syrup to make the sugar more sticky and resemble what you get aborad. The only thing is I can’t seem to make dark brown sugar with the syrup and molasses are very expensive here. How do I get dark brown sugar? Is using light brown sugar enough?

    I know its a lot of doubts but baking is not very simple as we have to alter some ingredients. Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 23, 2018 at 2:34 am

      Hi there,
      jaggery is as good as it gets when it comes to brown sugar. It is unrefined, and depending on the source, cane/palm etc it is lighter or darker. The molasses is there, in the sugar, so the flavor is all there. you will not need to add molasses to this. I hear you though, it is dry. Brown sugar is wet because it has had the molasses added back, in varying degrees, to make it light or dark. Demerara sugar is an unrefined brown sugar and it too is a dry crystal, with the molasses still intact.
      do not try to make it sticky, it is unnecessary, though the form here in the US can indeed add moisture to a bake, all will be well.
      The form you buy it in matters too, the finer the grind the easier it is to incorporate into any recipe.
      I hope this is of help, get to know your own local ingredients, they will be perfect.
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Tracy on September 18, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Gemma! I am recently new to your site and everything I have tried thus far has been fantastic!! So glad I found you 😉

    Question regarding the bread for storing the brown sugar.
    If you’re not going to be using it for a while, how often should you change the bread? Obviously you don’t want it to get moldy, lol.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2018 at 8:25 am

      Hi Tracy,
      Actually the bread does not go moldy, for some reason, but it does harden and at that point it will need to be changed.
      A large marshmallow or two will work well for this too.
      Thank you for your kind words, and for being here with us,
      Gemma 🙂

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