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How to Make Brown Sugar

4.62 from 181 votes
Learn how to make brown sugar all by yourself with this easy two-step brown sugar recipe!
Homemade Brown Sugar in a jar.

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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 brown sugar so you never have to leave it out again.

Molasses being poured into sugar to make brown sugar.

How Is Brown Sugar Made?

It couldn’t be simpler to make your own, just mix together sugar and molasses (or treacle). That’s right: it’s simply white sugar and molasses.

How To Make Brown Sugar

This two-ingredient recipe could not be easier, and you’ll be on your way to making your own essential ingredient for any baking recipe that calls for it (and don’t forget to get all the measurements down below). Here’s how easy it is:

  1. Combine your molasses and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Rub in the molasses with fingertips until the molasses is completely incorporated and the sugar turns brown.

A jar of homemade light brown sugar.

Taste And Consistency

If your sugar is the light variety, it will have a slight caramel flavor and be golden in color.

How To Soften Brown Sugar

If you’re wondering how to make sugar soft after it’s gotten too hard, you can always use your microwave. Place everything hardened in a microwave-safe bowl then place a damp paper towel on top. Microwave on medium for 30 seconds, or until it’s soft.

Easy Brown Sugar recipe in a jar with a slice of bread.

How To Store It

Store your new sugar in an airtight container for months. To prevent any clumping of the sugar, add a slice of white bread in the container and that will keep it dry and fine.

How To Darken Brown Sugar

You just want to double the amount of 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.

This brown sugar recipe 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. This 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.

Dark Brown Sugar, homemade from my recipe, in a jar.

Get more Baking Basics recipes:

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

How to Make Brown Sugar

4.62 from 181 votes
Learn How to Make Brown Sugar so you can get that rich, caramel flavor in all of your baking including my Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gingerbread & more!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Learn How to Make Brown Sugar so you can get that rich, caramel flavor in all of your baking including my Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gingerbread & more!
Author: Gemma Stafford

Ingredients

Light Brown Sugar

  • 1 Cup (8 oz/240g) white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon molasses (treacle)

Dark Brown Sugar

  • 1 Cup (8 oz/240g) white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons molasses (treacle)

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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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Tahira Akhtar
Tahira Akhtar
3 years ago

Can I use date molasses instead of treacle? Thank you xx

Darren
Darren
3 years ago

Hi Gemma, In looking up recipes for making brown sugar, I’ve come across *many* different recommendations for the amount of molasses to add to the sugar. And, granted, one advantage to making brown sugar at home is that you aren’t restricted to what commercial brands / manufactures do. Still, I have been interested in making brown sugar to be the same “strength” as commercial stuff; but the lack of agreement on the matter has been an issue. (Well, actually, I’ve been interested in making “amber sugar” to the same degree–that is, sugar + maple syrup, not as a substitute for… Read more »

Claudia W Rooney
Claudia W Rooney
3 years ago

Gemma, I made your best ever chocolate chip cookies for the 10th time in a month. The last batch I whipped up I noticed I didn’t have enough brown sugar…….but, I had sugar and molasses and whipped up a batch for this batch of cookies. The best ever!! Thank you!!

Esme
Esme
2 years ago

Brown sugar tastes nice in coffee. ☕

carrol hunter
carrol hunter
2 years ago

You can also use a dry teabag to keep the brown sugar nice

Nada Kabakibi
Nada Kabakibi
2 years ago

hi Gemma,i made it it was perfect ,thank you

Melanie
Melanie
4 years ago

Hi Gemma,
When you say white sugar, which do you mean Caster Sugar or Granulated Sugar?
Thanks
P.s. love the videos

Maksym
Maksym
2 years ago

Hi, Gemma. I performed your recipe at home but sugar has no caramel taste and smell, only strong molasses smell , which is pretty far from real Brown sugar from the store. Could you please advice.

Tehmina
Tehmina
2 years ago

WAOO nice

Chris
Chris
2 years ago

Hello. There is a typo in your recipe. A volume cup of white granulated sugar weighs 200g not 240g for most recipes in the US and UK. If your were converting to a US measurement, it is probably closer to 1 cup and 3 Tablespoons.

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook