How to Make Brown Sugar

How to Make Brown Sugar

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Did you know that you can make brown sugar? Most people don’t know that it’s possible. When you’re walking through the aisles of the grocery store and grabbing the ingredients you need for baked goods and other treats, you may instantly grab a bag of sugar with plans to use it.

While it’s convenient to grab it at the store, making it isn’t difficult, and the best part is that you won’t need a lot of ingredients to prepare it. Once you prepare this flavorful sugar from scratch, you may never want to go back to buying it pre-made from the store again.

Have you been in the middle of making cookies and you realize you forgot to put brown sugar on your grocery list? No worries, you may just start making your own after today. You should never run out of brown sugar again because you can make it yourself.

How to Make Brown Sugar

The Benefits of Making the Sugar at Home

You’re probably wondering why you should make this type of sugar instead of buying it pre-made at the store. If you don’t know what all the hype is about, these are some of the benefits of making it yourself:

  • It tastes better. The homemade sugar made with white sugar and molasses naturally has a better taste because it’s fresh! You won’t regret using it to make some of your favorite treats.
  • You can customize it. While you can’t customize traditional brown sugar found in stores, you can customize your version by adding more or less of the molasses to the white sugar. It all depends on your preference. You can taste it and adjust the ingredients to your liking.

How Do You Make Brown Sugar?

Before you get started, you’re going to need two simple ingredients: sugar and molasses. You’ll use traditional white granulated sugar and regular molasses, both of which are readily available in the baking aisle at the grocery store. Once you’ve got these two ingredients, you’re ready to begin making your brown sugar from scratch.

How to Make Brown Sugar

How to Combine the Ingredients

Grab a mixing bowl and add a cup of sugar to it. Once you’ve got the sugar in the bowl, add a tablespoon of molasses on top. It’s going to look thick and sticky, but this is fine. The next step involves mixing these two ingredients.

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When it comes to integrating your molasses with sugar, you have options. Some people like to do it by hand. If you’re going to do it by hand, make sure you wear gloves because it will get sticky. You wouldn’t want the sugar sticking all over your fingers and hands.

Suppose you don’t want to mix it with your hands and get messy, no worries. You can use a hand mixer, stand mixer, or even a food processor. Which one do you prefer?

If you’re going to start making this type of sugar all the time, you can switch things up and try different techniques each time to see which one you like best. The goal is to mix the molasses and sugar well enough to create the best brown sugar you’ve tasted.

In case you missed this post, Molasses: Everything You Need to Know For one of my favorite cookies, check this link out. Chewy Molasses Cookies Just Like Grandma Made

What should I do if it turns out too dark?

If your brown sugar looks a bit darker than you’d like, don’t stress it. There is an easy way to fix it. You’ll add a bit more white sugar to the mixture until you reach the desired color. Another way to make sure your homemade sugar is perfect is to taste it.

If it doesn’t taste the way that you’d like it to, you can add more or less of each ingredient. When you feel like it tastes too much like traditional white sugar, you should add more molasses to the mixture. Below are the traditional ratios we all grew up with.

  • Light Brown Sugar is one cup of white granulated sugar and one tablespoon of molasses, mix with a fork until completely mixed. If making larger quantities use a mixer.
  • Dark Brown Sugar is one cup of white granulated sugar and two tablespoons of molasses, mix with a fork until completely mixed. If making larger quantities use a mixer.

How do I store the sugar to keep it fresh?

When you store the sugar properly, you can expect it to last a long time. It will continue to taste fresh. The best way to store it is to pour your homemade sugar into a glass or plastic container with an airtight lid.

The airtight lid is essential because you don’t want anything getting into the container and contaminating your sugar. Once you pour it into the proper container and place the lid on top, you can store the sugar in your pantry to have easy access when you need to use it.

What should I do when the sugar starts to get hard?

Keeping your homemade sugar soft is ideal. It’s easier to use in recipes when it’s not hard. However, it can naturally start to get a bit hard when sitting on your shelf for a while. If your homemade sugar starts to get hard, place a handful of marshmallows in the container that you’re using to store it.

The marshmallows add moisture to the sugar to get it to soften up again. If you don’t have marshmallows, use the end piece of a loaf of bread. If you’d typically throw that piece of bread out, save it and use it to keep your sugar soft. 

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Another option to consider is putting your sugar in the freezer. It’s a great way to keep it soft and fresh when you’re not using it. If you have space in the freezer, why not give it a try? Just remember to get the sugar out of the freezer in time to thaw it out for your planned cooking project.

What can I do with it after I make the sugar at home?

After you’ve made the sugar at home, you can use it to prepare some of your favorite recipes. It’s a common ingredient required to make lots of different baked goods. If you’re not sure how to use it, these are some excellent options to consider:

  • Make Cinnamon Toast. Sprinkle it over buttered toast for a sweet breakfast treat.
  • Prepare Marinades. You can use it in marinades with assorted sauces and other seasonings to create a sweet and savory blend that tastes great on different meats, including chicken and pork.
  • Use It to Make Muffins. If you like muffins, add this sugar to your batter for a delightful taste.

How to Make Brown Sugar-Only Two Ingredients

Step One: Use Your Mixer to Make the Brown Sugar – Two Ingredients

Today, I was making more than just one cup so I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. You can use a fork if you are making smaller amounts. I used 3 cups of white granulated sugar for the first batch. Next, I added 3 tablespoons of molasses to the sugar.


Step Two: Beat the Ingredients

Look how simple this is to make, it’s a game-changer. Why would I ever buy brown sugar at the grocery store again, right? The beater shown above is for a 6-quart Bowl Lift Mixer. If you have a different size Kitchen Aid Mixer, you may need this one. Kitchen Aid Tilt Mixer, check for your model.

How to Make Brown Sugar

Step Three: Mix Until It’s a Fluffy Brown Texture

It’s a fluffy mixture just like when we open a freshly purchased bag of brown sugar at the store.

Light Brown Sugar

Step Four: Repeat – You May Want a Darker Version

Now, I used the same mixing bowl, call me lazy, I didn’t want to wash out the bowl, because I’m mixing another batch of brown sugar, but this one is dark or at least darker brown sugar. Here again, I used 3 cups of granulated white sugar but used 6 tablespoons of molasses. It smells really good!

Dark Brown Sugar

Step Five: Second Batch – Darker Brown Sugar

I can almost smell cookies baking in the oven mixing this darker mixture. This batch is a little stronger, so it will depend on which flavor you like the best.

How to Make Brown Sugar

Finished Product

These are the glass jars I purchased. I wanted them to be airtight and leakproof. 32-Ounce Mason Canister Jars I used a Stainless Steel Wide-mouth Funnel to fill them.

How to Make Brown Sugar

How To Make Brown Sugar

5 from 8 votes
How to Make Brown Sugar
How To Make Brown Sugar
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
0 mins
Total Time
10 mins
  • Molasses
  • White Granulated Sugar
  1. Light Brown Sugar is one cup of white granulated sugar and one tablespoon of molasses, mix with a fork until completely mixed. If making larger quantities use a mixer.

    Dark Brown Sugar is one cup of white granulated sugar and two tablespoons of molasses, mix with a fork until completely mixed. If making larger quantities use a mixer.

Final Word

Once you have brown sugar, you can do a lot with it. Whether you’re baking it with it, adding it to a marinade recipe, or even using it to prepare French toast, you can use it to bring more flavor to your food. It’s a lot better to make it with white sugar and molasses than to buy it pre-made at the grocery store. May God Bless this world, Linda.

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  1. 5 stars
    Awesome, Linda. I had totally forgotten about this. Thanks for posting this. We don’t use a lot of sugar. But I do use some for guests.

    1. Hi Deborah, thank you for the 5 stars!! I don’t use a lot of it either unless I want some brown sugar on lefse. But sometimes I want to make some cookies, probably a little more than I should, because I have a sweet tooth. Then I wonder why I can’t lose the weight I want to! LOL! Life is good! Linda

  2. 5 stars
    I love this! I don’t know why I haven’t thought of how brown sugar is made 🙂 I can’t wait to try this! Sooo simple…..2 ingredients?! I have both in my cupboard! Thank you sooo much for sharing! I love all your tips!❤️

      1. 5 stars
        Hi, again, Linda: What really surprised me last month when I made homemade spaghetti sauce from the “sort of recipe” my elderly orchardist’s wife was that she used brown sugar in her spaghetti plus “a chunk” of butter! What a surprise, but I was really excited to think of molasses and coconut sugar, and it turned out fabulously! Thanks again for reminding us how easy it can be sometimes to create our own ingredients for recipes. Actually, with my 2 guys always having to avoid gluten, eggs and me having to avoid gluten and many “hard” spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, etc., we are sort of getting used to a lot of “making substitutions”. Anyway, I am grateful to have actual proportions for the molasses and sugar. THANK YOU, Linda, for all you do, my dear friend! You are one of the blessings that God blesses this world with!!! Fondest hugs,

        1. Hi Joyce, oh, thank you for your kind words, my sweet friend. It’s nice to practice trying different spices, that’s why it’s great to know we can use substitutes. I have never tried spaghetti sauce with brown sugar, but I have always used white sugar. Now I will add a chunk of butter now! I love this! Hugs to you my friend, Linda

  3. I love this!! I store molasses along with my white sugar for just this very reason! I also use molasses for my grandmother’s molasses cookies – YUM!

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you for all the hints and articles. I read them all. Time to refresh my molasses supply.
    I appreciate what you do. Thanks.

  5. 5 stars
    Using marshmallows or a slice of bread seems to be wasteful. How about using the terra cotta disk sugar savers?

    1. Hi Karl, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend. Yes, I have a Terra Cotta disk sugar saver. I used it for years. Now I just make brown sugar and store it in the airtight jars. Either way, we need our brown sugar soft!! Linda

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