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Homemade Brown Sugar

Cooks in 5 minutes Difficulty Easy 9 comments This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. This is will be at no additional charge to you. For more information read our

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4.9 from 8 votes

Learn how to make homemade brown sugar at home! You can easily make your own brown sugar at home by combining white sugar and molasses. And just like that, you have brown sugar. This at-home version will not only save you a trip to the store but some coins too!

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This homemade brown sugar recipe is beginner-friendly and requires no special equipment. So if you’re a DIY newbie, you’re in good hands. The process will be complete before you even break a sweat. It’s also kids friendly and fun for the entire family.

So the next time you run out of brown sugar – skip the trip to the store and make your own. You can thank me later. 😁

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What is Brown Sugar?

Refined brown sugar is simply white sugar that has had molasses (that was removed in processing) added back into it. Unrefined brown sugar undergoes less processing than white sugar, allowing it to retain some of its molasses content and natural brown color. 

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Brown sugar vs White Sugar

The main difference between white sugar and brown sugar is the presence of molasses, which gives brown sugar its distinct color, flavor, and moisture. All sugar is made by first extracting sugar juice from sugar beet or sugar cane plants, and from there, many types of sugar can be produced.

Choosing between white or brown sugar comes down to personal preference. They are nutritionally similar, resulting in similar health effects.

Please limit your daily sugar intake, as eating too much may have negative health consequences.

You can learn more about the other type of sugars here.

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Unsulphured Molasses vs. Blackstrap Molasses

Unsulphured molasses is made from ripe sugar cane and doesn’t need sulfur dioxide to preserve it. It’s considered to be pure and “cleaner tasting” and more commercially used and available than the blackstrap molasses. 

Blackstrap molasses is thick, dark, and has the lowest sugar concentration of all varieties, and is bitter tasting. 

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Ingredient Rundown

Ingredients For Homemade Brown Sugar

Granulated sugar – sometimes referred to as “refined,” “table,” or “white” sugar. It’s the most refined form of sugar that has all its molasses removed.

Unsulphured Molassesis made from ripe sugar cane and doesnt need sulphur dioxide to preserve it. It’s considered to be pure,” cleaner tasting molasses, and more widley used and available at your local grocery store. It molasses adds coloring and flavor to the granulated sugar.

*** The full recipe, including all ingredients, measurements, and instructions, and recipe video is located in the recipe card below.
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Can I Substitute Brown Sugar For White Sugar In Baking?

Yes, and no. It really will depend on what you are baking.

The texture of your baked good is what is affected most by the sugar substitution. When you replace brown for white you will get a denser, moister baked good. This is great for sweet bread such as banana or zucchini, but not so great for a cake. The brown sugar will tend to make your cake too wet. And brown sugar alone will not give you a thin, crisp cookie.

In baking, sugar is more than a sweetener, it is a necessary element. Sugar adds volume, bulk, and structure to baked goods. When you mix sugar with fat it adds air to the batter. Then when you add your leavening agent those air bubbles enlarge making your baking rise. 

Brown sugar is a refined sugar just like white sugar. The brown color comes from the added molasses. I’m sure you’ve seen that brown sugar comes in different shades, which all reflect the taste of the molasses. Darker brown sugar has a stronger taste. The sweetness of brown and white sugar is the same. So substituting brown for white sugar will still give you the same sweet flavor. However, the darker the brown sugar the more molasses (or butterscotch) flavor you will taste.

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Can I Make Brown Sugar Without Molasses?

You sure can. If you don’t have molasses on hand, you can easily swap it out for maple syrup with almost no change to your recipe’s final product.

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How To Prevent Brown Sugar From Hardening?

Brown sugar should be stored in a cool, moist area in a rust-free container with a tight-fitting lid. Brown sugar can also be stored in any type of re-sealable, moisture-proof plastic bag.

To keep brown sugar from drying out, throw in 1-2 slices of white bread or 1-2 large marshmallows in your brown sugar container allows the sugar to draw moisture from it.

The bread or marshmallows hardens while the brown sugar softens, keeping or returning it to a soft texture. Change out with bread or marshmallow when dry and discard.

Don’t store your brown sugar in the refrigerator.

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How to Softened Harden Brown Sugar?

Microwave the brown sugar with a moist paper towel

If you need soft brown sugar immediately, not to worry! Put the rock-hard sugar in a microwave-safe bowl, lay a moist paper (not dripping wet) towel on top, and microwave it for 20 seconds. If you find that the sugar still isn’t soft after 20 seconds, feel free to give it another 20 seconds or so in the microwave, breaking up big pieces with a fork as you go.

The sugar will be hot and will harden again as it cools.

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Kraving More?

Check out my other krave-worthy DIY Pantry Staples or explore  The Recipe Index for even MORE KRAVE-WORTHY EATS.

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 Homemade Brown Sugar

Homemade Brown Sugar

Recipe by Kerri-Ann Bryan

Making brown sugar at home is very simple to do and requires only 2 ingredients; granulated sugar and molasses.

Course: Pantry StaplesCuisine: JamaicanDifficulty: Easy
4.9 from 8 votes


Prep time




Total time


Cook Mode

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Gather Your Ingredients


  • Combine the granulated sugar and molasses in a bowl and mix with your hand, mixer, or wooden spoon until thoroughly blended.
  • Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • To keep brown sugar from drying out, throw in 1-2 slices of white bread or 1-2 large marshmallows in your brown sugar container allowing the sugar to draw moisture from it. The bread or marshmallows hardens while the brown sugar softens, keeping or returning it to a soft texture. Change out with bread or marshmallow when dry and discard.

Recipe Video

Kerri’s Recipe Tips

  • If your homemade brown sugar comes out it’s too dark, add a little more sugar. If the flavor isn’t deep enough, add a little more molasses.
  • Store your homemade brown sugar in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.
  • To keep brown sugar from drying out, throw in 1-2 slices of white bread or 1-2 large marshmallows in your brown sugar container allows the sugar to draw moisture from it. The bread or marshmallows hardens while the brown sugar softens, keeping or returning it to a soft texture. Change out with bread or marshmallow when dry and discard.
  • I ALWAYS recommend reading through the recipe in full a couple of times before starting. That way you know exactly what to expect and you can prep accordingly.
  • Gather all your ingredients before cooking. This way you don’t forget to add an ingredient or two. Believe me, It has happened so many times so I use “mise en place” to save my sanity and the recipe.
  • For your convenience, you can automatically generate a grocery list using the whisk plugin located the the “Ingredient Rundown” section (scroll ↑).

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

1 servings per container


  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Carbohydrate 213.32g 71%
    • Sugars 212.96g
  • Protein .36g 0%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

    kerriannskravings.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. For more information read our Nutritional Disclaimer.


    1. I used your recipe for brown sugar because apparently there is a strike or shortage or both. I didn’t know I needed it till I was already to make them. Thank you for saving my cookies.

      • Hi Nancy! It’s always great to have a few DIY pantry recipes in your back pocket for those baking emergencies, isn’t it? I’m so glad to hear that my homemade brown sugar recipe helped save the day with your cookies. Thank you for sharing your success with me; it truly makes my day to hear how my recipes are being used. Happy baking!🫶🏾

    2. I tried this recipe and it was so easy and quick to make brown sugar at home. The result was a moist and flavorful brown sugar that I used for baking cookies and making oatmeal. This is a great recipe to have on hand for when you run out of brown sugar or want to make your own from scratch. Thank you for sharing this!

    3. I’m so glad I found your recipe–it saved me in the middle of making an upside down cake! And worked like a charm. THANK YOU!

    4. I honestly had no clue that making brown sugar was this easy! I’m from the south so I always have a jar of molasses handy! Thank you so much for the knowledge, Kerri Ann! I’m about to be an unstoppable baker now. I hope my waistline doesn’t get the best of me lol

    5. I love handy kitchen tips especially those geared towards baking because I don’t bake much. I tried your tip last weekend for a batch of cookies I made – they came out awesome.

    6. This recipe is great to have in your back pocket when you realize you’ve run out of brown sugar. Thank you for the education on using unsulphered molasses – I hadn’t heard of it before and it makes all the difference!

    7. This brown sugar tutorial came in handy this past Juneteenth. I was trying to make a dessert recipe and realized we were out of brown sugar. Thankfully I found this post!

      • Thanks so much for your comment, Martha! I’m so glad that my homemade brown sugar recipe came in handy for you. I know it can be frustrating when you’re in the middle of baking and you realize you’re out of an essential ingredient. I’m glad that I could help you save the day!

        I hope you enjoyed the recipe and that your dessert turned out delicious. Happy Juneteenth!xx

    How did this recipe turn out for you? Share your experience with the community in the comments!