Save money & learn how to make brown sugar using two ingredients: sugar + molasses. Results in soft & healthier brown sugar that you can use in any recipe, like chocolate chip cookies or maple pecan blondies.
Have you ever started a recipe, pulled out everything you needed, and didn’t realize until halfway through you were missing a key ingredient?
I wish I could say that doesn’t happen to me, but it does every now and then and it drives me CRAZY!!
Several years ago I was in the middle of creaming butter, getting ready to make cookies. It wasn’t until AFTER I added the white sugar and rummaged through the pantry to realize we were completely out of brown sugar. YIKES!!
That’s the first time I learned how to make brown sugar, and I’ve honestly never purchased it again!
How to Make Brown Sugar
Here are the main reasons why I stopped buying brown sugar and kept on making it myself:
- It’s cheaper than buying it.
- You only need two ingredients (both of which are shelf-stable).
- It is SUPER easy to make…
- And much more convenient!
- It’s no more extra work.
- You can make it HEALTHIER than pre-packaged.
- I can make it either light or dark, depending on the recipe.
- It works the same in every recipe!
That last one would have been a deal-breaker. If this homemade recipe didn’t work out, there would be no point in making it, right?
Except that it DOES work – in every recipe I’ve ever made – so it makes sense to keep on making it myself!
How to Make Brown Sugar from White Sugar: Ingredients
I mentioned that you only need two ingredients to make brown sugar – both light and dark – and here they are:
- White sugar
Simply start with a healthy white granulated sugar! This can be Turbinado (also known as raw cane sugar or Demerara) or coconut palm sugar. The Harvard School of Public Health says that it’s important to limit sugar, so while we’re being mindful of how much sugar we consume, we can choose the healthiest ingredients for those times that we make special recipes like this yummy and versatile apple slab pie!
How do you make brown sugar without molasses?
Molasses is a key ingredient, so I don’t recommend not using it… however, if you’re REALLY in a pinch, you could skate by using maple syrup as a substitute.
Be sure to add molasses to your shopping list though. It adds an incredible depth of flavor, it’s shelf-stable, and will last you FOREVER! According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, molasses can even be a great source of antioxidants! Sometimes I like to buy ingredients like molasses from either Thrive Market (when you sign up, you get 25% off of your first order) or Vitacost (which offers great deals and discounts). It’s a win-win!
How is brown sugar made?
You can make this recipe at home in two easy steps:
- Combine granulated sugar and molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Use the paddle attachment to combine until the sugar looks brown and soft.
Pretty simple, right? And of course, if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a large bowl and a whisk.
Whether you use a stand mixer or mix it by hand, there will be a phase when it looks clumpy and wet, as if it will never come out looking just right.
Don’t give up! Keep stirring and it’ll soon look perfect. Trust me!
How can we make brown sugar at home?
Unless you specifically need JUST brown sugar for something, like in pumpkin pie hummus, you don’t need to mix it up separately to add to a recipe.
Tips for Making Light and Dark Brown Sugar
The best part about making this homemade is that you can make it both light AND dark with the exact same ingredients!!
This is a HUGE time and money saver in the long run. Plus, I hardly ever bought dark brown-colored sugar in the first place, and I even avoided recipes that called for it BECAUSE I knew I didn’t have it on hand.
Think about all the amazing recipes you could make knowing you have both in your pantry, at any given moment! There are so many ways to save money on real food!
More How-to’s and Kitchen Hacks
- How to Make Powdered Sugar
- How to Make Elderberry Gummies
- How to Seed a Pomegranate (In Less than Two Minutes)
- 24 Time-Saving Kitchen Hacks
- 14 Easy Baking Hacks for the Home Baker
- How to Can Applesauce
- DIY Homemade Lunch Meat
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2-4 Tbsp molasses
- To make light brown sugar, combine granulated sugar and 2 Tablespoons of molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to mix until the sugar looks like brown sugar.
- Dark brown sugar: Combine granulated sugar and 4 Tablespoons of molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to mix until the sugar looks like brown sugar.
- Mix by hand: Use a large bowl and a whisk. There will be a phase when your brown sugar looks clumpy and wet, but keep on whisking and soon you’ll have brown sugar.