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How To Make Brown Sugar

You won't believe how easy it is to make brown sugar! All you need is sugar and molasses and your homemade brown sugar can be ready in minutes. Works in all recipes where brown sugar is needed.

an overhead view of an open jar of brown sugar next to a tray of granola.

Brown sugar is a sweetener found in many different recipes. It adds moisture and a wonderful caramel flavor to so many delicious baked goods. It is an essential ingredient in our our deep dish chocolate chip cookie, Bananas Foster, butter pecan granola, and in our mini spice cake.

If you find yourself eager to make a recipe that calls for brown sugar and you find that you've run out, no need to rush off to the grocery store to purchase a package, make you own with this easy brown sugar recipe.

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By adding molasses to sugar, you are making the same brown sugar that can be purchased at the store. When you make a small batch, you don't have to worry about your package of store-bought brown sugar turning into hard clumps if it isn't used right away.

Why This Recipe Works

  • I use this recipe often it works in every recipe where brown sugar needed.
  • You might even have the ingredients already in your pantry.
  • It's quick and easy.
  • It is cheaper to make than buying it.
  • You can make either light or dark, depending on the type you need.
  • If you don't go through a lot of brown sugar, you can make just a small amount. This way, the brown sugar won't get dried out in your pantry

Ingredients

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

a bowl of sugar and a jar of molasses on a silver tray.

How To Make This Recipe

  • Measure out the sugar and molasses. To make a small batch of light brown sugar, use 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of molasses (also called treacle in the UK). If you want to make dark brown sugar, add an extra tablespoon of molasses
  • Combine the sugar and molasses. Place the sugar in a medium-sized bowl and add the molasses. Use a fork, rubber spatula, or even your fingers to slowly work the molasses into the sugar.
two photos showing molasses being poured into sugar and mixing the two ingredients together in the second picture.

Expert Tips

  • This brown sugar recipe calls for using just 1 tablespoon of molasses for each cup of white sugar, but you can adjust the amount of molasses depending on whether you want to make light or dark brown sugar. To make dark brown sugar: Increase the molasses to 2 tablespoons per 1 cup of sugar.
  • If you don't have molasses but need brown sugar for a recipe, add a tablespoon of pure maple syrup, golden syrup, or agave nectar to 1 cup of granulated sugar. The flavor will be different but they will be a similar texture and have a similar amount of moisture. They will work in a pinch.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Should You Store Brown Sugar?

Store your homemade brown sugar in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 1 month.

What Is The Difference Between Light and Dark Brown Sugar?

The difference between the two is the amount of molasses used.

Can Light and Dark Brown Sugar Be Used Interchangeably In Recipes?

When a recipe calls for brown sugar, it usually means light brown sugar should be used. Generally, both types are interchangeable but are not exact substitutes. Some baking recipes like cakes and cookies can be sensitive to moisture (found in molasses) and the difference in the moisture content between the two can affect how well the baked goods rise. It may also affect the recipe's taste and color.

brown sugar in a clear bowl next to a tray of baked granola

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients left over from this small batch brown sugar recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes.

If you’ve tried this brown sugar recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!

a small jar of brown sugar next to a cooling rack.

How To Make Brown Sugar | Small Batch

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: baking, brown sugar
Servings: 1 cup (16 tablespoons)
Calories: 47kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses

Instructions

  • Combine the sugar and molasses in a bowl and use a fork, spoon, or your fingertips to mix.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature for 1 month.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • This brown sugar recipe calls for using just 1 tablespoon of molasses for each cup of white sugar, but you can adjust the amount of molasses depending on whether you want to make light or dark brown sugar. To make dark brown sugar: Increase the molasses to 2 tablespoons per 1 cup of granulated sugar.
  • If you don't have molasses but need brown sugar for a recipe, add a tablespoon of pure maple syrup, golden syrup, or agave nectar to 1 cup of granulated sugar. The flavor will be different but they will be a similar texture and have a similar amount of moisture and will work in a pinch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 18mg | Sugar: 13g | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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