How to Make Brown Sugar in 2 Easy Steps

Brown Sugar

If at any point in your life you thought brown sugar came from a special type of sugar cane, you’re not alone. Brown sugar is simply a mix of two ingredients: cane sugar and molasses. Often used in baking recipes, this variation of sugar adds an additional warmth expressed through rich aromatic notes of caramel. So instead of buying brown sugar, learn how to make your own in two easy steps.


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Prepared pie spread with brown sugar mixture

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Slab Pie

Is brown sugar better for you than sugar?

While these two sugars are produced in different ways, they have very similar nutritional densities. Brown sugar does not provide additional health benefits compared to regular ole’ cane sugar.  In fact, an excess amount of sugar in a diet has been know to cause a myriad of health issues like cardiovascular, mental health and heart-related complications. To learn more, read Healthline’s guide on sugar consumption and what to know.

What is the difference between brown sugar and white sugar?

Though deriving from the same plant, brown sugar is just white sugar with the addition of molasses.

Why use brown sugar instead of white sugar?

Both white sugar and brown sugar can be used in a variety of recipes from pecan squares to apple cakes and more. If the goal is to make a dish that has comforting notes of caramel, use brown sugar.

Related: A Guide to the Most Common Vegan Baking Substitutes

What is in brown sugar?

Here’s how to make brown sugar at home:

  • Step One: Measure one cup of granulated sugar and one tablespoon of molasses.
  • Step Two: In a small bowl, combine both ingredients and mix with a spatula until no clumps remain.
  • Once you’ve created your brown sugar, you can use the mix immediately in a recipe or store in an air-tight container for another time.

    *Pro Tip: If ever the brown sugar turns rock hard, add a small piece of stale bread into the container and leave it there for a day or two. The bread naturally soaks up any moisture in the container that would otherwise make the sugar unmanageable. Discard the stale bread once the brown sugar is fully refreshed.