How to Make Brown Sugar

January 18, 2023

Have you ever wanted to make a delicious recipe that includes sweet and toasty brown sugar, only to open your pantry and find out that you don’t have any? Well, fear not, because you can make brown sugar from scratch! With this simple and easy 2 ingredient recipe, I will teach you how to make brown sugar in just a matter of minutes!

A jar of the homemade brown sugar, sitting on a countertop next to the ingredients needed to make it

Friends, did you know that you can make brown sugar from scratch? It’s true! Just ask my friends at Good Morning America. When I first learned this tip, it absolutely blew my mind, and I knew that I had to share it with you. Brown sugar is a staple ingredient in so many recipes, from cookies to sauces and even marinades. It can truly add such a depth of flavor to recipes, which is why I never like to skip it!

However, like with all ingredients, there will inevitably come a time where you’re in the middle of your baking and/or cooking adventure, only to reach into your pantry and see that you are all out of brown sugar. This is the perfect recipe to keep in your back pocket, for those moments where you need to whip up some brown sugar in a pinch!

The process of making this brown sugar from scratch is a bit like going on a journey through time. You start with plain white granulated sugar, which is like a blank canvas. Then, as you add the molasses, you’ll watch the sugar transform before your eyes, taking on a warm, golden-brown color and a rich, complex flavor. It’s like watching the sugar evolve from a simple, one-dimensional ingredient to something much more interesting and versatile. And not to mention, it’s so much fun!

All of the ingredients needed to make this homemade brown sugar, laid out on a countertop

2 Ingredients to Make Homemade Brown Sugar

And if you’re wondering, “Nicole, how the heck do you make brown sugar?!” let me tell you that it is so easy. In fact, all you need are two simple ingredients!

  • Granulated White Sugar: Of course, the key to making brown sugar begins with one key ingredient: white sugar! Granulated white sugar makes the perfect base for this brown sugar.
  • Molasses: Molasses is a dark, sugary liquid that is essential for giving brown sugar its dark, warm, and toasty taste and color!

3 Easy Steps to Making Homemade Brown Sugar

And if you thought that the ingredients for this brown sugar were easy, wait until you see the steps to putting it all together!

To make this homemade brown sugar, start by adding your granulated white sugar and molasses to a large bowl.

Next, with clean hands, massage the molasses into the sugar, until they are fully combined. This will take a few minutes! Make sure to massage until all of the molasses is fully incorporated into the sugar and there are no air pockets.

Finally, once your molasses and sugar are fully combined, transfer your brown sugar into an airtight container and store in the pantry until ready to use. I recommend adding a slice of bread or a marshmallow to the container with the brown sugar, so that it stays as fresh as possible!

A close-up image of a bowl of the homemade brown sugar

How to Use Your Homemade Brown Sugar

And if you’re looking for some simple, easy, and delicious recipes to use your brown sugar in, I’ve got you! My Best Gluten-Free Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of my favorite cookie recipes that gets its sweetness from brown sugar. And for a non-chocolatey treat, I love my Real Deal Vegan Cinnamon Rolls. Yum!

Or, prefer a coffee recipe? My Copycat Starbucks Sugar Cookie Iced Latte achieves its perfect sweetness from a brown sugar syrup!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Tanya Pilgrim
A jar of the homemade brown sugar, sitting on a countertop next to the ingredients needed to make it
Dairy Free/gluten-free/Grain Free/Nut Free/Vegan

How to Make Brown Sugar

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Nicole Modic
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
SERVES 1 Cup
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Have you ever wanted to make a delicious recipe that includes sweet and toasty brown sugar, only to open your pantry and find out that you don't have any? Well, fear not, because you can make brown sugar from scratch! With this simple and easy 2 ingredient recipe, I will teach you how to make brown sugar in just a matter of minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Granulated White Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses

Instructions

  • Start by adding your granulated white sugar and molasses to a large bowl.
  • Next, with clean hands, massage the molasses into the sugar, until they are fully combined. This will take a few minutes!
  • Once your molasses and sugar are fully combined, transfer your brown sugar into an airtight container and store in the pantry until ready to use. I recommend adding a slice of bread or a marshmallow to the container with the brown sugar, so that it stays as fresh as possible!

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