How to Make Your Own Brown Sugar at Home


brown sugar


If you’ve ever wanted to make recipes that call for brown sugar and find yourself out, you can always make your own. Here are a few tips to make brown sugar at home.

If you’ve ever wanted to make recipes that call for brown sugar and find yourself out, you can always make your own. Yes, it is possible to make brown sugar at home. Unlike white sugar, brown sugar will give more flavor and moisture to your baked goods.

Before we get to the nitty-gritty of this article, let’s take a look at what precisely brown sugar is. Brown sugar is less-refined granulated white sugar and molasses (a dark, sweet byproduct of the refining process).

Molasses contains minerals, vitamins, and protein. It’s rich in manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, and more. The thick sweetener comes in various forms, including light, dark, and blackstrap. Making brown sugar is simply a matter of combining molasses and white sugar.

What’s nice about making your own sugar is that you can make what you need as you need it. This way, it won’t dry out and turn to solid clumps.

If you’re out of regular sugar and you’ve only got finer sugars such as muscovado or demerara in the house, no worries – you can use those instead. Let’s get to it, shall we?

How to Make Brown Sugar – Brown Sugar Recipe

how to make brown sugar - brown sugar recipe


  • 1 cup white granulated sugar (or other kinds of sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses


  1. Assemble the ingredients.
  2. Blend the white sugar and molasses in a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon (or mixer) until thoroughly blended.
  3. Once you’re done using it, store the brown sugar in a sealed container to prevent it from turning into thick clumps.

Additional Tips

This recipe uses 1 tablespoon of molasses for every cup of white sugar, so feel free to adjust the amount of molasses depending on whether you want your brown sugar clearer or darker:

  • For dark brown sugar: Increase the molasses to 2 tablespoons per 1 cup of sugar for a sweeter, more flavorful taste.
  • For dark brown sugar from light brown sugar: Add 1 cup of light brown sugar and 1 tablespoon molasses in a pot and mix.

Recipe Variations

If you don’t have molasses or can’t find some, you can try these other methods:

  • Combine a tablespoon of maple syrup with a cup of granulated sugar. It will result in a slightly distinctive flavor. If you can get your hands on real maple syrup – do it! Real maple syrup works best.
  • You can also use Agave nectar. Simply mix a tablespoon with a cup of granulated sugar. It will result in a milder and lighter brown sugar.
  • Try it with some Buckwheat honey. Buckwheat honey is darker and has a strong flavor like molasses. Mix a tablespoon into a cup of white granulated sugar, and voila!

Difference Between Light and Dark Brown Sugar

The most notable nutritional distinction between brown sugar and white sugar is that brown sugar has slightly higher iron, calcium, and potassium contents. However, it’s not a very good source of vitamins. On the other hand, brown sugar contains slightly fewer calories than white sugar. One teaspoon (4 grams) of brown sugar renders 15 calories, while the same amount of white sugar has 16.3 calories – not a significant difference. Aside from these insignificant discrepancies, they are nutritionally comparable.

Culinary Uses

While white and brown sugar can sometimes be used interchangeably, doing so will change the baked goods’ color, flavor, or texture.

The molasses in brown sugar tend to retain moisture, so using it in a recipe will result in softer yet denser baked goods. Other brown sugar uses may include strong glazes and sauces, such as a barbecue or chipotle sauce.

Different Flavor Profiles and Coloring

The most notable differences between white and brown sugar are their flavor and color. That’s why we wouldn’t generally recommend swapping white sugar for brown sugar in recipes that call for one or the other. Doing so will affect the color of foods, giving a caramel or coffee-colored hue.

Moreover, brown and white sugar also have different flavor profiles. Brown sugar has a strong caramel flavor due to the molasses. For this reason, it works well in chocolatey recipes such as cakes and cookies.

On the other hand, white sugar is sweeter, so you’d use less of it to attain the desired taste in a baked good. Plus, its neutral flavor makes it a multifaceted ingredient in baking, blending well in sweet pastries.


Brown and white sugar are the two most common types of sugar you’ll find out there. While they are made differently, resulting in different tastes, colors, and culinary uses, brown sugar is simply refined white sugar with added molasses. Contrary to what many people believe, they are nutritionally similar. Brown sugar carries slightly more minerals than white sugar but will not provide any wellness benefits. 

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