How to Make Brown Sugar in Minutes

Bowl With Brown Sugar
••• Andhika Wicaksana / EyeEm/Getty Images

When you are eager to make a recipe that calls for  but you don't have any in the cupboard, you can save yourself a trip to the grocery store with two simple ingredients. In fact, brown sugar couldn't be easier to make if you have granulated sugar and molasses in your pantry. You may discover you never need to buy brown sugar again, and you can use this simple recipe to save cupboard space!

Using only granulated sugar and molasses, this easy recipe takes only 5 minutes to make. 

Three Types of Brown Sugar to Make

  1. Light brown sugar from white sugar and : Measure 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of molasses into a mixing bowl. Stir with a fork until completely mixed. 
  2. Dark brown sugar from white sugar: Measure 1 cup of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of molasses into a mixing bowl. Stir with a fork until it is completely mixed.
  3. Dark brown sugar from light brown sugar: Measure one cup of light brown sugar and one tablespoon of molasses into a mixing bowl. Stir with a fork until it is completely mixed.

Why This Works Effortlessly

Molasses is a byproduct of making white sugar, and it contains protein, minerals, and vitamins. For example, molasses is high in manganese, potassium, vitamin B6, and more. The thick syrup acts as a sweetener in various forms like light, dark, and blackstrap.

One great benefit of this recipe is that it doesn't go to waste. Molasses is added back into white sugar to make brown sugar. In fact, light brown sugar contains about 3.5 percent molasses, and dark brown sugar contains about 6.5 percent molasses. By adding molasses to white sugar, you are doing exactly what happens at the sugar factory but at a discounted price.

Another good thing with molasses is that it won't result in large clumps of brown sugar. Whenever you need brown sugar, you can just mix a little molasses into white granulated sugar. The complex and rich flavor of molasses gives an extra dimension to the taste of finished products like cookies, muffins, marinades, and sauces.

Alternatives Without Molasses

  • Try adding a tablespoon of maple syrup to a cup of granulated sugar. Like molasses, it will give a different flavored element. Real maple syrup works best, but maple-flavored syrup could be used when you're in a pinch.
  • Agave nectar also can be used, mixing a tablespoon with a cup of granulated sugar.
  • Buckwheat honey has a strong flavor, much like molasses. Mix a tablespoon of it into a cup of white granulated sugar.
  • Rum flavoring also may add a flavor similar to molasses to a dish. Use white sugar in your recipe and add a couple of drops to the mixture. Rum is made by fermenting and distilling sugarcane juice or molasses, so it's not wise to use actual rum, as it won't have enough of the concentrated flavor. It simply will add more liquid and alcohol to the recipe and would require other adjustments.