Learn how to make brown sugar at home. Includes recipe without molasses.

A quick and simple recipe for a baking staple.

How to make brown sugar - recipe for making brown sugar at home

How to make brown sugar

What is brown sugar?

Brown sugar comes from cane sugar and gets its dark colour and soft texture from molasses being added to it.

It’s a pretty essential pantry item if you’re an avid baker and gives recipes like chocolate coconut slice their tender texture with a hint of caramel.

But if you don’t have any on hand next time you’re baking, you can make it at home with just two ingredients in one minute.

How to make brown sugar - recipe for making brown sugar at home

What do you need to make brown sugar


What is molasses?

Molasses is a sweet and slightly bitter syrup created from refining cane sugar.

You can buy it at the supermarket or speciality baking stores.

It’s best to use regular molasses not backstrap as it has a slightly bitter flavour.

Molasses will keep in the pantry for quite a while so is a good pantry staple to have on hand.


To make brown sugar you can use regular white, caster or raw sugar. Use whatever is on hand.

Other types of sugar

How to make brown sugar - recipe for making brown sugar at home

How much molasses should I use?

This question first depends on whether you are making dark or light brown sugar.

What’s the difference between light brown and dark brown sugar

Light brown sugar: Use 1 tablespoon molasses for every 1 cup sugar.
Dark brown sugar: Use 2 tablespoons molasses for every 1 cup sugar.

How to combine the sugar and molasses

Method One – bowl and spoon.

Simply throw it all in a bowl and stir until the molasses is evenly mixed through.

Method Two – jar

Pop the sugar and molasses in a jar and shake until combined evenly.

Method Three – blender/food processor

Throw the ingredients in the blender or food processor and blitz until combined.

How to make brown sugar - recipe for making brown sugar at home

Can you make brown sugar without molasses?

If you don’t have molasses, the closest thing to use is maple syrup. It won’t have exactly the same flavour but has the same effect.

Use the same quantity ratio.

How to keep brown sugar soft

There are a few ways to keep it soft.

  1. Keep it in an airtight container – keeping it away from air will help seal in the moisture and stop it drying out.
  2. Use brown sugar savers – these are little pieces of terracotta you soak in water then pop in your sugar. The moisture helps keep the sugar soft.
  3. Marshmallows – probably the most talked about trick is to keep a couple of marshmallows in with your sugar. This works the same way as the savers.

One of our absolute favourite recipes that uses brown sugar is our chocolate fudge icing made with real chocolate.

How to make brown sugar - recipe for making brown sugar at home

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Brown sugar on a spoon

Brown sugar

Prep Time: 2 minutes

How to make brown sugar.


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 - 2 tbsp molasses (depending on if you want light or dark brown sugar)


  1. Mix the ingredients together.
  2. Store in an air-tight container.

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