Kitchen Tips: Make Your Own Brown Sugar

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I don’t know about you, but brown sugar is even more of a staple in my house than white sugar. I use brown sugar almost every time I reach for a sweetener when baking. It provides a rich flavor for baked goods and I love it.

I don’t even remember the last time I ran out of brown sugar, it has been years. I buy several bags of it at a time and replace them long before I’m about to run out.

Kitchen Tips: Make Your Own Brown Sugar recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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However, last week, when I was working on a couple of new recipes, I ran out of both light and dark brown sugar. Thanks to these pineapple bars, their gluten free counterpart (coming soon!) and another new recipe I’ll be posting later this week.

I managed to burn through a whole lot of sugar. (Side note: I’m a wee bit sugared out now!) Luckily, I remembered a trick for adding molasses to white sugar and making brown sugar at home.

I decided to try making my own this time instead of going to the store. With just a tablespoon of molasses, boring white sugar is transformed into moist, rich, brown sugar and it tastes and works exactly like the store-bought brown sugar.

The homemade brown sugar is slightly more fragrant than store-bought, but that is the only difference I could tell.

Because I am a total nerd, I wanted to know if I was saving money. I figured out that I can buy a bottle of molasses for $6 and (3) 10 lb bags of white sugar for $14, making the total cost around $20 for 30 lbs of homemade brown sugar.

Brown sugar typically runs about $2.20 for a 2 lb bag, for a total cost around $33 for 30 lbs of brown sugar. So, yes, it is cheaper to make your own brown sugar. Will I do it again? Sure, but I’ll keep buying it from the store as well.

This is a handy tip worth remembering and well-worth the price of a bottle of molasses, just to keep it on hand for those times when you run out of brown sugar in the middle of a baking project.

Kitchen Tips: Make Your Own Brown Sugar recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Kitchen Tips: Make Your Own Brown Sugar

5 from 1 vote


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses


  • Combine the sugar and molasses in a mixing bowl and then mix with a whisk beater attachment (a fork will work as well, it just might take a little longer) until it combines. Initially, it won't look like it's going to work, but it will. When it is light and fluffy, it is done. If there are a few little spots of molasses in the mix in the end, that is fine. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
  • Ingredients can be doubled or tripled easily.
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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27 Comments Leave a comment or review

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  1. Lita says

    This is amazing. I learn something new everyday. This is it for today! Thank you.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Tumbleweed Contessa

  2. KD says

    Love the idea………
    Can you offer me ways to cook and bake without sugar, that is healthy and safe. Trying to get away from so much sugar and carbs.
    Thank you,

  3. Anonymous says

    Splenda is chlorinated white sugar. Brown sugar is sugar and cane molasses and powder sugar is fine sugar and corn starch.

    • Mary says

      My molasses bottle says unsulfured, but nothing about medium or black strap. I'm guessing that either will work, just start with a small amount and adjust it to your tastes for lighter or darker brown sugar.

    • certifiable1 says

      There are three types of molasses. Unsulphured is from sun ripened sugar cane and is the sweetest. Sulphured is made from green cane & uses sulphur during the extraction process to extract the sugar. It is less sweet and has a stronger taste. Black strap is from the third boil, is the least sweet & strongest in flavor and also is prized for its high iron content. To make the homemade brown sugar the unsulpured would probably be the first choice because of the additional sweetness but I would say use your own preference.

  4. Anonymous says

    Just made this for a carrot cake I wanted to make, but didn't have any brown sugar. It saved the day – or at least, dessert! I noticed that the molasses makes the sugar expand: for 1 cup of sugar, it makes a little more than 1 cup of PACKED brown sugar. Maybe next time I'll try cutting the white sugar down to 3/4…Thanks for this tip! 🙂

  5. Anonymous says

    Mary Younkin, I just about fell out of my chair to see a post by someone with the same last name as mine. With it being such an unusual name. My name is Sandra Younkin.

  6. gocoolrk says

    I wish you had also shown a photograph of the type of molasses that you used for preparing this brown sugar. It would be more fun to see pictures in stages from raw materials till the final product being prepared step by step of course for a Dummy like me and many more who do not own up!

  7. Polly Oz says

    Now this is a handy idea! I keep dark brown sugar on hand, but occasionally a recipe will call for light brown, which I only buy as needed. Now, not only can I produce light brown sugar when needed, I can add some molasses to that remaining light brown sugar to transform it into dark brown, which is will use. I've had a container of light brown sugar taking up shelf space for three years! Thank you for this.

  8. Elena says

    Îmi plac Rețetele dv , sunt deosebite și evident pe întelesul nostru ,al tuturor celor care nu suntem specialiști in Bucătărie ! Bravo , felicitări !5 stars