Homemade Brown Sugar

I love to bake: sweet or savory, breads or cookies. It doesn’t matter. Sometimes I’ll even bake a treat just to create something and then give it to a neighbor.

Then there are those late night cookie cravings and a baker with no brown sugar. (Let me be honest: a late night in our home is about 8 o’clock.)

That’s when my husband said, “why don’t you just make your own?” The look on my face was one that us mamas give more often than we should. That ‘are you kidding me?’ face. Which led to a Google search. Which then led a life-changing discovery: brown sugar is nothing more than molasses and white sugar. That’s it! There is no secret FDA additive or obscure ingredient to give it that soft and fluffy texture.

I know not everyone considers molasses a pantry staple— I sure didn’t. But for some reason, years before we met, my husband bought a jar of homemade molasses from a farmers market in Virginia. And that unopened jar followed him to Florida, then Texas, and then to our home in California. It had just been taking up precious pantry space for more than 2 years, but now it finally had a use!

The ratio is one and a half tablespoons molasses to 1 cup white sugar (more for dark brown sugar, less for light).

Add your ingredients to a bowl and stir the mixture with a fork until blended.  You can make as much as you need and store it in an airtight container, or simply mix a batch as needed.

I was truly convinced, despite what our Internet search was telling me, that it wouldn’t work. I thought our homemade brown sugar would be grainy, or have that thick and bitter molasses aftertaste. Or even worse, ruin my baking! But it didn’t!  Once thoroughly mixed, I could not tell the difference between commercially made brown sugar and homemade.

A pint jar of molasses from the farmer’s market will typically cost you less than twelve dollars. And at 32 tablespoons per pint, making your own brown sugar is very cost effective! A common type of molasses, called blackstrap molasses, is actually high in vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese. Brown sugar may be made with either sorghum or blackstrap molasses, just as long as you don’t use molasses syrup.

And yes, those 8 o’clock chocolate chip cookies were very delicious!

3 Responses to Homemade Brown Sugar

  1. Oh that will be happening in our house… :)

  2. Wow! I never thought about making my own brown sugar. Thanks for the recipe; I will definitely be trying this.

  3. This is so awesome! I never would have thought to try this. Thanks so much for sharing!

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