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How to Make Brown Sugar

Learn how to make brown sugar in under five minutes, with only two ingredients. Make it at home, and never run out of brown sugar again.

A bowl of homemade brown sugar with a spoon on a white board

Today we are talking how to make brown sugar; just about one of the easiest DIY kitchen tasks you can accomplish. I started making my own because I couldn’t find organic brown sugar that didn’t drain my kids college fund.

I like to bake. A lot. So, I was buying the C&H stuff at Costco, but I really wanted to try to find a better solution. And I did.

It’s so much easier and cheaper to make than you think. When people think of making kitchen staples (related: how to make powdered sugar), they assume it will consume hours of their time.

Once I learned how to make brown sugar, I kicked myself for buying it for all those years. Make it at home and impress your friends! Or at the very least, you’ll impress yourself.

What Ingredients Are in Homemade Brown Sugar?

a bottle of molasses, a jar of sugar, and a bowl of homemade brown sugar

Yep, that’s it!

How to Make Brown Sugar – Step by Step

Step 1: Sugar and molasses in a mixer. I always triple the recipe so I don’t have to make it as often.

organic sugar and molasses in a mixer bowl

Step 2: Mix for two minutes.

homemade brown sugar on a kitchen aid mixer paddle attachment

Step 3: Scrape the sides. Mix for another two minutes.

That’s it. You did it. You made your own brown sugar. It’s done. Fireworks are going off, and a unicorn just flew past your window. You’re awesome.

How Long Does Homemade Brown Sugar Last?

It lasts as long as storebought brown sugar will before getting hard (TWSS). If you need to soften up some cakey brown sugar, place a few slices of apple in the jar and wait an hour. A soft piece of bread works as well.

a bowl of homemade brown sugar in front of a black background

We go through a lot of brown sugar because they are a key ingredient in something I make a lot – my recipe for The Softest Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies. When making homemade brown sugar, I prefer to use blackstrap molasses because it is high in iron. You can feel “good” about eating a chocolate chip cookie when it adds delicious iron to your diet. Right?

Plus, the bottle of molasses doesn’t take up a lot of room in your cupboard of a pantry shelf. So instead of storing bags of brown sugar to use during your holiday baking rush, a simple bottle and your normal bag of sugar are all you need. Life is sweet.

Pun intended.


Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

A bowl of homemade brown sugar with a spoon on a white board
5 from 3 votes
How to Make Brown Sugar
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

Learn how to make brown sugar in under five minutes, with only two ingredients. Make it at home, and never run out of brown sugar again.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make brown sugar
Servings: 4
Calories: 208 kcal
Author: Sarah
  1. Combine ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low for two minutes, scrape the sides, and mix for another two minutes.
  2. Transfer to an air-tight container and store just as you would normal brown sugar.

Recipe Notes

You can also mix by hand with a fork, but be prepared for some amazing arm muscles by the end of it!

Nutrition Facts
How to Make Brown Sugar
Amount Per Serving
Calories 208
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Potassium 73mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 53g 18%
Sugars 53g
Protein 0g 0%
Calcium 1%
Iron 1.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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You can make homemade brown sugar in under five minutes with just two simple ingredients! An all-natural DIY alternative to storebought.

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19 comments on “How to Make Brown Sugar”

  1. I did this one time to make some chocolate chip cookies and I must’ve used too much molasses, because they tasted a lot like gingerbread crossed with chocolate chip cookies! It is good to know how to substitute with ingredients you have on hand!

  2. I usually just add the white sugar to the mixer when I’m baking, and add the molasses separately. It still tastes like brown sugar, and then I don’t have to worry about making it.

    Also, mini-rant: apparently most brown sugars are made that way these days. It used to be that brown sugar was less refined, but now they are usually “painted sugars”.

  3. OMG – DH has Dark Brown Sugar on the list, Organic Brown Sugar is cheaper than Dark Brown Organic Brown Sugar, do you think I even though to add more molases? I have tons of that lying around (my Oma used Molases never sugar or Honey so I grew up with it in barrels).

  4. I would try adding a few tsp per cup and test it out to see how you like it. I always try to keep in mind when I’m cooking you can always add more, but it’s hard to fix it if you add TOO much! Try around with it, and see how you like it. ;-D


  5. I didn’t know you could do this? Pretty neat.

  6. If your homemade brown sugar is $1.22 a pound and the organic brown sugar (on sale) is $6.50 for 2 pounds then you are saving significantly more than 40 cents. The store price is $3.25 a pound so you are saving over $2. I think that makes this a great deal.
    I usually just add the molasses into the recipe but this would be perfect for things like oatmeal where we’d like to have brown sugar. Also, I didn’t know that Costco carried evap cane juice – can’t wait to pick some up my next trip.

  7. Is the molasses amounts also good if you don’t use organic with sugar?

  8. If you don’t use organic sugar is the molasses amount going to be the same for reg sugar?

  9. Do you make your own sugar for the cane juice? Do you have a post about that?

  10. AWESOME. Thanks for this!

  11. Sarah, you just made my day! I may sound stupid, but I had never given a thought about the composition of brown sugar, how it was made, let alone the fact that I could make it myself!!! This is brilliant! I just can’t wait to finish the bag I have from the grocery store and start making my own.

  12. um…. do you need more recipes for that molasses in your cupboard because I use it for everything from baked beans in the slow cooker to gingersnap cookies, and sometimes just with soft butter on brown bread, and for that matter IN brown bread.

  13. Neat! This I will have to try … makes so much sense!

  14. This tasted… just like brown sugar! Victory!

  15. Picture this: Thanksgiving day, getting ready to pan fry sweet potatoes in butter and brown sugar. Hubby takes that moment to tell me he used the last of the brown sugar 3 weeks ago but failed to mention it when shopping for turkey day supplies. I don’t panic, I just close my eyes and internally repeat the mantra “Love is a choice. I don’t always have to like you, but I choose to love you.” Outwardly, I tell him that my friend Sarah told me I could make my own. Matricide averted and day saved. Thanks! (Also, we’re friends now. Cool?)

    • Your husband is SO lucky we’re friends or I do fear that the bird in the oven wouldn’t be the only loss of life that day! He sounds so much like Troy and it makes me want to scream.

      I’m thrilled I can help and even more excited we’re friends!