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

homemade brown sugar in a glass bowl with a spoon
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Homemade brown sugar is so much easier and cheaper to make than you think. Make it at home and impress your friends! Or at the very least, you’ll impress yourself.

First things first, this recipe is EASY. And so simple to adapt to meet your baking needs. It’s totally fine to experiment with measurements to make it how you like it. You can’t break this recipe!

We go through a lot of brown sugar because they are a key ingredient in something I make a lot – my recipe for Soft Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s also amazing in these Pecan Rolls, Fudgy Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies, Brown Sugar Banana Bread, Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls, and of course, Overnight Cinnamon Rolls.

What Ingredients Are in Homemade Brown Sugar?

Yep, that’s it!

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

The best kind of sugar is what you have on hand! Muscovado and coconut sugar already have that brown sugar flavor, so will need just a touch of molasses to really get it to that brown sugar level. If you want to use an alternative sweetener like Splenda or monkfruit, follow the same measurements as regular sugar.

What kind of Molasses Should I Use to Make Brown Sugar?

Light molasses is the result of the first processing of sugar cane and will result in a lighter sugar. You may need to use a bit more to get the sugar exactly how you’d like it.

Dark molasses happens after the second processing of sugar cane and is a great “medium” molasses to use in this recipe. And lastly, blackstrap molasses is produced after the third boiling of the sugar. It’s bitter but also has the highest health properties.

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?

How Do You Make Brown Sugar Without Molasses?

If molasses isn’t something you can get your hands on, treacle will also work. Treacle is not a common ingredient in the states, so my US readers will probably only know of it from Harry Potter. 🙂

organic sugar and molasses in a mixer bowl
homemade brown sugar on a kitchen aid mixer paddle attachment

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Homemade brown sugar lasts as long as storebought.
  • 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.
  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer, food processor (though only on the pulse function or you’ll end up with powdered sugar!), or even two forks or a pastry cutter and a lot of patience.
a bowl of homemade brown sugar in front of a black background
5 from 12 ratings

Homemade Brown Sugar

Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
homemade brown sugar in a glass bowl with a spoon
Learn how to make brown sugar in under five minutes, with only two ingredients.




  • Combine ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
    1 cup sugar, 2.5 tsp molasses
  • Mix on low for two minutes, scrape the sides, and mix for another two minutes.
  • Transfer to an air-tight container and store just as you would normal brown sugar.


The recipe above is for medium brown sugar. 
Light brown sugar – 1 cup of sugar to 2 1/2 tsp of molasses
Dark brown sugar – 1 cup of sugar to 1 1/2 tbsp of molasses
You can also mix by hand with a fork, but be prepared for some amazing arm muscles by the end of it!


Serving: 1tspCalories: 17kcalCarbohydrates: 4gFat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 5mgSugar: 4gCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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About Sarah

Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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  1. So I was all set to make my favorite baked oatmeal recipe. I gathered all my ingredients..oh no! Brown sugar was not in the pantry. You rescued me and my baked oatmeal. I went old school with a whisk and had gorgeous brown sugar in less than 5 minutes. Thank you!5 stars