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How to Make Brown Sugar {Homemade Brown Sugar}

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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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 kid’s college fund.

Homemade brown sugar is 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.

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 brown sugar recipe!

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. It’s also amazing in these Fudgy Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies and of course, Overnight Cinnamon Rolls. Go for a healthier take on dessert and use in the cinnamon yogurt dip for these Apple Pie Egg Rolls.

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!

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 in a homemade brown sugar recipe?

Light molasses is the result of the first processing of sugar cane and will result in a lighter brown 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.

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?

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. 🙂

How to Make Brown Sugar – Step by Step

Step 1: Put your 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.


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

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • We buy our molasses in bulk from Azure Standard. It’s affordable and lasts forever.
  • 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 brown sugar!), or even two forks and a lot of patience.


homemade brown sugar in a glass bowl with a spoon
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5 from 10 votes

How to Make Brown Sugar {Homemade Brown Sugar}

Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 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.



  • 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.
  • Transfer to an air-tight container and store just as you would normal 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!
Store in an air-tight container at room temperature. I keep ours in the pantry.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Brown Sugar {Homemade Brown Sugar}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 208
% Daily Value*
Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 73mg2%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Sugar 53g59%
Protein 0g0%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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28 comments on “How to Make Brown Sugar {Homemade Brown Sugar}”

  1. I always turn to this in a pinch when I’m out of brown sugar.

  2. McFrugalpants never lets me down! This was super easy to put together. I will never buy brown sugar again!

  3. Hi Sarah,
    How do you store your homemade brown sugar? Do you keep it in the pantry or does this have to be refrigerated? Thanks for the recipe!

  4. You are an angel for posting this – SO FANTASTIC and easy!

  5. 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!

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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. AWESOME. Thanks for this!