How To Make Brown Sugar

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to make a homemade version of brown sugar by mixing together molasses and white sugar. My first attempt, however, was a dismal failure and I called it my bizarre brown sugar. But a couple of comments from readers inspired me to try again after they pointed out that the measurements I had used were not a good ratio and I needed to use more sugar and less molasses.

Boy, were they right. Instead of the 1/2 cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of molasses that I tried the first time around, I adjusted it to 1 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of molasses. Much better!

I also used my food processor this time to get the molasses and sugar mixed together and again – much better!

homemade brown sugar

I guess it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me that this process works. Wikipedia tells us that brown sugar has its distinctive brown color because of the presence of molasses, is more moist than white sugar because of the molasses, and in fact is produced by adding molasses to white refined sugar. So when it comes to brown sugar, it’s all about the molasses. You just want it to be in the correct proportions to the white sugar.

jar of molasses

And while the ratio is important, the good news is that you can adjust your homemade brown sugar mixture as needed. If you want a darker brown sugar, just keeping adding a little more molasses. And if you go too heavy on the molasses, simply add some more white sugar. Even if you don’t use this process on a regular basis, it’s still a pretty neat little trick if you need to come up with a quick substitution for store bought brown sugar (provided of course that you have some molasses in the house).

If you’re not familiar with molasses, it’s a very dark thick syrup that’s usually sold in a glass jar and is often found in the store in the same area as pancake syrups and corn syrups.

How To Make Brown Sugar

1 cup White Sugar
1 Tablespoon Molasses

Pour the sugar in a food processor and then drizzle the molasses over the top. Process until the two are thoroughly mixed (about 2 minutes) stopping to scrape the sides occasionally as needed.

If you don’t have a food processor you can also just combine the sugar and molasses in a mixing bowl and stir them together with a fork.

So once again, I’ve learned some great new info from helpful comments that you are kind enough to share. Thank you – Thank you – Thank you! I very much appreciate the wise advice and feedback.

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  1. Hi. I love brown sugar so was pleased to see your recipe, however it is sad that the ‘real’ thing is no longer available. Brown sugar was referred to as ‘government sugar’ when I was growing up in South Africa. It was not finely processed so was a ‘healthier’ option and much cheaper than white sugar. Today, I believe that real brown sugar is unavailable – perhaps it is available in the US?

    1. I believe for most commercial brown sugars, the molasses is actually added back in to the refined sugar crystals. I guess that would technically mean we don’t have “real” brown sugar, but I don’t know for sure!

  2. Thanks for sharing. Good to know how to do that. I had seen the ingredients posted and will try making brown sugar.