Most recipes these days call for brown sugar. While it is easy to buy it in the supermarket it's just as easy to make brown sugar yourself at home! Let me show you a few easy ways so you never have to look for a substitute again.
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What is brown sugar? Well, quite simply brown sugar is less refined than white sugar because it still retains some molasses during the process of cooking. And this molasses gives the brown sugar its color and unique flavor. That is why we often use it in baking instead of white sugar.
Goods baked with brown sugar will usually have a deeper color and bold caramel-like flavor. And you can make wonderful recipes using brown sugar such as chocolate chip cookies, brown sugar cupcakes, chocolate cake, etc.
Also, the best thing about making your own brown sugar is that you can make a few varieties, from light brown and golden brown to dark brown and darker brown sugar, just by adding less or more molasses.
How do you make your own brown sugar?
To make white sugar, all the molasses is removed. So, to make brown sugar yourself we just add some of that molasses back.
Types of brown sugar?
The amount of molasses in the sugar gives us a few varieties or types of brown sugar, from dark, light, or golden. Quite simply, this means that more molasses will give the sugar a darker brown color.
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Light brown sugar
- 1 cup (200 g) White sugar
- 1 teaspoon Molasses (or treacle )
- 1 cup (200 g) White sugar
- 2 teaspoon Molasses (or treacle)
Dark brown sugar
- 1 cup (200 g) White sugar
- 1 tablespoon Molasses (or treacle)
- In a bowl, combine the white sugar and molasses. You can use your fingers to rub the two in or you can use a whisk to ensure the two are well mixed. Pro tip - You want to mix until you have a uniform brown color.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you
Store the sugar in an airtight container. You can store it for months in your pantry. And a slice of white bread in the container with the sugar keeps it dry.
Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar-making process. It is the syrup that is left behind after crystallization when sugar is made from sugarcane. And it has a deep dark brown (almost black) color. It is sweet but not as sweet as sugar and it has a unique smell and flavor that is second to none. In fact, when you open a jar of molasses, the first thought that comes to mind is gingerbread cookies because a gingerbread cookie would be the best way to describe the smell of molasses. You can buy light, dark, or blackstrap molasses in the market and you can also buy sulfured and unsulfured molasses.
Raw sugar is made during the process of making sugar. The crystalization that is formed in the liquid form little granules that are light golden in color. Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added to it.
A piece of white bread with sugar helps keep it soft. If the sugar is already hardened, you can put a damp paper towel over the sugar and microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds or until it is soft.
A brown sugar glaze is usually brushed on meat during cooking. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine 1 cup of brown sugar, ½ cup pineapple juice, ½ cup honey, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon butter until syrup consistency.
Brown sugar syrup is made the same way you make white sugar syrup. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine 1 cup brown sugar, ½ cup water, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice for two to three minutes.
Well, now that you know how brown sugar is made you can see that it's not different than white sugar. It's just white sugar with a bit of molasses.
What do you use brown sugar for?
The options for using brown sugar are endless, be it sweet or savory. Some of my popular recipes that use these sugars are
Is there a substitute for brown sugar?
As you can see that you don't need to substitute brown sugar if you can make it yourself in just 5 minutes. And, yet, here are a few alternatives to try.
- Use white sugar with maple syrup exactly the same way we made brown sugar with molasses.
- Coconut sugar - made from the sap of the coconut tree it is a healthier option plus it has naturally brown sugar. It does not, however, have the flavor of molasses.
- Raw sugar - you can also use exactly the same amount of raw sugar such as turbinado or demerara. They do have a natural caramel-like flavor.
- Muscavado sugar also contains molasses but less than brown sugar so it is a great alternative to brown sugar.
- White sugar - of course, you can add white sugar and one teaspoon of molasses for every cup of sugar in the recipe.
Other types of sugar
- Maple sugar - Add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to every cup of white granulated sugar.
- Honey sugar - Add 1 tablespoon of honey to every cup of white granulated sugar. You can use orange blossom honey, wildflower honey, or even buckwheat honey. Buckwheat honey has a stronger flavor and color similar to molasses.
- Agave sugar - Add 1 tablespoon of agave nectar to a cup of white granulated sugar.
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