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Make Your Own: Brown Sugar

February 12th, 2010

There are lots of things you can make at home for much less than you can buy them at the store. Not only does it save money, but it saves time as well. No more quick trips to the store to get brown sugar when you start baking and realize you’re out. I’ve been making my own brown sugar for quite a while, mostly because it can be difficult to find organic brown sugar when you live in a rural area and it’s pretty expensive when you do actually find it! I definitely couldn’t get organic brown sugar for less than $1.50/lb, which is about what this costs me.

To make your own brown sugar all you need is white sugar and molasses. I use organic evaporated cane juice sugar (not Sucanat) and unsulphered organic blackstrap molasses. The general recipe is 1 cup of sugar and 2 Tablespoons of molasses. You can adjust the molasses amount or use a different kind of molasses to suit your tastes. I’m partial to blackstrap or sorghum molasses. I also like to use at least 2 Tablespoons or a bit more, since I like dark brown sugar.

After adding the molasses to the sugar all you have to do is mix. This can take a while, you can use a mixer if you’re making a large amount, the whisk attachment works very well for this task. Mixing by hand is quicker I think, that’s what I do. Using a fork seems to work best. Don’t worry if you have small lumps of molasses in the final product.

Another added benefit to making brown sugar at home, is that it’s always fresh. It smells wonderful and it’s always nice and soft. It has a much deeper flavor than store-bought brown sugar, which I really appreciate!

Now you can add this to the growing list of things you can make at home. You’ll have a constant supply of fresh brown sugar for baking all kinds of delicious goodies.

Have you ever made brown sugar at home? Any other great things you make at home you’d love to share?

38 Comments to “Make Your Own: Brown Sugar”
  1. Wanda on February 12, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I’ve made homemade pancake syrup using brown sugar, but I’ve never made my own brown sugar, although I knew you could. Now I have to try it. I love making anything from scratch if I can. We just made homemade marshmallows this Christmas. They were better than store-bought. Nice instructions.
    .-= Wanda´s last blog ..Ma’s Pasta Fazool =-.

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  2. Wendy (The Local Cook) on February 12, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I’m going to have to try this!
    .-= Wendy (The Local Cook)´s last blog ..Fit Jerk Friday: Shredded Beet Salad =-.

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  3. Denise on February 12, 2010 at 10:03 am

    We make our own yogurt. We head the milk to 180 degrees on the stove top (not sure what you do if you use raw milk), and then pour it into a bowl to cool to 105-110 degrees. Once it is cooled, remove scum off the top (i didn’t do that the first few times and mixed it in and had bits of milk scum in my yogurt, yuck), add the starter (either store-bought yogurt or yogurt saved from a previous batch, needs to be plain though), 1/4 cup per 8cups of milk. Then I pour it into glass jars and put it in a cooler filled with 105-110 degree water. I let it sit for 3 hours without moving the cooler or jars, though I do check the water temp about halfway through and add hot water if it’s getting too cool. I usually make about 5 quarts at a time.

    Thanks for all the interesting ideas. I think I’m going to make oatmeal cookies today…

    Reply to Denise's comment

    • Susy on February 12, 2010 at 10:30 am

      Making yogurt with raw milk is similar, you just don’t heat the milk at warm in the beginning. You only warm to 90-100, then add culture and a let sit in a warm place till it suits your tastes (the longer you let it sit the more acidic and strong it will be). I usually leave mine overnight.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Tree on February 12, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I knew it could be done, but truth be told, I have never run out of brown sugar. I always bought in bulk, and this past November I purchased organic brown sugar when it was on sale and I had a coupon so it cost me pretty close to regular brown sugar, but I think in the future I would like to make my own (when I get through what I have). How long is it good for? I can’t imagine I would make it all that often, but I wouldn’t want it to go to waste.
    .-= Tree´s last blog ..A Long Winter’s Nap =-.

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    • Susy on February 12, 2010 at 10:44 am

      It lasts a long time, obviously the fresher it is the better the flavor. I sometimes mix up extra to keep around. I’m sure could make a big batch and store it in a big container. I have never had homemade stuff get hard or anything, generally it’s always nice & soft.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Greg on February 12, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Hey Susy, this is good… never had the “recipe” for this, though I have done it a few times. Once out of curiosity, another out of necessity! :) It worked OK for me, but I did mix with a fork and I think I added too much molasses to sugar. So it was very “clumpy”. Will try this and see how it goes! (AND, those cookies are making me hungry……..) :)
    .-= Greg´s last blog ..Ready For The Winter Olympics =-.

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  6. pam on February 12, 2010 at 11:07 am

    This is good to know!
    .-= pam´s last blog ..Garlic Lime Rice =-.

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  7. Melissa on February 12, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Thank you SO much for sharing this! I’ll be making my own from now on. Organic brown sugar is crazy expensive – I’ve just been doing without. :) Melissa
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..It’s snowing here today… in Alabama =-.

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  8. Kalee on February 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I’ve done this before out of necessity (we forgot we were out of brown sugar until it was too late to go to the store in England). It was fantastic!
    .-= Kalee´s last blog ..Baby It’s Cold Outside =-.

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  9. stefaneener on February 12, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Kefir water. Yogurt. Both very good.
    .-= stefaneener´s last blog ..Experiments =-.

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  10. Nancy on February 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Thanks for the info! We just started making our own powdered sugar in the blender. It’s something we never have on hand. A few weeks ago my husband wanted to make some fudge, so he got out the Vita-Mix and made his own powdered sugar. We’ve done it a few times since then.
    .-= Nancy´s last blog ..Herbal Tea Blends =-.

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  11. Lona on February 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Well good grief I never even knew you could make your own brown sugar. You taught me something. Thanks for the posting.
    .-= Lona´s last blog ..Send A Valentine Thank You =-.

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  12. Sarah Jane on February 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    While I knew that brown sugar was just molasses and white sugar, I never considered making it myself. Thank you so much for this idea. I don’t make sweets very often so my brown sugar tends to get hard and gross before I use it up. This way I can make it in small batches.
    .-= Sarah Jane´s last blog ..Granny Square Rainbow =-.

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  13. Sustainable Eats on February 12, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I had totally forgotten you could do this – which is awesome because I can buy the wholesome brand organic sugar at costco fairly inexpensively but not brown sugar. I’ve been buying those spendy little bags at my healthy coop. Thank you! Slapping forehead now…

    and Nancy, I need to checkout how you make powdered sugar. That one I had never heard before.
    .-= Sustainable Eats´s last blog ..Do it Yourself Cleaners – for the house and for you =-.

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  14. Julia on February 12, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Simply brilliant. With all these good ideas, I can’t think of anything special that I do.
    .-= Julia´s last blog ..Being Nothingness =-.

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  15. lo on February 12, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    You know, this is a great idea. I never really thought about how much I was needlessly spending on organic brown sugar — but, when you put it this way. Why am I NOT making my own? Bet that added little punch of molasses flavor is just spectacular.

    See… this is why I come here. Learn something new and useful every day!
    .-= lo´s last blog ..Hyped Up Shepherd’s Pie with Mushrooms and Greens =-.

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  16. Diane on February 12, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Sometimes I run out of brown sugar for cookies and such. Now if I just keep on hand some molasses I can make it myself. Love all the info you share with us.
    Blessings
    Diane
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..School Update =-.

    Reply to Diane's comment

  17. Dirty Girl Gardening on February 12, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Yum! Sugar and molasses! I love it… great shot of the brown sugar up close.

    Reply to Dirty Girl Gardening's comment

    • Susy on February 13, 2010 at 9:19 am

      Beautiful partnership I agree!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  18. Kimberly on February 12, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I’ve been doing this for about a year now and love it! I also make my own baking powder and vanilla extract. Actually, I make just about everything from scratch. I’ve learned how to make lotions, lip balm, healing balm, deodorant, and even hairspray. I think my favorite thing to bake from scratch that I didn’t know how to do before last year is crackers. Easy and so much better! I even did a tutorial on them. Tomorrow my boys and I will be making crackers and bagels. Yum! I LOVE IT when people share what they are making from scratch! Keep it up!
    .-= Kimberly´s last blog ..Longing for Spring =-.

    Reply to Kimberly's comment

    • Susy on February 13, 2010 at 9:18 am

      Homemade crackers are much better (as are most things). I love to make crispy flatbread instead of chips. I haven’t started making my own lotions, but I’m hoping to make lip balm and a few other things with beeswax from our hives this coming summer.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  19. Pamela on February 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Can you make it with Sorghum Molasses? I have some of that and would love to use it.

    Reply to Pamela's comment

    • Susy on February 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm

      Yes you can, obviously it will taste slightly different given that sorghum has a distinct flavor.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  20. Jennifer Tan - Syrendell on February 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Fabulous!!! Can’t wait to try this with the kids. We are always running to Trader Joe’s to get more organic brown sugar. Glad that I found your wonderful blog via Etsy. I’m going to start following your blog. :) –Jennifer
    .-= Jennifer Tan – Syrendell´s last blog ..The Golden Mean =-.

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  21. melissa on February 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    I think I love you.

    You can make brown sugar? Seriously??? OMG. I have to use up what I have first, but then, it’s on.

    (P.S. I cannot be trusted with molasses)

    Reply to melissa's comment

  22. Sara on February 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    This is great to know how to do, especially if you are like me and find your brown sugar as hard as a rock mid-way through mixing up a batch of something. I’ve tried this and it works much better than the supposed tricks for softening up brown sugar (which, at least for me, have never really panned out).
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..Can Jam February Challenge: Carrots =-.

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  23. Jennifer on March 2, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Oh my!! I just went to the store yesterday and had to grab a non-organic container of brown sugar (which I haven’t used yet, luckily). I do have plenty of organic cane sugar and plenty of organic blackstrap molasses. I guess I’ll fetch that receipt out of my purse and take that brown sugar back or give it to someone who can use it. :D

    Reply to Jennifer's comment

    • Susy on March 2, 2010 at 10:43 am

      I know, who knew?? I started making my own years ago and have never bought store bought since (except when I’m making a bunch of cookies for some event, then I buy in bulk and the non-organic). It’s so much better as well, I make mine extra dark with extra blackstrap molasses! Sometimes I even use sorghum molasses for a different flavor.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  24. [...] Your Own Posts from Chiot’s Run. Make Your Own: Brown Sugar Make Your Own: Baking Powder Make Your Own: Ghee Make Your Own: Butter Make Your Own: Preserved [...]

    Reply to A Few Resources for the Real Food Challenge « Not Dabbling In Normal's comment

  25. Deb G on March 6, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Oh my gosh, I was so excited I leaped right up and went and made some! Eating it in my oatmeal right now. I will never buy organic brown sugar again I’m sure.
    .-= Deb G´s last blog ..a little voice =-.

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  26. Annie on March 12, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    This is GREAT!!! We just made some for our homemade apple pie! Thanks for sharing! Kids love it!

    Reply to Annie's comment

  27. isicilian on May 8, 2010 at 2:02 am

    I love the idea of make-your-own. I try to make several things at home myself, such as cheeses, vinegars, etc… I have my own blog and i think my audience could benefit from your information. would you like to exchange links?
    .-= isicilian´s last blog ..Sicilian Bruschetta of Peppers and Gorgonzola =-.

    Reply to isicilian's comment

  28. Vegetable Garden Cook on November 12, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks for the reminder! Perfect time of year, with all the baking that will be coming up. :-)
    Vegetable Garden Cook´s last post ..Homemade Laundry detergent

    Reply to Vegetable Garden Cook's comment

  29. Making Brown Sugar | Sincerely, Emily on March 25, 2011 at 3:15 am

    [...] since I saw a post about making brown sugar over at Chiot’s Run back in February 2010 I have been making my own. What a neat thing and how easy! Adding [...]

    Reply to Making Brown Sugar | Sincerely, Emily's comment

  30. Donna Copeland on April 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I grew up with a mother who never purchased brown sugar. In fact, when a recipe called for brown sugar, she simply added the plain sugar and molasses separately.

    I have been using my food processor to mix brown sugar and find it to be very quick and efficient. I too have never had it dry out, I store it in a Tupperware container and I just make it when I need it. Sometimes I’ll do it my mom’s way if I don’t have some already mixed.

    Reply to Donna Copeland's comment

  31. Miranda on September 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for sending me this link! I’ll be doign this from now on. :)

    Reply to Miranda's comment

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