A step-by-step tutorial on how to make homemade natural brown sugar in seven minutes or less!
I used to love brown sugar. I would eat it on my oatmeal, crust French toast in it, caramelize bananas with it, create super soft, chewy cookies with it, and sometimes even eat it straight from the jar. I was addicted.
Our love story came to a grinding halt once I started to research where my ingredients were coming from and how they were made. I was deeply saddened to learn that brown sugar is a combination of molasses and refined white granulated sugar. Since I’ve vowed to remove refined and processed foods from my diet and baking, I can no longer use store bought brown sugar in good conscience.
I wasn’t too heartbroken, though. I discovered maple syrup tasted just as good (if not better) on my morning oats and that honeyed bananas were actually pretty fine creatures. What I was most concerned about were my cookies. How was I going to attain that chewy soft texture that I loved without using brown sugar? Maple syrup helped achieve that caramelly flavour, but raw sugar tended to leave me with a crunchier cookie. I was in a bit of a conundrum. That’s when it hit me. I was overthinking this.
If regular brown sugar is granulated sugar mixed with molasses, why couldn’t we make the same using raw cane sugar?
Turns out, you can!
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to those of you who have made your own brown sugar before, but for me this is revolutionary! I can make chewy cookies without using refined sugar! And you can too. Let me show you how.
You will need the following:
- 1 cup raw cane sugar
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 small mixing bowl
- 1 fork (trust me, it’s easiest)
Step 1: Add the raw sugar and molasses to the bowl.
Step 2: Begin mixing the molasses into the brown sugar. It’s easiest if you push the molasses into the sugar rather than try to mix in a circle. This is what the sugar will look like after 1 minute of mixing. There will be large and small clumps of molasses in the sugar. Keep mixing!
Step 3: This is what the sugar will look like after 3–4 minutes. See how there are still a few clumps of molasses? We need to get rid of all of those so we have a smooth brown sugar that gently falls off our fork. Keep mixing!
Step 4: This is what the sugar looks like after 5–7 minutes. No lumps of molasses should remain, the sugar should be golden in colour, and it should gently fall off the fork. You’re done!
You should notice a distinct colour and texture difference between raw cane sugar and your natural brown sugar when you put them side by side. If you can’t see the difference, you haven’t mixed well enough.
To Store: The sugar will keep for up to 2 weeks in a sealed glass jar at room temperature. It’s best to make this natural brown sugar when you need it for the recipe. The ratio of 1:1 makes it easy to double, halve, or even quarter.
And there you have it! Perfectly natural homemade brown sugar that will substitute 1:1 for store-bought brown sugar in any recipe. Our love is renewed.