• 1 cup of granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses

Well, since I made my own brown sugar, I’ve received many questions about it. Like, “what’s the difference between raw sugar and brown sugar?”  So I’ve done some research. I’m no expert, by any means, but I’ll sum up my basic research below and also tell you how to make your own brown sugar, in case you’ve never done it.

First, my inspiration to make it. Well, my son wanted to make chocolate chip cookies…at 7am (you know, so we’d have them ready for his afternoon special snack after swim lessons). And they just aren’t the real deal unless they have brown sugar in them, and we were out of brown sugar. I had the day off from work, for Spring Break, and I didn’t want to get dressed and go to the store. (Okay, full disclosure; I didn’t want to put on a bra or shoes. Who’s with me on that one?). So I set to make my own brown sugar. I knew it was just molasses and sugar, so I knew it couldn’t be too difficult. It was so easy! You can do it too. In fact, my 4 year old did it, I just watched.

Measure one cup of granulated white sugar into a glass bowl. Measure one tablespoon of molasses into the sugar. Stir for a long time until blended completely. Done.

making brown sugar 4

So what is the difference between raw and brown and white sugar? It’s all about the processing. The sugar that we eat in America comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. After the plants are cooked and the sweet juice is extracted, it’s dehydrated until it’s a solid and then it’s crushed and becomes granules. (This is the simplified, basic explanation). Okay, that’s raw sugar, not processed much more than that, and has some natural molasses still inside. White sugar is bleached or super boiled and refined until all of the color is gone, removing residue from the plants. Brown sugar has added molasses. Molasses is a natural by-product of sugar cane, so it’s my understanding that brown sugar is sugar that has been refined, then has added molasses back into it, for special flavor and color. And there are 3 varieties of molasses, based on how refined or processed they are. But basically it is all offspring of the sugar cane or sugar beet plants. Well, I’m not the expert, so you should read up on it elsewhere if you want the facts.

But to make a quick cup of brown sugar to use for baking at home, in a pinch, follow my recipe above. It works, tastes great, and is a fun project for a person of any age! :)

making brown sugar 1

“Please get out a measuring spoon”—so he gets out every measuring cup and spoon and just pours it in. Oh well. Hee hee hee!!

making brown sugar 2

Start stirring carefully, so that it doesn’t spill or splash out. It will be chunky at first. We stirred with a hard spatula.

making brown sugar 3

Stir for a while, or use an electric hand mixer for one minute.

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It’s good on oatmeal too, and in baking recipes. Leftovers should be sealed in an airtight container.