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Substitute for Brown Sugar

by on August 7, 2008 · 21 comments

It’s Thursday, but since I haven’t posted a “Weekend Tip” in a while, here’s a good one.

If you are out of brown sugar, you can substitute the following.

1 cup granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses.

I used this substitution in today’s cookie and it worked.

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Published on August 7, 2008

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe August 7, 2008 at 1:12 pm

I’ve had to use this method before and I agree it works well! You can make dark brown sugar too… just use about 1/4 cup worth of molasses.

Hannah August 7, 2008 at 1:22 pm

We always make our own brown sugar. It works great!

VeggieGirl August 7, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Thanks for the tip!

Lisa August 7, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Oh! I’ve been wondering about the amounts. I always bring brown sugar back with me after visits to the States, but I’ve run out and I always just use granulated sugar and add in “some” (unmeasured) molasses. It does work well, but I’m glad to have a better idea of amounts.

I have put too much in before, as well, and I must say I think Joe’s suggestion of 1/4 c for one cup of sugar sounds really high (even for dark brown)and would make whatever it is you’re making taste like molasses. Maybe not.

heather August 7, 2008 at 1:46 pm

I LOVE baking and so your blog is a slice of heaven for me.
I’m sure you’ve been asked this many times before, but how do you go through all the cookies you make each day? Do you give lots away, or just have an enormous cookie supply or what?

Katrina August 7, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Do you need to first mix the sugar and molasses, or just add the two to a recipe as you’re creaming the sugar into the butter? Thanks for the tip. Today’s cookies look good. I haven’t been able to work on T’s bedroom at all today, so I’m still not “allowed” to bake. Sigh!

Steff January 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm

What if I do not have molasses? My mom doesn’t buy much for bakers so I only do simple stuff. I don’t have any more brown sugar but I don’t have molasses either. Is there anyway to substitute anything else?

Kara January 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm

this actually worked! just stir it really well!!!

Anonymous February 17, 2012 at 12:14 am

@Steff, you can use honey and sugar

Jennifer February 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I happened to find this through google, and your recipe of brown sugar really works and it really enhances the flavor of the chocolate chip cookies!

Barb March 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm

You are a life saver, I was just at the store, thinking I had brown sugar at home, guess what: I WAS WRONG! Thank you very much.

Susan March 16, 2012 at 10:36 am

I used this substitute when I was out of brown sugar and we like the molasses and sugar so much more! It really give a good flavor to the cookies!

Leah July 26, 2012 at 6:30 am

Thanks so much for posting this! I’m a vegan and the brown sugar made with vegan friendly sugar is NOT cheap!! Now that I’m out, if this works, I’ll never have to buy that stuff again!

Marisa September 9, 2012 at 11:56 am

That makes perfect sense as molasses is the by-product of refining raw sugar into white, and brown sugar is just white sugar with the molasses added back in (but in a higher quantity than is in raw sugar).
It would be interesting to know the amount of raw sugar equalls a cup of brown, as I feel raw sugar has a much milder flavor than brown.

Kaur September 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm

It worked out well. My m&m cookie recipe called for l cup brown sugar packed and I only had 1/4 cup. So I used 1 cup reg sugar and 1/8 cup molasses and it turned out great. It gave it a very rich, smooth flavor. I think I liked it better than brown sugar. Thanks for the tip.

Amaris February 17, 2013 at 11:57 am

Tried this today…can’t wait to see how it tastes because it looks absolutely gorgeous. I am using it for a crumb topping with walnuts.

Anna February 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Hope you like it! I use it in a pinch when I’m out of brown sugar.

Samantha March 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Totally forgot to pick up brown sugar at the store today! Thank you so much for this tip! :)

Kelly June 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

As a first time stay at home mom, I spend my downtime baking, and have discovered that I’m incredibly good at making brown sugar disappear. I started feeling bad sending my boyfriend to the store every time I ran out, and since I’ve been on a bit of a DIY binge lately, I looked up brown sugar substitutions for my chocolate chip cookies, and found this. It’s all I use now! I’ve always got a TON of granulated sugar at the house and its so much easier to get a jar of molasses every once in a while as opposed to sending my personal shopper to get me more brown sugar, like, every fifteen seconds.

Anna June 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Kelly, I know what you mean! I hate running to the store when I realize I’m out and want to make something. Also, I recently tried making homemade confectioners sugar using 1 cup of granulated sugar. You just grind it in a coffee grinder and add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

HopelessPirate June 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Just wanted to add, I’ve used Karo corn syrup and maple pancake syrup in place of the molasses with good results. It was a slightly lighter colored cookie, but no difference in taste. For what it’s worth. ^__^

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