Lifestyle Food

How To Soften Brown Sugar: 7 Different Ways

how to soften brown sugar?

Sugar is a characteristic fixing that has been essential for the human diet routine for millennia. While there are many varieties, brown and white sugar are among the most well-known assortments.

Brown sugar is used to prepare many merchandises and is added to foods like cereal. Nothing is more seriously disheartening than the rock-hard brown sugar at the rear of your cabinet. Read along to know how to soften brown sugar.

Since the brown sugar goes hard, it doesn’t imply that you will throw it. It can in any case be utilized in the same form as you most likely are aware of.

brown sugar
Photo by John Cutting on Unsplash

Like there are various reasons that contribute to the hardening of brown sugar, there are different methods to overcome this problem. Therefore, below is a list of ways how to soften brown sugar, but before that, you need to understand what causes the brown sugar to become hard.

Making of Brown Sugar

Sugar is grown in tropical climates where sugarcane or sugar beet plants develop. The two plants go through a comparative interaction to deliver sugar. However, the strategies used to make brown and white sugar differ.

In the first place, the sweet squeeze from the two harvests is extricated, decontaminated, and warmed to frame a brown, concentrated syrup called molasses.

Then, the solidified sugar is centrifuged to deliver sugar crystals. A rotator is a machine that turns incredibly quickly to isolate sugar crystals from molasses.

Why does Brown Sugar Harden and How to Soften it?

Why does brown sugar solidify so rapidly? It is not because you bought a container that has been left undisturbed on the rack for a really long time. The dampness in brown sugar dissipates a lot quicker than in other comparative items and makes the sugar solidify. To stop the process, you can attempt any of these methods.

  • You can either reestablish the moisture content, or
  • Keep it from dissipating in any case.

The brown sugar contains molasses, which contributes moisture, a wet sand-like surface, and caramel flavour. When brown sugar is presented to the components of your kitchen, the molasses will dissipate, turning your brown sugar to shake hard.

The fundamental explanation for why your brown sugar is hard is that it is dried out. The exposure to air dries and solidifies both the brown sugar crystals and the molasses in the brown sugar, making brown sugar crystals remain together.

how to soften brown sugar
Iimage by Lablascovegmenu on Flickr

Have you seen those dark-coloured brown sugar? It is not quite the same as the lighter shades of brown sugar. How much molasses does it contain? Light brown sugar contains around 3% molasses, while dull brown sugar contains around 8%. For that reason, it packs in a more extravagant caramel flavour and has a somewhat smooth surface. Nevertheless, brown sugar tastes better and they are number one.

To soften dark brown sugar, you simply need to remember that it needs to refill its lost moisture. Additionally, you would have to ensure that any treatment you give, would not influence its flavour or consistency.

One method for saturating your sugar once it is out of the compartment is to apply a clammy paper towel to it. Simply touch the brown sugar with the towel or lay the towel on the brown sugar. This should be to the point of making it sufficiently delicate to utilize. Here, you have at least one or two different ways that you can use to keep your sugar delicate or to mellow it once it gets hard.

7 Different Ways to Soften Brown Sugar

1. By Freezing It?

An easy method to soften brown sugar is by freezing it. Twofold bagging will help in taking your ice crystals far from your sugar.

Take your brown sugar in a container, double seal it and then refrigerate it, break the brown sugar with a fork prior to using it.

On the off chance that any ice crystals have formed, mix frequently as it defrosts to ensure the sugar is not impacted by the overabundance of dampness.

If it happens that ice crystals have lengthy cooling storage, frequently mix the sugar as it defrosts to keep your brown sugar soft.

Image by Kim Love on Flickr

2. With Terra Cotta Disks?

Terracotta brown sugar disk or simply terra cotta disk is utilized to soften brown sugar as the terra cotta absorbs water and is added to the brown sugar to keep the sugar from evaporating. Additionally, by chance that the sugar dries out, the soaked terracotta piece can be used as a method to rehydrate it rapidly.

Move the brown sugar into a container with a piece of terra cotta disk that you have absorbed in water for 30 minutes. The terra cotta will delicately add moisture to every piece of brown sugar, and soften your brown sugar quickly, equitably, and completely.

Suppose you don’t possess a terra cotta brown sugar saver, you can utilize a spotless little terracotta grower plate or any little piece of earthenware. This technique is highly useful as it is compelling, dependable, and moderately quick.

3. By Using the Oven?

To soften brown sugar in the oven, put the solidified pieces on a baking sheet fixed with parchment paper. Place the brown sugar in the oven and warm it to 250 degrees.

Keep an eye on the brown sugar for two or three minutes and split it up with a fork until it is soft. Permit your brown sugar to cool marginally before attempting to use it in a recipe.

Keep in mind, you are not supposed to cook or melt the brown sugar, you simply need to soften it, so don’t try to accelerate the temperature of the oven.

brown sugar
Image by Ruth on Flickr

4. By Using the Microwave?

This is the easiest DIY method. Simply place your hardened brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. The entire idea to soften brown sugar is to give the brown sugar back its lost dampness

Wet a paper towel or a kitchen towel whatever you are comfortable with and lay the paper towel over the brown sugar and put it in the microwave for 20 seconds until the sugar has gotten back to its expected surface and clumps are broken.

Additionally, take care not to overdo it, or you will dissolve the sugar. Furthermore, you will need to utilize the sugar decently fast to add to your cookies or other recipes after allowing it to cool down.

You are not supposed to directly put water on brown sugar to soften it, instead, you simply have to allow it to bring back the water that is disintegrating from the damp paper towel.

5. Using a Loaf of Bread?

You can also keep the brown sugar from hardening without using a microwave, oven, or even earthenware. However, essentially with just a slice of bread.

Add a piece of bread to the airtight container of your brown sugar. Keep it inside for around 8 hours and maybe longer on if it’s too hard. Eventually, your brown sugar will turn out to be delicate and prepared to utilize once more.

A solitary cut of bread is to re-vitalize the hardened brown sugar. It may happen that your brown sugar is excessively dry, or you have an enormous amount of sugar in the pack, so you can add more pieces of bread, like 2 to 5 pieces of bread depending on the situation.

Bread contains moisture that will dissipate when it will be exposed to the air. The container will start gaining moisture from the bread and the water vapour will start adhering to the sugar crystals. This will help the brown sugar crystals to become moistened, soft, and crumble.

Not simply bread will help with adding the lost moisture back to the hard brown sugar, but you can likewise utilize slices of apple or pear too.

6. With Marshmallows?

Marshmallows soften your hardened brown sugar in a similar manner to that of bread– by providing the sugar with a quantity of moisture that disintegrates the sugar clusters.

how to soften brown sugar
Photo by Rebecca Freeman on Unsplash

Assuming you have a container of hardened brown sugar, add a few stout marshmallows to the fixed holder and hang tight for the dampness of the marshmallows to be consumed by the sugar crystals.

Then, at that point, you can utilize a knife or a fork to separate any clusters.

7. With Water?

For instance, if you are in a rush and need the sugar immediately, and you are looking for how to soften the brown sugar technique, then softening brown sugar with water could be the ideal choice. It is like that of the microwave technique but with a little alteration.

Place the earthy-coloured sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and fill a little mug or microwave-safe compartment with 1/4 cup of water. Place both of them next to each other in the microwave and heat them for 30 seconds. The water will start releasing bubbles and the steam will mellow the sugar slowly and steadily.

The Footnote

Brown sugar solidifies whenever it is exposed to the air because air dries out the molasses present in it. The solution then, at that point, is to place your brown sugar in an airtight container so that the dampness of the brown sugar does not escape into the atmosphere. Thereby, airtight containers are suitable for that.

To keep your brown sugar soft and delicate, and prevent hardening you don’t have to look out for other softening brown sugar techniques, you can always put it in a resealable plastic pack but remember to remove all the air bubbles and double seal it before storing.

For additional protection, take the sugar and add a piece of bread to the lower part of the container. The bread will carry barely sufficient dampness to hydrate the molasses. Furthermore, simply sit back and relax, the bread will not shape.

Therefore, after reading how to soften brown sugar, if you want to learn about making shortbread cookie recipes with brown sugar, you can learn it from here and stay tuned to know more.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Even though the shelf life of brown sugar is indefinite, it’s best to use it within two years of purchase for maximum flavor. Don’t store brown sugar in the refrigerator. However, if you are in a very dry area or are going to keep it for a long time, you may want to freeze it.
  • The first example of bad sugar bugs. Like all sugars, the sugary deliciousness of brown sugar can attract ants and other bugs. If you see any signs of bug life, alive or dead, you should dispose of and replace your brown sugar.
  • Sugar is by far the most attractive substance to a cockroach. They love sugar and can smell it from anywhere. This means you’ll want to keep your sugar containers, fruits, and other sweeteners sealed in air-tight containers that are up off the floor.


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