brown sugar in a glass jar and on the table

Quick Fix: How to Soften Brown Sugar

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What a waste! Your brown sugar is one giant clump of almost unbreakable sugar. You’ll have to throw it out and buy a new one to finish this cake! Or do you? Don’t throw out your “ruined” brown sugar just yet; you may be able to save it with these tips below!

Immediate Fix:  Place the hard brown sugar in a glass, microwave-safe bowl, next to another bowl with a ¼ cup of water in it. Microwave on Medium for 30 seconds. If your sugar is not yet soft, try it for another 30 seconds at a time until you have soft brown sugar again.

Overnight Fix:  Place one of the following in a sealed container with your brown sugar.  Over the years I have tried almost all of these and they work like magic!!

    • a slice of apple
    • a slice of bread
    • 2 fresh marshmallows
    • place a damp paper towel over the top of the bowl  (do not seal it with this method, leave it in an open bowl)
    • buy a brown sugar softening disk or bear (you can also grab these at most stores that sell kitchen supplies)

You’ll have fresh, soft brown sugar in no time!

Bonus tip:   Running low on brown sugar?  You can easily make your own Brown Sugar in just a couple of minutes!!


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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. I’ve placed a slice of bread on top of my brown sugar for years. Just replace the bread every now and then. Always works!