How To Soften Hard Brown Sugar

in DIY

How To Moisten Brown Sugar

I am officially a crazy Spring cleaner. And I’m going to be honest, I’ve never really done Spring cleaning. I’ve always done Spring cleaning when I’ve moved from old apartment to new apartment, or when the disorganization got between me and finding something I wanted to wear.

Spring cleaning has never been something I’ve done in, well, Spring. But this year, oh this year! I’ve really impressed myself. I’m doing Spring cleaning. And it’s actually kinda nice. It’s making me feel more in control of my life, like I have it together or something. I’ve started with the part of my house that gives me the most anxiety: my pantry (that’s actually just a gigantic cabinet). In the back, in the far corners of this beast, I found oh I dunno like five or six bags of dark brown sugar. All of them hard as a rock.

Let me interrupt myself to say that I have no idea if you know how to soften brown sugar. You might be rolling your eyes when you see this post. I mean, does everyone know this is how you rehydrate brown sugar? Am I posting obvious advice? Is this going to be useful? Does everyone have a grandma who told them these things?

My grandmother never taught me to do this. I learned about this years ago from Google. I’m pretty sure I was baking at midnight (my favorite time to bake) and wanted to make cookies (obviously), only to find that the brown sugar was hard and looked like McDonald’s chicken nuggets.

If this isn’t obvious advice to you and you really would like to know how to save your brown sugar, continue…

If not, I’ll have some OMG-breakfast situation tomorrow.

How To Moisten Brown Sugar

There are a few methods on how to soften brown sugar:

1. Using an apple. (But then your brown sugar sort of has an essence of apple?)

2. Using clay tiles. (Definitely the move but didn’t feel like going to the nursery.)

3. Microwaving the brown sugar. (I don’t own a microwave. I know, I know…)

4. Bread!

Grocery stores should really sell a few slices of bread, instead of a loaf. I’d be pretty into it.

I added the blocks of brown sugar to a bowl and added a slice of bread I cut in half.

How To Moisten Brown Sugar

I wrapped the bowl in plastic and since I wanted to time the whole process, I wrote the time I started on the plastic wrap.

How To Moisten Brown Sugar

When I returned nine hours later, only half of the brown sugar had softened. And the bread felt dry and stale. All of the bread’s moisture had transferred to the brown sugar. MAGIC!

Some of the brown sugar was still dry so I added one more slice and left it overnight.

How To Moisten Brown Sugar

When I woke up in the morning, all of the brown sugar was soft.

Super soft brown sugar gave me the urge to bake up this Nutty Pumpkin Bread in March and these Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies.

How To Moisten Brown Sugar

{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

Alison at NOVA Frugal Family September 23, 2013 at 6:01 am

My mom always put the bread into the brown sugar…she also used that with oatmeal cookies if they got a little dried out in the container. I laughed at your part of the post that said that people were rolling their eyes at common sense advice but not everyone knows it. I had a mother who taught me most of the recipes and cooking that I use today so I was really lucky :)


Donna giblin September 27, 2013 at 9:55 am

You can leave a slice in your container or bag the entire time and it stays soft so you won’t have to soften it. That’s the way my grandmother did it, that’s the way my mother did it, that’s the way I do it! Hope this helps.



Pamela Downer September 27, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Once I open the bag, I put a slice of apple in it.


Terri September 27, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Add a slice of bread to your homemade cookies and they stay nice and soft.


jenny September 28, 2013 at 7:45 am

Isn’t it great? Bread has been my ‘go-to’ save for years. But sometimes when you have those “BUT I NEED THE BROWN SUGAR NOW!!!” it’s frustrating. I bought one of those terracotta bears (they have a flower one too) that is sold anywhere they kitchen equipment. You soak it in water (about a half an hour) and it keeps your BSugar soft for a really long time. The good thing is that when the terracotta bear/flower finally loses all it’s water the bread trick works much faster because it will never get THAT rock hard. Just a Family and Consumer Science teacher sharing her two cents!


Kate February 21, 2014 at 10:36 am

You can also break into manageable chunks and chuck in the food processor and using the chopper blade break it all up. And if you are baking you may already have the processor out already.


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: