How to Soften Brown Sugar: 5 Easy Ways to Make it Soften

Are you looking for how to soften brown sugar? When you’re getting ready to make cookies, nothing will stop you faster than finding that the brown sugar in the back of your cupboard is hard as a rock. We looked into this problem in our test kitchen and found a way to save and soften brown sugar that had gone bad. You can also keep a new bag as soft as wet sand for as long as you want.

Have you ever had this happen to you? When you reach for the brown sugar in your cupboard, you find that it has hardened into a rock. Don’t worry. Here are five easy ways to make it feel new again. I’ll also tell you how to soften brown sugar fluffy and ready to use when you store it. 

Why Does Brown Sugar Get Hard?

Molasses is in brown sugar, which gives it moisture, a texture like wet sand, and a strong caramel flavor. When left out in your kitchen, the molasses will evaporate, leaving you with a brick of brown sugar.

How to Soften Hard Brown Sugar

One of these five easy ways should work, depending on how to soften brown sugar quickly you need to fix the problem.

1. How to soften brown sugar in the Microwave

Here’s how to soften brown sugar. Put the brown sugar lump in a bowl that can go in the microwave. Wet a paper towel and squeeze it out so that it is just a little bit damp. Cover the bowl and microwave it in 10-second bursts until the sugar is crumbly again. Between bursts, poke the sugar with a fork to help break up the lump. Make sure you don’t heat it too long or the sugar will melt. Be careful with the sugar because it might be very hot.

2. How to make It Soften in the Oven

Make sure the oven is at 250° F. Put the hard sugar in a bowl that can go in the oven. Check on it every few minutes and break it up with a fork until the sugar is soft. Sugar will be hot, so be careful.

3. How to make It Soften with Bread

Put a piece of fresh bread and the lumpy brown sugar in a sealed container. After about a day, the bread will be back to being soft and crumbly because the sugar will have soaked up enough of the bread’s moisture. Take the bread out so it won’t go bad.

4. How to make It Soften with an Apple Slice

The same way as making bread, but without gluten. (Just kidding.) Not at all. It’s true. Just don’t forget to take the apple out at the end.

5. How to make It Soften with Terra Cotta

Some smart people have come up with a very smart way to fix the problem of hardened brown sugar. Just soak a piece of terra cotta in water for about 20 minutes, then put it in an airtight container with the dried-out sugar lump. In about a day, the terra cotta brings the sugar back to life and keeps it from getting lumpy again by keeping the right level of moisture. You can find sugar savers made of terra cotta that look like cute bears, leaves, and other small shapes. 

How to Store Brown Sugar to Keep It Soft

You can keep your brown sugar soft for as long as you want by putting it in an airtight container with a resealable plastic bag and squeezing out all the air. Add a piece of bread to the bottom of the bag for extra safety. It will bring just enough water to keep the molasses from drying out. Don’t worry about how to soften brown sugar.

I think it’s a good idea to keep a terra cotta disk in the brown sugar jar. The other ways I mentioned will soften hard brown sugar, but the terra cotta method will also keep your brown sugar soft for a long time. Keep your brown sugar in a container that won’t let air in and isn’t too big, so that as little air as possible can get in. If you add one of these disks, it will be easy to keep that sugar soft.

There are many terra cotta disks to choose from if you want to try one. I use an OXO container that keeps air out and has a terra cotta disk that fits on the lid. I’ve used it to soften brown sugar that was as hard as a rock. Sometimes I also wet the disk to keep the brown sugar soft. This is my favorite way to keep brown sugar soft and store it.

How to Soften Brown Sugar Quickly

How to Soften Brown Sugar in the Microwave:

This is the easiest and quickest way to soften brown sugar that has become hard. Just put your block of brown sugar in a bowl that can go in the microwave. Wet a paper towel and wring it out until it is barely damp. Put the paper towel over the brown sugar and microwave it for 20 seconds at a time, stirring it with a fork in between, until the sugar is back to its normal texture.

How to Soften Brown Sugar Without a Microwave:

This way will take a bit longer, but it will work! Put your hardened brown sugar in a plastic bag or container that will keep it safe. Then, put a slice of sandwich bread on top of the brown sugar and put the lid on the container or seal the bag if you’re using it. Let stand for at least 12 hours (or overnight).

This method works like magic. The bread’s moisture gets transferred to the brown sugar, making it soft again like it was before. You can also use apple slices with the same method. All you have to do is put one or two apple slices on top of the brown sugar and then use the same method as you did with the bread.

How to Soften Brown Sugar in the Oven:

Put the hardened pieces of brown sugar on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put it in the oven. Put the brown sugar in the oven at 250 degrees to warm it up. Every couple of minutes or so, check on the brown sugar and break it up with a fork until it’s soft.

Before you try to use the brown sugar in a recipe, let it cool down a bit. Remember that you don’t want to cook or melt the brown sugar, you just want to soften it, so don’t try to speed up the process by turning up the oven temperature.

If You Need It Right Now

If you want to make cookies that call for brown sugar right now, or if you want to sweeten your oatmeal with brown sugar then how to soften brown sugar? Put the brown sugar in a bowl that can go in the microwave and cover it with a damp paper towel. Melt the sugar in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time until it is soft. You can break up any clumps that are left with your fingers or a fork. When it’s done, the sugar will be very hot, so be careful when you touch it.

Invest in a Brown Sugar Saver Just As Bakers Do

Spend a few dollars on a brown sugar saver, which is a small piece of terra cotta stone that you wet and put in your brown sugar jar. This baker’s trick works because terracotta is porous and can hold water for a long time in an airtight container. In fact, you only need it every few months if you want your brown sugar to stay soft. You can also buy a Brown Sugar Saver on Amazon without leaving your house.

Why Shouldn’t You Bake with Hardened Brown Sugar? 

There are a lot of bad things about baking with hard brown sugar. First, it’s hard to measure correctly because hard brown sugar has turned into rocks. More importantly, hard brown sugar is hard, even if you can break it into pieces. This means that it won’t dissolve and mix evenly into your batter. When your baked goods come out of the oven, they may have brown sugar pellets in them. This is why brown sugar needs to be softened before baking.

Conclusion

Brown sugar tends to get hard and lumpy in the box, which makes it hard for home cooks to use. The fastest way to soften hard brown sugar is to put it on a damp paper towel and heat it in the microwave. You can also soften brown sugar in the oven or by leaving it out with a piece of bread or an apple overnight. Brown sugar should be kept in an airtight container with a piece of wet terracotta to keep it from getting hard in the first place.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Soften Brown Sugar  

Can I still use brown sugar that has hardened?

Is hard brown sugar still good? Yes, hard brown sugar still tastes good. Brown sugar is made of sugar crystals coated with molasses. When it dries out, the crystals stick together and the molasses hardens. All you have to do is add a little water and let the brown sugar soften again, and you’re good to go.

How do you soften brown sugar in a plastic bag?

Put your hardened brown sugar in a plastic bag or container that will keep it safe. Then, put a slice of sandwich bread on top of the brown sugar and put the lid on the container or seal the bag if you’re using it. Let stand for at least 12 hours (or overnight).

How do you make sugar soft again?

Here’s an easy way to soften granulated sugar that has become hard. Set the oven to its lowest setting, between 150 and 200 degrees. Take the sugar out of the package and put it in a bowl that can go in the oven. Put the dish in a warm oven for about 15 minutes. Use a spoon to tap the sugar.

How do you soften brown sugar without a paper towel?

Brown sugar is best when used within six months of when it was bought and opened. Brown sugar shouldn’t be kept in the fridge. But you might want to freeze it if you live in a very dry place or plan to keep it for a long time. Before you use frozen sugar, let it thaw, and use a fork to break up any clumps.

Does brown sugar expire?

The microwave is the fastest way to soften brown sugar, but your oven will also work fast. Wrap the brown sugar in aluminum foil and put it in a regular oven set to 250°F to soften it. The best way to use this method is to put a baking sheet under the foil in case any of the liquid gets out.

Why does my brown sugar get hard?

Granulated sugar will last forever, confectioners’ sugar for about 2 years, and brown sugar for about 18 months. When the water in brown sugar evaporates, it gets hard.

Why does my brown sugar get hard?

As the moisture in brown sugar evaporates, it gets harder. If you don’t store it right, what was once a soft, fluffy package of brown sugar granules will turn into a hard, brown lump that you could use to break windows.

How do you soften brown sugar overnight?

To soften brown sugar quickly, put it in a bowl that can go in the microwave and cover it with a damp paper towel for about 20 seconds, or use a food processor. If you have time, put a piece of bread or an apple with the brown sugar in an airtight container for 24 hours.

Does freezing brown sugar keep it soft?

But if you catch it in time, you can bring rock hard sugar back to life. Brown sugar can get hard, but you can keep it soft until you’re ready to use it by putting it in the freezer.

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