5 Ways to Soften Hardened Brown Sugar

soften-brown-sugarLast week I went to make some cookies for my husband.

He’s been working extra hard with these frigid temperatures and I wanted to give him some yummy to take along on his long work days.

As with many cookie recipes my recipe of choice called for a measured amount of brown sugar.

As I went to scoop out my brown sugar from it’s Costco sized bag my measuring cup hit a rock. A hard rock of brown sugar!


I had actually never had that happen before.

I’m usually pretty good about keeping my brown sugar nice and supple but there it was. Hard as a brick.

I even tried putting it into my 25 year old KitchenAid so sure I was that it’s powerful motor could cut through it.


Here I was stuck! I had the presence of mind to soften the butter but not the sugar! Aaarrgggh!

So what’s a girl to do? Soften the sugar of course.

So I took to the net as we are apt to do these days to find the best way to soften my brown sugar in a short amount of time. I was already tired and had no desire for something lengthy.

Here are 5 different ways I found to soften hardened brown sugar starting with the method I used.

1. Place in a warm oven: This site gives a tip for softening brown sugar without a microwave. In the oven. My preference was to not use the microwave so I used this tip. I had just finished cooking dinner so my oven was still nice and warm. I didn’t cover my sugar with anything. I just put a pan of brown sugar in the oven for a few minutes and voila! What temp to use? My oven was off but still warm not hot. Probably about 250F. Watch it carefully because you don’t want it to melt. Just soften. Mine took about 5 minutes.

2. Wrap in foil and placed in warm oven: Budget Savvy Diva has a similar tip for softening brown sugar. The same as above although instead of just in a pan you can put it wrapped in foil. Bake it at 300F for a 5 minutes and again Voila!

3. Microwave: If you do want to use the microwave that is also an option.  Place a microwave proof bowl of brown sugar in your microwave. Place a microwave proof bowl of water next to it. Microwave for 1 minute and check. If you need to do it some more microwave in 30 second increments but check it carefully. You know a microwave heats things from the inside so don’t over do it.

4. The Apple Method: You probably already know about this method but it doesn’t work as fast as the oven. If time is on your side place a piece or two of cut apple in a sealed bag or container with your brown sugar. Remember to check it and take out the apple in a day or two.

5. Slice of Bread: Another old fashioned tip that works well. Put a piece of sliced bread in the bag or air tight container with your hardened sugar. A day or two later take the bread out and your sugar should be soft. I did this with the big Costco sized bag. I truthfully almost forgot about it but 2 days later something my daughter said jogged my memory.


Brown Sugar Disc: Do you bake a lot? If brown sugar is one of those staples that you like to keep around it may be worth it to keep a Brown Sugar Disc. These are just terra cotta discs that you soak in water and then use to keep your brown sugar softened. You need to re-soak them periodically. You can find these on Amazon or any cooking store.


So there you have it! 5 Different ways to soften up your brown sugar. Two you can do for immediate results and 3 you can use for long term results.

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