Homemade Brown Sugar

Joined Dec 1, 2009
I would like to make my own brown sugar, however, I wanted to know if anyone had thoughts as to whether homemade is better than store bought. Also, if I make my own brown sugar will it change the flavor of my cakes and pastries?

Joined Feb 13, 2008
"Homemade" brown sugar is simply white sugar with molasses; while factory made brown sugar is simply white sugar with molasses.  In other words, alla time same same. 

It's a little cheaper to do it yourself, and it means less checking and stocking the panty.  Neither of those things are enough to make a difference.  Also, if it's the sort of do-ahead project where you're going to store 5 or 10 lbs of brown sugar you're going to need to dry it out -- which means planning ahead.

The big benefit of doing it yourself is gaining absolute control of how "dark" you choose to make the brown sugar -- and that's a very good thing.

Joined Jan 10, 2010
It would seem that using different molasseses would give different flavor profiles as well.

So, curiosity compells me to ask, how would one incorporate the molasses into the sugar?  Is heat part of the process?  How would the heat effect the white sugar?  It would seem that there's more to this than just pouring some molasses onto a pile of white sugar and mixing the mess together.  What's involved in the drying process?

OK - checked the web and found this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpyAyBan_N0   as well as other techniques.  It sure is easy.  Now my question is storage.  Will this home made brown sugar store well?  Is there more to the process if you're going to store the sugar for any length of time?
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Joined Feb 13, 2008
Regular brown sugar doesn't store well after it's opened.  It clumps into bricks.  Homemade brown sugar doesn't store well either.  However, molasses does store well, and so does granulated sugar.  So, there's no reason to store binary brown sugar as long as you keep the two primaries on hand (a little chem jargon, just for kicks). 

Anyway, one of the cool thing about DIY brown sugar is adjusting it on the fly while another is not worrying about clumps.  Just add the sugar to the dry, and hold the molasses until you mix the other wets in.  Taste to adjust and voila!  Or is it viola?

Joined Aug 13, 2006
To make brown sugar, don't you have to first move to within some degrees of latitude from the equator, grow a nice crop of sugar cane, get a bunch of machetes and cut the sugar cane, chop it up and boil it etc. etc etc?

Is brown sugar that's sold in the stores actually just refined white sugar with molasses added??? 

I buy a kind in health food stores here that's called "panela" which claims to be the original (lumpy) sugar from which molasses and refined white sugar are derived.  When i put it in the blender, it comes out pretty much like the soft brown sugar sold in the states.  I just thought the factories had better ways to crush the lumps. 

Before i found the panela i either had to lug brown sugar from the states or use the molasses-and-white-sugar method.  But i thought the american brown sugar was sugar before it was refined.  You've destroyed my belief in mankind, BDL!
Joined Sep 5, 2008
Is brown sugar that's sold in the stores actually just refined white sugar with molasses added??? 
Most of it, yes. There are exceptions such as Rapadura, Demerara, Turbinado, Muscovado, etc... those are the "real" brown sugars. Not sure about panela.
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