How to Soften Brown Sugar Quickly

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We’ve all been there: you’re ready to whip up a delicious cookie recipe or a Thanksgiving dessert, only to find your brown sugar couldn’t be tougher. Frustrating, we know, but no stress! There are a few quick and easy ways to get that rock-hard brown sugar so it’s soft, manageable, and delicious. No need for substitutes or tossing that bag because we’re sharing how to soften brown sugar when needed! These quick and easy tips will have you whipping up your favorite pecan pies and fall desserts with that deep molasses flavor in no time. The best of all? We even have tips on the best ways to store your brown sugar, so you never have to worry about it getting hard again.

Why does brown sugar harden?

Brown sugar hardens when exposed to outside air. The molasses in brown sugar adds moisture, giving it that soft sand-like texture and sweet caramel flavor. When the bag is opened and exposed, the outside air will dry out the moisture, turning the molasses and sugar mixture into a hard brick. The simple key to reviving your star ingredient? Add this necessary moisture! If you need to get your brown sugar back to its soft, sweet state, read on.

How to soften brown sugar in the microwave:

Really in a hurry? The microwave is your best bet for softening your brown sugar in just minutes. Place your hard sugar block in a microwave-safe bowl and place a damp paper towel over it. Make sure any excess water has been drained from the towel. Then microwave the sugar at 20-second intervals — occasionally loosening up any lumps with a fork as you go — until it regains its soft texture. Be careful not to put it in the microwave for too long, otherwise the sugar may start to melt and harden again once cooled.

How to soften brown sugar in the oven:

Softening brown sugar in the oven only takes a few minutes. Preheat your oven to 250℉, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add your block of brown sugar and pop it in the oven, checking it every few minutes and breaking it up occasionally with a fork until soft. We recommend letting it cool completely before using it in a recipe. Tip: Avoid trying to speed up the process by increasing the temperature of your oven! Too much heat could melt the brown sugar, making it as tough and sticky as before.

How to soften brown sugar with bread:

If you have enough time to soften your sugar overnight, consider using the magic of bread slices to soften your brown sugar. Put your block of hard brown sugar in a food container or airtight bag and cover it with a slice of bread. Seal the bag (or container) and let it sit overnight (at least 12 hours), before checking the mixture. So ! The sliced ​​bread adds moisture back to the brown sugar, restoring its soft, chewy texture.


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How to properly store brown sugar:

To prevent a bag of fresh brown sugar from hardening, be sure to store it properly. Store the ingredient in an airtight, airtight container. For added reassurance, put the brown sugar in a resealable plastic bag first (with the air all squeezed out) before placing it in your airtight container.

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