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The 20-Second Tip to Soften Brown Sugar

How To Soften Brown Sugar Easily

How to Soften Brown Sugar fast! Popular Pin from

In the Kitchen

Have you ever had a bag of brown sugar, one that you had never even opened and yet when you went to use it in a recipe it was hard as a rock?  If you answered yes to that I am here to help you.  I had that happen to me the other day.  I was making a Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce for some ribs and my brand new bag of brown sugar was hard…..rock like….hard as a brick.  I was really frustrated but remembered a tip I had come across to make brown sugar soft.  I had nothing to lose so I gave it a try and it worked!

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The tip I read said to do this in a plastic bag but I didn’t want to nuke food in plastic so I used a glass measuring cup instead and it worked like a charm.

The Easy Way to Soften Rock Hard Brown Sugar

How to soften brown sugar fast! From rock hard to skily soft in 20 seconds. Popular pin from

First, place the hard and lumpy brown sugar in a glass, microwave-safe, container.  I used a glass measuring cup.

The 20-Second Tip to Soften Brown Sugar how-to-soften-brown-sugar from 3

Next, dampen a paper towel with water.  I wet my towel and then squeezed it out.  You want it damp but not soggy.

The 20-Second Tip to Soften Brown Sugar how-to-soften-brown-sugar from 4
The 20-Second Tip to Soften Brown Sugar from

Place the dampened paper towel on top of the brown sugar.

The 20-Second Tip to Soften Brown Sugar from

Cover your bowl with a lid or plate that is microwave-safe.

Place your covered glass container in the microwave on high for 20 seconds.

The 20-Second Tip to Soften Brown Sugar from

Remove from microwave and stir with a fork breaking up the brown sugar chunks.  This will not be hard to do as they are now soft chunks, not hard.

If necessary, repeat the cycle until all of the large, hard chunks are gone.   I had to do this 3 times for my bag of brown sugar but it worked great and was so worth it. 

You now have soft brown sugar that you can use in your recipe!

Do you have a favorite tip for keeping your brown sugar soft?

hugs, mb new logo March 2016


Sunday 24th of January 2021

before storing the brown sugar, place a slice of bread inside the bag and sill it closed. your brown sugar will be soft when your ready to use it. you will find the bread hard like crust. try it.... you'll like it.


Sunday 17th of January 2021

I find keeping my brown sugar in an airtight container prevents the sugar from hardening. Have done it this way for years without problems.


Tuesday 15th of December 2020

No venting when you put the plate on it?

Mary Beth

Friday 18th of December 2020

Hi Sykvia, I used a measuring cup with a spout that allows for venting but if you are using a bowl I would keep the plate slightly askew.


Wednesday 13th of May 2020

Two prevention tips: 1) place a piece of bread in the bag and seal tight; and 2) place in a zip baggie in the fridge. Yesterday when making cookies, I found the brown sugar in the pantry opened no bread so this was perfect timing. Thanks!

Mary Beth

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

I am so glad the tip was helpful, Heather!

Gary Vinzant

Thursday 9th of May 2019

Mary Beth Thank You for the great tip!! I have put up with hard brown sugar for years & this worked very well!!! I just received my Terra Cotta Disk from Amazon yesterday & I will use it & see just how well it works!!

Mary Beth

Friday 10th of May 2019

Hi Gary. Thanks so much for letting me know this worked for you and I'm curious to know how the terra cotta disk does as well. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.