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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 CupcakesAndCrinoline.com

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 cupcakesandcrinoline.com

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 cupcakesandcrinoline.com 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 cupcakesandcrinoline.com 4
The 20-Second Tip to Soften Brown Sugar from cupcakesandcrinoline.com

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

The 20-Second Tip to Soften Brown Sugar from cupcakesandcrinoline.com

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 cupcakesandcrinoline.com

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

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  1. great tip! I also do not micro anything in plastic either! I'm always telling my kids not to!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Years ago I didn't realize how dangerous plastic was. I feel sick about all the times I used it UGH!

  2. Now that I know the secret it will take the suspense out of who will get the hard knob of brown sugar in their cookie.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Maybe you could throw a random pebble in the batter just to keep everyone on their toes! 😉

  3. This is a great idea and really does work! A preventive measure that I've been using for years now is a small clay disk that I purchased at BBB that you soak in water and then simply keep in your brown sugar container. I don't use a lot of brown sugar, so this works so well for me. I never have rock-hard brown sugar anymore.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      I'll have to buy one of those discs, Carol. Thanks for sharing that tip with me.

  4. Yay!! I needed this tip! I have a whole container full of hard brown sugar. I can't wait to use your tip MaryBeth. Thanks so much.
    Make it a great weekend.

  5. Diana Petrillo says:

    Just tried it!! Worked fantastically--one container of hard brown sugar down, two to go 🙂 Thanks Mary Beth.
    Visiting via Thurs. Favorite Things,

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Yay!!! Thanks so much for letting me know it worked, Diana. Have a wonderful weekend.

  6. Inspire Me Heather says:

    Thanks Mary Beth, I didn't know this tip!!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      You're welcome, Heather~ I was happy it worked. I hate throwing good food out.

  7. Mary Beth says:

    That's a great tip, Lynette! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing it. Have a wonderful week.

  8. Get tip...if you're not in a hurry you can put a slice of bread in container overnight...can be done as prevention too. (Bread gets rock hard but sugar is soft. ?

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thanks so much for the tip, Mary! I appreciate it.

  9. Gary Vinzant says:

    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!!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      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.

  10. 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!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      I am so glad the tip was helpful, Heather!

  11. No venting when you put the plate on it?

    1. Mary Beth says:

      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.

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

  13. 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.

  14. Put one grape in your brown sugar bag, it keeps it soft. It will need replaced when it's shriveled like a raisin.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you for this great tip, Mary! I can't wait to try it.

  15. Linda Mullins says:

    I put a slice of soft bread into my container when the brown sugar hardens. Leave overnight or for several hours and the sugar will be soft when the bread is removed.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much for the great tip, Linda!