in the kitchen

How to Soften Brown Sugar

Go Gingham: How to soften brown sugar

This question comes from my dear friend (notice how I didn’t say “old friend”) Annie Kip, from Needham, Massachusetts.  Annie’s question involves brown sugar.

“I have a brand new bag of dark brown sugar which has become nearly rock hard. Do you have any ideas for what to do with this – I hate to throw it out!”

Don’t throw it out!  Place your brown sugar in an air-tight container and add a slice of bread to the container.  Place the bread on the top of the brown sugar.  By the next day, you should find your sugar softened and your bread should be hard.  I like to use whole wheat bread for this task.  If no one in your family likes the heel, this would be an excellent use for the heel of the loaf.  Many times, half a slice will work but in your case, I’d put the entire slice into the container.  This same technique works for cookies that are getting hard in your cookie jar.  Add it to your cookie jar and the bread will keep your home-made cookies nice and soft.  I wish I could explain the science behind this (because I’m sure there is some!) but this method does  work.  When the bread is completely solid, I feed it to my chickens.  They’re pretty happy with any people food!

What’s your trick for keeping brown sugar soft?

Go Gingham related links:

What to do with honey that’s hardened
Refrigerator basics for a home cook
Pantry basics for a home cook
Betsy’s best brownies – our chicken who is no longer with us
Healthy and tasty chocolate chip cookies – yes, with flax seeds and chocolate chips!
Delicious cake to make with apples – excellent cake

10 thoughts on “How to Soften Brown Sugar

  1. I’ve used this method for years; it always works! A slice of apple works too! The sugar absorbs the moisture released from the bread/apple in the air-tight container.

    Great post Sara! I just recently found your site and have quietly observed but I’m off to subscribe now!


    1. Oh, great idea, Maria! I hadn’t heard about the apple trick but that does make sense. I’m guessing my chickens would eat the hardened up apple, too! Thanks for the comment.


  2. Best trick ever! I use it all the time (well… every time I need to use it!). Sometimes when the brown sugar gets really hard it takes a day or so to get soft again, but it will always work!

    Sent over from TCB – You’ve been featured!


  3. Sara,
    Yes, this does work…we’ve used it for years. I’m stopping in from Kim’s blog ~ Today’s Creative Blog. She sings your praises. Blessings


  4. Another possibility to keep brown sugar soft – actually two. The last time I bought brown sugar it came in large amounts. Knowing it could turn into a brick and was difficult to deal with, I repackaged it into quart canning jargs. It seems with the better seal, it has stayed soft to the bottom. The other way is to obtain a very small terra cotta flower pot or a shard of one. After thoroughly cleaning it, soak it in water and put it into the jar or package of brown sugar. Presto!

    Just found you from The Non-Consumer Advocate and Katy. Thanks.


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