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7 Baking Tips: How to Soften Brown Sugar That is Hard

Updated on April 13, 2020

Brown Sugar: Harder than a Rolling Stone

Imagine the following unfortunate scenario...

You have prepared everything to make your favorite recipe. The pots and pans are ready. The oven reaches the perfect temperature. Then, you open your bag of brown sugar only to discover that it is as hard as a rock!

7 Quick and Natural Baking Tips for Hard Sugar

How can you bake anything with a pound of solidified brown sugar?

Well, before you get out a hammer and chisel, there are a few better solutions that you should try first. To begin, let’s look at four quick softening remedies and conclude with three natural methods that need more patience.

Learning how to soften brown sugar is not as hard as it looks.
Learning how to soften brown sugar is not as hard as it looks. | Source

How to Soften Brown Sugar Quickly

Are you in a hurry to start baking right away?

Here are four effective ideas for softening brown sugar quickly. These faster options require some common kitchenware, such as a blender, a microwave, or a conventional oven.

1. Blender

This first method uses a blender—or food processor if you have the luxury of one.

Put the hardened sugar into your blender. If the lump of sugar is more like a giant boulder, simply use a metal fork to chop some of it off to form smaller pieces.

Once you have the desired amount in the blender, turn it on using the “chop” or “pulse” setting. Blend the sugar for 5 to 10 seconds. After blending, you will have a nice mound of soft blended brown sugar to bake with.

2. Microwave with Wet Paper Towel

Another method for softening brown sugar is to nuke it in a microwave.

Get a microwave-safe bowl with a lid. Next, wrap a wet paper towel around the lump of hardened sugar. Place the wrapped sugar into the bowl and seal it with the lid.

Microwave it for about 20 to 30 seconds. After that, take it out to see if it has softened. If not, repeat the process for another 20 to 30 seconds. Eventually, you will get the desired result.

3. Microwave with Bowl of Water

As an alternative to the paper-towel technique, try using two bowls instead of one.

Put the lump of brown sugar into one bowl and fill the second bowl with water. Turn on the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. Open the microwave door to see if the sugar has softened. If not, continue the heating cycle until you get it soft enough.

Remember, be cautious not to overheat the sugar since it could melt.

4. Conventional Oven

Some people prefer to avoid using microwaves if they can. This alternative method for softening brown sugar uses a standard conventional oven instead.

First, get a baking pan. Second, set the temperature somewhere between 200 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature is reached, place the lump of hardened sugar on the baking pan and put it in the oven.

Bake it for about 5 minutes and check to see if it has softened. If it hasn’t, leave it in the oven for a bit longer and check it again.

Use a conventional oven to soften brown sugar quickly.
Use a conventional oven to soften brown sugar quickly. | Source

POLL: Softening Brown Sugar Quickly

Which quick technique is your favorite?

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How to Make Brown Sugar Soften Naturally

Do you have more time on your hands?

If you are not in a rush to soften the brown sugar, there are some natural techniques that will work too. However, keep in mind, these methods will take a few days to get the desired results.

5. Water in a Sealed Bag

Put the lump of sugar in a plastic bag (or an airtight container). Sprinkle a small amount of water onto the sugar. Be careful not to douse it too heavily. You just want to moisten the sugar a little. Then, seal the bag tightly so that no air can get in. After 24 hours, when you open the bag up, the sugar should be softened naturally.

6. Moist Cloth on a Container

Place the hardened sugar into a container without a lid. Then, put a moist cloth over the container. Leave the cloth on top of the container for about 24 hours. The next day, remove the cloth to use your softened sugar.

7. Apples in a Container

This option is a bit unusual, but still quite effective. Slice up an apple and put the apple slices into an airtight container. Place the lump of sugar into the container with the apple slices. Within a day or two, the moisture from the apple will eventually soften the sugar. Remember to dispose of the apple slices afterward!

Use apple slices to soften brown sugar naturally.
Use apple slices to soften brown sugar naturally. | Source

POLL: Softening Brown Sugar Naturally

Which natural technique is your favorite?

See results

Extra Tips on How to Soften Brown Sugar

Do you have any baking tips or additional advice about how to soften sugar?

Please leave a comment in the discussion section.

VIDEO: How to Soften Brown Sugar Quickly


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    • Essy T profile image


      14 months ago from Jamaica

      Wow ! I had no idea there were so many options available to do this ! Now I don't have to throw away my sugar anymore !!


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