How to Make Brown Sugar Soft Fast


Brown sugar can be used to make cookies, cakes and pies, and can even be found in main courses. Unfortunately, brown sugar can harden over time, making it difficult to measure for recipes. For future reference, store brown sugar in an airtight container with a clay disc. This will keep the sugar soft for months. A clay disc--also known as a brown sugar softener--can be purchased at department and cooking stores nationwide. To use it, you just soak it in water for 20 minutes, pat it dry with a towel, and place it inside the bag or container with the brown sugar. But if you are stuck with only hard brown sugar on hand, there are a few tricks that will soften it fast.

Things You'll Need

  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Microwave
  • Spoon
  • Oven
  • Baking dish
  • Bowl
  • Aluminum foil or plastic wrap
  • Damp paper towels
  • Airtight container

Microwave Method

  • Fill a microwave safe bowl with 1 cup of water.

  • Put the bowl inside the microwave.

  • Set the open bag of brown sugar beside the bowl in the microwave.

  • Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring the brown sugar with a spoon every 30 seconds. When the sugar has softened, remove it from the microwave.

Oven Method

Overnight Method

  • Put the brown sugar in a bowl.

  • Cover the brown sugar with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

  • Place a damp--not soggy--paper towel on top of the foil or plastic wrap.

  • Put the covered brown sugar and paper towel into an airtight container and seal.

  • Allow it to sit overnight.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the brown sugar immediately if you soften it in the oven or microwave because once it cools, the brown sugar will harden again.
  • Watch the brown sugar carefully when using the oven or microwave method to soften it, because if it cooks too long, it will melt.

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  • Photo Credit spoonful of sugar image by Brett Mulcahy from
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