How to Properly Measure White & Brown Sugar

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The molasses in brown sugar gives it a sweeter taste than white sugar.
The molasses in brown sugar gives it a sweeter taste than white sugar. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Whether you're an avid home baker trying out a new recipe, or a baking newbie attempting to make your first batch of cookies, you'll find that inaccurate measurements of ingredients can sometimes make or break a recipe. Both white sugar and brown sugar are common baking ingredients, yet the two cannot be measured in the same way because they do not yield the same amount of sugar per pound. One pound of white sugar yields 2 cups of sugar, while one pound of brown sugar yields 2 1/4 cups.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring spoons or dry measuring cups
  • White sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter knife
  • Spoon

White Sugar

Select the measuring spoon or dry measuring cup you need for the recipe.

Scoop a heap of white sugar into the measuring cup.

Place the measuring cup at eye level and slide the knife across the top to remove excess sugar.

Brown Sugar

Select a measuring cup based on how much brown sugar the recipe calls for.

Pour brown sugar into the measuring cup, filling it to the top.

Pack down the brown sugar firmly with the back of a spoon or your fingers. Add more brown sugar and pack it down until the cup is filled with firmly packed brown sugar.

Hold the cup at eye level and slide the butter knife across the top to remove excess brown sugar.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the brown sugar is lumpy, place it between two pieces of waxed paper and roll over it with a rolling pin to flatten out the lumps.

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