How to Substitute for Brown Sugar in Baking

If you’re in the middle of making up a batch of cookies or a cake, adding the ingredients as you work from a recipe in your cookbook, you may find that you are lacking something and need to make a substitution. If that something you are missing is brown sugar, there aren’t really a lot of options for substitution, but the method below works reasonably well.

Things You'll Need

  • Table sugar
  • Molasses
Mixing cookie dough
Mixing cookie dough (Image: sarahdoow/iStock/Getty Images)

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Step 1

Determine how many ounces of brown sugar you need by looking at the recipe. One cup of brown sugar equals 8 oz. by weight.

Step 2

Pour 1 oz. of table sugar and 1 tbsp. of molasses into a bowl for each ounce of brown sugar the recipe calls for, and mix thoroughly.

Spoon of molasses
Spoon of molasses (Image: Image Source White/Image Source/Getty Images)

Step 3

Add this mixture to the other ingredients at the point where the recipe calls for brown sugar.

Spoonful of sugar
Spoonful of sugar (Image: bchiku/iStock/Getty Images)


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