How to de-clump brown sugar…in the microwave!

Did you know you can microwave rock-hard brown sugar and it will turn soft and sprinkly and delicious again? True story.
I'm sure we've all heard the tip where you can put a slice of bread in an airtight container of clumpy brown sugar and it will turn soft again (it really works, try it sometime!). Well, sure. But what happens if you're like me (a chronic non-preparer when baking) and need the brown sugar to be bake-ready ASAP?


There is a solution, folks.


The other night I was baking cookies (which is RARE because there is just about nothing more I hate in this life than baking. My poor, poor husband…). I was cruising right along, patting myself on the back that I hadn't epically failed during the recipe yet.
…and then I did it. The thing. The-worlds-most-annoying-thing-that-seems-to-happen-to-me-every-time-I-bake-and-I-just-can't-seem-to-learn-my-lesson thing.


…I got halfway through baking and realized I had no brown sugar.


I scoured my pantry and cupboards and only came up with a 1/5 bag of rock hard nastiness.
I called my neighbor in a panic, ready to borrow (yet another) cup of brown sugar. Then she changed my life. 
No, really.
Here's what you do:
  1. Put your clumpy brown sugar in the microwave. Start with about 45 seconds.
  2. Do 30 second increments until it's sift-able again!
  3. I used my fingers to break it up, but she said a fork works too.
The longer it sat it started getting clumpy again, but if you do it right as you're ready to toss it into a recipe it works like a champ!


Brown sugar? Conquered it like a boss.
Now, if only I could bake a normal looking cookie. Ever.



  1. AvatarJanet says

    That's a good tip, mine is always hard by the time I go to use it (not often enough I guess). I know that a person can make their own brown sugar by mixing molasses and sugar, which I haven't tried but will sometime.

  2. AvatarDavi says

    I make my own brown sugar. Super easy and super cheap. 2 cups plain white sugar and 2-3 TBS molasses. Mix and mix and mix. I put it in my stand mixer and let it go, scraping down the sides every now and then until it is nice soft brown sugar. I LOVE baking and am constantly out of ingredients in the middle of a recipe. This is one that I can just whip up some more of and don't have to worry. Unless I ever run out of molasses, that would be a tragedy! 🙂

  3. Avatarsarah says

    Great tip! I just keep the end pieces of a loaf of bread in the brown sugar container. It doesn't get moldy or anything. Just leave them it there, it'll be fine. And that way it's always un-clumpy. 🙂

  4. AvatarMelissa says

    These are great tips! I, too, have had clumped brown sugar. I know what to do now. Usually, I would just pound it with the tenderizing mallet but these tips sound much easier! Thanks folks!

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