The Waste-Free Baking Cupboard: Brown Sugar

These days, I still have a few challenges sourcing certain items in bulk. In some cases the store where they are sold does not accept outside containers or do not tare them, or the stores that do accept outside containers do not carry the items. Brown sugar is one of those items. You could certainly buy it from Superstore, but you would wind up paying the weight of your container as well. Bulk Barn is another option, but they have a policy against bringing your own container.

I have read a few times on various websites that people make their own brown sugar using just plain sugar and molasses, and I thought I would give it a try. Of course, this would be a better bulk recipe if I had a source for bulk molasses, but a few years ago Fair Trade molasses was on sale somewhere, so I have had a surplus of it ever since. I do think you can buy molasses in bulk at Bulk Barn and their container would be recyclable, but I have not been there in a long time, so I cannot confirm.

Either way, if you bake reasonably often, you likely have molasses in your kitchen anyway.  This avoids an extra plastic bag by using something that is otherwise on-hand for other purposes. The sugar you can buy in bulk at Community Natural Foods or Sunnyside Market.

To make brown sugar, just mix one cup of brown sugar with one tablespoon of molasses. I used a food processor which made this easy.

Then store the brown sugar in an air-tight container as you normally would.

We used this to make cupcakes last week and it worked great. It may be the molasses I had, but it made a very dark brown sugar. Feel free to use less molasses to make a lighter sugar.

Do you have a source for bulk molasses? Leave a comment!


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