How to Soften Brown Sugar Immediately

Total Time
Prep 1 min
Cook 1 min

I got a great buy on organic brown sugar because it was hard as a rock. I'd heard you can throw in whole unpeeled apples or a slice of bread to soften it up, but I never got around to doing it and needed soft brown sugar right away. I couldn't wait a day or 2 to try these techniques. If you live in Idaho or Utah you become familiar with brown sugar that's hard-as-bricks--people in the humid south don't have this problem. A trick to try if your brown sugar is soft and you want to keep it that way--store it in the bottom vegetable bin inside the refrigerator. Your brown sugar will stay nice and soft. Courtesy of


  1. Place brown sugar into a bowl and place in microwave.
  2. Fill another bowl with water and place in microwave with brown sugar.
  3. Microwave for 1 minute and check brown sugar. If it is still hard, try it for 30 seconds longer.
  4. I actually softened my entire bag of brown sugar at one time and continued this method until it was softened. It took several minutes, and I broke it apart with my hands toward the end.
  5. If you are concerned about burning yourself with boiling water that explodes, throw a few toothpicks in your water to break the surface and allow the water to boil properly. (I did not try this method because I never think this way--that's why my nickname is Runs with Scissors). After I did this I read that water can be superheated and explode.
Most Helpful

I was in the middle of making oatmeal cookies and my brown sugar was hard, I tried this and it really works. Took me about 5 min to soften a cup of brown sugar. It was soft enough to crumble with my fingers. I will not forget this one. I did put the toothpicks in the water and all was okay. Thanks AmyZoe,

sheenalady November 28, 2012

I didn't do the entire bag of brown sugar, I just had a little and it seemed to work really well! Though definitely keep an eye on it, after the first minute, especially if you have a smaller amount.

iewe February 26, 2010