Baker’s recipe for brown sugar ‘saves a fortune’ at just 89p per kilogram

Brown sugar makes baked goods more moist than white sugar because it contains molasses, which is why it’s preferred for things like loaf cakes and cookies.

While it’s readily available in almost every grocery store, there’s no need to buy brown sugar from supermarkets, according to Nancy Birtwhistle, former Great British Bake Off star and author of the Green Gardening Handbook.

She said: “This time of the year you might find yourself putting brown sugar on your shopping list if you want to make a Christmas cake or a Christmas pudding or your own mince meat or toffee…

“But when you have a look you’ll see that brown sugar is four times the price of granulated.

“So we are going to save a fortune because we’re going to make our own.”

READ MORE: Princess Diana’s most loved dessert is a British Sunday staple – recipe

According to Nancy’s calculations, plastic-packaged supermarket brown sugar costs £.275p per kilogram, while her recipe comes in at just 89p per kilogram.

And it couldn’t be easier to whip up using just two ingredients that are likely already lurking in the pantry or baking cupboard – so it’s a great solution for being caught short mid-bake.


  • 200g granulated sugar

  • 25g black treacle (molasses)

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How to make brown sugar

Start by measuring out the ingredients and place both of them in a large, heat-proof mixing bowl.

This should be microwave or oven-safe as the next step is to heat the mixture up. There’s no need to stir the sugar and treacle together beforehand as the heat will do its job.

All it takes is 15 seconds in the microwave or oven to slightly melt the sticky treacle, at which point the bowl can be removed.

Then, rub the two ingredients together by hand to create that perfectly crumbly texture brown sugar is known for.

Continue to do so until the mixture resembles a thick, sweet, and sandy product.

Nancy showed the “perfect” end results in a short video on her Instagram (@nancy.birtwhistle), in which she claimed that there is an added benefit of swapping shop-bought brown sugar for homemade.

She said: “Pop it into a jar with a lid and unlike the shop-bought alternative, it doesn’t go into a hard lump… gorgeous!”

As with all jarred goods, the container should be clean and bone dry before being filled to prevent any moisture or mould growth.

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