Reviving rock hard brown sugar?

I want to make a peach crumble, but my brown sugar is rock solid. Any tricks or tips on how to make it usable?

  • Posted by: Natalie
  • September 6, 2015


Kristen W. September 8, 2015
Thanks POLC, I didn't know that sugar acted like salt in that way. Good to know.
PieceOfLayerCake September 8, 2015
Sugar is hygroscopic, which means it has an atomic affinity for water and vice versa. Because of that it will draw moisture out of porous materials that are less hygroscopic. Salt acts in a similar, albeit more efficient way.
passifloraedulis September 8, 2015
Wet a paper towel, squeeze out the excess water, and fasten it on the brown sugar container with a rubber band.
Kristen W. September 8, 2015
Curious, can anyone explain the science behind the bread thing? I've never heard this before!
702551 September 8, 2015
Fresh bread has moisture. That's really what you're trying to add to the hard brown sugar. The apple slice does the same thing. There are other advice like adding a moistened wet paper towel, etc.

If you leave bread out in the open, it gets stale. It's not rotting, it's simply drying out. You can accomplish a similar effect by toasting your bread.
rt21 September 7, 2015
Put in a shallow dish and add a slice of bread... Cover Leave overnight .... When storing add a fresh slice of bread , will keep sugar soft, replenish as soon as bread hardens
boulangere September 7, 2015
I agree, Layla. The microwave will lend an immediate softness which will dissipate as soon as the sugar cools, and the crystals harden to an even firmer consistency than at the beginning. On the other hand, brown sugar is relatively inexpensive, so if you have time to dash to a nearby market, Natalie, that may be the easiest solution.

When our servers at work cover the brown sugar dispenser that sits near the oatmeal on the breakfast bar, they place a fresh slice of bread on the surface, then wrap it securely in plastic. As noted, a slice of apple works, too.
Layla September 7, 2015
Put it in an oven proof dish, put it in the oven on a temp like 250-300. Then place a dish with water on a lower rack. The water will start to evaporate and soften the sugar. Works every time, just be sure not to leave it in too long.
Smaug September 6, 2015
A real man would use a hammer.

Voted the Best Reply!

702551 September 6, 2015
If you have a day or two, put in a slice of apple and reseal the container.

Microwaving is a quick fix if you want to use the sugar right away.
PieceOfLayerCake September 6, 2015
You could try microwaving it for 10 seconds, kneading it between your fingers and continuing the process until its softer. If you have white sugar and molasses, you could whip up some homemade brown sugar (1 c. sugar: 2 T. molasses)....I tend to prefer it to store bought.
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