. 14 They have a different ratio of white sugar to molasses. Dark brown sugar is made and used the same way as light brown sugar, but contains a higher level of molasses. Therefore, dark brown sugar is more hygroscopic, and will have a deeper molasses flavor (and color, obviously) They're pretty similar, and you can usually get away with replacing one with the other, but if you want subtle flavors coming through, dark brown sugar might mask it. This helps dark brown sugar have a deeper, more complex flavor that’s closer to toffee or caramel. Be sure to download our complete guide here! Molasses is a natural by-product of the sugar-making process. The biggest difference between brown sugar and white sugar is perhaps the taste and flavor. Replace each cup of packed light brown sugar with 2/3 cup of packed dark brown sugar and 1/3 cup white sugar. You can pulse the mixture together in a food processor or simply mix the ingredients into your recipe. Help them thrive even when the temperature drops. It works well in cakes, gingerbread, pickles and chutneys. Brown sugar is simply granulated "white" sugar that has been combined with pure cane molasses. The difference between light and dark brown sugar is the amount of molasses that each contains, with the dark containing slightly more. It's made by mixing together refined white sugar with a small amount of molasses (something you can DIY in a pinch at home). Yes, but not really. Most brown sugar available in supermarkets is refined white sugar that has molasses added after refining. Because of the molasses, brown sugar has more moisture in it than granulated sugar (which is why you’re able to pack it). The dark brown sugar cookies also tasted more of molasses, but that's because brown sugar is the main flavoring agent and it's not competing with other ingredients. (I want to get that out there because no matter how many years go by, no matter how many cakes, cookies, and breads I make, I still manage to have the "oh s%&$" moment because I started a recipe without all the ingredients in the house.) Martha Stewart may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on To understand what brown sugar is, you have to look at how sugar—like the granulated white table sugar your grandmother stole packets of from the diner—is made. To turn sugarcane into refined table sugar, the stalks are cut then crushed with rollers until juice is extracted. That's turbinado sugar.) Here's the lowdown on these two most popular brown sugars. Light brown sugar has a delicate flavor while dark brown sugar has a stronger more intense molasses flavor. A molasses-to-sugar ratio of 1:3 will give you a dark brown sugar, and 1:6 will give you light brown sugar, like the standard kind you buy in supermarkets. In fact, most brown sugar is a mixture of white sugar and molasses, which is a type of sugar-derived syrup. The difference between light and dark brown sugar is simply the amount of molasses each contains. Molasses is hygroscopic, meaning that it likes to hang on to moisture. It's less refined than the white sugar used to create both light and brown sugar and is the subject of debate among nutritionists about which type of sugar is better for you. The Difference Between Light Brown Sugar and Dark Brown Sugar | Yankee Kitchen Pixabay The “brown” in these sugars is a carefully designed form of molasses, added at the end of processing (rather than leftover from the beginning, as many people seem to think). We reserve the right to delete off-topic or inflammatory comments. Martha Stewart is part of the Meredith Home Group. Along with the increased amount of molasses comes a deeper, darker color, slightly more moisture and acidity, and a stronger flavor … You can make an effective substitute for light brown sugar by combining dark brown sugar with refined white sugar. Carrie Mullins is the former national editor at Serious Eats, with a focus on all things sweet. Item price. Plus, we have the scoop on that "add corn syrup to the water" myth. Dark brown sugar has a very strong molasses flavor, while light brown sugar is a little drier and has a much milder flavor. How Are Dark and Light Brown Sugars Different? RELATED: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLOUR, FROM ALL-PURPOSE TO WHOLE-WHEAT. That doesn't mean they're identical. Turbinado sugar is less processed than brown sugar and is the immediate result of the first pressing of sugar cane. £2.80 / kg. The sugar in the syrup is crystalized, and you end up with a big old vat of raw sugar crystals (which will be further refined into white sugar) covered in molasses. Dark brown sugar has 6.5 percent content of molasses while light brown sugar only has 3.5 percent content. (Ever used a raw sugar packet at a coffee shop? For dark brown sugar, that amount is nearly doubled—6.5% molasses! Daily baking inspiration for the holidays and beyond! Because dark brown sugar contains more molasses, it weighs more, contains more moisture, and is more acidic. The lower proportion of molasses in light brown sugar means that it has a milder flavor, while dark brown sugar has a more intense flavor. 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