Learn the difference between light brown sugar and dark brown sugar and when you can (and can’t) swap them.

Light Brown Dark Brown Sugar by The BakerMama

What’s the difference between light brown sugar and dark brown sugar?

Brown sugar is made up of refined white sugar with molasses added to it. Molasses has an intense, rich flavor that’s caramel-like. The color of brown sugar is determined by the amount of molasses it contains. The more molasses, the darker the sugar. Dark brown sugar has twice the molasses of its lighter counterpart.

More Tips and Tricks

Are they Interchangeable?

Sometimes! In baking, swapping light brown sugar when the recipe calls for dark brown sugar may produce lighter product with a less rich taste. The more brown sugar called for in the recipe, the more the taste will be affected by the swap.

Molasses is also a little acidic (and reacts with alkaline baking soda) so you could see cookies that spread a little more during baking. Making cookies for the kids? Use what you’ve got on hand. Those tastebuds won’t notice the difference. But if you’re baking for a special occasion, you’ll want to use the same sugar called for in the recipe.

Hope this helps! Enjoy! ❤️


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About The BakerMama

Maegan is the author of her best-selling Beautiful Boards, Spectacular Spreads and Brilliant Bites cookbooks. She started blogging in 2012 and features hundreds of original recipes on The BakerMama. She truly enjoys sharing her easy, family-friendly recipes, creative meal ideas, food board creations, and entertaining spreads to encourage others to get in the kitchen and make something memorable for their loved ones to enjoy together. Learn More

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