You must store brown sugar in an airtight container in a warm and moist location. If the brown sugar is not stored properly, it becomes hard and forms into lumps. Once the brown sugar hardens, it is difficult to add the appropriate amount of sugar to recipes, and it might not incorporate correctly. Fortunately, you can soften the brown sugar quickly and temporarily so that you can use it instead of throwing it away.
Using the Microwave to Soften Brown Sugar
Dampen a white paper towel so that it feels moist. Avoid using a dripping wet paper towel.
Place the desired amount of brown sugar into a microwave-safe container.
Cover the container with the damp paper towel.
Heat the brown sugar on high for 30 seconds.
Check the brown sugar after 30 seconds. Continue to heat the brown sugar for 30-second intervals until it softens completely.
Remove the microwave-safe container. Use the brown sugar immediately because it will harden once it cools.
Using an Oven to Soften Brown Sugar
Heat an oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the hardened brown sugar onto a baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet into the heated oven for a few minutes.
Watch the brown sugar carefully because it will soften quickly.
Remove the brown sugar once it softens. Use the brown sugar immediately because it will harden when it cools.
The brown sugar will be very hot when you remove it from the microwave or oven.