In some forms, molasses are retained naturally, during the process of refining. Naturally retained molasses are found in unrefined or partially refined sugar. However, most of the commercial varieties are made by adding molasses to refined white sugar. While light brown sugar contains 3.5% molasses, it is 6.5% in dark version.
As brown sugar retains moisture, most of the commercially available varieties will be labeled as 'soft'. However, there are some processed varieties that are free flowing. Brown sugar comes in granulated or liquid form. You can use any variety as per the requirement of the recipe or according to your personal preference.
Brown Sugar Substitution
We all know that food substitutes are usually used when you run short of an ingredient or if you want to avoid it for any reason. In both cases, the most practical option is to use some substitute, instead of rushing to the supermarket to buy the ingredient or prepare the recipe without it.
Though, it is always better to prepare the recipe with the original ingredient, if you are really in a hurry, you may try its substitutes.
White Sugar/Raw Sugar
Some of the easily available brown sugar substitutes include white sugar and raw sugar. In order to substitute one cup of brown sugar, you have to use the same amount of raw sugar or white sugar. White sugar is the most commonly used type of sugar. Though, one should prefer using raw sugar as it is minimally processed and contains molasses.
Make Light Brown Sugar from Dark Brown Sugar
You have dark brown sugar with you, but you need light variety for making a particular dish. All you have to do is to take half cup of dark brown sugar and add half a cup of white sugar. One cup of light brown sugar is ready for your recipe.
Prepare Dark Brown Sugar with Light Brown Sugar
You can make dark brown sugar from the light brown version. Add a tablespoon molasses to one cup of firmly packed light brown sugar and your dark brown sugar is ready to use.
White Sugar and Molasses
You can prepare some homemade brown sugar with molasses and white sugar. If your recipe requires one cup of light brown sugar, take a cup of white sugar and mix it with 1½ tablespoon of molasses. In case you need dark brown sugar, all you have to do is to take one cup of white sugar and mix it with ¼ cup of molasses.
Some people use a mixture of artificial sweetener and sugar-free maple syrup as a substitute for brown sugar. For every cup of brown sugar, you have to take a cup of artificial sweetener and mix it with ¼ cup of maple syrup.
You may use any of these substitutes, as per your requirement. Make sure that the substitute you are using, is not altering the flavor and texture of the dish. However, it has been observed that substituting brown sugar with honey or any other sweetener affects the flavor and texture of the dish. So, choose the one that is best suited for your recipe.