If you enjoy cooking, you likely have a pantry that is well-stocked with a variety of ingredients. However, even the best cooks can run out of an ingredient from time to time, or an infrequently used ingredient can go bad. When this happens to you, you can take the time to go buy the missing ingredient or just forget about cooking your dish at all. But with some ingredients, you have a third option, which is to substitute something else. Brown sugar is a great example of such an ingredient. There are several ways to substitute brown sugar in a recipe.
The way that you will substitute brown sugar depends on the type of brown sugar are using. There is light brown and dark brown sugar. A firmly packed cup of light brown sugar can be replaced in a recipe with a cup of granulated or regular sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons of molasses. A cup of dark brown sugar can be replaced by a cup of granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of molasses. You can also substitute brown sugar by type. If you need a cup of light brown sugar, you can make it with 1/2 cup dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. A cup of dark brown sugar can be made from a cup of firmly packed light brown sugar and a tablespoon of molasses. All of these amounts, of course, can be reversed if you're trying to add brown sugar into a recipe rather than take it out.
When you substitute brown sugar in a recipe, you should also take the type of molasses you use into consideration. Molasses is available in dark and light, or table, varieties. The darker the molasses, the stronger the taste will be. You may find that using dark molasses as a substitute for brown sugar leaves your dish with too much of a molasses taste. This may not matter in some spicy dishes like gingerbread, but may be all too noticeable in others. If at all possible, you should taste a bit of the molasses and sugar mixture before adding it to the recipe whenever you substitute brown sugar, to make sure it doesn't taste too "heavy".
If you find that you use molasses in cooking far more often than you use brown sugar, you may consider always making your own brown sugar for baking. This way, you won't have brown sugar going bad in your pantry before you can use it. Once you find the perfect blend to substitute brown sugar in your favorite dishes, it will be second nature to you.