Most sugar manufacturers and industry experts base cup measurements on firmly packed brown sugar.
For an efficient packed cup measure, one must fill the measuring cup with brown sugar, and then press it down firmly using the back of a spoon or with fingers. Continue this process until the cup is full and the sugar cannot be depressed further.
It’s important to always pack brown sugar when measuring, as its natural consistency creates air pockets that need to be removed to achieve an accurate measure for a given recipe.
How Many Cups Are in a Bag of Brown Sugar?
Using the packing principle, a 1-pound bag of brown sugar will contain approximately 2 and a half cups of sugar. A 2-pound bag should contain about 5 cups, and a 4-pound bag of sugar will contain about 10 cups.
While it is recommended to use the packing technique when measuring brown sugar, it’s important to note that most recipes will indicate whether the required measurement for that particular recipe is based on a light or firm packing technique.