how to store sugar

filed under: Recipe Roundup on August 24, 2014

Up until this past year, I had been doing wrong.  All wrong.  I would:

1. Buy a bag.

2. Carefully attempt to open the top, inevitably tear the bag too much, see the fated shower of sugar graduals flying through the air as I spill sugar all over my kitchen.

3. Take out the amount I need.

4. Roll top of bag down as far as I could and pretend it will stay closed.

5. Set bag in a cupboard or pantry.

How to Store Sugar!


Now, since I baked so often and used so much sugar, I didn’t experience too many clumps or moisture issues.  But I did occasionally, and it all could have been avoided if I had done just a few easy things!

First, I bought this lovely glass canister from The Container Store. (not an affiliate link)  They have a silicone seal inside which makes it air tight.

I got two, one for sugar and one for flour, and they sit on the shelf in my pantry.  (It is recommended that granulated sugar be stored in a cool, dry and odorless place. Make sure your onions and garlic are somewhere else!)

PRO TIP: Set the container in the sink and open the bag next to it. Any sugar that may spill out with be contained in the sink and you have one less thing to clean up!

How to Store Granulated Sugar!


It works like a charm!  Now when I need sugar I either bring my ingredient bowl to the pantry or bring the canister to my counter.  Either way, so much easier.

But then I took in one step further.

How to Store Sugar


(doing this one little thing can make the difference in a baking recipe working beautifully or failing!)

I put a 1/2 cup measuring cup into the sugar and I leave it there.  I do this for one main reason:

Consistency in baking.  Using the same measuring cup to measure my sugar means that I always have the same amount.  As you may already know, measuring cups can vary greatly in size/volume.  If I use the same cup every time, I know my measurement of 1/2 cup is true.

Being a recipe creator, or someone who shares recipes publicly, I need to make sure they are as accurate as possible.  This is just one small way I can ensure I am doing everything possible to share a quality recipe.

How to Store Sugar!

For the sugar canister I use the 1/2 cup size, and the 1 cup size in my flour canister.  A typical American recipe has flour is measured in 1 cup increments (that is a total generalization, I know flour amounts greatly vary), while sugar can differ a bit more.  Using the 1/2 cup in the sugar gives me a bit more wiggle room.

Bonus:  One less measuring cup to clean!

Moral of the story?  Get one of these pretty glass canisters, use it to store your sugars and flours, and keep a measuring cup in the canister.  Voila!  Happy bakers everywhere.

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  • dyana elkins says:

    Good idea! I use an empty, clean coffee can.

  • dyana elkins says:

    Good idea! I use an empty, clean coffee can.

    • Amanda says:

      Very smart!

  • Miss Overballe says:

    I use glass jars as well for sugar storage 🙂 But being european, I always use weight measurements in my recipes, to ensure consistent results 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, cups is definitely an American thing! 🙂

  • Meagan says:

    I use big snap ware containers from target. I also leave a butter knife in my flour as a leveler.

    • Amanda says:

      Love that!

    • Monica says:

      I also use a leveler.. but not a knife but a wooden Popsicle stick

  • lynn @ the actor’s diet says:

    Thanks for the tip! What a stunning measuring cup.

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks Lynn!

  • Kerry @ Kerry Cooks says:

    I love how efficient and easy this is! And those containers and cup measures are both so pretty

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you Kerry!

  • Betty says:

    I’ve used the same large Tupperware containers for flour and sugar for over 40 years. The flour container is almost double the size but they each hold 10 pounds. I like the idea of measuring cups in them; I’ve always just left a scoop inside.

  • sheila says:

    great tips!!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks pretty lady!

  • Martha T says:

    I buy my sugar in 10lb increments. Do you know how much will fit in these glass canisters? I do still buy my flour 5 lbs at a time. 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      I believe that they hold just under 10 pounds. I like to buy the 25 lb. bags since I go through so much! 🙂

  • Cheri says:

    These are so pretty! I hope you can reveal more info on the measuring cup. 🙂
    I have used my very utilitarian Tupperware containers and scoops for decades, but may just need to make the change to “pretty And useful.” Thanks for the great post and lovely pictures.

    • Amanda says:

      What more info are you looking for? 🙂

  • Joanie @ ZagLeft says:

    I’ve also recently started storing my sugar and flour in pretty jars as well and seeing them in my pantry helps me know when I need to buy more. Somehow, I never paid much attention when they were in the bags. I stuck the bags to the side and didn’t notice them much. I love the idea of keeping the measuring cup inside each container too. Great idea!

  • Ramona says:

    I use the same type of container for my Sugar, Flour and Yeast. Thanks for the info on the measuring spoon.

  • Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking says:

    I’ve been doing the same thing with my sugars and flours here too. We work in weight here in the UK, so guaranteed accuracy with no issues here.

    If I’m using an American recipe in cups, I convert to weight. Saves on washing up too.

    • Amanda says:

      Good to know you have found what works for you!

  • Robin says:

    Thanks for the great tips!
    Where did you find your pretty measuring cup?

    • Amanda says:

      I can’t remember. 🙁

  • Andrea Merrin says:

    Amanda, I had just bought these jars myself (with Red lids)… I love your measuring cups, they are so pretty! I wondered how you decided / settled on measuring cups, when all cups aren’t the same size; how should i determin what ones are the “correct” 1/2 cup, 1 cup, etc…

    Thanks so much! I love your blog!!

    • Amanda says:

      I picked the pretty ones! lol You can certainly measure out the contents with water and see which is the most accurate if you want. xo

  • julianne says:

    any helpful hints on how to store brown sugar? no matter what i do, it always hardens within a few weeks of opening.

    • Robin says:

      I store mine in the crisper drawer of my refrigerator and never have any problems.

  • Lori says:

    I stopped using measuring cups to measure flour and sugar. I use a scale. I have found my results are more accurate and my results more consistent. I like the jars from The Container Store. I use Ziploc bags in canisters on my counter and have wanted to get rid of them for years. I’ll do this instead. Love your site.

  • Carissa says:

    I may have missed it but what brand and where did you purchase your measuring cup in the picture?

  • SwashB says:

    For consistency and accuracy I find it better to weigh ingredients than measure them.

  • Peggy says:

    I use my 40 year old Tupperware canisters and scoops but I prefer to follow recipes using weight measurements as they are far easier to be consistent.

    But I only have one set of dry measuring cups anyway so I would always be using the same one anyway.

  • Jim says:

    I just the glass jar method as well. I was finding that I was still getting clumps. I purchased a bunch of the Food Safe Silica Gel packs from Amazon, wrap them in a paper towel and place them in the bottom of the container…no more clumps!

  • Laura Gaudet says:

    great idea Amanda. My mother went one step further. She worked as a baker in the school cafeteria. She baked a lot at home also. She purchased her flour and sugar in the 25 pound lots to save money. So she would store her flour and sugar in large buckets with tight fitting lids( like cherry buckets or frosting buckets). Those lids fit so tight, it was like trying to skin a bear trying to get them off when you needed to refill your canister again but it worked. So it was kind of the same idea.