Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce

Homemade brown sugar barbecue sauce with a spicy kick.

Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce Recipe from

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Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce Recipe from

It’s raining. Again. I think sun is in the forecast but I’ll just wait it out and see for myself when that day comes.

In other news… Have you been watching The Voice? (spoiler if you didn’t watch this week) Sasha got the boot?! She was my favorite. Ahh well… I mean look what happened with American Idol this year? Ridiculous. Which is why I usually stop watching well before the end anyway. The results are rarely what they should be. You have a bunch of 12 year olds voting and of course they’re not going to vote for the best singer. You know… in my personal opinion of course.

Since we’re on this whole entertainment topic. I’m having a really hard time focusing on writing. I turned on Les Miserables earlier. Have you seen it? This is my first time watching this version. I saw it live with my parents when I was younger and it was fantastic. Nothing really beats seeing a live musical. Sure, movies give you the ability get comfy in your home, eat the snacks you want and pause when needed. But there is zero editing with a live show, no faking or retakes. Just amazing. But the movie version is so far totally living up to all of the hype it’s received.

Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce Recipe from

Now the important part… the food. You’re hopefully planning on doing some fabulous grilling this weekend, so I wanted to share a really easy and delicious recipe for homemade brown sugar barbecue sauce. I was a bit appalled to find out that barbecue sauce is made with tomatoes so I was happy to find one that called for ketchup and played around with that one a bit. I can handle ketchup. I know it’s made of tomatoes but it’s less tomato-y in my eyes, if that makes any sense at all. This version whips up in mere minutes, is sweet and spicy and everything right. I bet you even have all of the ingredients on hand for this. You can of course leave out the red pepper flakes if you want to cut back on the heat. It isn’t too much but does give a nice slight lingering zing. It’s just necessary. As is making this sauce. Seriously – minutes! In just minutes you’ll have a super delicious barbecue sauce you can say you made. Brush it on your meat of choice or use it as a dipping sauce. You’ll be sure to love it!

Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce Recipe from

Love barbecue sauce? Try these recipes:
Bacon and barbecue chicken pizza
Bacon wrapped barbecue chicken tenders
Spicy barbecue chicken salad
Barbecue chicken macaroni and cheese
Barbecue chicken tacos
Barbecue onion rings
Barbecue chicken French bread pizza
Barbecue chicken quesadillas

Yield: 2 Cups

Total Time: 5-10 minutes

Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce

Homemade brown sugar barbecue sauce with a spicy kick.


1 1/2C brown sugar
1 1/4C ketchup
1 1/2 Tbsp molasses
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp ground mustard
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional


Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil, stir frequently. Reduce heat to low, continuing to cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Use immediately. Alternately sauce may be cooled and transferred to an airtight container, store in refrigerator.

Adapted from My Recipes

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43 Responses to “Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce”

  1. #
    Tieghan — June 14, 2013 at 7:58 am

    This is everything I love about BBQ sauce and more!!! Seriously, this sounds amazing. Sweet, a little spicy and a little zing. Perfect!

    • Rachel — June 14th, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

      That leftover zing is the best!

  2. #
    Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) — June 14, 2013 at 8:44 am

    That sauce looks so amazing and sticky sweet. I must slather it over everything I make… Yum!

    • Rachel — June 14th, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

      I hope you do! :)

  3. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — June 14, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Yum! A BBQ you can eat ;)

    • Rachel — June 14th, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

      Haha ;)

  4. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — June 14, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Mmm, I can’t remember the last time I made barbecue sauce but now I’m itching to make some! It looks amazing!

    • Rachel — June 14th, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

      You should!

  5. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — June 14, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Two things I love to make on a regular basis are salad dressings and barbecue sauce and this one sounds great (thought why must I ALWAYS think a bit of bourbon would be nice too?). :)

    • Rachel — June 14th, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

      Now I want a bourbon version ;)

  6. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — June 14, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I would slather this gorgeous stuff on everything! Awesome recipe, Rachel! Saving to try soon.

    • Rachel — June 14th, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

      It’s absolutely necessary to slather this on everything in sight! :)

  7. #
    cassie — June 14, 2013 at 11:43 am

    We are big BBQ fans and love making homemade sauce. My husband usually makes it and definitely adds brown sugar. This looks amazing, Rachel!

    • Rachel — June 14th, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

      Thanks Cassie!

  8. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver] — June 14, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Ben is a BBQ sauce fiend!! I have to make this for him.

    • Rachel — June 14th, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

      Haha and I might even approve of him putting this on his greens ;)

  9. #
    Carla @ Carlas Confections — June 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Um… yeah. You know Im all over this one. Duh!

    • Rachel — June 14th, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

      Obviously! ;)

  10. #
    marcie@flavorthemoments — June 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Your BBQ sauce looks so delicious. Your beautiful photos make it extra enticing!

    • Rachel — June 14th, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

      Thank you, Marcie! :)

  11. #
    Laurie {SimplyScratch} — June 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I’m a HUGE barbecue sauce fan! Love this Rachel!

  12. #
    Camille — June 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Sounds so good! I need to make this right away! THANK YOU!

  13. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — June 14, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    How amazing is this?! I LOOVE bbq sauce. Like obsessed-love it. Definitely need to make this and put it on a burger – YUM!

    And dude, I really need to catch up on the voice. I was so sad when they kicked off Judith – I thought she would win!

  14. #
    Shawn @ I Wash You Dry — June 14, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Drool! This looks so yummy!

  15. #
    Jaclyn — June 15, 2013 at 3:19 am

    This looks so good! I’ve been craving anything bbq lately. I need this in my life.

  16. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — June 15, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I’m going to drink this…but of course, after i slather it all over EVERYTHING.

  17. #
    Tracey — June 15, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Homemade barbecue sauce is the best, I have been thinking about making some this weekend since it’s finally nice enough to grill! Hooray for sunshine :) Oh, and as for The Voice – this season hasn’t been my favorite. I thought a lot of the good people got voted off too early…

  18. #
    Nessa — June 16, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Oooooh…now I’m hungry :)

  19. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — June 17, 2013 at 11:04 am

    A few weeks ago I made brown sugar and bourbon baked beans in my slow cooker. THIS would have been AMAZING to use! I used the Guy Feiori bourbon brown sugar bbq sauce and it was good, but yours looks better!

  20. #
    ashley - baker by nature — June 19, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I LOOOOOOVE homemade BBQ. And dang girl, you make it look SO good. I need to get on making some asap.

  21. #
    Aggie — June 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    We love bbq sauce in our house (at least the grown ups do), my husband would LOVE this sweet one! Great recipe Rachel!

  22. #
    Mrs. House Mouse — October 15, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Just made this sauce to pour over pulled pork I’ve been cooking all day! So much better than anything from a bottle! Thanks for the recipe :)

    • Rachel — October 16th, 2013 @ 7:18 am

      Enjoy! :)

  23. #
    Susan Calise — February 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Hi I was woundering I found smoke do you thinknI could add some smoke to the recipe. An maybe a little bit of Captain.Morgans . If I do I will let younknow how much and how it comes out ok. Thsnk You

    • Rachel — February 18th, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

      I haven’t personally done that but you’re welcome to try it out and see! :)

  24. #
    Larry — March 13, 2014 at 7:26 am

    I’ve made plenty of homemade barbecue sauce in the past, and honestly…this is hands down the best. I’ve been looking for something of this nature for a very long time. Thank you!

    • Rachel — March 13th, 2014 @ 8:20 am

      So glad to hear it! :)

  25. #
    Michele — July 13, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Just came across this recipe today on Pinterest and made it to go on our smoked chicken legs. AWESOME!! I was looking for a change to the usual BBQ sauce I make. This will definitely be our new go-to recipe. Perfect balance of sweet, tangy and spicy. Thank you!!

    • Rachel — July 14th, 2014 @ 8:05 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  26. #
    Patricia — August 5, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Since almost ALL BBQ sauce sold in stores has the first ingredient as High Fructose Corn Syrup, this is going to be AWESOME…but can I process it in batches for pantry storage?

    • Rachel — August 6th, 2014 @ 9:04 am

      If you’re familiar with hot water bath canning, you should be able to process batches of bbq sauce this way to store in the pantry. Good luck!

  27. #
    Rebecca Arnold — November 16, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Made this when I thought I was out of barbeque sauce. I used this sauce to cook pork ribs in the slow cooker. This sauce was very good. It’s gonna go on my Tried it and LIked it board on Pinterest. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2014 @ 7:37 am

      Awesome! I’m glad you enjoyed it! :)

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