How to Make Powdered Sugar

How to Make Powdered Sugar

By Erin Huffstetler | 04/28/2020 | No Comments

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Out of powdered sugar, or looking for a corn-free or sugar-free alternative? Here’s how to make a powdered sugar that meets your needs.

How to Make Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar, also known as confectioners sugar or icing sugar, is nothing more than granulated sugar that’s been ground to a powdery consistency. Most store-bought versions also include a bit of cornstarch. This keeps the sugar from clumping, and helps to thicken icing.

To make your own powdered sugar, place one cup of granulated sugar, plus one Tablespoon of cornstarch in a blender or food processor, and blend until the sugar reaches the consistency of fine powder. You may need to stop and stir the sugar a couple times, to ensure it’s all been ground evenly. Just give the sugar a minute to settle, before you remove the lid, so you don’t release a big dust cloud.

Once you’re happy with the consistency, use your powdered sugar, or store it in an air-tight container, until you need it. It’ll keep indefinitely.

Note: Sugar may etch the plastic or glass of your blender/food processor. If you plan to make powdered sugar regularly, consider picking up a second bowl or pitcher, so you can have one that’s dedicated to sugar.

Need One Pound of Powdered Sugar for a Recipe?

If you don’t have a kitchen scale, that’s the equivalent of 3-1/2 to 4 cups of unsifted powdered sugar, or 4-1/2 cups of sifted powdered sugar.

Can I Use a Different Type of Sugar?

Yes. If you don’t have any granulated sugar on hand, or you’d simply prefer to use a less-refined sugar, you can also use turbinado sugar, coconut sugar or maple sugar to make powdered sugar. Just don’t use brown sugar. It’s too wet and sticky to powder.

Darker-colored sugars, like coconut sugar, will change the color of icing or frosting a smidge. If you want a bright white frosting, go with a lighter-colored sugar.

How to Make a Sugar-Free Powdered Sugar Substitute

Save money by making your own sugar-free powdered sugar replacement. It’s easy. Just use one cup of your favorite one-to-one sugar substitute – Splenda (sucralose), erythritol, etc. – in place of the granulated sugar that’s called for in the powdered sugar recipe.

How to Make Powdered Sugar Without Cornstarch

If you’ll be storing your powdered sugar, or using it to make icing or frosting, replace the cornstarch called for with an equal amount of arrowroot or tapioca starch. Otherwise, just leave the starch out entirely.

Need a Small Amount of Powdered Sugar to Dust the Top of a Dessert?

Then, use a coffee/spice grinder to make what you need. I recommend cleaning your grinder, before you use it; so coffee or spice flavors don’t get passed on to your sugar. Here’s the quickest and easiest way to clean a grinder.

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How to Make Powdered Sugar

How to Make Powdered Sugar

Here’s how to make your own powdered sugar, including a cornstarch-free and sugar-free version.


  • Author: Erin Huffstetler, MyFrugalHome.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Ingredient Substitutions
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Global

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions:

Measure granulated sugar and cornstarch into a blender or food processor.

Blend, until the sugar reaches the consistency of fine powder.

Use, or store in an air-tight container. Your homemade powdered sugar will keep indefinitely.

Turbinado sugar, coconut sugar or maple sugar can be used in place of the granulated sugar. One-to-one sugar substitutes, like Splenda and Erythritol, can be used to create a sugar-free version.

To create a cornstarch-free version, use arrowroot or tapioca starch, if you’ll be storing your powdered sugar, or using it to make icing or frosting. Otherwise, just leave the starch out.

Notes

3-1/2 to 4 cups of unsifted powdered sugar, or 4-1/2 cups of sifted powdered sugar is the equivalent of one pound.

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