How to Make Powdered Sugar (in 30 Seconds)
Learn how to make powdered sugar at home, with the sugar of your choice (including cane sugar, raw turbinado sugar, maple sugar or coconut sugar). It only takes 30 seconds!
Powdered sugar is one of those items that you seem never to have in your pantry when you need it. Like when you’re halfway through a recipe and your hands are all covered in goop and you just assumed you had some in your pantry. Murphy’s law, right?
Well, not to worry. The good news is that you can make powdered sugar yourself, from virtually any granulated sugar, in about 30 seconds.
What Sugar to Use for Homemade Powdered Sugar?
When it comes to granulated sugar you can use refined, organic or unrefined cane sugar (like white sugar, raw turbinado sugar or sucanat), as well as maple sugar or coconut sugar.
I’m sure you can use others as well, but those are the ones I’ve tried with success. The one sugar that won’t work very well is brown sugar, which is simply white sugar with molasses added to it, making it a bit too sticky for powdered sugar.
Depending on where you live in the world, powdered sugar is also known by a variety of names, including confectioners sugar and icing sugar. But they’re all the same thing. And typically made from overly processed white sugar, with low grade cornstarch used as the anti-caking factor of choice. Yuck.
But with a homemade powdered sugar, you have options, brilliant options. Choose from a variety of unrefined (or less refined) granulated sugars that retain some trace minerals and which will add heaps more flavor into your recipe.
Tip: sub a maple powdered sugar on top of a chocolate mug cake, for a maple chocolatey flavor. Yum!
How to Make Powdered Sugar without Cornstarch
The other reason I like to make powdered sugar at home is because I can then choose if I’d like to add a starch or not. If I’m just using the powdered sugar for dusting on top of a cake or dessert, I’ll usually skip the starch. But if I’m making a batch to store in my pantry, then I’ll add a starch to keep it dry.
My starches of choice are arrowroot powder or tapioca flour, as they’re both grain-free. I’m not a huge fan of cornstarch, but if you decide to use cornstarch I’d recommend purchasing an organic version.
How to Make Powdered Sugar in 30 Seconds
So how do you make the powdered sugar? First, it’s best done in a high-powered blender, like my favorite Vitamix. It really won’t fluff up as much in a food processor, so stick with a blender.
Add one cup of your granulated sugar of choice and one tablespoon (or not) of your starch. Blend on high for 30 seconds…and there you have it. Homemade powdered sugar. Watch the video below to see how I do it!
Is Confectioners Sugar the Same as Powdered Sugar?
Yes, confectioners sugar, powdered sugar and icing sugar are all the same thing. It’s simply different terminology used in different parts of the world.
More cooking tutorials you might like:
- How to Make Homemade Marshmallows (Without Corn Syrup)
- How to Make Homemade Nutella
- How to Make Coconut Whipped Cream
Watch How I make powdered sugar (quick video!):
And subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos!
How to Make Powdered Sugar
Learn how to make powdered sugar at home with the sugar of your choice. Homemade powdered sugar is really easy – watch my video above to see how I do it!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder (or other starch)
- Place the sugar and arrowroot powder in a high-powered blender. Add the lid and blend on high for 30 seconds. You may also want to use a towel to cover the top of the blender, to prevent any powder from escaping.
- Turn the blender off and let the powdered sugar settle for at least 2 minutes. Transfer the powdered sugar to an airtight storage container.
- If you need more powdered sugar, it’s best to do it in batches. Try not to add more than 1.5 cups of sugar to the blender at one time, otherwise it won’t fluff up as much.
- One cup of most granulated sugars makes 1.5 cups of powdered sugar. But I found coconut sugar to be more of a 1:1 ratio.
- Because granulated sugar is a bunch of little crystals, please be aware that over time it will etch and dull the inside of your blender. I have two canisters for my Vitamix, one I use regularly for smoothies and soups, etc. And one I use for powdered sugar. A second canister always comes in handy as well, as I mention on my Vitamix Comparison post.
- For the storage canisters I use and how I write the custom labels, see my Pantry Organization post.
Yield: 1 cup powdered sugar (approx), Serving Size: Full Recipe - 1 cup (approx)
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 802.6
- Sodium: 2.2mg
- Carbohydrates: 207g
- Fiber: .3g
- Sugar: 199.6g
Did you make this recipe? I'd love to see!
Tag @downshiftology on Instagram and hashtag it #downshiftology.
This post was created in partnership with Vitamix (a brand I’ve loved and used for years). All thoughts and opinions are my own. Originally published April 2017 and updated November 2018.