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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!

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).

Powdered Sugar

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.

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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!

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).

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).

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.

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).

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:

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).

Watch How I make powdered sugar (quick video!):

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Did you make this recipe?

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!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder (or other starch)

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. Turn the blender off and let the powdered sugar settle for at least 2 minutes. Transfer the powdered sugar to an airtight storage container.

Lisa's Tips

  • 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.

Nutrition Information

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
All images and text ©Lisa Bryan for Downshiftology

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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.

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26 comments on “How to Make Powdered Sugar (in 30 Seconds)”

  1. Thank you! 

  2. Wonderful! And one less item to buy/store in the pantry now. Thanks…my question is…what is the name of your lip color you wore in your videos? It is the perfect peach/pink/neutral! Totally random question, but we have the same skin coloring and I’d love to know. Thanks again!

    • Yes, it definitely is! And thanks for the compliment on my lip color. :) I have two lipsticks that I sometimes layer, Revlon 103 in Caramel Glace and Mac Cosmetics High Tea color. The Mac is almost a nude color so it softens the Revlon one. I’m sure they’ll look wonderful on you as well!

  3. Just made it today.  If I’m honest I was dubious watching your video.  I had nothing to lose as I made Chelsea buns and needed icing to go over it and I had no icing sugar (powdered sugar).    It’s my sis in laws turn to be dubious after I showed her pictures of my attempt!! Amazing!!  Lost-for-words-kinda-amazing!  Guess what that means!  No more buying icing sugar over Christmas – can just whip it up at no time!  Children were amazed too!!!

  4. I used flour as a substitute an mine smelled like baby formula…. is that normal 

  5. I attempted to make the confectioner powdered sugar with my Ninja blender but it stayed coarse.  What type of mixer/blender did you use or do you recommend?

    Thank you,

    Katrina

  6. Hi Lisa, do you need the dry container to make powdered sugar in the A3500? Thanks!

    • Hi Kay – I used the wet container (the only one I had at the time) when making all these sugars. Worked perfectly!

      • Hi Lisa, I just made powdered Erythritol in my A3500. I did a 5 lb bag in 3 batches and there is a lot less mess when blending (nothing flew up to the lid and everything was drawn downwards). So if you can use more of it, it may be easier to powdered more at a time and store it. Emptying out from the container was a different story though :) but I think even that will get better next time. Thanks for showing me how to do it.

      • Hi Kay – that’s awesome to know! I don’t cook much with erythritol, but I should definitely give it a try. And yes, getting it out of the container is always the messy part. Haha. :) x

  7. I had an old coffee grinder I wasn’t using and starting making powdered sugar from xyla when I just needed a 1/2 cup or so for dusting or adding to heavy whipping cream when making my own “cool whip”

  8. Wow I never knew this, love it I’m definitely going to try it myself!

  9. How very cool, I never buy icing sugar as it is called in the UK, this is a fab tip.

  10. It really is so easy to make these at home but I still buy them – never remember. Thanks for the handy tips.

  11. Say what!? I had no idea this was possible. How cool!

  12. Ahh this is so cool! Thank you for showing the better homemade powdered sugar version.