How to Make Powdered Sugar (in 30 Seconds)

Learn how to make powdered sugar at home! It’s easy with the sugar of your choice, including cane sugar, raw turbinado sugar, maple sugar or coconut sugar. It only takes 30 seconds!

Several types of sugar in jars.
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?

When it comes to granulated sugar you can use white sugar, raw turbinado sugar or sucanat, as well as maple sugar or coconut sugar. The one sugar that won’t work well is brown sugar, which is simply white sugar with molasses added to it, making it a bit too sticky for powdered sugar.

Different types of sugar next to their powdered sugar forms.

Powdered Sugar vs Confectioners Sugar vs Icing Sugar

Depending on where you live in the world, powdered sugar is known by a variety of names, including confectioners sugar and icing sugar. But they’re the same thing. And typically made from overly processed white sugar, with low grade cornstarch used as the anti-caking factor of choice. In other words, not high quality ingredients.

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.

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 of your preferred starch, for anti-caking. Blend on high for 30 seconds…and there you have it. Watch the video below to see how I do it!

Pouring sugar into a blender.

Raw sugar and starch in a blender.

Shaking the powdered sugar over a bowl.

How to Make Powdered Sugar without Cornstarch

When you make powdered sugar at home you can choose if you’d like to add a starch or not. Personally, if I’m 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.

Different types of sugar in jars.

More Easy Tutorials You Might Like

Powdered Sugar Recipe Video

Watch how quickly I make it in the video below!

Different types of sugar in jars.

How to Make Powdered Sugar

5 from 19 votes
Prep Time: 2 mins
Total Time: 2 mins
Servings: 1 cup powdered sugar (approx)
Author: Lisa Bryan
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.


Calories: 802kcal, Carbohydrates: 207g, Sodium: 2mg, Sugar: 199g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade powdered sugar, how to make powdered sugar, powdered sugar
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology 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, updated November 2018 and December 2020.

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

  1. THANK YOU!5 stars

  2. If I make it without any starch, can it be used in macarons without any issues? Or do I need the starch?

  3. I made powdered sugar using turbinado sugar and my bullet. I got powdered sugar, but when I added it to my butter for buttercream frosting it is grainy. Any suggestions? TIA.

  4. So easy! 5 stars

  5. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! It’s so simple, yet I have never once thought to make my own powdered sugar. There are so many things I haven’t been able to make because all store bought powdered sugar has corn starch in it! I’m so unbelievable excited about this and the baking possibilities you have unlocked!5 stars

  6. Such a simple thing… why have I never thought to do this?! Thanks for sharing this info!5 stars

  7. Hi there, Thanks for the video.  Would it be better or make a difference using the dry Vitamix container to make the powder sugar? I make flours in the dry container, but I do have an older machine so maybe the new Vitmix is all a person needs for wet and dry blending.  And, I’ve never heard of Turbinado, so will have to look that one up.  Thanks for any tips, Kat5 stars

  8. Thank you so much for posting this.  I have a mad craving for some Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Butter and I just got back from the store with everything I needed and then realized I forgot the powdered sugar.  So frustrating!  This tip was exactly what I need and now I have the most amazing cinnamon butter to eat!!! 5 stars

  9. Just found you on Pinterest. Great ideas!!!
    I have a question about your storage jars. What brand are they. I am looking for air tight thus bug free, container. I like the glass idea but plastic PBA free would be OK also.
    Please keep up the great videos and tips!

  10. thank you so much5 stars

  11. Is there a ratio of how much powdered sugar you get from one cup of granulated? It LOOKS like maybe 1.5 times more?

  12. I just made this using my ninja as I’m working towards a Vita-Mix and it still worked out! I did have to blend it a bit longer and use a variety of settings but the end result was worth it. Thank you for sharing!5 stars

  13. I have a question.  I powdered some unrefined sugar In a clean coffee mill and it has a bitter aftertaste.  I tried some granulated sugar from the bag and the bitterness was absent.  Do you understand what happened?

  14. This is BRILLIANT!!! No more running to the store and using a sugar type I’m not comfortable with. Organic coconut sugar for me! Your website is teaching me a lot. I just looked at your candied orange peels (a.k.a. my favorite sweet on earth). I still need to learn how to melt a 85% chocolate bar. Thank you for what you do!!!5 stars

    • Hi Ella- Amazed to hear you’re learning tons of new things here at Downshiftology! Homemade powdered sugar is definitely so easy to make right at home :)

  15. Wow!   I just discovered you on Pinterest, and am loving reading, and pinning your recipes! I signed up to receive your weekly recipes too.  I also really enjoy reading your tips and the why of it all. I have to run to the store to get some Zucchini! 5 stars

    • Hi Lisa – So glad you stumbled upon Downshiftology on Pinterest :) Can’t wait for you to start making all my recipes, starting with zucchini dishes!

  16. Is cornstarch, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour all safe to make the powdered sugar and use it for buttercream icing? Those added flours or starch to the sugar wouldn’t those be raw or is it safe to eat as is. Thank you.

  17. Making your chocolate cake this morning…ran out of powdered sugar for the frosting. Then I remembered that I have a brand new Vitamix.  Problem solved because you showed me how to make it from scratch!  Thank you!!!5 stars

  18. Do I have to use cornstarch or any other starch for this recipe because I dint have access to any

  19. Hi Lisa,

    I am going to try this recipe.

    Can you please let me know which brand of Turbinado sugar do you use.

    Thank you

  20. I’m new to this paleo thing and am on a quest to make and frost a cake. I don’t have a Vitamix so I used the $10 bullet mixer I bought at a big box store. It turned out powdery and looks, feels, and tastes perfect. Making my own homemade powdered sugar really is as easy as you say. Mind blown. Thank you!5 stars

  21. This is great!  Store bought powdered sugar makes me cough now…must be bad change in the processing.  Thank you!!!

  22. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of granulated sugar and I decide to pulverize it do I use ALL of the resulting sugar or re-measure the powdered version down to 1 cup???

    I powdered 1 c of erythritol/monk fruit sweetener and then used all of it in the recipe. The item turned out to be very very sweet! (the sweetener is a 1:1 ratio with table sugar).

    • The quantity of powdered sugar shouldn’t be that much different from the original granulated form. But I find erythritol/monk fruit to be sweeter on a 1:1 basis to table sugar, so often use less in any recipes.

  23. I love it!!! Now I have so many other dessert options. Thank you!! I would love that almond cookie recipe you mentioned: )

    • So glad you love the recipe Sandy! Also, you can find the Almond Butter Cookie Recipe in my Recipes section :) Let me know how you like it!

  24. Thank you for the recipe and hints. I needed  “fondant sugar”which is suspposed to be powdered sugar without cornstarch. I am making chocolates for the California state fair. Could not find the special sugar so will try your recipe without thencornstarch. I will let you know if I get a blue ribbon5 stars

  25. How much powdered sugar does one cup of sugar make? I’m planning to make a xylitol version.

  26. Wow, great recipe!
    I needed confectioners sugar for a peanut butter icing and noticed that I didn’t have any. left. I just made it. 
    Thank you for the tip!5 stars

  27. I am so happy that whenever I get a wonderful baking idea…I find someone online has already solved the solution for how to go about doing it. I wanted to make powdered sugar from maple sugar to substitute for making sweetened whipped heavy cream. I used to make my own “coolwhip” for cakes with powdered sugar but want to use a sweetener that has more nutritional value. Do you think the ratio of tapioca to coconut sugar will sub fine as an add in for sweetening and stabilizing heavy cream?

  28. Thank you! 

  29. 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!5 stars

    • 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!

  30. 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!!!5 stars

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

  32. 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,


  33. 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

  34. 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”

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

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

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

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

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