Today, I’m sharing a super simple tutorial on how to make your own powdered sugar. Your powdered sugar will be ready in just a few minutes! You’ll just need a reliable blender or food processor.
You may know this sugar as confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar, but I grew up calling it “powdered sugar.” My grandmother makes the best frosting with it.
Powdered sugar has a not-so-great reputation because it’s typically made out of refined sugar, which is then mixed with corn starch to prevent caking. Since we’re making ours fresh, you can skip the corn starch when you make it at home.
Plain white sugar makes the fluffiest homemade powdered sugar. Or, you can use more natural, less refined options such as coconut sugar. Coconut sugar actually contains trace minerals like iron and zinc, which are lacking in regular sugar. Let’s get to it!
Uses for Powdered Sugar
Life’s too short to go without the occasional glazed treat. Here are a few delicious options:
- Blueberry Maple Tea Cake
- Citrus Olive Oil Cake
- Classic Cream Cheese Frosting, which is great on Banana Cake, Carrot Cake and Gingerbread Cake
- Healthier Gingerbread Cookies
- Pumpkin Pecan Scones with Maple Glaze
- Vegan Banana Nut Scones
How to Make Powdered Sugar
- Prep Time: 3 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 3 minutes
- Yield: Varies
- Category: Tutorial
- Method: Blended
- Diet: Vegan
Homemade powdered sugar is so easy to make! Learn how in this simple tutorial. Use any sugar you have on hand (healthier options like coconut sugar and turbinado sugar work great!). One cup sugar will yield about two cups powdered sugar.
- Approximately half as much granulated sugar as you need powdered sugar (I’ve had best results with cane sugar, turbinado sugar and coconut sugar but even brown sugar and sucanat work!)
- Pour granulated sugar into a blender or food processor. Blend the sugar until it is a fine, fluffy powdered sugar. The more refined, whiter sugars make the fluffiest powdered sugars.
- Use powdered sugar immediately or save it for later. You may want to sift the sugar before use for clump free, super fluffy sugar.
Make it vegan: Use sugar that is labeled vegan/hasn’t been filtered through bone char.
Goodness, I’ve never even thought to try this! What a great idea and just in time for the holidays. Thank you! Israel looks fantastic!
Thank you so much for the recipe, we never use the powder sugar, because it will sit in the cabinet forever!
Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
How have I not done this before?! I was totally creeped out when I found out how/why some sugars aren’t vegan, so this is a perfect solution!
Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy
Amazing trick! I’ll remember this the next time I run out :)
dixya | food, pleasure, and health
if you are using it instantly, like you said there is no need for corn starch, i have used it several times and it works like a charm. i cant wait to hear about your trip.
I’ll be in Israel in just a few weeks. I’d love to hear more about your trip.
Hey Tobie! Where are you going in Israel? We spent most of our time in Tel Aviv, but spent a couple of nights up north in a beautiful resort, and also visited the Dead Sea. If you’re going to Tel Aviv, I definitely have some restaurant recommendations for you. I wish we could have gone to Jerusalem, but it was a little too tumultuous for our tour guides’ comfort.
Does it matter what kind of blender? Can you use a Ninja smoothie blender for this?
I would assume so, but wouldn’t know without trying. Let me know how it works for you!
Just beware not to blend it to much. Stop after a few pulses and check tp see if it’s to your liking. You just want to blend the crystals down slightly. Your goal when doing this, is to make a sugar substance that blends in easier to frostings and drinks…..
This is brilliant! I have been avoiding conventional icing sugar, thereby not making some of our favourite recipes. Thank you!
You’re welcome, Melanie! Enjoy. :)
Exactly, I can’t stand supermarket confectioner’s sugar. It’s horrifying, and never ceases to amaze me the people that eat it in frostings like it’s manna!
I love this! I wanted to prepare a recipe the other day but was totally out of powdered sugar. Next time I will just make my own! Loving the pics on Instagram by the way. :)
This is so cool! I might never buy powdered sugar again… yay! I can’t wait to try it, it looks SO simple!!! P.S. Have fun in Israel! :)
Thanks, Rachael! :)
This worked in a pinch, thank you. However, the sugar was not as fine as powdered, so the recipe was a little grainy. I used white sugar. Maybe I should of blended it longer?
Hey Holly! Yes, it sounds to me like your powdered sugar could have used some more time in the blender.
How long? I’m making it now and it’s taking a really long time
It takes a really really long time to make. Not one minute.
That really depends on your equipment. My fancy blender (Vitamix) turns sugar into powder in just 1 to 2 minutes.
Yes needed more blending
I’ve seen this done before, but have never had the occasion to do it myself. I do have a big thing of turbinado sugar in my pantry. Hmmm. What can I glaze?
Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits
Thanks for this post! I have been avoiding recipes that call for powdered sugar because I don’t want to buy a whole box of something I rarely use. This will be perfect for those occasions!
You’re welcome, Lisa! Glad you appreciate it!
Hi, I’m going to try your recipe.
Now I’m wondering if you have a good substitute for corn syrup?
Hi Midge, corn syrup has some unique properties that make it difficult to replace, so I just avoid recipes with corn syrup altogether. You might be able to substitute honey or maple syrup in some recipes.
Talk about perfect timing! Christmas is right around the corner, so I’ll definitely do this! Thanks for sharing :)
Have a wonderful time here! If you get a chance – go to Meshek Barzilay in Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv. It’s a wonderful vegan/vegetarian restaurant based on organic produce – delicious!
Thanks, Valerie! I was on a tour with no free time and they didn’t take us to Meshek Barzilay. :( I want to go back to Israel, so I’ll save it for next time!
Leigha @ The Yooper Girl
It’s this easy?!?! Wow! Can’t wait to try it!
Between finding out a few days ago how to make my own tomato paste & this…easy DIY powdered sugar lately I’ve been coming across some great cooking tips this week! Like someone else in the comments I am planning to make a recipe that needs powdered sugar & am all out. It’s been snowing all day /evening and I already walked to the nearest store twice today and definitely don’t want to do it tomorrow either so will be using this tip…hope this is as easy as it looks!
Glad you found it! Hope your powdered sugar turned out great.
I sue this method and it tastes great and there no additives which i love .
Thank you, Jackie!
This recipe is amazing! My sister can’t have sugar, but this makes it possible to make sugar-free powdered sugar and opens up so many new recipes for me to make her!
yeh, so you basically just saved Christmas for me! i doubt any stores are open and i ran out. thank you so much from Maryland USA.
Happy to help, Teresa! Happy holidays. :)
Robin M Poe
I am going to try this today. From a fellow Marylander :)
Great recipe :)))
Great trick. I was about to make a recipe this morning and it called for powered sugar like icing sugar which I do not have. So I looked up how to make powered sugar and came upon this site. I used raw cane sugar. Worked like a charm.
Thank you, Terry! Glad it worked for you!
I was looking for a recipe for red powdered sugar or different colors to make puppychow for different holidays but cannot find one. Any ideas? Mickey
maybe you can get sanding sugar (cake supply stores usually have it in lots of colors) and imitate this process :)
How long should I have the coconut sugar in the food processor before it is considered powdered? I’ve been running it for a few minutes and it doesn’t look much different.
Thanks so much for this! I’m looking for sugar alternatives for baking, and am going to try this with Natvia (erythritol/stevia blend) to see how it works for frosting. Thanks again! :-)
Yeys i made it!and it’s perfect for my choco crinkles…thanks to my blender :-D and #cookieandkate ..god bless
Just made powdered sugar according to your directions! Thanks so much for saving me a trip to the store! It was also interesting to learn about coconut sugar’s lower glycemic level. Good info!
Wow! That is incredibly simple. I just ran out of powered sugar, and needed some for a recipe. Now I don’t have to run to the store. Thank you, I will definitely use this again.
Is it healthier than store bought?
It could be, depending on the sugar you used! I use organic cane sugar, so I end up with higher quality powdered sugar.
Love this. Can Monk fruit sugar be used?
Hi Cindy! I don’t have much experience with monk fruit sugar.
Hi Kate. Thank you for your reply. I tried the Monk fruit sugar and it worked fabulous. I also used regular cane sugar it also worked. I used my blender. Great recipe.
So this absolutely did not work with regular granulated white sugar. I poured in about a cup or so while the processor was on high, let it go for over 5 minutes and still had granulated sugar. So bummed!
Try using a blender or I used a NutriBullet and it worked great.
Unfortunately, I had the same experience with my food processor and blender. Later, I borrowed a friends very expensive food processor and it took 2 minutes. The moral of the story is that you need a high powered machine.
Thank you for sharing your experience, Jegi.
I was out of powdered sugar, and I needed a quick frosting. I have made brown sugar before so I got to exploring if you could make powdered sugar. Thank goodness I found your recipe, it worked out great!!!!!!
I always do this but it doesn’t turn out so fluffy, it’s still a little rough and nor that fine even after passing it through a sieve.
I used my coffee grinder for this purpose and it worked perfectly just like the stuff from the store
Thanks for taking the time to post. One question is HOW LONG should I let the sugar process in the food processor? I left it about 10 minutes on high, and while it got finer than refined cane sugar, it wasn’t nearly as fine as powdered. Any tips for next time?
Many thanks for sharing. I’m allergic to corn& only partially able to skip sweets. Extra thanks for the TJ tip.
Did this in a pinch yesterday to top my Jelly Doughnuts. (Try getting confectioners sugar on Christmas Day. Nope – the convenience store was out. It worked beautifully. Question: If using corn starch, how much per cup of sugar and how long will it keep? Should it be refrigerated? Thank you.
This dosent wreak your blender? I have a Ninja. Will it work with that ?or should I use the bullet single serve blender attachment that came with the blender?????
Sorry, I have never used a Ninja, but I don’t think that sugar will wreck your blender.
Great. Worked perfectly
Worked like a dream in my VitaMix!
Yes! I’m glad.
Why when I do this it comes out somewhat grainy? No matter how long I blend it. I have also tried a food processor.
Hi Leona, I’m sorry to hear that. I’m not quite sure what to suggest since I’ve never encountered that issue. Some other sites suggest adding a bit of cornstarch to the sugar to help preserve its fluffiness over time, but I’m not sure that would help your blending issue. Wish I knew what to suggest, short of buying new equipment!
I have always used the organic turbinado sugar. Will be using this to make my powdered sugar!!
Yes! Who knew it was so simple? Thanks, Kate.
Awesome! Thank you!
You’re welcome, Trisha!
Do you think I could make powdered sugar out of Splenda? Or some other artifical sweetener?
I’m not sure, Mary! I haven’t tried that.
Good morning from PA! Wondering if I should add arrowroot powder to the sugar to
Prevent clumping? Thanks,Mary
Thank you so much. Making Peanut Butter pie for my son, he turns 50. Only need 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Thought it would work, but didn’t know if additives would be needed. I will let you know.
wanna se if you reply btw love your vidoes!
Have you ever tried this with Monk Fruit sugar? Wondering if it would work?
I haven’t, so I’m not sure.
This is over two years later lol but someone above mentioned that monkfruit sugar worked perfectly. ☺️
I did mine in a food processor, and while it made it slightly less grainy, it definitely was not powdered. I used it in my frosting anyway, but it was a bit grainy.
Hi Jema, sorry to hear that! It may be that your food processor doesn’t have as much power as mine. I’m using a Cuisinart (not an expensive one), for reference.
Thank you for the hint. I am making a fondant center for a chocolate I am entering in the California State fair. I could not find fondant sugar the recipe called for. The recipe said that fondant sugar was powdered sugar without the cornstarch. I will try your hint. Will let you know if I get a blue ribbon.
How did it work for you, Jennine?
Thank you so much for this post, Kate! Saved me a trip to the store after I forgot to buy powdered sugar to make an icing. Now I don’t need to buy it ever again! I used my coffee grinder to make just the right amount for my recipe and it worked a dream. Love your site and tips! Always my go-to for tasty and easy recipes!
That’s great to hear! Thank you for sharing.
wanna se if you reply btw love your vidoes and will try this for sure, why buy when you can make at home?!
tips!:(thoo i think that if you put little cornstarch that will help and make the texture more dry)
Thank you for sharing, Sarah! I’m happy you are enjoying the videos.
Did not turn out. Blended a long time. My frosting came out grainy.
I’m sorry to hear that, Cee!
To be honest, this didn’t work for me.
I have no idea in the recipe how long she blends for, but I blended for a few minutes and saw minimal changes.
I used an organic, unfiltered sugar so that might be a part of the problem. My food processor is also not high-end, so that might be the second problem.
I think simply buying powdered sugar will save you time and energy.
Hi Valerie, I’m sorry this one didn’t work for you. It depends on the power of your machine. You might beed to blend a little longer if it isn’t high powered.
Thank you very much, it is helpful
I’m glad it was helpful, Mercy! Thanks for your review.
Making now! I ran out of powdered sugar for frosting and this was perfect since the kid was sleeping.
How did it go, Lindsay?
How much sugar would I need? Do I use the amount that the glaze calls for? Wanted to make muffins that has a glaze on top but don’t have enough powdered sugar to use. I have coconut sugar or organic cane sugar but not the raw sugar.
Approximately half as much granulated sugar as you need powdered sugar (I’ve had best results with cane sugar, turbinado sugar and coconut sugar but even brown sugar and sucanat work!)
Thank you so much, you’re a lifesaver I could not get any icing sugar for my son’s birthday cake, someone told me you can make it with sugar, so I googled and found your post as it didnt need the corn starch. I will never buy powered sugar again!
Brown Sugar Exporter
Hi, Kate thank you for sharing such a wonderful tip with us. I am practicing some new dishes, making powder sugar will help me in cooking. Thanks once again.
Hi there I have a recipe that asks for half a cup of powdered sugar , I only have castor sugar , can I use a quarter cup of that instead ?
Hi Angela, you could turn your 1/4 cup castor sugar into powdered sugar using this tutorial, and then yes, that should work perfectly!
Whoa!thank you so much for this great idea!can’t imagine how useful my meat processor. so this is it?problem solved.
Good, but can I use a hand mixer instead?
Hi Lois, I’m confused by your question. This is about making powdered sugar. You need something that can break up the coarse sugar. Let me know!
I did this in the nutri bullet and it worked PERFECTLY – thank you!
Hi Kate Will this sugar make a glaze that will firm up like when we use regular powdered sugar? As in a water + powdered sugar glaze? I am doubtful that it doesn’t need cornstarch for this… Please clarify
Hi! If a recipe calls for powdered sugar, this will work in its place as it is the same thing. I hope this helps!
We tried this in our food processor but we never really got the powdered sugar or as much as your instructions say. We did not even get 1c powdered from1 c regular.
Hi Rita, I’m sorry to hear that. What kind of food processor do you have?
How do you make the equivalent of 4x confectioners sugar?
10x sugar is too sweet for my chocolate icing recipe.
Hi Deanna, I’m not sure I can provide direction with out understanding the recipe or trying it myself. Sorry!
Is it possible to make powdered sugar but without a blender, or food processor? Like, can I make it purely by hand and without machine?
Hi Hadley, I don’t believe so. Sorry!
Very happy I found this super quick and easy recipe. Using my small Moulinex nut grinder, it took me less than half a minute (!!) to make 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to sprinkle on my Linzer cookies.
So easy – I just poured 2 TBs of cane sugar into the grinder and 10 seconds later I got my 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. I funneled the unused portion into a reusable glass spice jar. Never buying the packaged stuff again. Thank you, Kate! :)
What is chocolate confectionery sugar? I have a recipe asking for it. I want to make the recipe with the my children as a Christmas present tonight.
Hi Norreen, I’m not sure without looking at the recipe. But, I assume chocolate powdered sugar?
Thank you so much for the recipe, we never use the powder sugar, because it will sit in the cabinet forever!
How can I get boiled caramel (2 cup brown sugar 1 cup white sugar 1 cup cream) frosting to not be grainy when done boiling and mixed with butter and vanilla extract and on my yellow cake?
Thinking of powdering my brown sugar in my blender. Heard a cap full of white vinegar in boiling mixture prevents grainyness. But did not work for me.
Heey so I don’t have powdered sugar but I want to make oatmeal carrot cups for my bf and I also don’t have any icing what can I use instead and is there any fast and easy recipes
Was making donuts and almost done when I realized I didn’t have powdered sugar for the glaze. TOTAL LIFE-CHANGER. Thanks so much for the tip :)
Great to hear, Elizabeth! Thank you for your review.
My home economics teacher taught us this trick back in 1975! Two tips for those who are having difficulty getting the graininess out of the sugar with less powerful equipment.
• Don’t try to do too much at one time. My 40 year old cheap plastic Waring blender worked well, but I started with only 1/3 cup cane sugar. Multiple small batches is quicker than trying to do one big batch.
• PULSE the sugar. It makes the sugar rise and fall around the blades and gives a more consistent result. I even picked up the blender and shook it a couple times to mix the sugar inside. As I mentioned, it’s a 40 year old, made lotsa margaritas in the 80’s, well loved, still hanging in there but definitely tired machine.
Just found you plan to check already onse week
Can I use brown sugar?
Hi Sandy, This works with white cane sugar.