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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!

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

Prep Time: 2 mins

Total Time: 2 mins

Servings: 1 cup powdered sugar (approx)

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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.

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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