How to Make Powdered Sugar | Powdered Sugar Substitute

Powdered Sugar Substitute. Great for if you can't have sugar, or for when you run out of powdered sugar while baking. Here's how you can make your own Powdered Sugar in a pinch!

I love making homemade versions of pantry staples and processed foods to save money on whole foods and to have healthier versions of packaged foods.  Recipes like homemade salad dressing, homemade ketchup, homemade chocolate chips, taco seasoning, homemade JELLO®, and easiest coconut milk are staples in our home.  This powdered sugar substitute is another big help in this department. It costs less than store-bought powdered sugar, plus you can use healthier and even low carb sweeteners to meet your dietary needs.

You’ve been there, before, haven’t you?  You’re making a sweet treat and you….oops–run out of an ingredient that you need.

That’s another great reason to know how to substitute on the fly since you can avoid a last minute trip to the store–or a ruined recipe.

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I was reminded of wanting to write this post when I posted this past week my recipe for Luscious Lemon Bars.  I mentioned that you could top them with powdered sugar and promised that I’d post about how to make your own confectioners sugar in the near future.  Well, here it is.

You are not going to believe how simple this is–you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing this for years.

All you need is a blender, your sweetener, and one other ingredient and you’re done.

For the sweeteners, sucanat, turbinado or coconut sugar would be typically considered to be the healthiest of the granulated sweeteners. Now Foods offers great prices on healthier alternative sweeteners.  Xylitol and erythritol are other options that will not affect your blood sugar and they do not feed candida.  If all you have is regular white sugar or cane juice crystals, then that will work too, but those options are less healthy than the alternatives that I’ve listed.

This sweetener will work great in anything you would typically use powdered sugar in…and even where you wouldn’t.  Since it’s powdered, it will make any dish where you would like to have a smoother texture that much easier to make smooth.)

 For example, I powder my sweetener often when making my Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips.  It makes the resulting chips much smoother.

Homemade Chocolate Chips

How Will You Save?

powdered sugar is typically more expensive than regular sugar so you’ll save money that way

no running out to the store at the last minute and wasting time and gas money (not to mention wear and tear on your car!)


– if you choose to powder sucanat, the resulting product will be light brown.  But it will still work in your recipes and will taste great!
Cane juice crystals are almost as refined as white sugar so in my opinion they aren’t as good of an option as sucanat
– I know that xylitol and erythritol are not considered “whole foods”.  I can’t eat sucanat or coconut sugar, or else I would — gladly :-).  That’s why I use xylitol and erythritol quite a bit in my recipes.  Hopefully the coconut sugar will be in my not-too-distant future since its glycemic index is much lower!  Thanks, Ricki at Diet Dessert n Dogs for the reminder of this great healthy sugar alternative!
– If you choose to use cornstarch, try to get non-GMO cornstarch please.
– Xylitol has the same sweetening power as sugar but erythritol is only about 70% as sweet as xylitol so you might need to alter your recipes accordingly.

For another recipe in my collection that uses powdered sweetener, try  Dairy-Free Chocolate / Carob Silk Pie with Almond Crust.  Yumm!

More Frugal Homemade Pantry Basics

Aluminum and Corn-Free Baking Powder
Homemade Taco Seasoning
–  Sugar Substitute – like Truvia
 Homemade Rice Milk
 – Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

Need more convincing about how valuable a Vitamix is?  Check out my posts on:

Easiest Almond Milk Ever
Easiest Coconut Milk 
Homemade Coconut Butter

What do you use powdered sugar for?


    Speak Your Mind


  1. You have no idea how thrilled I am by this post!! My son’s 13th b-day was Saturday, but we’re doing his b-day dinner tonight: sausage lentil soup (yes, that’s his request) and a caramel cake that calls for powdered sugar for the frosting. I’m off to my kitchen and will let you know how it turns out! Thanks much, ~Lisa

  2. I’ve been doing this with sucanat and it works great!

  3. Hi Adrienne,

    I’ve been using Billingtons unfefined cane sugar, which was recommended on the Weston Price website. I’ve used either the organic golden or the demarerra.

    Sounds like it’s the same as sucanat. Is their a difference?

    • Ruth, I have read different things in different places, but my understanding overall is that rapadura and sucanat are the same. From the research that I have done, rapadura and sucanat (especially if the sucanat is dark…some sources say that rapadura and sucanat are NOT the same ????) are less refined than turbinado. Hope that helps! I am sure that powdering your own sucanat will be a lot less expensive!

  4. Great post! I will have to try this!

  5. That is GREAT to know! Your website is so resourceful!

  6. Can you use plain white sugar the same way? I’m new to the baking game. (But I have a whole bag of plain white, & no powdered)

  7. I do this all the time. Not, to save money, but because it means I can control the quality and type of sweetener that is in my powdered sugar and it is much easier to have a high quality powdered sugar if you start with a high quality granulated sugar than because the stores in my area just don’t offer as many choices for powdered sweeteners as they do for granulated. Thanks for sharing your tip with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  8. Oh so excited that you posted this! I thought that I could NEVER use a recipe that called for powdered sugar ever again! Bless You!

  9. Thank you for sharing this, I was just think ing the other day if it was possible to make your own powdered sugar, but never got around to looking it up. I had no idea that it would be that simple. Thanks for sharing- I am enjoying looking at your other posts as well. :)

  10. Have you used this for frostings? We don’t use regular sugar, or much of any sweeteners but do keep a bit of rapadura on hand for treats such as birthday cakes, but I was always at a loss what to do for frosting.

    • Yes, Rachel. This will certainly work for frostings. Stay tuned to my blog, however, as I have some great frosting recipes to post! Some are surprisingly low in sweeteners :-).

  11. Visiting from Gratitutesday. I love this tip! I”m always looking for ways to cook from as scratch as possible. Now I just have to get a better blender – my cheapie plastic one won’t cut the mustard….or….sugar. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I love frugal tips, so this is right up my alley! Plus, I’m a sugar junkie. I really don’t understand all these types of sugars so I guess I need to do more research. Thanks for sharing. I’m here from Things I Love Thursday.

    • I plan to do more posting about the different types of sweeteners so you can, of course, sign up for email or RSS updates. I’d be happy to answer any questions that you have!
      Take care,

  13. You ROCK, I don’t even know what else to say cause this is amazing. Thank you SO much for posting, I’ve already bookmarked it.

  14. Hi Adrienne,
    This is wonderful recipe to have for Powdered Sugar, it is a great post! Hope you are going to have a wonderful week end and thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

  15. Always a great idea to make something at home if possible! And so your readers know, it works with coconut sugar, too. Thanks so much for submitting to Wellness Weekend this week, Adrienne! (And Elsie is still loving her place in the spotlight courtesy of you). 😀

    • Ricki –

      Yes, I forgot to mention coconut sugar — I had done this with Sucanat in my pre-candida days, but haven’t tried coconut sugar yet. I’ll add that to the post! And say hi to Elsie for me :-)! Woof!

  16. This is pretty cool! Thanks for this too!

  17. Thanks for sharing! I hate running out to the store for stuff like this! This was the first post that caught my eye at the Food Trip Friday Carnival–and then I clicked on it and realized it was your blog again! (I commented on your Better Mom post yesterday and we both contribute to MAM.) LOL–You are everywhere! Glad to read more of your posts!

  18. Very cool! I’ll try it with raw (turbinado) sugar– that’s what I have. I don’t mind a slight brown tint to my whipped cream. :)

  19. Adrienne – Woo-hoo! The caramel cake I baked for my son turned out great and the frosting made by following your instructions for homemade powdered sugar was fantastic!! Yes, ladies (those of you wondering if this works for frosting), this powdered sugar is wonderful! Be mindful, though, that it will have a mild, yet delicious, molasses flavor.

    If anyone is interested in the cake I made, I posted about it earlier this week (my son’s b-day post and linked to the recipe). To cut down on the amount of total sugar for this dessert (and the frosting), I only made half the cake recipe substituting w/w pastry flour and whole cane sugar; I also made only half the frosting — I frosted only the very top of the cake and it was perfect. :) Thanks and many blessings, ~Lisa

    • Thanks for stopping by to update us, Lisa! I have one question, though — I assume that you mean that the frosting had a molasses flavor since you used sucanat or turbinado, correct?

      Thanks! We are completely off sugar (most of the family) but I will have to take a run at your recipe! I love caramel cake! Blessings, ~ Adrienne

      • Actually, it was the cake and the frosting (I used sucanat in both). FYI: The frosting calls for brown sugar for the caramel in addition to the powdered sugar; I did use b. sugar when I made mine as I wasn’t sure how the sucanat would work. When I make this again, I’ll try making the caramel w/ sucanat and then make even less than half of the total frosting recipe since by frosting only the top of the cake, we used very little. It was a wonderful way to indulge for a b-day cake! Blessings, ~Lisa

  20. KB and Whitesnake says:

    Thanks for sharing with us at

    Simply Delish Saturday

  21. How cool, I would have never thought to do this. I am a Truvia girl myself. I just found your great blog and wanted to invite you to my weekly any link goes party at Bacon Time. I am even giving away a cute pair of fork silver earrings to one lucky linker this weekend. Hope you will join us.

  22. I love substitution recipes. I have a whole book on them but I don’t think I’ve seen this one before. So glad you posted this. Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  23. What a fantastic tip! Thanks for sharing. :)

  24. Thank you for sharing at Joy of Desserts. Please remember to add me to the rest of your hostesses’ links. :-) Have a great day.

  25. I have done this before long ago and am looking forward to it again. I’m currently on a mission to buy a Blendtec blender!

    Great post and thanks for sharing at the hearth and soul hop last week.

    • Hi Jason,

      Thanks again for stopping by! By the way, it’s not just because I am a rep for Vitamix….but I would certainly recommend the Vitamix over the Blendtec. I tried both. I’d be happy to fill you in on my thoughts. Take care, ~Adrienne

  26. Love this! We would be so happy if you would come and link up at our link party Crafty Lassie Tuesdays. Thanks Rose and Heather

  27. That is interesting and different! Love it!

  28. Thank you so much for linking up at’s Savvy HomeMade Monday this week!

  29. Thank you for sharing this great tip with Let’s Do Brunch! This is such an interesting post!!

  30. This is a fantastic post! Thanks for linking up to Friday Potluck – I love these how to ideas!

  31. Great recipe! I just saw your post featured over at Allergy Friendly Friday @ Cybele Pascal Allergen-Free Cuisine. I’ll have to bookmark this one :)

  32. Thank you for linking up to Tasty Tuesday at Nap-Time Creations. I really hope you can come back and link up again this week!

  33. Amazing. I had no idea I could do this. I love finding these hints out…makes my life easier!

  34. I tried your rec for powdered sugar. Flawless! We made royal icing for haunted gingerbread houses. I am sooo excited this worked! I will use this instead of buying powder sugar too, it’s just better in the ways I use it for stuff. The mixer we have, I’m sure made this work so well.

  35. I don’t have a blender :( do you think a Magic Bullet would work for this?

  36. Ann Santos says:

    thank you so much. i am planning to make choc fudge this weekend.

  37. I am a diabetic and wonder if I can make powdered suger with splenda.

    • Hello Beverly. Actually, splenda has fillers that may raise your blood sugar. I think you could make it just fine, but I personally would recommend using xylitol or erythritol instead and powdering those. Erythritol isn’t quite as sweet, but has less digestive issues. There is a sucralose product called EZ Sweetz that is pure sucralose and there is another one called Fiberfit, but that is also a liquid product.

  38. I just made powdered sugar with Xylitol in my Bledtec and it came out perfect. Woo Hoo. Thank you for your post. Now I want to use this to make my own cocoa mix. Xylitol is a very safe and natural sweetener. It also prevents tooth decay. NEVER feed it to a dog. Sucralose is chlorinated sugar and will kill your beneficial bacteria. Its just not a good or natural sweetener. Stay away from it. Palm sugar is also wonderful. I use it in place of brown sugar. If it needs to be moistened I just add a little water. The taste is so good too.

    I like your blog!!
    Be Well.

    • Thanks for your kind words! Glad it worked for you! I know a medical professional who thinks the Sucralose warnings are unfounded. But we really enjoy the xylitol gum by Glee. Take care!

  39. This is so exciting to read! I was recently diagnosed with Hypoglycemia, and the best treatment is a diet of no-sugar, low glycemic, high protien foods. Problem is I’m the “cupcake lady”, I am called upon to do all sorts of fancy cupcake confections for parties, showers, weddings, etc. My daughter even wants two cupcake towers in lieu of a wedding cake! Now I can make everyone elses with healthier options, and then if I’m going to enjoy one myself I can whip up a bit of frosting with Xylitol for myself! I truly appreciate this!

  40. Stopping by from the Penny Pinching Party!

  41. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity and talent on “A Little Birdie Told Me…” Tuesday at Rook No. 17! This week’s party is already in full swing. Hope you’ll join us!
    Your friend,

    P.S. Sharing your post on my Facebook page today!

  42. This is very helpful as I have a diabetic in the house — have not seen this substitution before. Will definitely give it a try. I’d love it if you would consider linking with Busy Monday (open Monday through Thursdays) at A Pinch of Joy, a linky party for ideas that make life better, easier and more fun!

  43. Such a great idea!! Thanks for sharing and posting. I will not be buying powdered sugar anymore!

  44. I just made this powdered sugar to use in a recipe I have always made for my kids before we went gluten, sugar and diary free. I did not melt in as nice but I think it tastes pretty good. I used half a cup of coconut sugar and 3 cups of date sugar, because that is what I had. I may have to add a little mild because it is much thicker and I am not sure it will melt over the hot brownies the way it should.

  45. thank goodness for your help hope it turns out right really good thank god for the cooking sub

  46. Found this post in a search. I wish I had looked for it yesterday. Great info. I am gluten/dairy and sugar free, so it is often problematic finding proper ingredients and substitutes. I made some spice cookies last night, from almond and coconut flour. They came out great but needed a light frosting. I pulled out the xylitol and dissolved some in a small amount of warm water with organic vanilla extract. When it set it had re-crystallized into large granular bits. Tasted OK, but not esthetically pleasing. I will be using your process in the future. Thanks!!!

  47. Adrienne, any luck or know of anyone who then used the powered sugar for hard icing? I am trying to convert a recipe for pop tarts. The icing is powered sugar, vanilla, egg whites and salt. The goal though is to have it stay hard even at room temp or toasted. Glad I found your site.
    The dough also uses corn syrup so I am trying to alter it al, to make it gastric bypass friendly. Would love some opinions.

    • I think it would work great. What are your questions about the dough? I have a corn syrup sub in mind if you need that….what sweeteners can you use?

  48. i can use sugar alchihols or any of the other chemical sweeteners. The dough uses corn syrup so a sub for that would be awesome!

    • Well, you could powder those. You could also use those plus a tad of water for the corn syrup. Let me look for that info. I was going to post on it. If it’s just a small amount you could easily make a sub like in my post on subbing sweeteners. Or you could use vegetable glycerine. I can’t find that post now….but if it’s just a little that’s what I’d do. Here is my post on subbing: Baking with honey

  49. Thanks! I have book marked the sub link for future use.

  50. Another great idea! I had no idea succanat or coconut sugar would work for this, I am so glad to know! Thanks for sharing on Hearth & Soul Hop. :)

  51. I’ll have to try this! I am notorious for running out of things. Love to have a substitute! :-)

  52. I love this recipe. What an easy solution. I have a Blog Hop, and I would love it if you would link this post. You can find it at
    It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop.
    I hope to see you there. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above

  53. This is great!!! I’ve wondered how to do this. I’d LOVE for you to share this on my new link party: All Around the House! Super helpful!!

  54. I had no idea. Thanks!

  55. I forgot about this–used this recipe when I was a kid. Thanks for linking up.

  56. No, way! This is indeed so easy, Adrienne, and kind of fun…all these years I assumed I was at the mercy of the Domino sugar company when I could have been whirring it up myself? Crazy!

    Would I need the “grains” attachment for Vitamix? I have a basic Vitamix with the…well, the “normal” thing that I use for smoothies and such. (Apparently, I don’t know the right Vitamix terminology; I’m at a loss for words.)

    You are the cleverest!

    • Hi Ann!

      You don’t need any special attachment or blender. Just the one that comes w/ it :-)! You mean the dry container :-). And I don’t even remember where I got this info – but it wasn’t my idea :-).

  57. I copied your recipe and saved to to my file of recipies from Ann’s site.
    Thank you for this great idea.

    Thank you for the little box to check that I am human instead of the capchas!

  58. This is great! We appreciate you linking up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. We hope you’ll be back soon! -The Sisters

  59. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing this post with the Gallery of Favorites.

  60. This is similar to my recipe. I use tapioca starch instead of the cornstarch, as we are sensitive to corn. Thanks for sharing.

  61. I made this with cane sugar and it did become very fine, but I was wondering if it would be a suitable substitute for confectioners sugar as well as powered sugar. But either way this recipe will really help around the house. Thank you!

  62. Aw…I just bought a 2 lb bag of powdered sugar after being out for a while. I guess you could d this with Truvia? For a no-calorie option?

    • Hmm….yes, you could, but I don’t like those “natural flavors” in there. Could be anything. I would purchase erythritol straight and add stevia and go from there :-).

    • I didn’t mean to put you off at all, by the way. I do this w/ xylitol all the time and actually that’s a great idea you gave me b/c we don’t eat erythritol as much since it’s not quite sweet enough – thank you!!!

  63. I know it has a slightly different taste–but it’s the only no-calorie natural sweetener I know of. I’m actually not super familiar with all that’s available. It’s all kinda new to me.

  64. SAHM to my little angel! says:

    Thank you so much for this helpful information! I was in the middle of baking and didn’t want to run to the store. I’m so glad I know this now :))

  65. I do this too. I’ve been using coconut sugar and I just blend it up in my Vitamix to make powdered sugar. It does turn out light brown, just as you mentioned Sucanat does. I haven’t added any cornstarch or other starch, though. That doesn’t seem to have caused a problem in my recipes, though perhaps it would cause the sugar to clump together if it remained on the shelf. I tend to just make enough for my recipe.

  66. MissRealness says:

    Hi Adrienne. I was going through the posts and saw that you said xylitol is not completely natural.
    I have looked it up in the past and found nothing negative about it. Can you show me some info on this?
    We have been using it for years. When you guys say coconut sugar is that the same as coconut sap sweetener? I buy that once in a while, it looks like brown sugar.
    Also, wanted to say thanks for this post about alternative powdered sugar, I had no idea it was possible to do this. 😉

    • Some folks say it’s bad b/c there is evidence of kidney damage in dogs. But chocolate and raisins and grapes can kill dogs. Others say since it’s a sugar alcohol it is bad.

      I think the c sugar is the same. Anyone else/???

      You’re welcome!!!

  67. MissRealness says:

    I have xylosweet it says GMO free and that it is a product of Canada. Is that one okay?

    • I would be OK using it. I would prefer birch and not corn, but that’s b/c most corn is GMO regardless of what they say. That being said, we still eat popcorn :)

  68. HI! I have just stumbled onto your blog and am loving the tips. I, too, can only tolerate xylitol, erythritol, stevia, Lo Han and coconut sugar/nectar – and sometimes not even those. All grains, fruit and legumes are also taboo. : ( Thank goodness for nut flours and low glycemic sweetners! Anyway, I use Xylosweet exclusively as my Xylitol source because they (Xlear) actually have non GMO corn grown for them, so I know it’s safe. Popcorn is also okay from a GMO standpoint, as no one has been able to effectively modify it – yet. Keep up the great work!

  69. Adrienne – I just tried to make powdered sugar using 2 packets of stevia and 1 cup of potato starch based on another recipe, and it didn’t work really.

    But because I have now bought tons of potato starch I’m wondering if I can make your recipe but sub the potato starch for the cornstarch/arrowroot?? :)

    • Hi. Are those measurements reversed?? That’s a lot of potato starch. Also, the packets of stevia are different from the extract. The extract is a ton stronger. :)

  70. Thank you My husband is diabetic and I use Xylitol because you can bake anything with it. I didn’t know how to powder it. this is my first time to visit a friend of mine told me

  71. I tried to read most of the posts… Just FYI… some alcohol based sugars (like these used in the recipe) can have problems while being heated… they just don’t function like normal sucrose/glucose/fructose. Just so y’all know…

  72. thank you so much for this recipe. it pretty much just saved the lives of my cinnamon rolls.

  73. How much does this recipe make?

  74. Hi! I was just wondering if you could use tapioca starch instead of cornstarch. I’ve looked around the house have nothing besides tapioca starch.

  75. Thank you so much for this recipe. I will definitely have to give it a try.

  76. This is just awesome, well done! Finally can have a healthy alternative to powdered sugar. You rock :)

  77. Thank you, now I can make frosting for my christmas cookies…

  78. Hey! thank you very much for this post. Ive been thinking about a healthier option to powdered sugar. One question: Ive never heard about sucanat here in my country. Will muscovado sugar work?? I want it specially for frosting

  79. Omg this is awesome! Worked like a charm and saved me a trip to the store. :-)

  80. Does this work on macaroons

  81. Thanks! Love this tip. Pinning it now.

  82. Teresa Justice says:

    Have you ever tried to use agave to make the powdered sugar. I realize that alot of these recipes are including a dry sweetener like xylitol. I have tried xylitol and my husband can not stand it. He is diabetic and being able to use the liquid agave has been a god send. That doesn’t leave a nasty after taste and I use a 1/4 less than any other sweetener.

  83. PLEASE you say you use a combination of xylitol and erythritol, but
    I have never seen what the proportions are. Are they equal amounts of each or what?

    • Hi there. I meant to say that you can use either – whatever you like. I added a note on the post that might explain it better. Thanks and sorry about that.

  84. can you use tis for woopie pies or what we call gobs. I have a diabetic granddaughter and she wants pumpkin gobs

  85. Can’t wait to try this. Have you experimented with stevia extract? I know it’s much sweeter than regular sugar so might hafta use different portions but would love your opinion/advice on making this recipe with stevia. Thanks!

  86. Paula Strong says:

    You just saved me a trip to the store and I was able to make sugar free powdered sugar on top of that! Thank you!

  87. Do you ever use glycerin or glycerites for your sweetener? I remember filing it away in a mental file to keep in mind for my grandmother after hearing it had a low glycemic index….

  88. Coconut Sugar also works. Just buzz in blender or nutrabullet, even press down type coffee grinder that you might use to grind spices works. Cornstarch and arrowroot are anti caking ingredients for longer term storage of powdered sugar. If you are using right away, these are not needed.

  89. Dr. Marilyn Fisher says:

    Do you have a substitute recipe for brown sugar?

    • Are you looking for a low carb version? The easiest sub is to add the amt of sweetener you need for the recipe and then 1 T of molasses to the recipe per cup of brown sugar. Does that help?

  90. Thanks! This saved me on Easter Sunday! Glazed about 10 cookies then realized I had no more powdered sugar to make more. This worked in a pinch!

  91. Can you use this sugar free substitute for powdered sugar for making frosting and whipped cream?

  92. My blender-powdered Dominos cane sugar does not dissolve on the tongue, but still has grittiness. Will adding arrowroot make it blend finer or is my blender the culprit?
    Warning to fellow bakers: my Domino’s confectioner’s sugar in 1 lb box has bitter, metallic aftertaste. Sell by date is 2/2016. Taste test BEFORE you use in a recipe. I have had this problem on many occasions, but only now traced it directly to the sugar. I had to discard frosting made with organic butter. :(

  93. raveendra says:

    powdering of sugar is it temporary change or permanent change?

  94. Hi, quick question for you, would you use this as a cup-for-cup replacement for powdered sugar in, say, a frosting recipe?

  95. I am on the Wheat Belly diet and cannot use either cornstarch or arrowroot. Do you think I could substitute either of those with coconut flour?

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