Homemade Powdered Sugar
If you don’t have a bag of powdered sugar on hand, you can make your own! You can turn granulated sugar into homemade powdered sugar in no time.
What is powdered sugar?
Powdered sugar, which is also called confectioner’s sugar, icing sugar, or 10x sugar, is a very finely ground white sugar. Because powdered sugar is so finely ground it is also combined with a bit of cornstarch, or other starch, to prevent it from clumping. Powdered sugar dissolves extremely quickly into baked goods, and because of its fine texture and the addition of cornstarch, it can create very tender baked goods.
How to make homemade powdered sugar
To make your own powdered sugar, you first need a high-powered food processor, blender, or coffee grinder. Make sure it is clean and free of moisture. Add your granulated sugar and blend until it is perfectly smooth and fluffy. Sift it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any clumps. You can pour the remaining clumps back into your blender to smooth them out.
At this point, you are done! You can use your new powdered sugar in your recipe. If you plan on using it later, you can whisk in a bit of cornstarch. The cornstarch is what helps the powdered sugar to stay nice and fluffy- and clump-free! A cup of granulated sugar will make about 2 cups of powdered sugar.
Can I make powdered sugar without a blender?
If you don’t have a blender or food processor, you can make powdered sugar by hand with a mortar and pestle. It can take quite a bit of work but you can grind the granulated sugar into a fine powder with a little elbow power.
Powdered sugar works beautifully to make icings and frostings like a simple powdered sugar glaze, American buttercream frosting, and cream cheese icing because it dissolves so easily. Powdered sugar also works well to dust over cakes or pastries as a simple decoration.
- 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 8 grams (1 tablespoon) cornstarch
- Pour granulated sugar into a blender, high-powered food processor, or coffee grinder. Blend or pulse until it is very fine and fluffy.
- Pour the powdered sugar through a fine-mesh sieve. If there are any sugar crystals that didn't go through the sieve, continue blending them until all is fluffy and fine.
- If ready to use in a recipe: use the powdered sugar as is. For future use: whisk cornstarch into the powdered sugar until it's evenly combined. This will prevent clumping.
- Store unused powdered sugar in an airtight container at room temperature.
As a rough guide, 1 cup of granulated sugar will make about 2 cups of powdered sugar.