Healthy Homemade Powdered Sugar (plus Video)

by Sarah Recipes, Snacks and TreatsComments: 16

jar of homemade powdered sugar

Many people, even those who may prefer to cook from scratch, have no idea how easy it is to make homemade powdered sugar. This important ingredient in so many dessert recipes is, unfortunately, heavily commercialized and made with refined white sugar.  On top of being highly processed, store bought powdered sugar is more likely than not of genetically modified (GMO) origin if you live in North America.

Even if you pay the higher price for organic powdered sugar to avoid the GMOs, the resulting product is still a highly processed sweetener with no redeeming nutritional value.

Whenever you need to make frosting for that birthday cake or icing for the cinna-buns, don’t ever consider buying powdered sugar from the store again. If you own a blender, you are good to go!

A healthy, mineral rich granulated sugar of your choice can be easily milled into powdered sugar in seconds!

I typically use evaporated cane sugar to make my homemade powdered sugar using my Mom’s stainless steel retro blender made in the 1950’s. I’ve used palm (coconut) sugar and maple sugar to make powdered versions with great success too.

The only drawback to homemade powdered sugar using a whole sweetener is that it has very rich flavor that can compete with the overall flavor of the dessert you are going to make. For example, vanilla frosting made with powdered sucanat has a decided molasses tinge to it.

Commercial powdered sugar just tastes, well, sweet, with no flavor because all the minerals have been stripped away. If you want to make powdered sugar that doesn’t have any flavor, I would suggest using plain granulated cane sugar. Don’t buy plain granulated sugar (without the word “cane” clearly specified) as it most probably contains GMO beet sugar or is a GMO beet sugar/cane sugar blend. At the very least, you will save money as homemade powdered sugar is much cheaper than anything you can buy, organic or not.

Homemade Powdered Sugar


Makes approximately 1 cup of powdered sugar

1 cup evaporated cane juice (or other granulated sugar of choice)
1 TBL arrowroot powder or nonGMO corn starch (optional)


Pour granulated sugar into a blender or other food processor. Add a tablespoon of optional arrowroot or nonGMO corn starch to prevent clumping if you intend to make a large batch and store in the pantry.

Turn on the blender to high speed for about 30 seconds. You may need to switch it off, open the lid, stir, and repeat if all the sugar did not get powderized during that time.

Pour the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Sift it first before using to make it extra lightweight to use in all your favorite icing and frosting recipes! Click here for my personal favorite butter frosting recipe that I use for devils food cake.

The brief video clip below shows me making homemade powdered sugar start to finish using sucanat in my retro blender.

My guess is that after seeing this you won’t be buying commercial powdered sugar ever again!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (16)

  • Chloe

    Thanks! This sugar recipe is really helpful. I found a new great recipe after several trials at home.

    December 10th, 2015 1:54 am Reply
  • Robyn

    Curious you use evaporated cane sugar I thought Sugar was evil?? I mean raising glucose levels and all?

    December 9th, 2015 9:42 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      Great question. The evaporated cane juice I use is dark brown (sucanat), so it has all the minerals present. True, the glycemic index is higher than other sweeteners like raw honey, but it is significantly lower than white sugar or white powdered sugar.

      December 9th, 2015 9:58 pm Reply
  • Sandy

    This doesn’t work. I tried it using my blender and my food processor. It doesn’t make it fine like the store bought. I let it go a LONG time in the blender and food processor and then beat the icing forever. I ran out of time to go buy some in the store. The icing ends up being gritty and it’s embarrassing explaining to a large group of people what’s wrong with the icing.

    December 8th, 2015 4:43 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      What granulated sugar did you use? I use sucanat typically and as you can see from the video, it gets very fine (the powder is even seen seeping slightly out of the closed top of the blender) and the icing turns out great. Also wondering if you sifted the powdered sugar after making it? Perhaps also you tried to powderize too much at once. In my experience, don’t try to make more than 1 cup at a time.

      December 8th, 2015 5:23 pm Reply
      • Sandy

        I used cane sugar. I tried doing a small batch and then tried doing a big batch thinking it needed the volume to get it to blend around more. I don’t know why it didn’t work. I tried 2 different times .. the second time just to see and I ended up dumping it in my sugar cannister and used it for baking.

        December 8th, 2015 6:51 pm Reply
  • Annie

    Thanks for this information, but why does Starch have to be added to this to make Powder sugar?


    December 8th, 2015 2:39 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      It prevents clumping as mentioned in the instructions. It is optional … you don’t need to use it unless you are going to make a bunch and store it.

      December 8th, 2015 5:22 pm Reply
  • Janice

    I am so excited to try this recipe! Over the past number of years the quality of 10X sugar has gone down dramatically. Store bought brands–even the non generic— have no sweetness factor at all. I have found it impossible to make proper icing for birthday cakes or other items. They just don’t taste as I remember things tasting as I grew up. It is so bland! I don’t know at what point things changed over ( the 90’s??) but I have even written to Dominoes Sugar on various occasions to ask what they have done differently with their powdered sugar, but they have no answers. I assume they think I am nuts. It is so frustrating not to be able to get the results you want when you are making something special! So I am delighted to try to make my own powdered sugar with non GMO cane sugar. Thanks, Sarah!

    December 8th, 2015 1:10 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      I think much of the decline in quality has to do with the rise of GMO beet sugar that is now used in just about everything … labeled as plain “sugar” of course :( Most people have NO IDEA about this and if they did know, would purchase cane sugar or make their own.

      December 8th, 2015 1:46 pm Reply
  • Julia Erlikh

    I’ve done this with my coffee/spice grinder. I makes a little at a time, but so worth it. I’ve wondered if I could do the same my Vitamix. Looking forward to trying! Thanks, Sarah!

    December 8th, 2015 10:51 am Reply
    • Sarah

      A Vitamix would work very well! The good news is that a basic blender does the job too.

      December 8th, 2015 12:17 pm Reply
  • Joanna Bostwick

    This looks interesting! I’m going to try this powdered sugar idea. Thanks for the insight. I really like your blog!

    December 7th, 2015 3:42 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      Thanks Joanna! Let us know what granulated sugar you choose to try and how it turns out for you :)

      December 7th, 2015 5:09 pm Reply

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