Save Money By Making Your Own Powdered Sugar

Cut Your Powdered Sugar Cost in Half with a Little DIY

Icing being sprinkled over Christmas mince pies
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Do your really need to buy powdered sugar? Unless you use a lot of it, not really. If you're working on a recipe that calls for powdered, confectioner's, or icing sugar (all names for the same ingredient), you can easily make your own at home. Just grab some granulated sugar from your pantry, and follow the steps below to turn it into powdered sugar.

How to Make Your Own Powdered Sugar

Making your own powdered sugar takes just a few minutes.

You will need granulated sugar and a blender or food processor. You can also use a coffee or spice grinder, if you only need a small amount. Just be sure to clean your coffee or spice grinder first. You don't want your sugar to come out tasting like coffee or spices.

What You Do:

  1. Place one cup of granulated sugar in the blender for each cup of powdered sugar needed.
  2. Blend at high speed, until the sugar turns to a powder.
  3. Use immediately, or store in an air-tight container.

A blender often works better than a food processor. If you do find that small chunks of sugar are left in the powder, you can simply sift out the larger pieces.

Tips for Making Powdered Sugar

While processing powdered sugar at home is very easy and will save a lot of money, there are a few extra tricks that will help make each batch a success.

  • Make small batches. While it is tempting to blend up a large batch of powdered sugar to have on hand, you will get the best results if you keep your batches small. One to two cups at a time is a good amount.
  • Add a little cornstarch. Store-bought powdered sugar often contains a small amount of cornstarch. This prevents caking and improves its thickening ability (important when you're making icing). You can achieve the same thing at home. Just add 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch for each cup of sugar that you're making.
  • Know that sugar can scratch. Granulated sugar may etch your blender bowl, particularly if it's made of plastic. This could result in unsightly scratches where food could get stuck in the future. If you plan to make powdered sugar often, consider using a dedicated blender bowl for the job. You can usually order spare parts for your blender, either directly from the manufacturer, or from sites, like Ebay.
  • Go beyond white sugar. While we often think of white cane sugar when it comes to granulated sugar, you can also make powdered sugar from other sugars. Turbinado and coconut sugar are good substitutes. Alternative sugars can also be used to fit your dietary needs. Use a sugar substitute that replaces sugar measure for measure for the best results.

How Much Money Can You Save?

On average, you can cut the cost of powdered sugar in half, if you make it yourself. The basic 4-pound bag of white granulated sugar costs between $2-3; that's the same price as a 2-pound bag of powdered sugar.

Because the two sugars are almost cup-for-cup in yield, you'll cut your cost in half, if you make your own powdered sugar.

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