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Bold Baking Basics, Homemade Ingredients

How To Make Powdered Sugar (With Video!)

4.58 from 502 votes
I'll show you how to make powdered sugar, aka confectioner's sugar, so you'll never run out when making any of my baking recipes!
A measuring cup of homemade powdered sugar is displayed on a tea towel next to a sifter.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

Knowing how to make powdered sugar is an absolute life-saver in the kitchen — in fact, I think this should be on every top 10 best baking hacks list on the internet! The trick to making powdered sugar lies in the question: what is powdered sugar? Powdered sugar is simply blended granulated white sugar. Yep, it’s true, and it’s just that easy.

You know those times when you want to make buttercream frosting, and halfway through, you realize you have no powdered sugar? Those days of worrying are gone! I’ll teach you the ins and outs and how easy powdered sugar is to make right here! 

A measuring cup of homemade powdered sugar is displayed on a tea towel.

Is Confectioner’s Sugar The Same As Powdered Sugar?

Powdered sugar is a sweet thing that goes by many names, and yes, confectioners’ sugar is powdered sugar’s nickname. Powdered sugar is also called icing sugar or 10X sugar. Why does powdered sugar have “10X” on its label? That’s the number of times the granulated sugar has been processed. 

How To Make Powdered Sugar:

To make powdered sugar, you will need a powerful blender, like a spice grinder, Nutri bullet, Vitamix, or food processor. Though, some of my helpful commenters have told me they’ve had success using their coffee grinder or a Magic Bullet by working in batches. The more you make this recipe for powdered sugar, the more you’ll get a feel for which appliance works best for you.

To make powdered sugar, you’ll blend granulated sugar and cornstarch (known as cornflour in some areas). If you do not have cornstarch, be sure to see my note below.

Blend the sugar and cornstarch until it becomes fine — this will take around 4 to 5 minutes. Stop blending, and then give it a stir with a spatula to make sure all of the granulated white sugar is getting blended. 

To know if you’ve made powdered sugar, run your fingers through the powder. If it feels gritty, then keep blending. 

Why Does Powdered Sugar Have Cornstarch?

Cornstarch helps keep your powdered sugar dry as you store it, which means it prevents the powdered sugar from clumping and caking. Most store-bought powdered sugars contain cornstarch as well because of its anti-caking properties! 

Want to make powdered sugar but don’t have any cornstarch? No worries, as long as you are using your powdered sugar right away. Simply make this recipe without the cornstarch! 

How Long Does Powdered Sugar Last?

Powdered sugar’s shelf life is indefinite as long as it is stored properly. (Again, if you make this powdered sugar without cornstarch, please use it immediately instead of storing it to avoid clumps and moisture.) 

Can Powdered Sugar Go Bad?

If stored properly, powdered sugar can be used indefinitely. However, there are ways to tell if your confectioners’ sugar has gone bad. A clear sign is mold in your package or container. If you find mold, throw away the entire batch of sugar. Another red flag to toss the bag is if you notice any pantry pests in the sugar. 

You should also pay attention to the clumps. Small clumps in powdered sugar are fine, and you can use a sifter to be rid of them, but if there are large, wet clumps, it is a sign your powdered sugar has not been stored properly. 

How To Store Powdered Sugar

The best way to store homemade powdered sugar (or store-bought) is in an air-tight container at room temperature, away from moisture.

5 Ways To Use Powdered Sugar

Watch The Recipe Video!

How to Make Powdered Sugar

4.58 from 502 votes
I'll show you how to make powdered sugar, also called confectioner's sugar, so you'll never run out when making any of your favorite baking recipes!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 cups
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
I'll show you how to make powdered sugar, also called confectioner's sugar, so you'll never run out when making any of your favorite baking recipes!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (16oz/450g) granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)

Instructions

  • First, you need a small, powerful blender, like a spice grinder, Nutri bullet, Vitamix, or food processor. I had the best success in a blender. You might have to try a few different appliances to see what works best.
  • Add in the sugar and cornflour/cornstarch. The cornflour is important as it keeps the sugar dry.
  • Blend it all together until fine, around 4-5 minutes. Stop, and stir with a spatula to make sure it gets mixed all around so that it is all blended.
  • After a few minutes, run it through your fingers; if it feels gritty, then keep blending. You might still feel a little texture at the end, but that’s ok. If you can’t seem to get it really fine, you might need to try a smaller, stronger blender.
  • Store your Homemade Powdered sugar in an airtight container; it will keep indefinitely.
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Cari Sue
Cari Sue
2 years ago

Now searching for “how to make cornstarch”…. never fully prepared!

Leanne Long
Leanne Long
2 years ago

The only time you really need to use cornstarch is IF you are making enough powdered sugar to store it. If you are making just enough for the recipe you are currently making, you do not need the cornstarch.

Sharmaigne
Sharmaigne
2 years ago

Dear Google, thank you for sending me here 🙂 and thank you Gemma for posting this.
Perfect! Took me but 2 minutes in my regular blender and now I’m making some cream cheese frosting for my quarantine cinnamon rolls. No way in hell I’m going to the grocery store for powdered sugar.

Alexis
Alexis
2 years ago

I used a coffee grinder and it worked great! First I tried it with my blender and it didn’t do anything at all but the coffee grinder only took about 30 seconds

Rae Marie Aaland
Rae Marie Aaland
2 years ago

We just had to try this. Unfortunately, we did not have any cornstarch on hand. We decided to try just 1 cup of sugar in the “Bullet.” It definitely put a tug on the motor so we dumped it all out and used batches of 1/3 cup sugar. I was concerned that if we worked the Bullet too hard, it would generate too much heat and we’d either end up with cotton candy or just a mess! Well, it worked great. I plan to use it in whipping cream today and vacuum seal the remaining sugar. Since there’s no starch,… Read more »

sistaramey
sistaramey
2 years ago

Wow! Who Knew? This is awesome, thank you!!

Kain
Kain
2 years ago

Is it possible to replace the cornstarch in this with flour (like all-purpose)?

Patricia Dyess
Patricia Dyess
2 years ago

Can I use granulated Swerve & Arrow root powder to make Powder sugar? For my Keto Dite.

Lilly
Lilly
2 years ago

Can you half this recipe

Khal
2 years ago

This is a great recipe thanks for sharing Jemma

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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