Healthy Substitutes for Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar in red bowl.

It can be pretty tough to find the perfect sugar substitute for each recipe if you’re on a sugar-free or low-sugar diet. Because the sugar-free options are seemingly limited, powdered sugar, commonly known as icing sugar or confectioner’s sugar, is typically one of the most challenging components to substitute. So it is no great surprise, as powdered sugar has a lot of beneficial effects in recipes that many people would rather not forego.

Powdered sugar in red bowl.
Source: Envato.

Not to worry, though, in this article, we have suggested a few options you can use in your recipes in place of powdered sugar, especially if you need a substitute due to health concerns.

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Keep reading to get familiar with what makes a good enough substitute for powdered sugar, as well as appropriate substitution procedures. We guarantee that the information you’ll find here will take you several steps towards healthier and more fulfilling recipes.

What is Powdered Sugar?

Powdered sugar is finely ground granulated white sugar, and powdered sugar is so refined that it feels chalky, whereas granulated sugar is sandy and gritty. In addition, a small amount of cornstarch is added to commercial powdered sugar as an “anti-caking agent,” preventing huge clumps from forming.

Although powdered sugar is only one component away from ordinary sugar, it has a significantly different function in baked goods. The texture of recipes is significantly affected by the presence of powdered sugar. For example, when you cream powdered sugar with butter, unlike granulated sugar, the more delicate texture of the sugar prevents air pockets from forming, resulting in a denser, crumblier (but by no means inferior!) cookie texture.

Powdered sugar, unlike granulated sugar, dissolves quickly at room temperature and requires no agitation. This makes it ideal for glazes, buttercreams, frostings, icings, mousses, and other applications where the mixture will not be cooked and a smooth texture with minimal graininess is required.

Uses of Powdered Sugar in Recipes

When a quick-dissolving sugar is required in a recipe, the practical option for the desired effects is powdered sugar, and it can be widely employed in industrial food manufacturing. Home cooks are also popular to produce icing or frosting for cakes and other cake decorations. In addition, it imparts a soft sweet quality and delicate adornment to baked foods.

Some recipes in which powdered sugar is commonly employed are listed below:

  • Vanilla buttercream frosting
  • Cinnamon rock candy
  • Powdered sugar icing
  • Cinnamon roll icing
  • Double chocolate crinkle cookies
  • Cream cheese fruit dip
  • No-bake cherry cheesecake
  • Peanut butter fudge
  • Cream cheese cookies
  • Soft sugar cookies
  • Shortbread cookies
  • Bread pudding
  • Fudgy brownies
  • Creamy brown sugar frosting
  • Caramel apple dip

Healthy Substitutes for Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar, often known as icing sugar, is a finely grained sugar that dissolves quickly in water due to its extra fine quality. It’s usually used for icing on cakes, but it’s also called for in many other recipes.

However, while powdered sugar may contain trace amounts of vitamins and minerals, they are insufficient to justify the 466 calories per cup. As a result, you may need to make a substitution due to the health concerns associated with it. For example, a substitute for powdered sugar could also be necessary due to a lack of products on hand or the existence of allergies.

Here’s a quick instruction on available healthy powdered sugar alternatives:

Powdered coconut sugar

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  • Terrasoul Superfoods Coconut Palm Sugar, 32 ounces
  • USDA Certified Organic, kosher, non-gmo, gluten free, and vegan friendly.
  • Coconut sugar makes an excellent 1:1 ratio replacement to refined white sugar for all of your baking and cooking needs. This tasty addition adds sweetness to coffee or tea without the sugar spike.
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Coconut sugar can also make a distinct type of powdered sugar. This improvisation has a delicious caramel quality that is not as sweet as powdered sugar, and as such, can serve as a considerably healthier alternative.

Combine 1 cup of coconut sugar with one teaspoon of arrowroot powder. In your recipes, you can use this mixture as a 1:1 substitution for powdered sugar, and it will indeed reduce the sweetness of your recipe and give it a delicious caramel flavor.

Dry milk powder

Anthony’s Non Fat Milk Powder, 2 lb, Instant, Gluten Free & Non GMO
  • Instant Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder
  • Batch Tested and Verified Gluten Free
  • No artificial colors or flavors have been added!
  • Product of USA, Packed in California
  • Add to smoothies, shakes, soups, sauces, baked goods, or simply reconstitute for a glass of milk!

Another feasible healthy alternative to powdered sugar in recipes that call for it is non-fat dry milk powder. Combine 1 cup of cornstarch, 1 cup of non-fat dry milk powder, and ½ cup of an artificial sweetener in a blender and process until a smooth powder is formed.

In your recipes, you can substitute this powdered mixture for powdered sugar in a 1:1 substitution ratio. However, if you’re going to use dry milk powder, make sure you add more liquid to your recipe. It might end up being too thick otherwise, so the liquid is needed for added moisture.

Artificial sweeteners

Stevia Sweetener Powder with Plant-based Erythritol, 4 Pounds (64 Ounces) | Keto, 0 Calorie, Low Carb, 4:1 Sugar Substitute, Natural Sweetener, Bitterless, Reb-A Stevia Leaf Extract, Non-GMO, Vegan
  • Stevia Erythritol Blend – Plant-based Sweetener Powder, 4 Pounds, Value Size – 4g Per Serving (1Tsp), 453.5 Servings in Total.
  • Natural Sweetener – Highly Purified Stevia Powder with over 98% Rebaudioside A Proprietary Blend with Plant-based Erythritol Granules, Bitter After Taste Reduced, Keto Diet, Low Carb, Sugar Substitute for Baking, Drinks, Smoothie, Coffee etc…
  • No GMOs, No Additives, No Preservatives, No Fillers, No Artificial Colors, No Flavor, No soy, and No Gluten
  • Scoop included getting the measurement every time. Take it daily with or between meals by adding it to a shake or smoothie, see what the most nutrient-dense food on the planet is all about.
  • Powder lover? Take it naturally in powder for higher concentration, quicker absorption.

You can use an artificial sweetener in your recipe as a sugar-free substitute for powdered sugar. This choice of substitutes will reduce the sugar content of your recipes and allow for healthier results.

Combine 3/4 cup of artificial sweetener and two tablespoons of cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Combine these items in a blender until they are pulverized to the characteristic smooth texture of powdered sugar. In any recipe that asks for powdered sugar, replace it with this sugar-free mixture in a 1:1 ratio, i.e., in equal amounts for the best possible results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a natural substitute for powdered sugar?

In a food processor, combine two packets of stevia and 1 cup of arrowroot or potato starch. Alternatively, combine four stevia packets with 1 cup of arrowroot or potato starch and 1 cup of whey protein powder in a food processor. These should work as good enough substitutes for powdered sugar in your recipes.

Can Splenda replace powdered sugar?

Yes, it most certainly can. In a mixer or food processor, combine 1 cup Splenda and one teaspoon cornstarch to form the powdered sugar alternative. Blend for about 1 minute on high speed or until the texture resembles powdered sugar.

Can granulated sugar be replaced with powdered sugar?

Powdered sugar should not be used in place of granulated sugar. Substituting powdered sugar, which has a more delicate texture and contains a small amount of cornstarch to prevent caking, can result in surprising outcomes.


Whether you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake or cut down on excess calorie intake, or you’re in a pinch while whipping up a baked recipe, these various replacements that have been suggested here are sure to fulfill your culinary needs.

You don’t need to abandon your favorite sweet treats altogether due to health concerns related to the use of powdered sugar. Instead, you can get used to using new substitute options in its place for healthier treats.

Last update on 2023-06-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API