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What can I Substitute for Powdered Sugar?

If you’re looking for a sugar substitute, you’re in luck! There are plenty of alternatives to powdered sugar on the market. These include unrefined granulated sugars like maple, coconut, and organic cane sugar. Raw sugar or arrowroot powder can also be used as a substitute for powdered sugar. But what is the best sugar substitute? In this article, we’ll look at a few popular options.

What is Powdered Sugar?

It’s helpful to know precisely what powdered sugar is to determine what substitutions make sense and how to produce your own. Powdered sugar is essentially granulated sugar that has been ground and processed into a finely powdered state. It dissolves considerably more efficiently than conventional sugar crystals since it’s so fine, making it perfect for frosting, icing, and decorating baked goods (hence the names confectioners’ sugar and icing sugar). Powdered sugar is what you see on top of sweets when you notice a white coating. It’s there to add sweetness and decoration.

Powdered Sugar Preparation

Powdered sugar is definitely in your pantry if you’re a seasoned baker. If you don’t have any or don’t have time to go to the shop, you can create your own powdered sugar. Regular granulated sugar, cornstarch, and a grinding mechanism, such as a blender, food processor, or even a coffee grinder, are all you need.


1 cup sugar (granulated)

cornstarch, 1 tablespoon

Simply grind the granulated sugar until it forms a fine powder, sift out any bigger particles with a fine-mesh sieve or sifter, and blend thoroughly with pulverized cornstarch. It’s best not to grind the sugar for more than a minute at a time because it produces heat. Then use the same amount of this combination as powdered sugar in the recipe.

Powdered Sugar Alternatives

Depending on your needs, many solutions can be used in place of powdered sugar.

1. Dry Milk Powder

There are several substitutes for dry milk powder. Some are dehydrated, and others are liquid. Which one is better depends on the purpose? Regular milk is an excellent substitute for dry milk because it contains the same ingredients and moisture. If your recipe calls for another liquid, such as water, you can use evaporated milk instead of dry milk powder. The result will be a less sweet, creamy recipe.

Granulated sugar can be substituted for the same amount of powdered sugar in a recipe. However, it won’t have the same texture, and instead, it will taste slightly grainy. Granulated sugar is a good substitute in a 1:1 ratio, but it won’t have the same sweetness. Also, it won’t have the same texture, so you might want to experiment with the proportions before using this alternative.

2. Mixture of Hot Cocoa

Do you have any hot cocoa mix on hand? If you’re making chocolate treats, such packets can be used in place of powdered sugar. If you have the tools, you might want to grind them to ensure it’s as fine as possible.

3. Sugar Granules

It is feasible to just use a smaller amount of granulated sugar. Still, you must accept that the texture may not be optimal, especially for icing or other recipes that require extreme smoothness. Simply replace 1 cup powdered sugar with 1 cup granulated sugar and proceed as recommended.

4. Coconut Sugar

In addition to being lower glycemic, coconut sugar as a substitute can be used in many recipes. AIP, or the autoimmune protocol, allows for coconut sugar in baking and other desserts. To make your own coconut sugar powder, use a high-powered blender or coffee grinder to blend the coconut sugar until it resembles a fine powder. Allow the coconut sugar to settle to a light brown color, then store it in an airtight container at room temperature.

Powdered sugar comes in various names around the world. Among the most common names are icing sugar and confectioner’s sugar, and its more acceptable consistency makes it a better substitute for icing baked goods. You can also use snow sugar or Xylitol as a powdered substitute for traditional white sugar. While powdered sugar is easy to find in grocery stores, coconut sugar is more problematic.

5. Xylitol Powder

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that comes in both crystal and powder forms. It can be used in baking and cooking to replace powdered sugar. You can also add it to cereal, fruits, and beverages such as coffee or tea. If powdered sugar is too sweet, you can replace it with xylitol powder.

Xylitol is about as sweet as 10X sugar. It is less sweet than erythritol, so it may result in dry baked goods. But it’s still worth mentioning that erythritol has antioxidant properties. Because erythritol does not caramelize, it can cause baked goods to become less moist. For this reason, it is recommended that you substitute it for icing sugar in baking.

6. Stevia

A healthier sugar alternative is stevia. This natural sweetener comes in both liquid and powder forms. It is often used to sweeten teas and coffee and contains fewer calories and carbs than regular sugar. You can easily add stevia to recipes, and the results are just as sweet! Its natural sweetness means that you can use less sugar in baking. In fact, stevia can be substituted for one cup of powdered sugar.

Powdered sugar is finely ground granulated sugar, and it contains small amounts of cornstarch. A food processor or coffee grinder is an excellent way to grind this sugar into a fine powder. Once ground, it must be sieved to remove any larger granules. However, it will not work in every recipe. To avoid having to buy granulated sugar, try using Stevia.

7. Brown sugar

You can use brown instead of powdered sugar to make delicious desserts and baked goods without molasses. You can replace brown sugar with regular white sugar in a one-to-one ratio. The molasses-like flavor of brown sugar lends itself to banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. However, brown sugar may not be as suitable for delicate recipes. To make sure, read recipes carefully and choose the right type of brown sugar.

Simply blend granulated sugar and ground cornstarch together to make a brown sugar substitute. You can grind the sugar for less than a minute, but be sure not to grind it too long as this will generate heat. Once the sugar is ground to a fine powder, you can use it in recipes that call for powdered sugar. Brown sugar can replace up to 2 cups of granulated sugar. However, it will not bake crisp like powdered sugar.

8. Dextrose Powder (D-glucose)

Dextrose Monohydrate is one of the critical components of table sugar. Packaged dextrose powder is often in the form of finely ground crystals, with a feel and function similar to powdered sugar.

Dextrose absorbs liquids more readily than other sugars. You need to add a little more liquid to your recipe to make it more balanced.

In addition, powdered dextrose is 70% less sweet than conventional powdered sugar. As a result, to reach the same level of sweetness as powdered sugar, you’ll need to use more dextrose.

9. Powdered Sugar, 6X or 4X

Regular powdered sugar is usually in the form of an excellent powder with a 10X crystal size.

Other powdered sugar variants are available, although these have significantly bigger crystal sizes. The finer the sugar is ground, the higher the number. As a result, 10X is the best option, whereas smaller values like 6X or 4X are slightly larger.

If you don’t have 10X confectioner’s sugar, 6X or 4X powdered sugar will suffice. However, you should be mindful that larger crystals can be difficult to dissolve in the icing on your cake.

10. Snow Powder

This sugar, often known as snow sugar, does not melt as quickly as confectioner’s sugar. Snow powder is commonly used on cakes for decoration.

Simply combine a cup of glucose with 2 tablespoons tapioca starch, arrowroot, or cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon titanium dioxide to generate snow powder.

When you have snow sugar, use it in recipes that call for refrigeration. It’s also not as sweet as powdered sugar, so it might not work in some recipes.

Some Popular Powdered Sugar Recipes

1. Amish Sugar Cookies

Making Amish sugar cookies takes only 20 minutes and only ten ordinary ingredients.
Cream of tartar is the most “unusual” ingredient on the list, and it can be found for a few dollars in the spice section at Walmart.

These cookies are delicious. Crispy borders contrast with a soft, chewy middle. They also have a lovely glitter from the sugar on top.

Colored sugar can be used to make these festive for Christmas, Halloween, or other holiday gatherings. They’re so basic, but they’re so adaptable.

2. Shortbread Cookies

You can create four dozen of these excellent shortbread cookies in under an hour if you have butter, powdered sugar, salt, flour, and vanilla essence on hand.
They’re crispy and full of buttery sweetness, and each bite will virtually melt in your tongue. They’re also great for making Christmas cookies.

Make a few dozen, put them in a lovely tin, and give them to friends and family as a gift they won’t be able to refuse.

3. Wedding Cookies from Mexico

These wonderful Mexican wedding cookies are very attractive and fun to make.

Of course, after eating them and getting powdered sugar all over your face, hands, and clothes, you’ll seem a little less attractive, but that won’t make the cookies any less delicious!

They also have a fantastic flavor.

The almonds give them a little nutty flavor, while the powdered sugar and vanilla essence gives them an exquisite sweetness.

They have a lovely, crisp texture and leave your mouth feeling cool and refreshing after eating them.

4. Cookies with Lemon Drops

Lemon drop cookies are similar to sugar cookies in that they are soft and melt in your mouth.

They are, however, iced in a tart, tangy frosting made with lemon zest, lemon juice, and powdered sugar.

The icing gives them a distinct flavor that is neither too sour nor too sweet.

If you like lemon desserts, you’ll recognize the flavor I’m talking about.

The icing also hardens a little, giving the soft biscuits some crunch, which is a pleasant contrast.

5. Glaze with Powdered Sugar

Homemade powdered sugar glaze is ideal for a variety of applications, including bread, doughnuts, strudel, cakes, and more.

It’s not something you’d eat on its own, and you probably won’t need it very frequently, but everyone should know how to create it.

Fortunately, it’s quick and easy to prepare, taking only 10 minutes. Plus, only three ingredients are required: flavored extract, powdered sugar, and heavy cream.

Also, just because I said it’s not something you can eat on its own doesn’t imply you couldn’t.

As I already stated, there is no judgment here. It’s really tasty, so if you want to eat it with a spoon, go ahead and do so!

Is it Possible to Substitute Ordinary Sugar for Powdered Sugar?

We’re happy to report that standard granulated sugar can be used to make powdered sugar. We already covered how to do this in our article, but it’s worth mentioning here.

You will also want cornstarch or arrowroot powder and regular sugar. In addition, you’ll need a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder.

You’ll need 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or arrowroot powder for every cup of ordinary granulated sugar. Here’s how to put it together:

In a grinder (or blender, etc. ), process the granulated sugar until it produces a fine powder. This usually takes less than a minute.
Sieve the ground sugar to separate the more prominent granules from the powder.
Blend the powdered sugar and crushed cornstarch together thoroughly.
The confectioner’s sugar should now be ready to be stored in an airtight jar.
Then, in a 1:1 ratio, use this DIY handmade powdered sugar. We recommend cooking it in large batches so you may save some for later.

Why would you Require a Substitute?

Of course, if you’re in the middle of baking and realize you’re out of powdered sugar, you’ll need a substitute. Or when you go food shopping, your local supermarket is out of stock due to supply concerns.

However, running out of powdered sugar or having supply challenges aren’t the only reasons you could be looking for an alternative. If you have trouble absorbing sugar, you may require a powdered sugar replacement.

Table sugar is used to make powdered sugar. Table sugar is a disaccharide, meaning it is composed of two monosaccharides: glucose and fructose.

Your digestive system may not be able to absorb fructose if you have fructose malabsorption.

7 Foods high in fructose, such as regular powdered sugar, can induce bloating, gas, and abdominal pain, so you might be looking for a healthier alternative.

If you have inherited fructose sensitivity, you may need to avoid all fructose-containing foods. Because people with this rare genetic disorder lack the enzyme needed to metabolize fructose, the primary treatment is to avoid table sugar and most other kinds of sugar.

How Much Powdered Sugar is Equal to Granulated Sugar?

Suppose you want to replace powdered sugar with regular granulated sugar in your recipes. In that case, you’ll need two cups of regular granulated sugar for everyone and three-quarters cup of powdered sugar.

If a recipe calls for powdered sugar instead of plain granulated sugar, there could be a solid reason for it.

In that scenario, making your own DIY handmade powdered sugar using the method detailed in this article’s main body and under the question title “Can you use ordinary sugar instead of powdered sugar?” would be your best option.

If you want to manufacture your own, you’ll need some cornstarch or arrowroot powder, a blender, food processor, coffee grinder, and conventional granulated sugar.

Once you’ve manufactured your own powdered sugar, you may use it in any recipe that calls for it in a 1:1 ratio.


If you’re cooking a recipe that calls for powdered sugar (like cookie dough), stick with powdered sugar, or you’ll end up with the result that falls short of your expectations. However, if you’re going to try your hand at substituting, substituting by weight rather than volume will give you better results. (A cup of powdered sugar contains 113 grams, while a cup of granulated sugar contains 200 grams.)