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Learn how to make homemade powdered sugar in under 3 minutes! Making powdered sugar without cornstarch is affordable for use in your favorite recipes like frosting, icing, or whipped cream. You’ll never need to buy icing sugar again.

a glass bowl of powdered sugar on a cutting board
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Have you ever been in the middle of making a delicious dessert, only to realize you’re out of powdered sugar? Doh! The good news is, you can totally make your own.

Making your own powdered sugar could not be any easier. And I’m going to teach you to do it in your own kitchen…in just three minutes. Seriously, you’ll never run out again.

Once you tackle homemade confectioner’s sugar, you’ll want to learn how to make brown sugar. Pretty soon, you’re going to be a pantry staples master.

The 3 stages of making homemade powdered sugar

How to Make Powdered Sugar Without Cornstarch

Simply place your sugar of choice in a food processor, high-powered blender, coffee grinder, or magic bullet. 

Process it until it’s fine and fluffy, which should take about three minutes depending on your device.

Uses for Powdered Sugar

When you learn how to make icing sugar at home, you can use it in Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, Pumpkin Spice Cookies, Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, Homemade Marshmallows, Mocha Frosting, or Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls, Chocolate Whipped Cream, or homemade royal icing.

It’s also great sprinkled over Frozen Berry Cake or a stack of Sour Cream Pancakes.

Powdered Sugar vs. Confectioner’s Sugar

Powdered sugar is a regional term and might be called confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar in other countries. If you have a recipe that calls for any of these sugars, the quantities will be equivalent.

You might stumble onto a recipe that calls for super fine or baker’s sugar. These are not the same as powdered sugar as the texture is halfway between granulated and powdered sugar.

How to Store Homemade Powdered Sugar

You will want to store homemade powdered sugar in an air-tight container; I prefer a mason jar.

If you’re using the homemade confectioner’s sugar the same day, you do not need to add anything to the mixture. If you want to store it for longer than a week, adding 1 tbsp of cornstarch or arrowroot powder will help keep the mixture clump-free.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • If you are using this sugar for frosting, I highly recommend making it an hour or so before you need to use it. The sugar will become warm during the processing, thus making it harder for the frosting to set. You need the sugar to be at room temperature before adding it to recipes.
  • If you’re making more than 2 cups of sugar, separate it into multiple batches for processing.
  • If using a blender or food processor, I find it best to place a damp towel over the top to catch any escaping powdered sugar.
  • Stay in the same room with the blender while it is processing. You want to make sure you don’t have any issues with your blender overheating.
a spoon and glass of powdered sugar on a wooden cutting board
5 from 14 ratings

How to Make Powdered Sugar

Prep: 3 minutes
Total: 3 minutes
a glass bowl of powdered sugar on a cutting board
Learn how to make powdered sugar in your own kitchen. Just one ingredient and three minutes are all you need to make it yourself.


  • sugar {as much as needed}


  • Place the desired amount of sugar in a food processor, high-powered blender, or Magic Bullet.
  • Process for 1-3 minutes, or until it has reached your desired consistency. {Do stay near the blender while it is processing.}
  • Finished powdered sugar should be fine, and easy to sift.


  1. If using a blender or food processor, I find it best to place a damp towel over the top to catch any escaping powdered sugar.
  2. If you’re making more than 2 cups of sugar, separate it into multiple batches for processing.
  3. Stay in the same room with the blender while it is processing.


Serving: 1tbspCalories: 31kcalCarbohydrates: 8gSugar: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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About Sarah

Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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  1. This recipe is a lifesaver! I always think I have enough powdered sugar for my recipes. I never do. Super easy to whip up to finish my frosting recipes. Thank you for posting this!5 stars

  2. My mind was BLOWN I could make this myself! And given that we have a giant bag of sugar from Costco, I’m so happy to use it to make what I need, not buy more!5 stars

    1. I don’t think it will be powerful enough to work. Do you have a food processor or maybe a clean coffee grinder?

  3. You state that we should add 1 Tbsp of cornstarch or arrowroot powder if we’re not going to use all of this sugar in a week. Commercial confectioner’s sugar contains about 1 Tbsp of corn starch per cup of sugar. Is that the rate that you recommend that we add them?

    1. That is a hard food to be allergic to because it is in everything!

      I’m actually making a batch of this in a few hours to make frosting for my kiddo’s birthday cake.

    1. Mary – Most commercially made powdered sugar has cornstarch, which grain-intolerant people cannot have. So judge not, my friend!

      1. Mary (the person you were responding to) is a dear friend of mine who likes to tease me about the little kitchen things I make. She meant no harm. Swearsies. 🙂

      1. Oh my gosh, thank you for this recipe! Emma (my 15 year old daughter) was having a fit a while back because she wanted some kind of dessert, but we didn’t have powdered sugar. I remembered you had a post on how to DIY it, so I sent her to your site. She was so freaking proud of herself for making powdered sugar! Thanks for that!5 stars

  4. Be advised that while the lack of cornstarch can be a very good thing where it is not needed, the cornstarch works a kind of magic in recipes such as shortbread cookies, etc. and would need to be added  for authentic texture. That said, whatever you like is fine. It’s just that baking is chemistry, remember. ‘Not a hater. Love your posts. 

    1. I’ve never made shortbread before but I have had success using homemade powdered sugar with these cookies.

      That being said, I need a good shortbread recipe. Do you have one! I looooooooove shortbread!