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homemade powdered sugar

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This is what you need:


a blender or food processor.

cornstarch (optional).

the need to eat frosting.

The Damsel promises, this really does work and can be used any way “storebought” powered sugar is used. She sincerely wishes she knew about this before, because plain table sugar is quite a bit cheaper than powdered sugar, and this is ridiculously easy.

Put a cup of sugar in the blender and turn it on, adding 2 tablespoons of cornstarch if you have it. (Commercial powdered sugar has cornstarch in it to keep it from clumping. You can do the same if you like. But if you are using it immediately, there’s really no need. If you are making it ahead, then perhaps you should.)

Blend at a high speed for 30 seconds or so, depending on your blender. Eyeball the stuff. You may need to stir things around and go at it again, but the Damsel found no need. Good grief, it was really that easy.

An interesting note: 1 cup of granulated sugar makes a bit more than 1 cup powdered. That seems backwards to the Damsel’s brain. Many things seem backwards to the Damsel’s brain, including why children get stupider as they grow older. But she has made peace with her brain’s behavior and hopes the best for you and your own struggle for true perception.

P.S. Powdered sugar is also called:

  • confectioner’s sugar
  • icing sugar
  • superfine sugar
  • extra fine sugar
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  • First post!!! 🙂

    Hey, Damsel! An interesting note is that this type of sugar has different names depending on where in the world you are. Many people do not know this. It’s called powdered sugar, confectioner’s sugar, and extra fine sugar. I don’t know what else it is called. But sometimes if you get a recipe from another country it might use an alternate name which can become very frustrating when you go to the market!

    BTW Very timely today as I was using powdered sugar for a cookie exchange! Thanks to you!

    –Lady O

    • Smiling coast of Africa

      Thanks for this post . The shops have been out of supplies for a few weeks now and voila I stumbled on your site . Tried it and it worked .

  • Oh, Damsel, when you are on to something you just go all the way don’t you? I am loving these posts…for sugar-lovers! Alas, how I wish I wasn’t trying to loose a few! I would whip up a batch of this stuff…just to taste it! LOL 🙂 Thank you!

  • The increase in volume of sugar when you powder it is sort of the same principle as when you make whipped cream out of regular cream. Powdered sugar is lighter, therefore there’s more air in there to increase volume. That’s all.

    This is such a handy trick to know. I might never buy powdered sugar in the store again!

    • damsel

      Ah, I see. But in a way it still sorta seems like the powdered version would take up less volume. (Toldja, backwards brain) The same thing when grinding wheat…the ground up wheat kernels take up MORE volume than the whole. To me this seems odd, because the whole kernels create little tiny spaces around themselves, which would be taken away once the wheat is ground. Does that makes sense? Seems like it would compact.

      I’m going to try not to worry about it too much.

  • Brilliant!

  • You know, I wondered about this after the brown sugar post. This is awesome. Because I am almost out of powdered sugar, and now, I don’t need to buy more!

    • damsel

      Yessss! Save that money for buying chocolate. Suddenly all is right with the world.

  • Ok first “including why children get stupider as they grow older.” <– LMAO!! LOVE IT

    I've done this before, and it definitely works, but I read somewhere that this method is really more like caster sugar, that a household blender can't really pulverize it enough to make true powdered sugar like commercial equipment. But who cares right? I've used this method many times when I discover I'm out and need it! 🙂

    Love your blog 🙂

    • damsel

      I don’t even know what caster sugar is. I’m always discovering things to be ashamed about.

      • Hel

        Damsel… Caster sugar is a refined sugar so called in Australia (maybe somewhere else too) that – according to my husband – is the same grain size as regular sugar in the States. Sugar gets so complicated once you go international.

      • Hel

        But now that I have skipped over to Amanda’s blog, I seem a little foolish because she claims to be from Wisconsin. Just call me stupid too.

  • Julie Zelasko

    John tried to do this eons ago for a birthday cake he was trying to make for me. However, his turned out really crunchy. That was some of the grittiest frosting I had ever had. But he tried. I’m guess he didn’t have it in the blender long enough.

  • Holy cow, I had no idea. I’m giving this a try.

  • I love easy and cheap ideas.

    And, I think kids get more stupid because they learn more. I know my knowledge has decreased as the years have gone by.

  • It looks like you have one of those wonderful type blenders that costs a small fortune. My sister in law has one and it works fabulously. I think I’ll try making this in hers instead of my old clunky one.

  • Mom

    It’s called icing sugar in Spain plus something else I can’t remember. Getting “stupider”, too

  • Dear Damsel,

    I have an award waiting for you. : )

  • Very nice post. now I’m sad I bought two pounds of powered sugar. oh well. I guess I shall just have to make some frosting and muddle through, somehow.

  • U R amazing. Yep, this proves it (and you have 7 kids to boot! Yeow, you rock, mama!).

  • I sure never thought of making powdered sugar before. How great that it works. Glad I came over from MMB.

  • Hel

    p.s. yet another post to love you for. You are so useful!

  • Very cool! Thanks for sharing! I think this is going to go into my food storage recipe book!

  • This is such great information; I am always over-adding the milk to my frosting just as I used the whole bag of powdered sugar. Instead of making an emergency trip to the grocery, I will just reach for the corn starch!

  • Just stopping by from MMB to say hi 🙂

  • Oh. My. Another reason to love this blog.

    I make cakes… often. I average 2 cakes per month. Each batch of cake batter is almost *always* accompanied by a batch of buttercream… at least one batch; more, if it's a particularly fussy decorating job. It is not unusual to go through 3-4 pounds of powdered sugar a month around here. I can't wait to try this. Thank you!

    • I thought you might like to know I did a Sunday substitution this Am making cupcakes yesterday for the Primary Teacher Meeting that was to be after after church today I left the frosting till this Am when i discovered NO powdered sugar!!!!!!!!!! since I had done this before I knew to turn the gran into powdered could work —but for people other than family? then I remembered the Damsel did it:) and so I did and they were amazing like cupcakes w/ fluffy fudge on top 🙂 Whats not to like ? they were a big hit too so thanks for helping me be brave:) Marcia

  • Awesome.  I had never thought about doing this … I may even bake a cake tomorrow just to try it out!!

    • Anonymous

      Let me know how it turns out!

  • Kristl Story

    I’ll add this to my list of amazing things I’ve learned on the internet!  

    • Anonymous

      I was pretty surprised that it worked!

  • Thanks for the awesome post.  Just another item in the list of things that I am discovering that I can make by myself at home.  I make all of our icing from scratch so this is great.  FYI – I have also heard powdered sugar called 10X.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! I haven’t heard 10x. I’ve heard icing sugar, or superfine sugar, but I wonder what 10x means.
      By the way, that chicken quiche looks HEAVENLY.

      • 10xnrefers to the # of times it has been processed I believe. 10x is the finest powdered sugar, I believe. That’s what I use for my frostings and mmf!

        • thedamselindisdress

          Thanks, Sarah. That makes sense!
          Margot (The Damsel)

  • Nice! I had no idea how to make powdered sugar!

    Stumbled 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Fun, huh? Let me know if you try it.

  • OMG I have skipped making and baking because a recipe called for confectioner’s sugar. I got a donut maker for christmas and decided to see if I could find a way to make it at home. This is awsome. Thank you so much! It WORKED!

    • Anonymous

      Yay! I’m so glad it worked for you and that you didn’t have to go donut-less!

  • marsha

    I’m such a goob…I knew powdered sugar could be made this way, as I made it by accident once when processing sugar to get superfine sugar for angel food cakes….but I thought I couldn’t use it it because it wasn’t the “real thing” from a bag.  ARGH…thanks for setting me straight!

    • thedamselindisdress

      Yay! So glad it worked.
      Margot (The Damsel)

  • thangleng

    is cane sugar and powdered sugar the same?

  • Miranda

    Thank-you Damsel this is so useful! I love things like this that help us save our hard earned pennies! I also enjoyed your bit of humour at the end lol!

    • thedamselindisdress

      Thanks, Miranda!

  • questions

    I tried this and my icing was grainy did i not process it enough?

  • peacemaker

    It is an honest question be nice.

    • thedamselindisdress

      Yes, that’s probably the problem. The sugar should become super soft and fine, like store-bought powdered sugar. I’m sorry you had trouble! Margot (the Damsel)

  • Awesome. I had never thought about doing this