How to Make Powdered Sugar

Learn how to make powdered sugar at home! Also known as confectioner's sugar, it's the secret to making gooey brownies, luscious frosting, and more.

Homemade powdered sugar

Who else has a bag of powdered sugar in their pantry that they’ve been working through for years? Powdered sugar isn’t something I use often, but every once in a while, I need a cup to make perfect gooey brownies or luscious cream cheese frosting. When I add it to the grocery list, I dread watching another bag sit in the cupboard as I make my way through it at an agonizing pace.

But all that’s about to change! I don’t know what took me so long, but I finally learned how to make powdered sugar at home. Seriously, this recipe’s a game changer. Gone are the days of hauling an ancient sack of confectioner’s sugar (yes, they’re the same!) out of the pantry every time I make carrot cake. Now, I can make the exactly the amount of powdered sugar I need for a given recipe. And the best part? It only requires 2 ingredients and 1 minute.

Granulated sugar and cornstarch in small bowls

How to Make Powdered Sugar

To make powdered sugar at home, you’ll need two ingredients: granulated sugar and cornstarch. Use 1 tablespoon cornstarch for every cup of sugar. My recipe below calls for 2 cups sugar, but feel free to scale it up or down depending on the size of your blender and the quantity of powdered sugar you need. Expect the amount of sugar you start with to double. For example, if you start with 2 cups granulated sugar, you’ll end up with 4 cups confectioner’s sugar.

Add the granulated sugar and cornstarch to a powerful blender or food processor, and blend for 30 seconds, until the sugar is white and fluffy.

Use it right away, or store it in an airtight container at room temperature for later use. If it’s lumpy, be sure to sift it before you use it. That’s it!

Confectioner's sugar in a blender

Favorite Powdered Sugar Recipes

So you learned how to make powdered sugar…now what do you do with it?

First and foremost, confectioner’s sugar is what makes icings and frostings thick and sweet. Find it in my vegan frosting recipe, or in the glazes and icings that accompany these baked goods:

It’s also a valuable ingredient in certain baked goods. For example, it enhances the chewy, fudgy texture of these homemade brownies and these vegan brownies.

Last but not least, a dusting of confectioner’s sugar adds a little extra something to any stack of pancakes or French toast. Sprinkle it over my classic French toast, this French toast bake, or any of these pancake recipes:

Yum!

Powdered sugar

More Easy Baking Basics

If you loved learning how to make powdered sugar, try making these baking basics next:

How to Make Powdered Sugar

rate this recipe:
5 from 22 votes
Prep Time: 1 min
This homemade powdered sugar recipe is SO easy - you'll never get the store bought kind again! Use it in any recipe that calls for powdered sugar, icing sugar, or confectioner's sugar. Find some of my favorites in the post above.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

Instructions

  • Place the sugar and cornstarch in a high speed blender and blend for 30 seconds or until fluffy.
  • Store in an airtight container. If the powdered sugar gets lumpy, sift before using.

Notes

Yield: about 4 cups powdered sugar

29 comments

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Shirley
    09.15.2022

    I didnt realize that corn starch was in powdered sugar. I have no issues with using corn starch, but I am curious as to why it is put in at all? Thanks.

  2. Austin Gambale
    08.24.2022

    My confectionery sugar came out granny

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.26.2022

      Hi Austin, if you blend it longer, it’ll get powdery.

  3. Sarah
    07.06.2022

    Hi, not sure if its just my problem, but when I blend the sugar (with or without cornstarch, the smell and taste is really weird. I tried making glaze out of it, and the taste was really odd, even when I added vanilla. Is something wrong?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.07.2022

      Hi Sarah, that’s odd – I imagine you’ve already checked that your sugar is fresh and it’s a brand you like. Maybe it’s coming from the blender? If the blender canister is plastic, it could have picked up scents of ingredients that you’ve previously blended?

  4. Aurora
    06.01.2022

    5 stars
    Worked great for a chocolate cream cheese frosting. I used my vitamix. It was a little grainy but that’s my fault since I only blended it for 10-15 seconds. Recommend to actually follow the recipe and blend for 30 seconds!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.03.2022

      I’m so glad it worked out well!

  5. Karen
    05.30.2022

    Kathi,
    My box of store bought powdered sugar lists Sugar and Cornstarch as the only ingredients….nothing in the store version would have prevented what happened to your shortbread bars.

  6. kathleen donnelly
    04.27.2022

    I made some raspberry shortbread bars and realized I did not have confectioners sugar which was supposed to be dusted on the top as soon as it came out of the oven. I made this recipe, looked great, but when I dusted it on top of the bars, it immediately melted – and looked a coating of cloudy melted sugar – not in an attractive way. If this was not meant to be put on something warm, the recipe should have said so.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.27.2022

      Hi Kathleen, store bought powdered sugar would have done the same thing. The raspberry bar recipe should have specified to let them cool first.

  7. kathi from Facebook
    04.17.2022

    Tried this recipe and was not happy, way to grainy

  8. Shruti
    04.15.2022

    Hi Gonna make this soon can I use cornflour as I do not know if cornstarch and cornflour is the same thing

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.15.2022

      Hi Shruti, it’s not the same, cornstarch is required for this one.

  9. Tiena
    03.31.2022

    Hi Jeanine! Would it work to use organic cane sugar in place of the granulated sugar?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.02.2022

      Hi Tiena, yep! It works great.

  10. Geri
    03.24.2022

    5 stars
    I bake cakes that need to Vegan. Vegan sugar is easy to get but powdered sugar is not always convenient.
    This recipe is just what I needed, thank you!
    Definitely recommend a Vita Mixer for this.

  11. KL
    02.01.2022

    5 stars
    After being 5 tbsp for a recipe and not having it, I found this recipe!
    Perfect for using in my chocolate whipped cream. Saved the day! Thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.02.2022

      I’m so glad it worked out well!

  12. Katelynn
    01.03.2022

    5 stars
    Yes yes yes!!! So yummy and easy!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.04.2022

      I’m so glad it worked out well for you!

  13. Wolf
    12.25.2021

    5 stars
    Do I have to use cornstarch if using it in few hours or next day?

  14. Missy
    12.23.2021

    Can I sub the cornstarch for half the amount of coconut flour? If not what can I use?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.24.2021

      Hi Missy, no coconut flour will throw off the ratio in your baking recipe. Another starch could work like arrowroot.

  15. Dale
    12.23.2021

    I was hooping the recipe didn’t call for cornstarch! Grandchild allergic to it.

    • Chelsea
      12.26.2021

      Sounds like you can use something like arrowroot instead!

  16. April
    12.08.2021

    This is really easy, and so good. Thanks for the recipe

  17. Dee
    09.30.2021

    WOW! Thank you for this recipe. I don’t use powdered sugar much but when I do I have to buy a new box (or pack if all available) b/c the old has been around too long. Now I can make only what I need! Awesome!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.06.2021

      Ha, I feel the same way :). I’m so glad it’s helpful!

  18. Thetamtamadun 😝🕊🤍
    07.31.2021

    5 stars
    So quick so easy so good
    Thank you

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.