Can You Make Your Own Powdered Sugar?

Heather says:

Yesterday a reader commented on Beet Sugar vs Cane Sugar:

Where do you purchase organic beet sugar? Have you found it in powdered form? I have only found it on an Austrian site so far and would prefer to buy US grown if it exists.

As I am not, nor was I ever, a pastry chef, I began to research.

It turns out the only difference between granulated sugar and powdered sugar is the size and shape of the grains. Commercial powdered sugar often contains corn starch, to prevent clumping.

Twitter user @MadatMama was quick to point out that you can make your powdered sugar by running it through the food processor. This morning I’ve done a little more research and it appears as though people have the best luck making small batches of powdered sugar in their blenders.

There is a caveat: I have the feeling that unless you are especially careful to blend each batch very thoroughly, there may be an inconsistency of texture¹. Any frosting made from homemade powdered sugar may have a slightly grainy texture. However I believe that slightly grainy frosting is superior to no frosting.

¹Well that is unless you have a Blendtec. You have seen the Will it blend videos, right?  Enjoy.



Send your questions to

Have you checked out the new forums?


  1. Dan on March 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I've always made my own powdered sugar. I use a food processor. And I add a Vanilla bean for extra flavor.
    My recent post How To Keep A Lettuce Salad From Getting Unhealthy

  2. Nancy on March 18, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    When I was in Home Ec in high school (many moons ago) our teacher taught us to always make extra fine sugar for baking by running it through the food processor. I think it is why my baked goods always turn out well. I will experiment with trying to make powdered sugar…but I fear it won't get fine enough.
    My recent post Love of Dogs

    • HeatherSolos on March 20, 2011 at 8:17 am

      That makes sense, especially for delicate baked goods. I believe it's going to depend on the food processor, since they do vary. That's why I noted that people seemed to have more luck with a blender.

  3. Terry on March 18, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Can I make corn flour by grinding corn starch?

    • HeatherSolos on March 18, 2011 at 10:25 am

      In the UK cornflour and corn starch are the same thing. In the US corn starch is made from only the endosperm of the corn. Finely ground cornmeal is also called corn flour. You could make what I believe you're calling corn flour by more finely grinding coarse corn meal, but no you cannot make corn flour (the US kind) from corn starch.

  4. Rowena Soriano Gonzalez Aldridge on March 18, 2011 at 9:31 am

    you have to guard against overheating the sugar when you grind/blend. doing it in small batches allows you to powder it quicker, which means less chance of it heating up.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.