Powdered sugar is a staple ingredient in a wide variety of baked goods. You can use it in your batter, ganache, frosting, etc.
You can also use powdered sugar to decorate muffins, pancakes, fruit cakes, cupcakes, tarts, and more desserts.
However, if you plan to cut sugar out of your life or if you’ve run out of powdered sugar, then there are many ingredients that you can use in its place.
Here’s a carefully curated list of the best subs that you can use in place of powdered sugar in your cooking.
|Ratio to Replace Powdered Sugar
|3/4 cup sweetener + 2 tbsp cornstarch for 1 cup powdered sugar
|Sugar-free recipes; blend until powdery
|1 cup for 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
|Batters like cakes and cookies
|Powdered Coconut Sugar
|1 cup coconut sugar + 1 tbsp arrowroot powder for 1 cup powdered sugar
|Less sweet, caramel-like flavor in recipes
|Dry Milk Powder
|1 cup cornstarch + 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder + 1/2 cup sweetener for 1 cup powdered sugar
|Increase liquid in recipe to compensate for dryness
|Hot Cocoa Mix
|At least 1 1/4 cup for 1 cup powdered sugar
|Chocolate-flavored recipes, cookies, cakes
What is powdered sugar?
Powdered sugar, also known as icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar, is a highly refined, finely ground sugar. It is made by milling granulated sugar until it turns into a powdered state and adding cornstarch to it.
Powdered sugar tends to dissolve easily, making it easy to use in numerous confections, such as glazes and frostings. You can even sift it over many desserts and use it to decorate cookies.
Powdered sugar substitutes
Here are some sugar-free ingredients that you can use as a substitute for powdered sugar:
1. Artificial sweeteners
If you want a sugar-free alternative to powdered sugar, then you can use an artificial sweetener in your recipe.
Mix 3/4cup of any artificial sweetener with 2T of cornstarch. Blend these ingredients until they form a powdered state. Substitute this sugar-free mixture in a 1:1 ratio in any recipe that calls for powdered sugar.
- Ratio: Mix 3/4 cup of any artificial sweetener with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to substitute in a 1:1 ratio for powdered sugar.
- Usage: Suitable for sugar-free recipes; blend until powdery.
2. Regular granulated sugar
If you’re in a pinch, you can also use granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar in your recipes. The only difference between the two is that granulated sugar will give your dishes a grainier texture, which is not something that most people like in icings and frostings. However, it will work just fine as a confectioners’ sugar substitute in recipes that require the sugar to be mixed into the batter, such as cakes and cookies. Note, though, that you might notice that granulated sugar will make these items less dense since it does not include cornstarch. You can substitute 1 cup of granulated sugar for 1 3/4cup of powdered sugar in a recipe.
- Ratio: Substitute 1 cup of granulated sugar for 1 3/4 cups of powdered sugar.
- Usage: Works in recipes where the sugar is mixed into the batter, like cakes and cookies.
3. Powdered coconut sugar
You can also make a different version of powdered sugar by using coconut sugar. It has a caramel-like flavor and is less sweet than powdered sugar. All you have to do is mix 1 cup of coconut sugar with 1T of arrowroot powder. You can use this concoction as a 1:1 substitute for powdered sugar in your recipes. It will undoubtedly make your recipe less sweet and give it a caramel-y taste.
- Ratio: Mix 1 cup of coconut sugar with 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder to substitute in a 1:1 ratio for powdered sugar.
- Usage: Provides a less sweet, caramel-like flavor in recipes.
4. Dry milk powder
You can also make use of non-fat dry milk powder as a powdered sugar substitute. All you need to do is mix 1 cup of cornstarch, 1 cup of nonfat dry milk powder, and ½ cup of any artificial sweetener until they form a powder.
You can wield this powdered mixture as a 1:1 alternative for powdered sugar in your recipes. Nevertheless, when using dry milk powder as a replacement, increase the amount of liquid you add to your dish. Otherwise, it might turn out to be too thick.
- Ratio: Mix 1 cup of cornstarch, 1 cup of nonfat dry milk powder, and 1/2 cup of any artificial sweetener to substitute in a 1:1 ratio for powdered sugar.
- Usage: Increase the amount of liquid in the recipe to compensate for dryness.
5. Hot cocoa mix
You can also try substituting powdered sugar with a creative ingredient such as hot cocoa mix. All you need to do is blend a store-bought hot cocoa mix so that it takes a powdery form and use it in place of powdered sugar in your recipes.
You need to produce at least 1 ¼ cup of hot cocoa mix powder as a substitute for 1 cup of powdered sugar in your cooking. It’s best to use it in chocolate-flavored recipes, such as chocolate cookies, cakes, and pancakes.
- Ratio: Produce at least 1 1/4 cup of hot cocoa mix powder to substitute for 1 cup of powdered sugar.
- Usage: Best used in chocolate-flavored recipes, such as cookies and cakes.
Can I make my own powdered sugar?
Yes, you can easily make powdered sugar at home. All you need are two essential ingredients – cornstarch and granulated sugar.
These two ingredients will provide you with the best substitute for confectioners’ sugar.
How to make homemade powdered sugar
If you’ve run out of powdered sugar, then you can make it at home. Here’s how to make it:
- 1 cup of granulated sugar (or any sweetener of your choice)
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
- Put these two ingredients in a blender. Don’t use a food processor because the ingredients won’t blend properly.
- Blend the ingredients on a high setting until the mixture reaches a powdered consistency.
- Take the powdered sugar out of the blender and store it in a jar.
You can easily have this homemade powdered sugar in recipes that call for powdered sugar.
The bottom line
Whether you’re trying to cut down on your sugar or calorie intake or unfortunately in a pinch while baking, this many substitutes I’ve come up with are readily available to meet your needs! And when produced with some level of certainty down the line, you can rest assured of just about the most ideal alternative in the bunch!
- Powdered coconut sugar
- Mix 1 cup of coconut sugar with 1T of arrowroot powder.
- You can use this concoction as a 1:1 substitute for powdered sugar in your recipes.