How to Make Your Own (Unrefined) Powdered Sugar

Every once in a while, since we switched over to using only unrefined sugars, I miss that fluffy, powdered, white sugar that makes such delicate icings and special treats.

Though I have seen some organic icing sugars, I have never seen one that was made with something like Sucanat or Rapadura. These are my granulated sugars of choice (aside from other wholesome sweeteners) because they are made of 100% dehydrated cane sugar (no high heat, no chemical process, they still retain the nutrients from the sugar cane).

So, I decided to make my own. How hard could it be?

Not very hard, as it turns out. If you have a blender, you too can make your own unrefined powdered sugar!

Here’s how:

Start with Sucanat or Rapadura. I buy mine in 50 lb bulk bags from Azure Standard because it’s cheapest that way. It takes us almost 2 years to use it all up, but it’s still just fine as we near the end of our last bag, so I consider the savings well worth it.

Rub the inside of your canister with a clean cloth first to ensure that it is absolutely dry. You don’t want sugar sticking to the sides, do you? I didn’t think so.

In the picture above, I probably have just a bit too much sugar in there (about 3 cups). I’m using a Vita-Mix, which is a very powerful blender, so it was able to handle the load, but barely.

If you have a more mediocre blender, use less (maybe 1 or 1 1/2 cups at a time) and do several batches. Even in a Vita-Mix or Blend-Tec or similar blender, I would still use a bit less. Probably 2 cups maximum at once.

You want it to be light enough that it can move freely, and not begin to pack down because of the weight of the sugar.

I tried this again tonight with only a cup of sugar, and it was so much easier and faster to get a nice consistency and light, powdery texture. So less is definitely more.

How long do you have to blend it? It really just depends.

In my Vita-Mix, it took just over a minute and that was with too much sugar. When I did it the second time using less, it took more like 30-40 seconds. In a cheaper blender, it might take up a couple of minutes. You’ll just have to watch it until you get the texture you want.

The finished product. You can see how powdery it really is, as it splashed up onto the sides of the bowl when I poured it in.

If you don’t want to breathe in the delicious, very powdery sugar wafting in the air (cough, cough), let your blender settle for a moment or two before you take the lid off.

It is also still light brown in color, not pure white. The reality is that it just isn’t white sugar. You won’t be able to color your icing without a darker, brown tone still coming through. If you want truly white icing for coloring purposes, try this Cream Cheese Honey Icing instead.

This is perfect for making buttercream icing for a birthday cake or “sugar” cookies, or any other special holiday treat that you’ve got planned. Make a nice thin, drizzly icing to cover a scrumptious gingerbread cake. Enjoy the return of powdered sugar to your kitchen.

(But remember… even healthier sugar is still sugar… so use it sparingly and keep it a “treat”, ok?)

Want some {healthier} dessert recipes where you can practice using unrefined sugars? Smart Sweets and Treat Yourself are my go-to “real food” dessert recipe books (that is, when I’m not mucking around and creating my own recipes.  :)

Do you use powdered sugar? What is your favorite (real food!) recipe to use it in?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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  1. Thankyou!!! I was looking for something to put on top of my Paleo choco/coconut slice and this did the job perfectly! I was wondering “I wonder if i can make icing out of rapadura” googled and came across your page!! Thanks again!


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