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:


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:
4.90 from 37 votes
Prep Time: 1 minute
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.



  • 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.


Yield: about 4 cups powdered sugar


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Aimee

    5 stars
    This was perfect! I was 1/2 cup short of powdered sugar when I was making my buttercream. I followed the directions using my Vitamix and it was perfect! Thanks for saving a trip to the store!

  2. Wendy

    For the powdered sugar, my daughter has to eliminate corn so we dont use corn starch. Would tapioca or arrowroot start be possible substitutes for the cornstarch?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Wendy, I think arrowroot should be fine.

  3. Sharon S

    3 stars
    I intended making banana bars with cream cheese frosting. But was surprised to learn that although I needed 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, I only had 1/2 cup left.

    I found this recipe on Pinterest. But try as I might, I was not able to get this recipe to become fluffy and tasting like powdered sugar. Nor did it double in volume as suggested. The consistency was still very grainy no matter how long I blended it in my Ninja IQ blender. And I ended up with 1/2 cup, same as I started with. I ended up increasing the recipe to 1 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp corn starch and continued to blender so that I ended up with the extra 1 cup that I needed. Even with all the additional blending the consistency never did get fluffy. I ultimately doubled the cream cheese amount to make the frosting taste better.
    In my opinion, this recipe would be OK in a pinch, but I would prefer to keep powdered sugar on hand.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Sharon, for us, this method has always yielded really light and fluffy powdered sugar—so sorry it wasn’t the same for you. It could be the difference between blenders. In a Ninja blender, it might take several minutes to get really fine.

    • HB

      3 stars
      I had the same experience—still grainy, and didn’t increase the volume. My peanut butter cups were slightly grainy, but the kids didn’t complain as they inhaled them. I’m trying to empty my kitchen for a remodel, so I don’t want to open another bag of powdered sugar. This did the trick in a pinch. Thanks for the recipe!

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.