Unrefined Powdered Sugar


On occasion I have the need for powdered sugar, and when I do I usually don’t need more than a cup. Yesterday was such an occasion. Instead of running to the store I did some mad science with my Blendtec blender and some of the sugars I had in the pantry. The result? Powdery, soft, unrefined confectioners sugars.

Later in the day I used the coconut powdered sugar to make these egg-free, gluten-free Magic Peanut Butter Middle cookies and they turned out beautifully. I think one of the reasons they did was because I “powdered” the sugar first. Alternative sugars like coconut, date and even Sucanat can be pretty chunky and hard to dissolve completely in liquid. By powdering these sugars, they become finer and lighter and less apt to “weigh down” a baked good. But then, I am no a trained pastry chef … I just go by observation. If you do not have a high-powered blender, a coffee grinder does the job nicely.

How to Make Powdered Sugar


1 cup unrefined SUGAR of choice; coconut (my favorite), date, sucanat or evaporated cane juice

1-2 tablespoons ARROWROOT STARCH or tapioca starch or cornstarch


Blend on high in a high-powered blender until powdery and light. A coffee grinder works just as well, you just may have to work in batches.

More Good Stuff


Shirley @ gfe December 29, 2010 - 12:01 pm

Cool, Lexie! I'd hear of making one's own with even regular sugar, but hadn't tried it. The date sugar is kind of an interesting beast, isn't it? I was excited when you mentioned it, because I don't like its consistency normally, but sounds like it's not much better in confectioner's sugar form.


Jeanette December 29, 2010 - 2:18 pm

Can't wait to see how your Magic Peanut Butter Middle cookies turned out with the different homemade powdered sugars, especially coconut sugar which I haven't used. Date sugar is not very sweet and I've found limited use for it so far.

Deanna December 29, 2010 - 2:27 pm

Cute measuring spoons!

I have done it with my electric coffee grinder and it works great. I didn't bother adding any starch in when I did it, as I was just using as a coating for cookies.

Sara December 29, 2010 - 3:32 pm

So starch was what I was missing! Thanks for the missing link 🙂

This looks fabulous. Coconut palm sugar is my favorite now!

Alisa Fleming December 29, 2010 - 4:28 pm

Thanks for the ratio on this Lexie! I've tried making powdered sugar with coconut sugar, but it didn't come out powdery enough – of course, I forgot to add the starch!

Laurel December 29, 2010 - 6:16 pm

That's exactly the way I do it. It works well in a high powered blender or a coffee grinder but when I used to try it in my food processor it never got fine enough to make me happy. Maybe I'm just too picky.
I love those measuring spoons, are they an heirloom? I've seen heart shaped spoons before but not with the fletching on the end. Too adorable.

Lexie December 29, 2010 - 6:55 pm

Hi Laurel, Aren't the measuring spoons cute! I got them at my bridal shower 10 years ago. And thanks for sharing the sub-par results you get with a food processor. I will note that : )


Gluten Free Diva December 29, 2010 - 7:50 pm

Lexie – I love this post. It makes me realize how we've all grown so used to buying things already made commercially, yet how easy was it to make your own homemade powdered sugar!

Heidi @adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com December 29, 2010 - 10:27 pm

I love your mad scientist experiments Lex!! I agree on the date sugar, I tried it a few weeks ago and not so good.

What did you use for the sugar in the white powdered sugar in your picture?



Hey love! The white mound is bulk evaporated cane sugar … so it is the faintly golden stuff, not the dark sucanat or rapadura. Very much resembles Sugar in the Raw. I love dates, but date sugar takes on a pretty potent taste. There are times I think coconut sugar is a little overpowering (I call it a caramel-ey taste) so I keep evaporated cane on hand for certain things and for my morning coffee 🙂 For coffee, anything goes!!!!


SarahB December 29, 2010 - 11:09 pm

I've never heard of coconut sugar! I'll have to give it a try! I've made powdered sugar many times using cane sugar and arrowroot powder in my not-so-high-powered blender. I'm thinking of getting a Blendtec– have you used it to grind flours?


Hey there Sarah! Coconut sugar is not a new thing, but it's been pretty hot lately as folks look for lower glycemic sweeteners. The Blendtec rocks my world! Or whizzes it! : ) It has a lower profile than the vitamix so sits under a cabinet with a few inches to spare. Both are great machines. I use it to grind oatmeal, buckwheat groats, etc. I think you could get a pretty fine flour … I just have not looked into making my own gluten-free flours out of beans, etc. Nuts grind, you just can't grind too long or ya get nut paste. I have better luck grinding almonds and nuts it the $2 barely used coffee grinder I got at Goodwill.

Hope that helps : )


carrie December 30, 2010 - 2:44 am

This is great Lex!! I may try this tomorrow because I have a cookie recipe I want to try! 🙂 I have TONS of coconut sugar! lol


Where do you get your sugar, Sugar? he he


Noelle January 5, 2011 - 2:39 am

How wonderful to know! Thanks for a wonderful tip and recipe!

Elana January 9, 2011 - 12:50 am


These look amazing!

xo Elana


Well thanks Elana! And thanks for dropping by : )



Leave a Comment

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