substitutes for powdered sugar

6 Substitutes for Powdered Sugar for All Your Culinary Needs

Powdered sugar is a pantry staple in many households as it is often a crucial element in numerous pastries and sweet delights. However, occasionally a replacement for powdered sugar is required, whether owing to personal choice or lack of availability.

Luckily, there are many ways to customize a recipe using different sweeteners to get the same flavor of powdered sugar. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular substitutes for powdered sugar and learn why they can be even better than the real thing!

1. Granulated White Sugar + Cornstarch

Granulated white sugar and cornstarch can make a great substitute for powdered sugar. This combination will not only provide a similar sweetness, but it also has a fraction of the calories that powdered sugar has, making it an attractive option for people on calorie-restricted diets. Furthermore, this alternative is more readily available in most households, adding to its convenience as a substitution for powdered sugar.

If you choose to use granulated white sugar and cornstarch as a replacement for powdered sugar, you’ll want to mix one part granulated white sugar with two parts cornstarch and sift through a fine mesh strainer or sifter before using. It will help create a light consistency that will mimic that of powdered sugar.

Additionally, when baking brownies, cookies, or cakes, this combination works especially well as it helps keep treats tasting as sweet as traditional recipes while avoiding the calories associated with powdered sugar.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup of powdered sugar = 1 cup of granulated sugar + 2 tbsps. of cornstarch.

2. Coconut Sugar

Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar offers several nutritional benefits, such as a low glycemic index, a high mineral content, and trace levels of certain vitamins. Furthermore, because coconut sugar does not taste like coconut, it is an excellent option for those seeking a familiar sweetness without compromising health benefits.

Coconut sugar can be used similarly to powdered sugar in most recipes that require a little sweetness. However, it is important to remember that coconut sugar is unrefined and slightly coarser than powdered sugar, so it may take some adjusting when used in baking or frosting recipes.

For example, if you’re making frosting with coconut sugar, you may need to add a teaspoon of arrowroot powder or cornstarch for every cup of coconut sugar to help create a smoother texture that mimics powdered sugar.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup of powdered sugar = 1 cup of coconut sugar.

3. Date Sugar

Date Sugar

Date sugar is manufactured from dried dates and includes many of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in dates. It also has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar, making it a good choice for diabetics or those following a low-sugar diet.

When substituting date sugar for powdered sugar, it’s important to note that date sugar does not dissolve as easily as powdered sugar. So, it’s a good idea to first the date sugar into a finer powder using a food processor or blender before using it in any recipe. You can also use date sugar to sweeten beverages such as smoothies, shakes, and lemonade. It also works as a great topping on desserts, such as ice creams and cakes.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup of powdered sugar = 1 cup of date sugar.

4. Honey


Honey is naturally sweeter than granulated sugar, so you can use less of it and still get the same sweet flavor in your recipes. It’s also packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that make it a healthier option. Plus, since honey is slightly acidic, it can help balance out the flavor of some recipes.

You can use honey in a broad range of recipes, including sauces, glazes, quick bread, cakes, and frostings. When replacing powdered sugar with honey, combine it with an equal amount of cornstarch to help balance out the texture. You may also need to reduce the amount of other liquid ingredients in the recipe, as honey will add moisture to your dish.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup of powdered sugar = 1/2 cup of honey + 1/2 cup of cornstarch.

5. Powdered Milk

Powdered Milk

Powdered milk does not have the same sweetness as powdered sugar, but it adds a subtle flavor and can offer a similar texture to powdered milk. It also has a high nutritional value, including calcium, protein, and other necessary vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy sugar alternative to use in a variety of recipes.

Powdered milk is versatile, so you can use it in both sweet and savory dishes. It is also somewhat thicker than powdered sugar, so you may need to add more liquid or fewer dry ingredients for the recipe to come out evenly. For icing or frosting, use roughly half as much powdered milk as powdered sugar. The finished product will still be tasty, even if there are a few minor texture or aesthetic variances.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup of powdered sugar = 1 cup of powdered milk.

6. Fruit Juice Concentrate

Fruit Juice Concentrate

Fruit juice concentrate is a great substitute for powdered sugar when trying to cut back on processed sugars. It contains natural sugars, which provide the same sweet flavor but without the processed additions in traditional powdered sugar. Plus, it can provide some nutritional value, such as antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E.

Using fruit juice concentrate as a substitute can be done in many different recipes. However, since you won’t get the same texture, you will need to tweak your recipes a bit. In baked goods, you may need to add an additional leavening agent, as the juice concentrate can cause the batter to become too wet.

For frosting or any other topping that uses powdered sugar, mix the juice concentrate with an equal amount of cornstarch to thicken it up. Fruit juice concentrate can also be used to add sweetness to drinks, sauces, and desserts. Start by adding small amounts at a time until you can reach the desired level of sweetness.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup of powdered sugar = 1 cup of fruit juice concentrate.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.