Powdered Sugar Substitute – 6 Other Similar Sugars That Work

At times, it may become necessary for you to find a powdered sugar substitute for one reason or another. You have either run out of powdered sugar while baking or want to try a lower glycemic index alternative.

Fortunately, several replacements for confectioners’ sugar are available to you. This article will give you multiple picks for the same.

What has powdered sugar anyway?

Powdered sugar is a finely ground sugar produced by milling granulated sugar into a powdered state. Other common names for it include confectioners’ sugar, 10X sugar, or icing sugar.

Finely ground sugar easily dissolves and is suitable for the icing, frosting, and adding glazes. So, it’s extensively used by confectioners.

You’ll find it as an attractive snowy dusting on pastries and doughnuts. It’s usually dusted onto baked confectioneries to add a subtle sweetness and delightful decoration.

Regrettably, its brunts on health are many. Experts believe that sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity, type-2 diabetes, and many other chronic diseases.

What is a good powdered sugar substitute?

You need not be in chaos if you have exhausted the stock of this fine-textured glaze sugar. It is easy to find a confectioners’ sugar substitute that you can use in its place.

1. DIY Powdered Sugar

Confectioners’ sugar is nothing but finely ground granulated sugar combined with a small amount of cornstarch.

If you have run out of powdered sugar you can easily make it at home.


  • Cornstarch or arrowroot powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Granulated sugar: 1 cup

Ground the granulated sugar in a grinder till it turns into a fine powder. Sieve the ground sugar to separate the bigger granules that may be still left in powder. Then thoroughly blend the mixture of powdered sugar and well-ground cornstarch. Now the confectioners’ sugar is ready and you can stores it in a tightly closed jar.

Homemade powdered sugar is a good replacement for any recipe that calls for powdered sugar. Use it in a 1:1 ratio.

2. Powdered dextrose (D-glucose)

Dextrose Monohydrate is one of the constituents of table sugar. Dextrose = D-glucose, hence, the terms dextrose and glucose are used interchangeably. Usually, the packaged dextrose powder comes in finely ground crystal form.

This crystal sugar is very identical to confectioners’ sugar in function and texture.

If you are using dextrose in place of confectioners’ sugar, you should please be mindful of these features.

Dextrose absorbs more liquid than regular sugar and so use slightly more liquid to balance the consistency of your recipe.

Secondly, it’s less than 70 percent as sweet as regular sugar. You need to use more dextrose to attain the same degree of sweetness.

Apart from these, dextrose burns and melts more quickly than regular powdered sugar. Therefore, use the dextrose towards the end of your baking. Or after adding this sugar substitute, reduce the temperature below 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Studies suggest that dextrose may increase blood sugar levels and hyperosmolarity. Diabetes and high BP patients should be mindful of using it lavishly.

3. Powdered Sugar in 6X or 4X size

Normally, the confectioners’ sugar comes in 10X crystal size (fine powder).

But other verities of powdered sugar come with a slightly bigger crystal size. The finest ground sugar is 10X and those with bigger crystals come in a lower number.

In case you don’t have confectioners’ sugar, you can still manage with 6X or 4X powdered sugar instead. Of course, it’s a little difficult to dissolve in the frosting. They work very well as dust toppings for desserts, cakes, doughnuts, and pastries.

4. Powdered Coconut Sugar

Ground coconut sugar blended with arrowroot powder is another excellent alternative for regular sugar. It is less sweet and has a lower glycemic index. In addition, its caramel-like flavor is truly relishing.


  • Coconut sugar: 1 cup
  • Arrowroot powder: 1 tablespoon

Thoroughly blend the mixture and use this blend as a 1:1 ratio substitute for powdered sugar. Coconut sugar works well in dessert recipes and baking confectioneries. This is an awesome choice for people who love the lower sweetness and a more caramel-like flavor.

5. Dry Milk Powder (a sugar-free substitute)

It’s a better and healthier option. Try substituting nonfat dry milk powder for powdered sugar, also a fantastic way to reduce added sugar intake.

What do you need to make this substitute?

  • Skimmed dry milk powder: 1 cup
  • Cornstarch: 1 cup
  • Splenda or other sugar-free substances:  ½ cup

Blend these ingredients well into a fine consistency. This substitute mixture works great for dessert toppings and icings. Use it in a 1:1 ratio instead of confectioners’ sugar.

Milk powder absorbs more liquid than powdered sugar. If you are adding blended milk powder into your recipes, use a little more liquid to achieve the right consistency.

6. Hot Cocoa Mix

Chief ingredients in the hot cocoa mix are melted chocolate or cocoa powder, heated milk, and usually a sweetener. You can choose a sweetened version of the hot cocoa mix as a replacement for powdered sugar.

Blend this mixture into a powder-like consistency and use it in chocolate-flavored recipes. Normally, the substitute ratio is 1:1 but feel free to experiment yourself to get the right amount of chocolate flavor and sweetness.

The Bottom Line

It is simply easy to find an alternative ingredient if you have run out of powder sugar.

All that matters is your baking skill. Rightly blended substitutions won’t even alter the original taste and texture of your recipes.