What can I substitute for Icing sugar?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “what can I substitute for icing sugar?” with an in-depth analysis of what can be substituted for icing sugar. Moreover, we will also discuss how different substitutes of icing sugar can be substituted for icing sugar.

What can I substitute for icing sugar?

Simple sugar can be substituted for icing sugar. A mixture of cornstarch and granulated sugar can also be substituted for icing sugar.

A mixture of powdered milk, cornstarch, and granulated sugar also makes a good icing sugar substitute.

How can you substitute simple sugar with icing sugar?

Method 1:

You can make icing or powdered sugar from granulated sugar by simply blending 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cornstarch until a fine powder. 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar can be substituted for 1 cup granulated sugar but the success of the recipe depends on how you are using the sugar.

Method 2:

  • Since icing sugar is very simply powdered sugar, you could take regular granulated sugar, put it in a blender, and set it to high. 
  • Let it grind till the texture turns entirely into powder. 
  • Once it’s done, take it out of the blender and mix the entire quantity with a spoon to get rid of any lumps in the sugar. 
  • This will allow the entire portion to get the same consistency. 
  • Now, go ahead and use the required quantity.

What is the difference between icing sugar and simple sugar?

There are several different types of sugar, but the most commonly used ones in baking and desserts are caster/granulated sugar and icing sugar (also called confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar).

Granulated sugar:

Granulated sugar can be quite coarse so the finer-grained caster sugar is used in baking as the smaller granules dissolve more quickly. In many other countries, regular granulated sugar is fine enough to be used in most baking.

Icing sugar:

Icing sugar is very finely ground white sugar. It is ground to a powder and commercial varieties often have small amounts of cornflour (cornstarch) or another anti-caking agent added to stop it from forming into clumps. This sugar dissolves instantly and is used in glace icings, simple buttercreams, and some meringues. It is also often sprinkled or dusted over desserts just before serving for an attractive presentation.

How can you substitute icing sugar with cornstarch?

You can substitute icing sugar with cornstarch by mixing cornstarch with granulated sugar. 

For 1 cup of this substitute, you will require a cup of cornstarch and one cup of grained or granulated sugar. You are required to toss both these ingredients into a blender and allow them to process into a powdery form. 

You may have noticed that there is no difference between this substitute and the one that uses simple sugar only.

But the reason the cornstarch has been suggested and used as an icing sugar substitute is simply that the cornstarch will help avoid clumping when you store the sugar.

What happens when you mix sugar and cornstarch?

Confectioners’ sugar is mixed with a small amount of cornstarch because the starch acts as an anti-caking agent by keeping moisture and condensation from forming the sugar granules into lumps.

Is icing sugar the same as cornstarch?

Powdered sugar, confectioner’s sugar, and icing sugar are all the same with granulated white sugar that’s been pulverized to a powder and mixed with a small but mighty amount of cornstarch.

What does adding cornstarch to cake do?

It is a terrific ingredient for thickening puddings, soups, and pie fillings, and is also used in many baked good recipes. When added to cake, cookie, and shortbread recipes, cornstarch helps create a crumbly and tender dessert-like texture. Commercially, cornstarch is often used as an anti-caking agent.

How can you use powdered milk to substitute icing sugar?

You need: 

  • one part grained sugar, 
  • two parts cornstarch,
  • and two parts powdered milk.

Put all three ingredients into a blender and let it blend out to a fine powdery texture. Once that consistency is achieved, it is ready for use. 

Since the milk powder will provide this substitute a lot of bulk or substance, it’ll work and taste well in your little baked goodies.

How can brown sugar be used as a substitute for icing sugar?

You can substitute brown sugar for icing sugar by making a mixture of brown sugar with molasses.

One cup of sugar, blended with three tablespoons of molasses or treacle provides a perfect brown sugar substitute for icing sugar.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “what can I substitute for icing sugar?” with an in-depth analysis of what can be substituted for icing sugar. Moreover, we have also discussed how different substitutes of icing sugar can be substituted for icing sugar.



Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.