What can I substitute for powdered sugar?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for powdered sugar?” and discuss the possible substitutes for powdered sugar.

What can I substitute for powdered sugar?

We can have many substitutes for powdered sugar which includes powdered coconut sugar, powdered dextrose (also termed as D-glucose), 6X or 4X powdered sugar, Xylitol powder, dry milk powder, hot cocoa mix, baker or caster sugar, snow powder, and erythritol.

Powdered sugar: What is it?

Powdered sugar is formed by grinding the granulated sugar or crystals of sugar into a fine powder. This powdered sugar is also termed icing sugar, 10X sugar, or confectioner’s sugar. 

Powdered sugar is majorly used by confectioners regularly since powdered sugar has easily dissolving contents that are used in baking products, for frosting, and also for icing.

Powdered sugar makes a snow-like powder or dusty appearance on baked goods such as pastries, brownies, doughnuts, and cake slices.

Substitutes for powdered sugar

If you are preparing any recipe or baking a cake, brownie, or pastries but you get short of powdered sugar, then you should go for the substitutes of powdered sugar which will equally complement the recipe.

Some of the following substituted products for powdered sugar are described below:

DIY powdered sugar

One of the best alternatives for powdered sugar is a self-made powdered form of sugar. It is very easy to synthesize, just take a small amount of sugar then grind it into powder form and mix it with a little content of cornstarch.

The powdered form of sugar can be made by using a food processor, blender, and also by using coffee grinder.

Powdered coconut sugar

Powdered coconut sugar is another substituted product for powdered sugar. To make a perfect substitute, mix the powdered coconut sugar with arrowroot powder. Powdered coconut sugar is not very sweet in taste and flavour and it also has a lower index of glycemic. 

Typically, many people also prefer to use coconut powdered sugar in place of regular powdered sugar due to the caramel taste of coconut powdered sugar which is present in it by nature, and also due to less sweetness.

In measurements, when we have to replace the powdered sugar with coconut powdered sugar, we should use 1 cup of coconut sugar with 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder.

Powdered dextrose (D-Glucose)

Dextrose Monohydrate is one of the main constituents of table sugar. Packaged dextrose powder is another substituted product for powdered sugar in most recipes. Dextrose powder usually comes in a packaged form which consists of crystals that are in fine grounded condition. 

The texture, taste, and function of both these substituted and original powdered sugar are almost similar. Dextrose’s absorbance ability is more as compared to other forms of sugar. So, when using this alternative product for powdered sugar then add some more liquid in the recipes to balance the recipe’s consistency.

Powdered dextrose is also less sweet as compared to other powdered sugars such as 70 per cent less sweet than the regular ones. Therefore, adjusting the sweet taste of recipes adds a large amount of dextrose to balance the sweetness.

6X or 4X powdered sugar

6X or 4X powdered sugar is also the substituted product for powdered sugar. The regular sugar generally comes in 10X size of crystal sugar in the fine grounded powder. 

6X or 4X powdered sugar is considered a perfect substituted product when you don’t have access to the 10X confectioner’s sugar. It is also clear that sugar with large crystals is also not suitable for some of the recipes such as in cake’s frosting.

6X or 4X powdered sugar are perfect substitutes for drizzling over the products such as pastries, cake slices, doughnuts, and desserts.

Xylitol powder

Xylitol powder is a type of sugar alcohol, which is a near to perfect alternative product for powdered sugar. Xylitol powder is extracted generally from vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Xylitol powder is found in different sizes and the crystals of xylitol powder are also similar to sugar crystals. If xylitol is present in the large form of crystals then these can be ground by blender, food processor, or blender into smaller granules termed as refined sugar. 

Xylitol powder is most effective in powdered sugar recipes, and it is also a calorie-free product.

We hope that the list above brought additional insight on what to substitute the next time you run out of powdered sugar. But, if you personally prefer the real thing, that is perfectly fine, too!


In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “What can I substitute for powdered sugar?” with an in-depth analysis of the possible substitutes for powdered sugar and the measurements of these substituted products. 



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.