Homemade Powdered Sugar

This week I’m sharing an experience that I had while in the middle of making a cake. I found a recipe for a Coffee Nut Torte in Midwest Living magazine. Man, it sounded so good, but I misread the ingredients for the icing. I needed a lot more powdered sugar than I thought and I just didn’t have enough.

So the question was do I run to the store and spend gas money and a higher price for the powdered sugar than I would when going grocery shopping (because I would have to hit that high priced grocery store in town) or do I improvise? I didn’t have time to run to the less expensive grocery store without running the risk of over-baking the cake, so I made my own powdered sugar!
Homemade Powdered Sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
Put both in a blender and blend until powdered. Yields a little over one cup of powdered sugar.

Pretty easy! But now for the real test. Was it really thrifty? In my case, on this particular day, yes it was. I had sugar on hand as well as cornstarch, so I didn’t have to buy anything, no money out of pocket. However, how does the price comparison really stack up? Well, I’m not sure about your area, but I called my local grocery store, the high priced one, and found the following:
granulated sugar = $1.98 for a 4 lb. bag
powdered sugar = $1.64 for a 2 lb. bag
Now when you figure out how many cups are in each of these you get:
granulated sugar = 4 lb bag = 9 cups
powdered sugar = 2 lb bag = 8 cups
Price per cup:
granulated sugar = $0.22 per cup
powdered sugar = $0.20 per cup
Remember, I didn’t even factor in the cornstarch! So with these calculations, with sugar at regular price, no it’s not cheaper to make your own powdered sugar. However, if sugar went on sale, which it did at my store this week for $0.99 for a 4 lb. bag, then it would be cheaper to make your own.
At any rate, now you know how to make powdered sugar in a pinch! ;)
Oh, and just so you know, the cake was a flop anyway. Really ticked me off, what a waste of ingredients! Far from thrifty. GRRRR
What were your thrifty experiences this week??

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19 Responses to Homemade Powdered Sugar

  1. 1
    Carrie says:

    Thank you!!! I was wondering the other day it it was possible to make my own.

    Thank you for show us how!!!

    I posted my thrifty Thursday recipe…

  2. 2
    Frugal Scholar says:

    My Thrifty Thursday post = some musings on an issue raised by Funny About Money. What’s the biggest financial mistake you didn’t make?

  3. 3
    Cheri Sicard says:

    Very handy information about the confectioner’s sugar Amanda.

    My Thrifty Thursdays post this week is more about freezing — specifically which foods do and do not freeze well, how long you can freeze foods for, and how to best prepare them for the freezer.


  4. 4
    The Blonde Duck says:

    My head is swirling from all that math!

  5. 5
    Barb, sfo says:

    I didn’t get a chance to post today–too busy planning a thrifty at-home birthday party (I’ll discuss that NEXT week). But on Monday I made “chicken for 5″ feed 7 by changing the menu to chicken lo mein instead of the planned dinner.

  6. 6
    Anonymous says:

    Sorry but I think your math is wrong. You need to compare based on weight. If you set out to make powdered sugar, then 4 pounds of granular will make more than 4 pounds of powdered by the time you add cornstarch……

  7. 7
    Dani says:

    better price or not, now i know what to do in a pinch. thanks :)

  8. 8
    Anonymous says:

    If 1 cup granulated plus tablespoon of cornstarch yield just over a cup, then the volume per weight for the powdered and granular is almost the same. The weight did not magically drop when you blended it. So somewhere in there your numbers are wrong……

  9. 9
    MaryBeth says:

    WOW….who knew, thanks for such a great tip.

  10. 10
    Lucy says:

    I have made 10X sugar in a pinch, and once took off the lid much too soon & had a cloud in the kitchen! Great post! ;-)

  11. 11
    Amanda says:

    Anonymous – It’s possible that my math is wrong, but it’s also possible that it’s not ;) I admit I did not measure out the number of cups in a 2 lb. bag of powdered sugar, I looked up the answer on the internet. I will get it figured out and post the correction, if needed, in a later post. Thanks! :)

  12. 12
    Tami says:

    Either way, Amanda, that a great tip when in a pinch at home. Now, if you can come up for a way to make eggs out of something, then I really won’t have to keep running to the store when I’m out. ROFL!!

    I didn’t have a tip for this week until this morning. I posted about a great freebie find–Italian ice! Who doesn’t love free food?!?

  13. 13
    Amanda says:

    Ok here’s the deal. I ran to the store because and bought a 2-lb bag of powdered sugar as I couldn’t stop fathoming this in my head.

    I measured out the 2 lb bag UNSIFTED and got just under 7 cups of powdered sugar. Amazing, didn’t look like it! Sifted, it would probably come to about 7.5 cups, which seems to be the general agreement on the internet.

    However, when I made my own the volume of powdered sugar came pretty close to granulated, so maybe it needed more blending.

    There you have it!

  14. 14
    Ingrid says:

    Thanks for sharing this “recipe” and tip with us! That is a really cool one AND one I think I’ll use.

  15. 15
    Judy says:

    Very interesting and informative post. I’ve made my own superfine sugar, but never powdered. I wonder if homemade can be as fine as commercial. If, as I think, the commercial machines break up the granulated sugar into a finer powder, you would have more volume; thus the difference in the powdered sugar you buy vs. homemade.
    I just planted radishes, lettuce and spinach. Hope that qualifies for a thrifty event. One of these days I will get to post about it. My hubby is recuperating from wrist surgery that was rougher than expected and my life has been upside down for the last 3 weeks, first pre-op, then op, then post-op.

  16. 16
    Brownies for Dinner says:

    I love the idea of Thrifty Thursday. I’ve been working on a budget and trying to get myself to use a weekly meal plan and shopping lists. It isn’t going to happen overnight but definitely something I’m working towards.
    I look forward to reading more of your Thrifty Thursday posts.

  17. 17

    […] to make my own brown sugar. Powdered sugar is also missing from the shelves, so I’ll have to make my own for that too (though cornstarch is something else I have yet to find). Candies, brownies and […]

  18. 18
    amanda says:

    Do you think your cake was a flop because of the powered sugar mixture you made?

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