Have you ever wondered if you could make DIY colored sugar at home? You can! Our quick and easy colored powdered sugar recipe will have you decorating cakes, cookies, and candies in no time! Save money by dying your own powdered sugar at home.
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I got a lot of questions about how I made my Valentine's Day puppy chow mix pink. It was so easy to do at home, I want to share all my secrets with you.
There are multiple ways to dye powdered sugar.
And I am going to cover all the ways. But the important thing is that buying fancy red, pink, or blue powdered sugar will cost you 5 to 10 times what it costs to make your own.
And you only need two ingredients. Making this yourself is a no-brainer.
You may be wondering why you should color powdered sugar at all. It makes a beautiful and unique decoration. Think Christmas snowball cookies in whites and blues. So pretty!
But often colored powdered sugar is used to decorate chocolate (like we did with our muddy buddy mix). Adding standard grocery store-purchased food colorings to melted chocolate will cause it to become grainy. Specialty food dyes that do not contain water are required.
Instead, you complete your baking with your undyed chocolate or chocolate frosting and sprinkle the color on afterward.
For this recipe, you only need two ingredients. Powdered sugar and some food coloring.
Powdered sugar, also called icing sugar or confectioners sugar is simply granulated sugar ground into a pillowy soft sugar. It is used for decorating baked goods and to make the traditional buttercream-style frosting.
For the food coloring, you can use any type of food-safe dye you want.
- Food gels will get you the brightest coloring.
- Dye powders will be vibrant and long-lasting.
- Petal dust will be softer and lighter.
💭 All Natural Colors
For a variety of reasons, some people prefer not to use food dyes. I totally get it. While you can find all-natural food coloring it is as readily available. Another option is to use freeze-dried fruit. You will need to use a food processor for this method.
Blitz your fruit and the powdered sugar for 1 minute or until you have a light powdery pulp. Please note, that you won't be able to achieve darker colors this way, but the pastels will still be lovely.
You can see the difference in our process shots below. We used gel food coloring in the food processor and natural powdered food coloring in the bag. The gel was much more vibrant.
⏲️How to Color Powdered Sugar
This recipe only takes a couple of minutes. We have two options, using a food processor or manually doing it in a Ziploc bag. I don't recommend using a bowl and spoon because it just creates a dust cloud of sugar.
Option 1- Food Processor
The pros of using a small food processor are that it is quick, and the color will be fully blended. The con is extra dishes. A food processor is my preferred method.
Add your powdered sugar along with a small amount of food coloring. Whirl for 30 seconds. Continue adding food coloring and fully mixing to get to your desired color.
Option 2- Ziploc Bag
This option works better with larger quantities (at least a cup of powdered sugar) than small quantities. The pro is easy to clean up and this is an awesome choice if whatever you are dusting can be tossed in the bag for coating.
The con is that it takes a minute or two longer, but it is a great job for the kiddos.
Add your powdered sugar and a small amount of food coloring to the bag. Seal well. Shake the bake, using your hands to move the color around. Continue adding food coloring and fully mixing to get to your desired color.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- When making colored powdered sugar it is best to start with just a couple of drops of food coloring and slowly add more to get to your desired color. If you add too much, increase the quantity of powdered sugar.
- The only thing I have seen go wrong with coloring powdered sugar is when you use a lighter amount of liquid or gel food coloring that isn't meant for rich dark colors. This results in damp confectioner's sugar.
- To correct this issue, spread parchment on a baking sheet and sprinkle the sugar on top in an even layer. Bake in the oven at 150 F to 200 F degrees for 10 to 15 minutes to dry it out.
If you use gel food coloring or liquid food coloring the dyed sugar should be used right away. Because we introduced water into the mix, it won't keep for long-term storage.
Again, if you used freeze-dried fruit you will want to use it right away as the fruit will immediately absorb water from the air.
If you used petal dust or a powdered dye it should be kept until the expiration date of the icing sugar if stored in a sealed container in a dark cool place.
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📖 Printable Recipe Card
Homemade Colored Powdered Sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar also called confectioner's or icing sugar
- food coloring gel or powdered preferred
- Place the powdered sugar and a few drops of food coloring in a small food processor or Ziploc bag. Blitz or shake until totally blended. About 30 seconds to 1 minute.1 cup powdered sugar, food coloring
- Continue adding food coloring until the desired color is achieved. If the color is too dark add more sugar to lighten it up.