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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Please read the entire post for tips and tricks to ensure a perfect recipe every time. And don't forget to tag @peelwithzeal on Instagram so we can admire your creation!
We got a lot of questions on how we made our 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 we are 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 we 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 after.
For this recipe, you only need two ingredients. Powdered sugar and some type of 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, and petal dust will be softer and lighter.
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 with small quantities. The pro is easy 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 along with 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 adding more to get to your desired color. If you added 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.
💭 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, you won't be able to achieve darker colors this way, but the pastels will still be lovely.
While you don't need any special equipment for this recipe, I used my mini food processor to make this bright pink sugar. It is a staple piece of equipment in my everyday cooking.
If you used 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 keep until the expiration date of the icing sugar if stored in a sealed container in a dark cool place.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave us a rating or a comment. It helps other wonderful people connect with our food.
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.
Rhonda Olsen says
I thought it would work. I give 3 stars because like above it was an EPIC fail.I give you 5 stars for helping me. I used the ziplock baggie method with gel food coloring. Stuck to the bag in clumps and clumped in the powdered sugar also.
This was an epic fail for me. I purchased a bag of powdered sugar, & gel food coloring. Put a cup of it in my mini food processor, added the color a few drops at a time and all it did was coat the gel leaving tiny chopped up pieces of gel in my sugar. It did not absorb the color one tiny, iddy bitty bit. I tried the zip lock method and the same thing happened. I ended up with food color smashing all over the side of the baggie and absolutely not one bit absorbed into the sugar no matter how much I blitzed it, shook it, squeezed it.
Jen Wooster says
I am sorry you had a bad experience. Can you tell me what brands you used? I will try to recreate te issue and advise on a solution.
I had the same exact experience.
Jen Wooster says
Sorry to hear Fran. What type of food coloring did you use?