How to Make Icing Sugar

Learn how to make icing sugar from scratch with Dr. Oetker. Our guide provides step-by-step instructions as well as recipe ideas. Read more.

We’ve all used icing sugar before in our home baking, but have you ever considered making your own? It’s super easy and quick to do at home, not to mention a greener option too. In this guide, we’ll tell you how to make icing sugar, as well as answer some of your top questions about this helpful ingredient.  

What is Icing Sugar?

Icing sugar is essentially granulated sugar ground up very fine until it has a powdery texture. Also known as powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar, commercial icing sugar is usually made up of between 2% and 5% of an anti-caking agent such as tricalcium phosphate or corn starch. This helps to improve the consistency and absorb moisture.  

Icing sugar is not only used to decorate baked goods. It can also be used as fillings, in whipped cream and sugar cooking. You can also dust it over your bakes and desserts for some classic presentation.  


• Granulated sugar 
• Cornflour 

Equipment Needed

• Blender or food processor 
• Tablespoon 

How to Make Icing Sugar: Step By Step Guide

Making icing sugar is super simple. All you need is granulated or caster sugar and a food processor or blender. You can even use a pestle and mortar, but it won’t give you the best results.  

Here’s how you do it:  

1- Start by adding your sugar to the appliance you’re using. Blend until the sugar is a fine consistency.  
2- If the consistency isn’t as fine as you’d like, you can always sieve the sugar through a fine sieve. 
3- Add a little cornflour to the icing sugar and store in an airtight container. 

How to Use Icing Sugar

You have a few different uses for icing sugar. They include:  

Icing Sugar in Cheesecakes
Picture - Strawberry Cheesecake

Icing sugar is a great ingredient to use in cheesecake fillings. It makes for a perfect, silky-smooth filling.  

Give it a go with our delicious Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe. And why not use our Dr. Oetker Natural Extracts & Flavours, such as the Dr. Oetker Vanilla Extractsfor more sweetness in your cheesecake? 

Lemon Drizzle Topping with Icing Sugar
Picture - Lemon Drizzle - slice cut out

We absolutely love lemon drizzle cake. There’s just something so special about it. And the best thing is, it’s a super easy bake to do. The sweet crunchy lemon drizzle topping made with icing sugar, combined with the moist cake, is a match made in heaven.  

To make a lemon drizzle topping all you need is icing sugar and fresh lemon juice: 

• Start off by adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to 250g icing sugar.
• Then whisk to combine.
• Add more lemon juice if you want a runnier consistency.

Check out our Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe for inspiration. 

Make Royal Icing with Icing Sugar
Picture - Royal icing

Royal icing is a combination of dried egg white power and icing sugar, with anti-cracking agents, that dries to a smooth, hard, matte finish. It’s really versatile and can be used to decorate so many different things. Royal icing is ideal for cookies and gingerbread houses thanks to its thicker and stiffer consistency.   

To make royal icing: 

1- Whisk 3 egg whites.
2- Add 600g of icing sugar bit by bit. 
3- Carry on whisking until it’s a smooth consistency. 
4- Add 1tsp of Dr. Oetker Liquid Glucoseand 1tsp of lemon juice. 
5- Continue to whisk until it’s smooth, shiny and thick. 

Helpful tip: Adding 1 tsp of Dr. Oetker Cream of Tartar will ensure the stability of your icing sugar.  
Why not try baking our Christmas Bauble Biscuits Recipe and put your royal icing sugar skills to the test? These biscuits don’t need to be Christmas-themed – you can decorate them however you like.

Make Buttercream with Icing Sugar
Picture - Buttercream

Not only is buttercream icing delicious, it’s also a great and easy way to frost a cake. Here’s how you make it:  

• Beat 500g of sifted icing sugar with 250g butter.
• Add 2-3 tbsp of milk and beat until smooth.
• Add to a piping bag and away you go.
Try it with one of our mouth-watering Cupcake Recipes and learn more about How to Make Buttercream from our helpful guide. 

Make Meringues with Icing Sugar
Picture - Baked coloured meringues

Did you know you can make meringues with icing sugar instead of caster sugar? Well, you can! 

Icing sugar dissolves quicker than caster sugar and can produce a glossier meringue. It’s important to incorporate the sugar slowly as you beat it through the meringue.  

Test out your new technique with some of our delicious meringue recipes, whether our Meringue Kisses Recipeor Mini Confetti Meringues Recipe.  

Frequently Asked Questions about Icing Sugar

Is powdered sugar the same as Icing Sugar? 
Yes, powdered sugar and icing sugar are the same thing. It can also be known as confectioners' sugar. 

What is the difference between Royal Icing Sugar and Icing Sugar? 
Royal icing is made from softly whisked egg whites, icing sugar and sometimes lemon juice. It’s used to decorate many different types of cakes including Christmas cakes and wedding cakes.  Icing sugar is finely ground granulated sugar. Commercial icing sugar contains a small amount of anticaking agent. 

Is Icing Sugar gluten-free? 
Most icing sugar in the UK is gluten-free, although do watch out for the bulking agent used if you’re buying from a supermarket. Some bulking agents contain modified starch.  

How long does Icing Sugar last? 
If you store your icing sugar in an airtight container in a cool, dry place then it can last indefinitely. 

Top Tips About Icing Sugar

• Always sift the icing sugar before using it to avoid any lumps. 
• If your icing sugar has hardened, it means too much air and moisture has got to it. You’ll need to throw it away unfortunately.  
•Store your homemade icing sugar in an airtight container to prevent it from clumping. 

Explore More Baking Hints & Tips

Icing sugar is easy to make and use. Plus, it’s super versatile too.  

This simple decoration can visually take your bakes to the next level. And with this easy-to-understand knowledge up your sleeve, you’ll be making showstoppers in no time and bringing smiles to the faces of all your loved ones. With just a little baking knowledge, you can make a big difference.  

For more help with your home baking, check out our other tips and tricks including How to Make a Perfect Cheesecake Base and How to Ice a Cake.  

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