Powdered Unrefined Sugar

Powdered Unrefined Sugar compared to unrefined sugar straight from the package

I know that I promised to share my simple chocolate buttercream frosting today, but I realized I needed to share one simple technique first; powdering unrefined sugar.

For anyone who has bought either whole cane sugar such as rapadura or sucanat, or a palm or coconut sugar, you will know that it can be rough and coarsely ground.  When made into cakes or cookies, it melts invitingly into the dough, but in other cases, it can form a gritty consistency and a need for a finer grind is evident.

And that need is certainly true for a simple buttercream.

Thankfully it only takes about 1 minute to take that gritty rough sugar and make it into a fine grind sugar. You will quickly find that there are many instances when a fine grind sugar is better than a coarsely ground.

Directions for Making Powdered Unrefined Sugar

While some people have had good success using a food processor, I’ve had the best success using a blender. Another option would be a “spice” coffee grinder.

Dump 1 to 2 cups (or a smaller amount, depending on how much you want to make) into blender. Turn on high and blend until powdered. It should like like this when done.

And that’s it!

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. Holly says

    I’ve tried this in my vitamix and had mixed results. Is there a magic amount of sugar? Or could you powder sugar in a flour mill like a Blendtec?

  2. says

    I read years ago about this and it was recommended to add corn starch to the sugar to prevent caking or something. I have always added arrowroot powder instead. I’ve also found that if I do around 2 cups of sucanat or crystalized cane juice and 2 tbsp. of arrowroot in my Vitamix, it turns out pretty good. I don’t put it at full speed or it “bakes” hard in the bottom from the heat. I’ve found that you want the right amount and speed so that the sugar keeps funneling down the middle.

      • says

        Brown sugar is simply refined white sugar with the molasses added back in. You could blend sucanat or palm sugar into a powder and just add molasses in small quantities, mixing well, until the desired “browness” is acheived. Many people don’t know this is how you make brown sugar – but it’s true. I work in a bakery and this is how we do it.

        • Rachel J says

          Sucanat hasn’t had the molasses removed, hence it’s brown color and stronger flavor, so I’m guessing you wouldn’t want or need to add any additional molasses to it. Unless of course you’re making gingerbread or some other wonderful fall treat.

  3. Toni says

    Hmmm, I like the idea of using the coffee grinder especially in chocolate frosting if there is any coffee residue left.

  4. says

    I have been wondering this for the last few months. I need to make frosting, but like the thickness of powdered sugar, but not using refined sugar. Thanks for this. Just in time.

  5. Laura says

    I haven’t tried unrefined sugar because of health issues, but I did try a half and half blend of finely ground rice flour/corn starch combination with a bit of powdered stevia extract to dust my homemade marshmallows and chocolate mocha cake. This turned out pretty well, though I think I will try potato starch instead of the rice flour. In any case, I used the same mixture to make a frosting with coconut oil and it blended well. Just don’t take it outside on a warm day! 🙂

  6. says

    What’s the difference between succanet and refined sugar. Jaggery is pure cane juice that has been boiled and left in big chunks or crushed into smaller pellets and called sucanat. Sucanat still has the full content of the cane juice. Refined sugar removes the brown color (molasses?) from cane sugar through some artificial process to make it white. How do they go about accomplishing this? And how do they get the succanet (jaggery crushed into smaller pieces) into tiny little pellets. Is the jaggery simply crushed and made into tiny pellets and sold as sucanat? Sucanat does not smell as strong as jaggery so I’m thinking it’s boiled down, further, and it would be beter to purchase the totally unrefined jaggery and put it through a grinder yourself! I’m not clear on all this.


  7. Annette says

    I’ve been making powdered sugar in my coffee grinder with coconut sugar for a while now. I’ve only used it on popcorn though. My kids love “carmel corn”. Basically coconut oil, powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Looking forward to trying your frosting recipe.


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