When I stopped using refined sugars in my kitchen, powdered sugar was one of the sugars that went out the door.
I never really liked powdered sugar to begin with, but nonetheless, it was a sad day. After all, what was I supposed to do when I needed to dust a Christmas stollen or New Year's sourdough oliebollen? Sigh…
I pretty much thought not having that delicate, puffy version of sugar was just one of those sacrifices I would have to make in order to only eat real food.
But then one day as I was running some raw cane sugar through the food processor to make super-fine sugar for our glögg (the most delicious Swedish mulled wine you've ever tasted), I realized that if I let the motor run a little longer, I ended up with powdered sugar! After a bit of experimentation, which didn't take long, I came up with the following super-easy recipe for homemade powdered sugar. As my six-year-old daughter would say, easy peasy lemon squeezy!
And I should mention that a blender creates a FAR superior powder than the food processor does – I used the food processor for my first few batches then switched to the blender and was far more satisfied with the results.
And why arrowroot, you might ask? It's merely here as an anti-caking agent so that as your homemade powdered sugar sits over time it won't solidify into lumps.
Conventional powdered sugar often uses cornstarch for that purpose, but I've chosen arrowroot for two reasons: one, cornstarch is often made out of genetically-modified corn, so I'd prefer to avoid it, and two, arrowroot offers acts as a demulcent in the colon and aids digestion for those with sensitive digestive systems, so it helps the body deal with the sugar more effectively. Granted, it's in very small amounts, but in my opinion, it's better than cornstarch in that regard.
Oh, and depending on the sugar you use, your homemade powdered sugar may not end up being completely white. I find it more than passable for dusting on top of cakes and pastries, but if you're wanting it for something like homemade fondant, just know the result may be slightly darker.
How to Make Homemade Powdered Sugar
makes approximately 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unrefined cane sugar, coconut sugar, or other crystalline sugar
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
Place the sugar and the arrowroot powder in a blender. Bring the blender up to full speed and blend for 1-2 minutes. Let the dust settle and check for fineness. If it's not fully powdered, process for another 30-60 seconds. Blending times will vary according to the type of sugar you use.