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Decorate Desserts: 5 BEST Icing Sugar Substitutes

Okay, so you’re about to whip up something sweet in the kitchen, and bam, you’re out of icing sugar.

Been there, done that. Now, before you toss your baking hat out the window, we’ve got some sweet news.

There are some fantastic substitutes that can save your dessert and maybe even take it to the next level.

We’re talking about everyday items chilling in your pantry that can stand in for that powdery sweet goodness.

No complex science or fancy gadgets required; just simple swaps that’ll get your desserts dressed to impress.

Ready to turn that baking crisis into a piece of cake?

Let’s dive into the 5 best icing sugar substitutes that’ll keep your dessert game strong.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Icing Sugar

For most people, the holidays are a time to indulge in sweet treats.

Whether it’s cookies, cakes, or candies, sugar is a central ingredient in many holiday favorites.

If you’re trying to cut back on your sugar intake, though, these sweets can be tempting but off-limits.

Luckily, there are some substitutes for icing sugar that can help you enjoy your holiday favorites without all the sugar.

Here are five of the best substitutes for icing sugar.

1 – Granulated Sugar

Granulated sugar is the most common type of sugar used in baking and cooking.

It has a fine, grainy texture and a sweet, subtly complex flavor.

You can substitute granulated sugar for icing sugar by pulsing it in a food processor or blender until it reaches the desired consistency.

When substituting granulated sugar for icing sugar, you may need to add more or less depending on how sweet you want your recipe to be.

Remember that granulated sugar will not dissolve as easily as icing sugar, so it’s best to use it in recipes where it will be fully incorporated, like cookies or cakes.

2 – Honey

Honey is a delicious, natural sweetener that can be used in many different ways.

It has a unique taste and texture that sets it apart from other sweeteners.

And honey can be substituted for icing sugar in many recipes.

Honey is made by bees from the nectar of flowers.

The bees collect the nectar and store it in their hive.

Then, they use their enzymes to break down the nectar into simple sugars.

The honey is then stored in honeycomb cells, where it undergoes further evaporation and dehydration.

This process gives honey its characteristic sweetness and viscosity.

To substitute honey for icing sugar, simply use equal amounts of honey in place of the sugar.

Honey is more delicate than sugar, so it’s important not to overcook or burn it.

When baking with honey, you may also need to reduce the amount of liquid called for in the recipe.

This is because honey is more hydrating than sugar.

Pay attention to these subtle adjustments, and you’ll be able to bake with honey like a pro.

3 – Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is a type of sugar that has been minimally refined and still contains molasses.

This gives it a dark brown color and a slightly more complex flavor than white sugar.

It also makes the sugar moister, so it can clump together more easily.

When substituting brown sugar for icing sugar, you will need to use less of it since it is denser.

You may also want to add a little bit more liquid to your recipe to account for the increased moisture.

Overall, brown sugar is a great way to add a deeper flavor to your baking without completely departing from the traditional taste of white sugar.

4 – Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a delicious, healthy alternative to refined sugar.

It has a unique taste and texture that can add depth and flavor to any dish.

Here are some tips on how to use maple syrup in place of icing sugar:

  • When baking, simply substitute maple syrup for the sugar called for in the recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, use 1 cup of maple syrup instead.
  • To sweeten frosting or icing, first, dissolve Maple syrup in warm water, then add it to the recipe in place of the sugar. Start with 1/4 cup of Maple syrup for every 1 cup of sugar, and add more to taste.
  • For a quick and easy glaze, Combine Maple syrup with lemon juice or vinegar. Brush it over meats or vegetables before roasting, or drizzle it over pancakes or waffles.

5 – Confectioners’ Sugar

Confectioners’ sugar, also known as icing sugar or powdered sugar, is a fine, powdery sugar that dissolves easily in liquids.

It has a slightly sweet taste and a silky-smooth texture.

Confectioners’ sugar is often used to make icings, frostings, and confections such as candy and cake.

It can also be used as a decoration on top of baked goods.

When substituting confectioners’ sugar for granulated sugar, you’ll need to use fewer confectioners’ sugar because it is more finely ground.

For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of granulated sugar, you would only need to use 3/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar.

Just be sure to sift the confectioners’ sugar before using it to avoid clumps.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Icing Sugar

Looking for alternatives to icing sugar? Look no further! We've compiled a list of the 5 best substitutes that will work perfectly in your recipes calling for icing sugar.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Granulated Sugar
  • Honey
  • Brown Sugar
  • Maple Syrup
  • Confectioners’ Sugar


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword best substitutes for icing sugar
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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