If you're on a sugar-free or reduced sugar diet, you know how difficult it can be to find the right sugar substitute for each recipe. Powdered sugar, also known as confectioner's sugar, is among the most challenging ingredients to replace because the sugar-free options are either granulated or brown sugar. That's why you'll have to get crafty in the kitchen and make your own replacement.
Fortunately, it’s easy, fast, and cheap to create your own sugar-free powdered sugar at home. It takes just a few minutes. You'll need just two ingredients and a mixer or food processor.
What You Need
Creating a sugar-free powdered sugar substitute is very easy. All you need is a little cornstarch and the same amount of granulated Splenda that your recipe lists for the powdered sugar. Make sure that the Splenda you choose is not the coffee packet or brown sugar variety (or any other fancy alternative the company offers). Purchase a bulk canister of the standard Splenda sweetener instead. These are available at most grocery stores in the baking aisle.
How to Make It
To make the powdered sugar substitute, combine 1 cup of Splenda with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch in a mixer or food processor. Blend on high speed for approximately 1 minute or until the texture is similar to powdered sugar. You may need to scrape down the sides of the mixer or processor bowl several times in the process to fully blend the ingredients. Processing sugar this way can be messy. If you find that a lot of dust is flying out of the food processor, cover the feed tube with a kitchen towel to keep the area clean.
This sugar-free powdered sugar can be stored in an airtight container for up to one month. Try dusting it on candies, tarts, or lemon bars to give them a slight sweetness. This trick can even be used to replace the icing in some recipes.
It's Not for Every Recipe
Powdered sugar is an essential ingredient in many recipes, particularly for baked goods with icing or frosting that require a smooth texture. This substitute will not work for every recipe. Like any other sugar replacement, this one is best used when you need the flavor of sugar but not necessarily its baking properties. Unless your recipe was specifically designed to use Splenda, this substitute could cause issues. It may not bake properly or taste right.
Don't try to use Splenda-based granulated or powdered sugar in recipes where sugar is the main ingredient. It's also not going to work if the recipe depends on sugar for either structure or its caramelizing properties. Quite often, you'll be better off searching for a sugar-free or low-sugar recipe to use instead.
This doesn't mean that you can't experiment. If you have some baking experience and time to play around with your favorite recipes, it may be possible to adjust the recipe and make it work. Simply think about the role sugar plays in your recipe and decide if Splenda can take over for it.