What is Sanding Sugar and How to Make It?

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Sugar is sweet and used to add flavor, but there’s a sugar that not only adds sweetness to foods. It also serves as decoration! Sanding Sugar comes in all different colors – perfect for any kind of treat you want decorated with it.

So what exactly is sanding sugar? The short answer: Unlike regular table or white sugars, colored sugar has bigger crystals which are sparkly and great at decorating your sweets; whether they be pastries or cookies!

Sanding Sugar
Sanding sugar is one of the easiest DIY cookie or cupcake decorating material – seriously fast and you can make any color!

Although sweet as any other sugar, sanding sugar is mainly used to decorate pastries, cookies, cakes, candies, or anything that can possibly be decorated with it.

What is Sanding Sugar?

In a much longer answer, colored sugar is a decorating sugar that comes in many colors. The size can be either the same as standard white granulated sugar (what I made here) or a bigger-chunkier coarse sugar using a base coarse sugar like this. It is sparkly and somewhat translucent, especially the larger ones, reflecting light and giving off a sparkly effect, like glitter. Edible and sweet glitter that’s basically fantastic.

Sanding Sugar can be used as decoration in so many fun ways. Besides being colorful, it does not dissolve quite as easily as regular sugar and yet looks just as delicate and fun.

Sanding Sugar

I like using this colorful sugar to amuse my kids. I sprinkle it on their oatmeal or toss a little over toast sometimes to add a bit of color. I even used it when I made this Pokeball Fruit Punch (it’s a kid-friendly beverage) on the rim of the glass and it was just so – classy!

Is Sanding Sugar Edible Glitter?

The short answer: no. Sanding sugar is not edible glitter. Edible glitter is ground up minerals and typically a lot more shiny and it’s almost impossible to make at home. But, good news is that you can make sanding sugar and it’s just sugar, and there’s NOTHING difficult about making it.

How to Make Sanding Sugar

You can find sanding sugar in some grocery stores or online in many colors. There are times that it’s hard to find certain colors though, but when you make it yourself, you can make any color you want. And it’s so easy to make it at home, it’s hardly worth going to the store.

I’m sure you already have a lot of uses in mind for this decorative sugar. Just like me when I started making this decorative sugar, I ended up making a ton of colors. LOL! And don’t worry about making too much. There’s nothing wrong with making more than you planned. If you have extra sugar, just keep it stored in mason jars, zipper top baggie, or any airtight container.

Ingredients to Make Sanding Sugar

The main ingredients here are the gel food coloring of your choice and a cup of granulated sugar. Yeah, that’s it!

No need for cornstarch, no need for any fancy sprays or additions, just the two ingredients.

The equipment and materials:

There’s no special equipment needed except for a food processor. Of course, if you don’t have one of these,  you can still make the sanding sugar with the second method.

The materials you need are parchment paper, baking sheet, sifter, bowls, and containers.

decorative sugars

If you have a food processor:

  • To start, preheat the oven to 250°F then add sugar to a food processor.
  • Add one drop of gel coloring and mix on high for 30-45 seconds.
  • Then pour out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread out sugar, bake for 10 mins. 
  • Allow it to cool for 15 min before using.

If not using a food processor:

If you prefer not to use a food processor to make the Sanding Sugar, do this:

  • Instead of adding into a food processor, add sugar to a zipper top bag. 
  • Squeeze in one drop of gel food coloring. 
Sanding Sugar
  • Seal the bag and squish around the gel until all of the sugar is coated. Then place a sifter over a medium-large bowl and empty out the contents of the zipper top bag. Shake out the sugar, discard any large clumps.
Sanding Sugar
  • Pour out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then spread out sugar. Bake for 10 mins. 
  • Allow it to cool for 15 min before using.
Sanding Sugar

To store: 

Use an airtight container, zipper top bags, or mason jars with lids. 

Hey! Don’t forget to Pin this in your Decorating with Sugar Pinterest Board. It’s a great way to keep it, share it and check back again.

Sanding Sugar
Yield: 1 cup Sanding Sugar

How to Make Sanding Sugar

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Learn how to make sanding sugar in two ways with this easy tutorial and start decorating cakes cookies and more in minutes!

Ingredients

  • gel food coloring
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar

Instructions

Instructions with a food processor 

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Add sugar to a food processor.
  3. Add one drop of gel coloring.
  4. Mix on high for 30-45 seconds.
  5. Pour out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Spread out sugar, bake for 10 mins. 
  7. Allow to cool for 15 min before using.

Instructions without a food processor 

  1. Add sugar to a zipper top bag. 
  2. Squeeze in one drop of gel food coloring. 
  3. Seal the bag and squish around the gel until all of the sugar is coated.
  4. Place a sifter over a medium-large bowl and empty out the contents of the bag.
  5. Shake out the sugar, discard any large clumps.
  6. Pour out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. 
  7. Spread out sugar, bake for 10 mins. 
  8. Allow to cool for 15 min before using.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 39Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 0g

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Here are some recipes that would be perfect for a little sanding sugar touch!

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