DIY Sanding Sugar – How To Make Your Own Colored Sugar

April 13, 2018

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I am so excited to share with you this money-saving idea. If you like to bake, you know that buying those little bottles of colored sugar can get expensive and it can be hard to find a wide variety of colors. DIY Sanding Sugar is easy to make with Kroger granulated sugar and Kroger food coloring. That's all you need!

Store bought sanding sugar runs between .44 to .99 cents per ounce. By making your own it is closer to .04 to .07 cents per ounce and you can make any color, in any shade you want.

DIY Sanding Sugar Instructions:

  1. Pour 1/2 cup sugar into a zipper food storage bag.
  2. Put food coloring into the sugar. I use between 6 drops and 1 teaspoon of food coloring, depending on how dark I want the color. You may want to experiment with less to start, you can always add more.
  3. Zip the bag closed and shake and squish the sugar around until the food coloring is completely mixed into the sugar.
  4. Pour the sugar onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or foil. 
  5. Spread out the sugar so that it is one a nice thin layer.
  6. Bake at 170 degrees for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove sugar from oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Pour sugar back into a food storage bag and shake and squish the sugar until the sugar crystals are all broken up and no clumps remain.
  9. Store in an airtight container or shakers.

A couple of tips:

  • Granulated sugar has smaller granules than store bought colored sugar. If you are putting the sugar on cookies before baking, you will want a more coarse sugar so that it doesn't melt in the oven while the cookies bake.
  • If you don't want to cook the sugar to remove the moisture from the food coloring, you can leave the sheet pan out overnight to allow the sugar to dry.
  • If you add too much food coloring and the color is darker than you wanted, you can add more sugar to the zipper baggie to lighten the color.
  • The color of the sugar is a little darker when wet from the food coloring and will lighten a little after it has dried in the oven.

I love the look of the fine colored sugar and how it sparkles on these sugar cookies. It would be so fun to make colored sanding sugar to match a birthday party, team colors or even different shades of the same color!

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