Make Your Own Colored Decorating Sugar

Colored Sugar

Colored decorating sugar is a terrific way to jazz up baked goods.  Next time you need to make yummy decorated cookies to serve friends or a gift to give that hard-to-shop-for someone, pull out the sugar and make some magic.  You can purchase pre-made decorating sugar; but if you want to whip up a batch of tasty treats and the store is closed, or you just love to DIY, try making your own.  It’s easy, fun, and well worth the efforts!

No Fuss Colored Sugar

A small jar of sugar, containing four colors, costs almost $7.  Higher-end brands can cost up to $10 for a single color.  Save some money and try this:

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • Liquid food coloring

To make:

  1. Put sugar into a clean jar with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Drip food coloring into the sugar. Start with 2 drops.
  3. Close the lid and shake for about a minute.
  4. Add more coloring if you need to, and shake again.
  5. Use immediately and enjoy!

Variations on this:

  • Instead of using a jar, put the sugar into a bowl and drop the food coloring in.  Use a fork to mix it in – or use your fingers.  You can also use plastic bags.
  • If you use food coloring powder, mix it with a little vodka (it needs to be an alcohol-based liquid, and the taste/alcohol content will disperse).
  • If you are not going to use the sugar right away, or if you want it to be a bit drier, spread it out on a plate or cooking sheet and let it dry.  This takes about an hour or two.  It will clump up, but simply break it up and you will have great shakable sugar.
  • Make as many colors as you’d like.
  • If you are doing this in humid weather, it may stick and clump.  To prevent this, put a few grains of white rice into the container. If you want, put the rice into a coffee filter and tie it off with twine to keep the rice out of the sugar.
  • Create fun designs by placing a stencil on your baked goods and sprinkling the sugar to “color” in the design.
  • If you want to reduce synthetic ingredients, try India Tree natural dyes or reduce your own juices for color.  Cranberry or beet juice, for instance, makes a terrific red.
  • For glittery metallic sugar, mix a little luster dust in. Yes, you’ll have to buy your luster dust, but a little goes a long way, and you can use it to spice up any color.
  • When dry, you can store the sugar in jars with tight fitting lids.  You can reuse spice jars if you’d like.

You can use your homemade decorating sugar for cookies, cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, sundaes, and anything that could use a dash of color and sweetness.

Another great idea is to package some for the baker in your life.  Make a variety of colors that your recipient will love.  This is really the benefit of making your own; you can create subtle tones that are much richer than anything you can buy in a store.  Take a look on Amazon and buy some cute glass jars with tight fitting lids.  Arrange the jars and some other baking essentials in a basket or baking dish, and there you have it. This makes a wonderful, and very inexpensive, birthday gift for someone.

Once you use decorating sugar, it becomes a must-have in your kitchen.  Why spend a fortune on buying commercial products when you can easily, quickly, and inexpensively make your own at home?  The reason why many people bake is because they enjoy creating and making delicious treats for themselves, their friends, and their families. Take it just one simple step further and mix up a few batches of your favorite colored decorating sugar.

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