Homemade Sanding Sugar

Today, for my first blog post, I thought I should do something fairly easy, quick and really inexpensive! Where I live, many cooking products are so hard to find. I buy most of my special tools, ingredients and equipment from places I visit out of my ‘city’. Recently, I was in Bahrain, and oh my heavens, walked into a kitchen shop! I swear, I was so excited, and I really missed my mom, because we both bond over this stuff like mad! Anyway, they carried SO many things and I blew a lot of money there. They also had these tiny vials of sanding sugar. For about $5 (Rs.270). WHAT? Uh-uh. No. I’m not wasting spending that much  money for  a tablespoon or so of colored sugar!

 So, I returned to India without any colored sugar but they were still stuck in my mind. I was bored today, and I thought, why not? How difficult could that be? Also, sugar and water and color aren’t expensive. And if the idea failed, I could always add this to juices to get funky colored juices! That is a win, in my mind. So off I went to the kitchen!

And this is what I came up with!


I haven’t tried this out in any recipes yet, but be sure that my next post will be about different ways to use this up!



  • Sugar – As much you need
  • Liquid colouring-As required, depending on the intensity of the colour you want
  • A little water


There is only ONE step actually, that is mixing. This post is detailed, hence the length!

If you’re using powder food colors, mix it with very little water. Otherwise keep the liquid coloring as it is. For those of you who don’t want to use synthetic food colors, there are natural options too. For example, I used turmeric, resulting in a light lemony yellow. Other ideas: beetroot, blueberries, etc. I haven’t tried this. Maybe in a future post. Here’s a great article on natural food dyes: blue, green, red, orange, yellow, purple.

  • Rub the liquid into the sugar, adding it drop by drop. Trust me, a little liquid goes a long way. You just want the sugar to get coloured, but not wet. A light dampness is OK.
  • Break up any big clumps, lay it on a flat surface to dry. Preferably somewhere sunny.
  • Once dry (you’ll know it because it will be hard to touch), break up any lumps that are left over.


That’s it! Use away. Or store it.


Oh this colour makes me so happy!


*If you want this finer, you could use a food processor to powder it finely. Adding a little bit of corn starch to this powdered sugar will give you coloured icing sugar.


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