FROSTING WITHOUT POWDERED SUGAR
Frosting without powdered sugar? Yes!
I typically use powdered sugar (also called confectioners sugar or icing-sugar) in my frosting recipes because good old American buttercream has always been my go-to. However, since I’ve lived in Greece for several years, I realized that not everyone likes the intense sweetness of American buttercream – it has SO much powdered sugar, making it very very sweet.
Side note: You *should* try our dark chocolate buttercream recipe at some point (this DOES have powdered sugar) because it is (sweet – yes) TO. DIE. FOR. It’s especially amazing on chocolate cupcakes or chocolate cake!
I guess you can say I’ve acclimated over time, because I’ve started looking for a different recipe for frosting – frosting without powdered sugar, that is! Buttercream seems unusually sweet to me, although I do crave just a spoon of it now and then ;-), and to be honest, sometimes I just don’t have powdered sugar on hand, and I really need to make frosting without powdered sugar.
So, whether you’re looking for a less-sweet frosting or if you’re just plain out of powdered sugar and don’t want to make a run to the store, I’m sure you’ll find something that works for you in the list of 15 frosting recipes without powdered sugar!
It is possible to MAKE powdered sugar, though (who knew!?). Lisa at Downshiftology says it only takes 30. SECONDS. Are you kidding me? What’s awesome about making your own powdered sugar is that you can use the sugar that you prefer — coconut sugar, raw sugar, cane sugar, you choose! I will be definitely be trying this soon!
What ingredients are in recipes for frosting without powdered sugar?
Here are some of the ingredients you’ll find in these recipes:
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Whipping cream
- Chocolate, dark or white
- Cocoa powder
- Egg whites
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Maple syrup
- You’ll also need a stand-mixer or hand mixer!
I don’t recommend simply replacing powdered sugar with another kind of sugar in a recipe like American buttercream that calls for powdered sugar, unless you first blend it into a homemade powdered sugar like mentioned at the beginning of this post. Lisa at Downshiftology has a great tutorial on how to do this!
Otherwise, stick to one of these recipes that is made without powdered sugar.
If you don’t have frosting on hand, it’s possible that you have the ingredients for any one of these 15 recipes for frosting. Most of them are extremely quick to whip up!
Non-frosting options are ganache, whipped topping, fresh fruit, caramel sauce, strawberry sauce, or glaze.
Caster sugar is finely ground white granulated sugar, but not quite as finely ground as powdered sugar. Try putting caster sugar into a powerful blender like a Vitamix and blend for 30 seconds to turn it into powdered sugar.
Yes. Homemade Marshmallow Creme (#2 in the above list), Ermine Icing (#3), and Swiss Meringue Frostings (#7, #8, & #10) all use regular sugar in their frosting recipes!
No. Never try to substitute brown sugar in these recipes because brown sugar has molasses added to it, making it impossible to get the light consistency of powdered sugar.
I think a lot of people just use the terms interchangeably ;-), after all, Grandma always called it ‘icing,’ so is that just an older term for frosting?
The Pioneer Woman says: “Icing is thinner than frosting but not quite as thin as a glaze. Typically made with powdered sugar and liquid, such as water, milk, or juice, icing can be drizzled or spread. Icing has more shine and a smoother consistency than frosting. Frosting is thick and spreadable with a base that is made with a fat, such a butter, cream cheese, or cream.”
Frosting can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. When you need it, take the refrigerated frosting out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature (do not microwave it!). When it’s softened, you can whip it up again and it’s as good as fresh!