Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to Make Powdered Coconut Sugar

I like to use coconut sugar when making a treat for our family and friends. It has a rich, caramel-like flavor that isn't too sweet. Plus, coconut sugar doesn't have that heart-palpitating affect like cane sugar does. This powdered coconut sugar recipe can be used to make icing for cookies and cakes, or used wherever powdered sugar is called for in a recipe.

Coconut sugar is a low-glycemic granulated sweetener, with an index of 35. Compare that to honey with a glycemic index of 75, cauliflower at 30, lentils at 35, and watermelon at 100.

Coconut sugar comes from the sap of the coconut palm blossoms. It is dried and granulated making it perfect for cooking and baking. Use it to replace any other granulated sweetener in equal amounts. Coconut sugar is dark so keep in mind that it will turn your "white cake" brown. It is best used in chocolate or spiced molasses type treats. Use it in sweet or savory sauces and in marinades. Use it basically anyplace a granulated sugar is called for. Now you can also replace regular powdered cane sugar with coconut sugar using this method.

Powdered Coconut Sugar

Powdered sugar is harder to replace, but you can make your own by grinding granulated coconut sugar in your Vitamix or coffee grinder. Please read my Cranberry-Pear Sauce post where I talked about potential gluten cross contamination in some coconut sugar brands before you go out and purchase any coconut sugar.

1 cup coconut sugar
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

Place the coconut sugar and arrowroot into the dry container of your Vitamix. Place the lid on tightly. Start on low speed and gradually work your way up to the highest speed. It will take a few minutes to powder the sugar. You can start and stop the machine if you need to. Just don't open the lid or you will have powdered sugar floating everywhere in the air! The dry container of the Vitamix is designed to keep dry ingredients moving and not get hot and cake to the bottom of the container. I don't think the regular liquid container would work for this recipe but you could try it.

Keep blending the sugar until it is all powdered and light brown in color. Keep the lid on for a few minutes to let it settle to the bottom. Then place into a glass jar and cover tightly with a lid. Store it in your pantry until ready to use. Source:

Use powdered coconut sugar to make icing for cookies!

The above photo of gluten-free gingerbread cookies is a recipe that will be coming soon. So stay tuned! If you do not own a Vitamix and have been thinking about getting one, the Vitamix 5200 package is on sale for over $100 off on!

Other recipes using coconut sugar:
Coconut Sugar Apple Crisp
Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
Vegan Corn Muffins

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Hi Ali,
    Just wondering if this could be done using palm sugar? I'm guessing yes? I have a bunch of that on hand, and I love this idea because I cringe every time that I have to purchase powdered sugar! Thanks!

  2. YAY! A powdered sugar I can feel good about using! Thanks, Ali! Just in time for all the holiday baking!!

  3. Great post, Ali. Love the idea of a healthy powdered sugar! You also convinced me that I needed the dry container for my VitaMix. I just ordered through your link. I'm way too impulsive when it comes to books or kitchen gadgets. You made it too easy! =)

  4. I am SO excited to learn this!! I have a VitaMix dry blade container but don't often have the chance to use it to its full potential.
    @Karin-I believe palm sugar is the same thing as coconut sugar, just with a different name.

    1. Not sure about that .. it can be date palm sugar.

  5. Oh my, that looks so good!! Sophie would love it. I wish I could find some coconut sugar that isn't processed in a facility with tree-nuts, though. I haven't found any yet.

  6. @Lori, thanks! I always confuse palm sugar and date sugar, lol!

  7. These look so yummy, Ali! Sadly I am allergic to hazelnuts - do you think ground almonds or sunflower seeds would work? Thanks! P.S. I absolutely LOVE all of your recipes and have been cooking dinners almost exclusively from your cookbook! When is your new cookbook due out? I can't wait!

  8. thank you! I'm thrilled to try this idea!

  9. Thank you for the idea of blending the sugar. I've been using it for awhile but I hadn't not tried to .blend it

  10. Thank you so much! My kids will be eating these at their school party instead of gluten filled donuts! I was looking for a great substitute! They will be thrilled!

  11. findleyr47@yahoo.comDecember 3, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    I realize now, after feeling terrible for a long time, that I cannot eat wheat containing foods or dairy. Thanks for sharing yor recipes and other links that we can go to for helpful info.

  12. Thank you for sharing this! The one thing my daughter was missing this year was gingerbread. I have been coming up with 'glop' trying to create something healthy. It is as you say, still a sweet treat, but definitely better with the hazlenut as flour.

  13. i don't have a vitamix or a coffee grinder - any tips for how to accomplish this low budget? would a hang coffee grinder work?


    What no one is warning consumers about is that coconut palm trees are meant to produce coconuts, not sugar! When the sap used to make coconut palm sugar is collected from the coconut palm tree, from the flower bud that will eventually form a coconut, that tree can no longer produce coconuts! Think about that for a minute. No coconuts = no coconut oil, no dried coconut, no coconut flour. Is coconut sugar worth giving up these other valued products that come from the coconut??


  15. Anon - I read that article back when it first came out. I did a lot of research on this before I started promoting it. I now question the integrity of that company as I could not find anything to back it up. Coconut palms grow everywhere in the tropics. I don't think we will ever have a shortage of coconuts or coconut oil.

    Here is a link that gives some good facts about coconut oil and sap production and the sustainability of both:

    Hope this helps!

  16. Great idea! Do you think this would work in a regular blender? I don't have a vitamix.

  17. Is coconut sugar allowed in Phase 1 of the elimination diet?

  18. Coconut trees are abundant and require no maintenance...there is no likelihood of a shortage real soon.

  19. So this would take place of white powd. sugar correct? If so then im doing this as I just got MADHAVA coc. sugar at a great price at WHOLE FOODS 3.49 # and I also like that you dont have to use B.S.for pow sug. arrowroot is much beter and great for gravies and soups. TKS

  20. I am so glad to see your tip to add 1 T of arrowroot powder to the coconut sugar in the blender. I have been trying to "powder" coconut sugar by itself in my Vitamix, and it does not work well! It seems to have too much moisture to it, and it sticks and clumps and is all but impossible to grind finely.

  21. I tried it. I loved it. So easy. Thanks.

  22. What is the arrowroot powder for? Does it add a different flavor to the sugar? Is it needed? What else could I use it for if I need it? I'm a minimalist so the simpler the better :)

  23. I too would like to know if there is an alternative for arrowroot? Would cornflour work?

  24. Can I use my ninja blender as I don't have a vitamix?

  25. Hi thank you! Have you tried powdered coconut sugar as frosting because it is still so grainy! I think coconut sugar is tough to use for vegan frosting as I refused to use white /icing sugar... urgh.. what are your thoughts?


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