What is Sanding Sugar? Here Are The Interesting Details You Need To Know

The kitchen is a jungle especially for those who have not dipped their hands to cooking. But even for experienced cooks, baking sweets can be another territory to explore. Maybe just recently you decided to bake sweets and found some ingredients are new to you.

What is sanding sugar? This wasn’t thought in high school! And more questions follow that. How is it different from regular sugar? Where can I use Sanding Sugar? How do I color sanding sugar?

The next thing you do is take a stroll and visit your local grocery store with full confidence that they have everything you need. Now to your surprise, there is no sugar pack labeled with sanding sugar!

Sweetness Overload

Sugar is a staple ingredient in the kitchen. Even in ancient times, sugar has been consumed and used in the kitchen to add flavor to savory meals and desserts. And today, we favor sugar over honey because of its availability and ease of use.

Sugar comes in many preparations. The most popular are the granulated sugar. Yes, this is the one we usually use to sweeten our coffee or tea. Aside from the default granulated form, some types of sugar are specially prepared for baking.

What is Sanding Sugar

Sanding sugar, like confectioner’s sugar, is specifically used for designing bread, pastries, and cakes. They are used to garnish and give out your cookies a sparkle to make it more enticing (if not sweeter!)

Sanding sugar comes in white and many other colors to match the theme of your food art. The finest form of sanding sugar is coarser than the granulated sugar. They come in different coarseness too.

The larger grains of the sanding sugar make it silver, and this bigger surface area reflects light. This gives out a shine on your subject.Since they are coarser than your regular sugar, they don’t easily dissolve in water. This is exactly what you want when decorating your desserts. Your sugar won’t become easily watery.

Specialty baking stores may offer a variety of colors you could choose from. But coloring your sugar is not at all difficult and can be easily made in your kitchen.

Uses of Sanding Sugar

Sanding sugar can be used in a lot of ways in your kitchen. The simplest way you could use it is as a substitute for your granulated sugar. You can even use it to give a little sweetness to your soups and chowders.

Because of its coarseness, it gives you a lesser amount of sugar per cup compared with finer sugar. This is a good way to cut sugar from your diet! But aside from that, there are many other uses of it!

To make your cookies more enticing, you can sprinkle some colorful sanding sugar and make them glimmeringly delicious! The ability to choose a color can make this an easy match if you are following a theme.

Via sweetsugarbelle.com

2. Cupcake Frosting

Regular cupcakes are boring. Floral cupcakes are ancient already! Tap your creative panda in you and make a panda cupcake! These adorably designed cupcakes will surely impress.

Via mycakedecorating.co.uk

3. Fondant Cake Frosting

There are many ways to design a cake. The icing on a cake is nothing extraordinary. This is something we see everywhere. To make things a little more interesting, you may want to use fondant and unleash your creativity. You can sprinkle sanding sugar on your finished output for a shining, shimmering, elegant cake.

4. Cake Pops

Full-sized cakes are great for birthdays and other occasions. But innovation and creativity cannot dictate us not to make things more interesting. That’s why cake pops were invented. These cake pops are not just delicious, but are also pleasing to the eyes!

Via flickr.com

Sanding sugar can be a very versatile ingredient to decorate your desserts! Check out this recipe to see how she made her cake pops to look like beach balls!

Coloring Your Sanding Sugar

Surely, it might seem easier to just buy a pack of colored sanding sugar. Later you will find out that you want more colors. You want to stock up your pantry with different colors of sanding sugar. So that when you feel the need to raise your sugar levels, you can just bake at your heart’s content and use different colors of frosting.

Buying a pound of each color is not a bad idea. But, let me introduce a better idea. This way, you would not require as much as 1 pound for each color! Yes, you can make your colored sanding sugar! In fact, it’s not difficult at all!


  • Sanding sugar
  • Food color
  • Ziploc bags
  • Baking sheet

Step by Step

Step 1. Place a cup of sugar inside the Ziploc bag.

Step 2. Add a few drops of food color at a time. Stop yourself from adding too much at once!

Step 3. Shake, mix and knead your sugar until the color is evenly distributed.

Step 4.Add more food color until you reach your desired hue.

Step 5. Before storing in your jars, dry your sugar on a baking sheet for at least one hour to evaporate all the remaining moisture. There you have it.

Try mixing a lot of different colors and fill your pantry with inspiring dreamy jars of sweetness! (don’t blame me if you accidentally summon a unicorn!)


Sanding sugar is not as uncommon as we thought. It’s there, in the grocery, we didn’t just know! Using colored sanding sugar can liven up the most boring dessert! You can even make a panda out of it! They are such great tools for designing your baked goods.

You can even color your sanding sugar in a few simple steps! Now if someone asks you what is sanding sugar, you can answer with confidence!

Did you find this useful? Share this to your friends so that they, too, can use it in their recipes! Feel free to ask me any question, and I’ll answer it to the best I could!

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