Is Confectioners Sugar Vegan?

By Olivia

Confectioners sugar, also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar, is a commonly used ingredient in baking and cooking. But is it vegan? Let’s find out.

How is Confectioners Sugar Made?

Confectioners sugar is typically made by grinding granulated sugar into a fine powder and then mixing it with a small amount of cornstarch to prevent clumping. This process raises the question of whether the ingredients and production methods used are vegan-friendly.

The Ingredients of Confectioners Sugar

The main ingredient in confectioners sugar is sugar itself, which comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. Sugar is naturally vegan as it is derived from plants. However, some brands may use bone char during the refining process of sugar, which is derived from animal bones. This can make the sugar non-vegan. To ensure its vegan status, look for confectioners sugar labeled as “vegan” or “bone char free.”

Common Additives in Confectioners Sugar

In addition to sugar, some brands may add additives to confectioners sugar. These additives can include cornstarch, which is typically vegan, and anti-caking agents. While many anti-caking agents are derived from non-animal sources, some may come from animal products. If you want to be sure, check the label or contact the manufacturer to confirm the vegan status of the specific brand you are using.

Alternative Vegan Options

If you want to avoid any potential non-vegan ingredients in confectioners sugar, there are alternative options available:

  • Organic Confectioners Sugar: Organic confectioners sugar is made from organic sugar, which is not processed using bone char. It is a vegan-friendly option.
  • Homemade Powdered Sugar: You can also make your own powdered sugar at home using a blender or food processor. Simply blend granulated sugar until it reaches a powdery consistency, and you’ll have vegan powdered sugar in no time.

Is Confectioners Sugar Vegan in Baked Goods?

When it comes to using confectioners sugar in baked goods, it’s essential to consider the other ingredients used. If the overall recipe is vegan, using confectioners sugar would still uphold the vegan nature of the dish. Therefore, as long as all the ingredients used are vegan-friendly, including confectioners sugar, the final product will be vegan.

A Quick Reference Table

IngredientVegan Status
SugarVegan (unless processed with bone char)
Anti-caking agentsMay vary (check label)

Remember that when purchasing confectioners sugar, always check the label or contact the manufacturer if you have any concerns about its vegan status.


In conclusion, confectioners sugar can be vegan, but it is crucial to be cautious and aware of the ingredients and production processes involved. By choosing brands labeled as “vegan” or “bone char free,” or opting for alternative options like organic confectioners sugar or homemade powdered sugar, you can confidently enjoy vegan-friendly sweet treats.