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Here’s how to make colored sugar! This easy DIY project is perfect for decorating drinks, cookies, cupcakes, and more.

Colored Sugar
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Want a fun trick for decorating drinks or baked goods? Try DIY colored sugar, an easy way to make it at home! All you need is sugar and food coloring: no need to run to the specialty baking aisle. We discovered this trick to make a fun rim for a cocktail recipe, and we couldn’t believe how easy it was! Here’s what to do.

How to make colored sugar

It’s simple to make colored sugar at home. The only tool you need is a glass canning jar with a lid. Here’s what to do:

  1. Shake ¼ cup sugar with 1 to 3 drops of food coloring: In a glass canning jar with a top, place the granulated sugar and food coloring. Use 1 drop for light colors and 3 drops for bright colors. Shake the ingredients vigorously for about 30 seconds until the color is fully distributed.
  2. Allow to dry: Pour the sugar onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Remove any clumps of food coloring with a spoon. Allow to dry for 20 minutes.
  3. Break up clumps and store: Break up any clumps with your fingers, or shake the sugar again in the jar to remove the clumps. Use immediately or store in a sealed container.
How to make colored sugar

Tips for DIY colored sugar

This colored sugar came together quickly; it was perfect for this festive margarita we whipped up! There are a few notes to keep in mind as you whip up your sugar:

  • Darker colors may need more drops of food coloring. This black sugar required 8 to 10 drops of food coloring to get a saturated color. It also required more time drying (allow at least 30 minutes for darker colors.
  • Shake vigorously. Sometimes bits of food coloring can clump with the granules: this is ok! Shake as well as you can, then you can remove any clumps you see before drying with a spoon.
  • Remove clumps after drying. As you see from the photos above, some natural clumps form as the sugar dries. These are easy to remove after drying. Simply use your fingers to smash the clumps, or you can place it in the jar again and shake to revive the texture.

Ways to use it

There are so many ways to use this DIY colored sugar! We love to use it for cocktails, but the uses are endless! Here are a few ideas for how to use it:

How do you plan to use it? Let us know in the comments below.

This colored sugar recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Colored Sugar

Colored Sugar


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Rest Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: ¼ cup 1x

Description

Here’s how to make colored sugar! This easy DIY project is perfect for decorating drinks, cookies, cupcakes, and more.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 to 3* drops food coloring

Instructions

  1. In a glass canning jar with a top, place the granulated sugar and food coloring. Use 1 drop for light colors and 3 drops for bright colors. Note that some colors may need additional food coloring (black needs about 8 to 10 drops).
  2. Shake the ingredients for about 30 seconds until the color is fully distributed. Add any additional drops of food coloring as needed; make sure to shake well to avoid clumps.
  3. Pour the sugar onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Remove any clumps of food coloring with a spoon. Allow to dry for 20 minutes (or about 30 minutes for black).
  4. Break up any clumps with your fingers, or shake the sugar again in the jar to remove the clumps. Use immediately or store in a sealed container.
  • Category: Essential
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Sugar
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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2 Comments

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!






    1. Marlo says:

      I am trying this tonight! I am hoping to try it with salt too, to have both options for our cocktail selection :)