How To Make Your Own Colored Sugar

You’ll never believe how easy it is to make your own colored sugar at home!

You'll never believe how easy it is to make your own colored sugar at home! This is the a great alternative to buying colored sugar at the store! | Mom On Timeout

I stumbled upon this idea last month while making cookies for Bryce’s birthday party.  The boys decided they wanted to frost and decorate some cookies we had made but I didn’t have any colored sugar.  After a moment of thought I decided I would try to make my own colored sugar.
My first attempt was putting the sugar in a small bowl, dropping in the food color and then using a fork to mix it all up – that was not successful.  Next I tried putting the sugar in a plastic bag and shaking it up – success!

The boys and I had so much fun making a variety of colors.  I let them choose how many drops of each color we would put in and then they would guess how it would turn out.  The yellow food coloring fooled them more than once because it looks orange ;) 

This is so easy you are never going to buy store-bought colored sugar again!

What you will need:

Plastic bags
food color
sugar – (granulated for smaller crystal or raw sugar for larger crystals)

Put a couple of tablespoons of sugar into a small plastic bag.  Add a drop or two of food color into the bag.  Seal the bag and shake it up.  If the sugar starts to clump, just use your fingers to massage the clumps away.  Keep working at it until the color is nice and uniform.

Try mixing up the food color to create amazing and vibrant color variations.



I enlisted the help of my little guys and had lots of bags going on at one time.  The more the merrier!



This is what the granulated sugar looks like:


And this is what the raw sugar looks like:


This would be super fun with the neon food color that is available as well.  The sugar can be stored in the plastic bags or in an airtight container.  Now you don’t have to limit your decorating to the colors you find in the store.  I am certainly excited to have some awesome cookie decorating parties this holiday season.

More fun ideas:


Peanut Butter Popcorn Munch


Homemade Mini Corn Dogs


Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Mini Cheesecakes

Trish Signature Block

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Have a great day!


  1. How fun!! I’ve always wondered how to do this!! Thank you for sharing!!

    New follower from Trendy Treehouse hop!

  2. This is a great idea and is perfect for the holiday season.

    ~Mrs. Delightful

  3. Thanks, Trish. I have Raw sugar on hand all the time for muffins and breads, I go through sooo much colored sugar for Christmas cookies – this will be great!!

  4. Such a great DIY and perfect for the upcoming baking season

  5. Brilliant! I pinned it- no more buying those 3 bucks a bottle sugar sprinkles for me!

  6. Love it. I should try this sometime.

  7. This looks super fun and easy, thanks for sharing!


  8. Love this idea, thanks for sharing!

  9. Fun! Totally going to try this soon.

  10. Oooo thanks for sharing! this is going to come in quite handy with my holiday baking!

  11. this is so cool I’d love you to link this to my party at

  12. Awesome! I’ll never buy sprinkles again! I’m over from the Bedazzle Me Monday party.

  13. This is a great idea! I will use this when making our Christmas cookies. Following from the blog hop.

    Mel S

  14. Pretty–and so doable!

  15. Thats AMAZING!!

  16. What a fun idea for kids! Please feel free to link up to my Make Yourself Monday Blog Hop!

    For Love of Cupcakes

  17. wow! that looks so cool. great idea! thanks for sharing, and thank you for stopping by my blog! :)
    Have a great day!

  18. Genius! We always use raw sugar for our tea & coffee so there is plenty on hand for me to give this a go! :)

  19. Love the colors you can make, and with the holidays coming soooo soon it will definetely come in handy. Thanks so much for sharing at Sunday’s Best.

  20. Great tip! Colored sugar can be crazy expensive, so it’s great to know the best way to make it at home.

  21. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing at Sunday’s Best =)

  22. Thank you for the tutorial. I will try this over the holidays. Stopping by from the Creative Bloggers Hop. Hope you stop over for a visit. Happy Thanksgiving.

  23. Thanks for this! It never occured to me to do this :)

    jamie @

  24. This is great to know. Thanks!
    Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

  25. This is going to come in handy for Christmas! Thanks!

  26. Looks so much fun! Thanks for sharing the idea :)

  27. This was the most viewed link from Bedazzle Me Monday!! Feel free to stop by and grab a featured button. Hope to see you again this week :)

  28. This is great! Would love for you to link up over at Etcetorize for the Make it Great party going on now:

  29. What a great idea! I love how easy it is, and those colored sugars are so expensive. This is much cheaper! Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday! :)

  30. Wow! Just in time for Christmas cookie decorating!!! Thank you!!! Stopping by from Passionately Artistic.

  31. I thought I was following you but I guess not. Following you now!! Thank you for this tutorial. My girls will love it! I love your blog. I’m your newest follower.
    Would love to see you DIY Home Sweet home.

    P.S. More the Merrier Monday end tonight so stop by and link up if you have not already.

  32. wow how fun! very cool :)

  33. Fantastic!! Now I know!! Ha!
    Thanks for sharing at Show & Share!!
    Featuring this on Facebook right now!! :)

  34. Holy Head Slap….Cannot believe it is this easy!!! Can’t wait to use this for Christmas Cookies!!!

  35. I can’t wait to try this out – my kids will go nuts – and our cookies will be SO beautiful!

  36. Well this is amazing!! Opens up so many possibilities for decorating cookies this Christmas – thanks very much!

  37. I pinned this one. Great idea! ~ Maureen

  38. Perfect!!
    I’ll be featuring you on this week’s Inspire Me Fridays party line up!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  39. What a neat tip!! Thanks for sharing it.

  40. Perfect timing! I’m struggling to find coloured sugar easily here in England and I’d love some for my sugar cookies! Thank you for sharing this wonderful tip. I’d love it if you would share this post on the Gallery of Favorites on my site today if you have time.

  41. Hopping over from Whipperberry.
    I love this! I am baking all of the time, and I am addicted to buying sprinkles. That addiction can add up to too much $. Thanks for pointing out that you can get it larger by purchasing raw sugar.
    I am pinning this:)
    Amanda Joy

  42. This is so fun! I’d love for you to submit this to the Make and Takes spotlight page–

  43. I am totally using this recipe for son’s birthday party!I am hosting my first EVAH link party this weekend. It is up and running now and I would love for you to come link up some of your projects!
    Kim @ Too Much Time

  44. wow, how cool. me and grandbabes gonna have some fun. thanks for sharing. appreciate it. gonna save me LOTS of money AND i must say. i think it looks WAY better than store bought. WAY BETTER!!! thanks again, sue

  45. What beautiful colors and so easy! I will have to try this.

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Love this! I was going to put sugar in some christmas bulbs, but this is going to be so much more fun for snow!

  48. Thanks for the tip. I’ve been doing this with granulated sugar for a while now but I love the idea of using Sugar in the Raw for the bigger crystals. Love it!

  49. Good to know! I love how the raw sugar ends up with jewel tones. :)

  50. This is a great idea I don’t know why I never thought of it myself. I always get sucked into thosse little jars of sprinkles for $6.00 a pop! I will not be fooled again!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  51. I love this and have been doing it for years. Another neat idea is to add flavor to them. Just buy the extract of whatever flavor you want(mint,vinalla,orange,ect). Great for cookies or to give your favorite coffee and extra kick.

    Also if you find clumping is a problem lay the sugar out on wax paper and when totally dry then store as you please.

  52. ewww i have to try that

  53. Funny I just saw this on the 700 Club this morning. Sandra Lee was a guest and was showing how to make this…very excited to try this for cooking decorating.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll try!!!

  55. Great post and great photos! Am going to put a link to this in my sugar cookie post!

  56. Fantastic! Will be doing this soon! Thanks for sharing!

    Stephanie @

  57. So brilliant because it’s so simple. Thank you so much for sharing. Looks like a lot of busy moms are going to get some use from your very helpful post.

  58. I’m glad I ran across this. I was not wanting to pay $4 for a cont. of sprinkles. Thank you.

  59. I’m glad I ran across this. I was not wanting to pay $4 for a cont. of sprinkles. Thank you.

  60. Fun idea! I’m seeing lots of sugar cookies in our future….

  61. Brilliant. I am sharing this on tickled pink tonight!

  62. Hello! I just tried this yesterday and it worked beautifully. I am going to share a link to this on

    Mel S

  63. What a fun idea! Please come share more great ideas at at out blog carnival!

  64. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing it I’ll try it thank you and be back after I finish donig it

  65. I love the bright fun colors you used!! How fun for baking.

  66. Neat and what fun for the boys! Mine would love it too!

  67. The colors turned out so vibrant! Thanks for the tip

  68. So cool! Pinned this! Wondering if there is a way to use this in a fun craft…hmmm…

  69. Who knew! Great idea – this will come in super handy.

  70. What a fantastic idea! Definitely keeping this one in mind next time my nieces and nephews come over!

  71. Thanks for the tip!!

  72. I love those bold colors of sugar! Great job. :)
    thanks for sharing @ catch as catch can

  73. so cool

    Thanks for linking up to Serenity Saturday Link Party

    Natasha xx

  74. This is a great idea! Found you on 504 main’s features (pinterest board)! So fun!

  75. Awesome idea! Two questions – do you think the gel colors would work, and did the raw sugar stay pretty true to color? The raw looks more vivid in your photo but just thought I’d ask! (Can you tell I’m a slight perfectionist, lol)

    • Hi Lauren! I think gel would work quite well actually and I’d love to know how it goes if you give it a try. The raw sugar seemed to enhance the colors actually. The photos are untouched so you can see how rich and vibrant the colors are. If you are looking to make pastel colors the raw sugar may not be the way to go. Good luck!

    • Awesome, I’ll give it a shot! A bag of raw sugar’s got to be cheaper than 6 bottles of the sprinkles for DD’s rainbow party. ;) I’m going for the 6 traditional rainbow colors, so I think yellow may be the only one to give me any grief w/ raw, but we’ll see.

    • Update – the gel dyes worked really well! They probably just required a little more smushing than liquid. I was going for super true colors, and I found that the raw sugar just can’t deliver, except with yellow & orange. The tiny bit of natural color just can’t be overcome by the dyes. BUT, if you need a great teal or dull eggplant, definitely use the raw sugar with blue & purple, lol.

  76. Never considered doing this before. It could be really helpful in my cake decorating. Thanks!

  77. This sugar is beautiful. I can’t wait to try it.
    Debi @ Adorned From Above

  78. Love the pretty colors! Please come share at my link party!

  79. I featured you today at Smart! School {House} on behalf of Whimsy Wednesday! The new party starts later today. We hope you come back to share your latest creations this week:)

    Thank you!
    Kelly at Smart! School {House}

  80. Great idea! Those containers of colored sugar at the store are SO expensive! This is much more economical, and looks like way more fun. Thanks for sharing.

  81. Love this idea! Colored sugar is so expensive. Will have to try. Just pinned!

  82. Ok…how super clever and smart! This is a great tip Trish!

  83. Oh my gosh I love it! You could make literally any color for any occasion, how fun! Thanks for sharing at The Fun In Functional!

  84. I love this post Trish! Thanks!! I have been meaning to find out just how to color sugar and I love that you showed us using both types!

    Thank you so much!


  85. What a fun project Trish! My boys will love this!

  86. I’m just stopping by to let you know I featured this today on my blog! You can check it out and grab a Featured button here: The Fun In Functional link party

  87. Thanks many bunches. I found this receipe for some cookies that you just dip in sugar before backing. Was going to go buy some color sugar. NOW I DON’T HAVE TOO! Thanks
    Debbie recently posted..Setup Instructions for v2.2

  88. Love this idea! I saw it on Money Saving Mom and shared on my Facebook page. I will never have to buy colored sugar again. THANK YOU for sharing. :)
    Tabitha recently posted..Peppermint Bark Gift Set

  89. This worked great, except for red. Just couldn’t get it beyond a pink. But if I only have to buy one color of sprinkles that will be a great savings. Also they’re a bit more clumpy but you can generally keep shaking them up to get them to come out OK. Thanks for the great idea!

  90. This is fabulous! I love the idea of being able to make so many different colors. I also like the idea that the kids can help make it. Now my brain is spinning with ideas for decorating my daughter’s birthday cake.

  91. Pinned! This is such a great idea. I love that you used Sugar in the Raw, too, instead of the refined white stuff. Can’t wait to give this a try, Trish. Also, I wanted to invite you to join my How To Tuesday link party, if you haven’t already joined . It would be wonderful to have you!

  92. Thank you, This worked beautifully and savees our chick cupcakes. I love the reminder to let our kids participate in what they are capable of (including sweeping up the sugar that has spilled on the floor) and making desiscions on the right amount of drops.

  93. How do you make hot pink?? or black??? This is soo awesome!!! I can’t wait to try it :)

  94. Hi…

    Thanks for sharing. I have already made some colours :) but i was wondering if i can use it on buttercream for cake decoration.
    Perhaps you can help…

    many thanks

  95. Works great also is dried a bit. I normally keep it in a warm oven for a few mins. Works fine all the time!

  96. Your sugar wouldn’t clump if you put the color on a piece of cloth and then shake it in with the sugar.
    Elizabeth recently posted..Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

  97. I just wanted to say, this was a great Idea, I just recently seen this on Pinterest. My daughter and I need colored sugar for a recipe and I didn’t have any. This was a time and money saver. Not to mention my daughter enjoyed the project. I mentioned your site in my post I hope you don’t mind!
    Dani Davis recently posted..{Homemade Sugar Crystals}

  98. Hi,

    I need brown coloring, I know sugar in the raw is brown, but I noticed in your pic that you had a brown color, I am using the brown color for sock monkey cookies for our cafe. I looked at americolor for brown and didnt see it listed. Any suggestions?

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