Natural Decorating Sugar

Natural Decorating Sugar

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From: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2013

This natural decorating sugar recipe replaces artificial food coloring with fruit juice or natural dyes to produce colorful sanding sugar perfect for creating beautiful cookies.

Ingredients 63 servings

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Original recipe yields 63 servings
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  • ½ cup clear crystal sugar, white sparkling sugar or sanding sugar (see Tips), divided
  • 1 teaspoon frozen (thawed) cranberry, orange or Concord grape juice concentrate or natural liquid dye (see Tips)


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  1. Place sugar in a small bowl. Stir in juice concentrate (or dye) until evenly blended. Adjust color with more additions as desired.
  2. Spread the colored sugar in a thin layer on a small parchment-lined baking sheet. Turn on the oven to 350°F for 2 minutes, then immediately turn it off. (The warm oven dries the sugar, but too much heat will burn it.) Let the sugar stand in the oven for 1½ hours.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate colored sugar airtight for up to 1 year.
  • Tips: Find clear (or white) sanding sugar (aka sparkling or coarse sugar) in well-stocked baking stores, gourmet food shops or online at
  • Find a rainbow of natural liquid dyes plus a rainbow of already-dyed decorating sugars at

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 teaspoon
  • Per serving: 7 calories; 0 g fat(0 g sat); 0 g fiber; 2 g carbohydrates; 0 g protein; 0 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 2 g added sugars; 0 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 0 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 0 mg sodium; 1 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 0

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