Natural product glycosylations by Leloir glycosyltransferases (GTs) require expensive nucleotide-activated sugars as substrates. Sucrose synthase (SuSy) converts sucrose and uridine 5'-diphosphate (UDP) into UDP-glucose. Coupling of SuSy and GT reactions in one-pot cascade transformations creates a UDP cycle, which regenerates the UDP-glucose continuously and so makes it an expedient donor for glucoside production. Here we compare SuSys with divergent kinetic characteristics for UDP-glucose recycling in the synthesis of the natural C-glucoside nothofagin. Development of a fast reversed-phase ion-pairing HPLC method, quantifying all relevant reactants from the coupled conversion in a single run, was key to dissect the main factors of recycling efficiency. Limitations due to high KM, both for UDP and sucrose, were revealed for the bacterial SuSy from Acidithiobacillus caldus. The L637M-T640V double mutant of this SuSy with a 60-fold reduced KM for UDP substantially improved UDP-glucose recycling. The SuSy from Glycine max (soybean) was nevertheless the most active enzyme at the UDP (≤ 0.5 mM) and sucrose (≤ 1 M) concentrations used. It was also unexpectedly stable at up to 50°C where spontaneous decomposition of UDP-glucose started to become problematic. The herein gained in-depth understanding of requirements for UDP-glucose regeneration supports development of efficient GT-SuSy cascades.