What’s baking without powdered sugar, right? But then how many cups in a pound of powdered sugar are there? Someone who prefers using the grams and pounds method (by weight) instead of cups and tablespoons (by volume) surely wants to know the right answer. Because finding the exact amount, even though tiny, makes a HUGE difference.
No matter the baking recipe, precise measurements can either make or break the whole experience. And since you’re putting in such a lot of time and effort into baking for yourself or for loved ones, you better make sure it’s not the latter that’s happening. So for the most delectable outcome, let’s find out the most accurate measurements.
And one more thing, this particular topic also brings into the picture another question. And that is – the powdered sugar you’re using, is it sifted or not? Let’s then get to know what this all means, shall we?
How Many Cups In A Pound Of Powdered Sugar
Firstly, when you sift powdered sugar, it becomes fluffier and lighter. And that means your cake or any other sweet treat recipe will then require more by volume in order to hit the 1-pound mark. In that case, here are the guidelines that should answer this commonly asked question of how many cups in a pound of powdered sugar…
1 pound gives you 4.5 cups of sifted powdered sugar
1 pound gives you 3.5-4 cups of unsifted powdered sugar
Based on that, any standard 2-pound i.e. 32-ounce of powdered sugar box contains powdered sugar measuring 7.5 cups.
Why You Need to Know This
Simply because when you weigh your ingredients, you’re actually eliminating the possibility of making an error. And why make the mistake of using inaccurate or incorrect measuring cups that might just ruin your beaked treat!
And if you don’t want to remember all these numbers, then you can just purchase a kitchen scale. So your baking time in the kitchen is free of any sort of confusion and, in fact, becomes more enjoyable.
This way or that, you now know the most accurate measurements of powdered sugar in terms of pounds and cups (1 pound = 3.5-4 cups of unsifted and 4.5 cups of sifted powdered sugar).
But Wait, What Really Is Powdered Sugar?
Also known as confectioners’ sugar, powdered sugar takes the form of granulated sugar that’s finely ground. And it’s also got around 3-percent of cornstarch. But why is cornstarch added? In order to prevent the sugar from caking. After all, it’s the smooth texture of powdered sugar that makes it such a great addition as frosting, icing, cake embellishments, etc.
Powdered sugar offers a subtle, delightful sweetness. So baked products such as cakes and brownies actually taste better. And since the form is finely ground, it’s only obvious that there are different levels of fineness. The finest of the lot (10X) is mostly used for confections and whipping cream. As for the other two (XXXX and XXX), industrial baking is their specialty.
What’s So Special About Powdered Sugar?
If you think powdered sugar is just sugar, then you certainly haven’t ever used it for baking. Finely granulated and regular sugar is not the same thing. Finely granulated, also called confectioners’ sugar, contains 3-percent cornstarch to keep lumps from forming.
The luxuriously smooth texture of finely granulated powdered sugar is what’s so special about it. Just the best for frosting, icing, etc. Baked goodies like cakes, donuts, brownies are incomplete without this one ingredient.
What About Sifting Powdered Sugar?
Anything powdered will eventually develop lumps due to the absorption of moisture present in the air. This includes powdered sugar, right? But then you can undo the inevitable by removing the lumps with the help of sifting.
Sifting powdered sugar is very important when making frosting or icing. All you need for the task of sifting is a mesh strainer (with fine mesh of course). Or you could use a hand crank sifter.
First, get a wide enough bowl. Now hold the strainer or sifter over the bowl. Throw in a few spoonfuls of powdered sugar into the strainer/sifter. Avoid filling it up with sugar if you want to prevent spilling and creating a mess. Time to work the sifter crank gently or shake the strainer.
Another approach, in case you don’t happen to own a hand crank sifter or fine mesh strainer, is to use the wired whisk for removing hard lumps. Or simply just do the needful using a fork because even this makes the powdered sugar more fluffy.
Powdered Sugar, Sifted vs. Sifted Powdered Sugar
Your baking recipe, what does it say? One cup of sifted powdered sugar? Or one cup of powdered sugar, sifted? Well, what’s the difference?
One cup of powdered sugar, sifted – what this means is that you should measure one cup of powdered sugar and then sift it. Thus, a smaller quantity is used since the sugar’s aerated.
One cup of sifted powdered sugar – first you sift the powdered sugar and then use one cup of it for your baked recipe.
Sifted or Unsifted – Is There Really A Difference?
Needless to say, the weight and volume of sifted are not the same as those of unsifted. When you sift powdered sugar, you’re making it less compact and more fluffy. Hence, the increased volume.
So always read the ingredients and instructions of your recipe properly and then measure and use powdered sugar. Keep in mind not to underestimate accurate measurements as they tend to produce the best baking results.
So the mystery has been solved, hasn’t it? You know now how many cups of powdered sugar does a pound give you. Along with understanding the differences between sifted and unsifted powdered sugar.
I see why so many people who bake don’t even use this delicious add-on – it adds a whole lot of calories indeed. But then when you’re in a mood to cheat, then why not do it right, right? And since you don’t use powdered sugar so often, it’s likely you don’t know much about how it measures by weight and volume.