Solve The Mystery: How Many Cups In A Pound Of Powdered Sugar

Even though I like to bake and cook a lot, I rarely use powdered sugar. It is only when I’m in the mood for some sinful calories that I decide to prepare a recipe that requires this ingredient. 

That’s why I wasn’t very familiarized with powdered sugar, and I rarely keep it in the kitchen. When I need it, I just go to the grocery store and buy it.

But how much? This is tricky because it depends on the recipe, and even on the type of powdered sugar. 

This information alone is enough to give you a headache but lucky you, I baked donuts last week, so I’ve done all the research for you.

In this article, I’ll explain how many cups in a pound of powdered sugar, and give you some other useful tips too.

What makes powdered sugar special?

It’s not just sugar. Powdered sugar is finely granulated sugar that is also often referred as confectioner’s sugar. It contains 3% of cornstarch, which prevents lumps. Its smooth texture is a perfect match for icing, frosting and other cake and candy embellishments.

The sweetness it provides is subtle, and my favorite thing to do with it is dusting it on baked products such as brownies, donuts, and cakes.

I was surprised to learn that powdered sugar is being grounded into three different degrees of fineness: XXX, XXXX, and 10X, with the last one being the finest.

The 10X is most frequently used for whipping creams and confections, while the first two are often used by industrialized bakers.


How many cups in a pound of powdered sugar?

And now, to answer the big question – how many cups there are in a pound of powdered sugar?

This information will be handy, especially in recipes that require precise measurements.

However, the answer is not that simple.

Why? Because not all powdered sugars are the same, and the number of cups varies depending on whether the sugar is sifted or unsifted.

It is assumed that unsifted powdered sugar contains approximately three and ¾ cups in a pound. Unsifted, a pound of powdered sugar measures as four and ½ cups.

The volume also varies, because finer granules of sugar result in more volume. You will increase the volume of the sugar if you sift it right before measuring.

When you are reading recipes, make sure you pay attention to the type of the sugar that is required.

How to measure powdered sugar?

So, you have bought your pound or more of sugar, and now you need to measure it and use it in a recipe?

For that, you will need measuring cups or spoons, a bowl, and a knife

  1. You need to scoop the sugar with a measuring cup and then sweep the mounds with the back of the knife to make sure the sugar is leveled off. 
  2. After, simply transfer the sugar into the bowl.
  3. Repeat the process until you get the exact amount your recipe requires.

Should you sift the powdered sugar?

If the package was on the shelf or in your pantry for a long time, the sugar might develop hardened lumps from absorbed moisture from the air.

This could completely ruin your recipe (particularly frostings and icings), so if you notice any lumps, be prepared to sift the sugar.

How to sift powdered sugar?

This is a fairly easy process.

You need to prepare a hand-cranked sifter, a wide bowl, and fine mesh strainer.

  • To sift the sugar, hold the sifter above the bowl, power a spoonful of powdered sugar in it, and shake the strainer gently.

If you don’t have a sifter, you can remove the hardened lumps by stirring the powdered sugar with a wire whisk or a fork. 

Related: Learn To Find The Best Flour Sifter With Barbara

Final word

When the recipe requires a certain number of powdered sugar cups, you need to know how many pounds to buy.

I hope this text has helped you solve the mystery that has been tormenting the bakers and cooking enthusiasts for centuries know.

Just remember that there is a big difference between sifted and unsifted sugar (approximately two-quarters of a cup).

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

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