Difference Between Icing Sugar vs. Powdered Sugar

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Main Difference

People like to enjoy a variety of sweet dishes in or after their meal, so many types exist that it becomes almost impossible to know about all of them, things like doughnuts, ice-cream, pudding, custard, jelly and so on and forth. What makes them sweet? Sugar, how many types of them exist? numerous. The two getting discussed here are the icing sugar and the powdered sugar. The first kind is the one in which sugar got thick but mashed with the help of binding agent whereas the latter one does not have any such item to keep it together.

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Comparison Chart

Basis of DistinctionIcing SugarPowdered Sugar
DefinitionThe sugar present in the granular form and is mashed properly to give it a snowy look.A finely ground sugar produced by milling granulated sugar into a powdered state.
LinguisticsMostly used in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.Mostly used in the United States.
UtilizationGeneral purposes such as cooking and mixing.As a sprinkle over sweet dishes.
NatureSugar gets thick but mashed with the help of binding agent such as cornstarchDoes not have any binding agent, hence becomes soft and crumbly.
MakingTake sugar, add the binding agent, blend.Same.
SizeXXX, XXXX, and 10XXXX, XXXX, and 10X

Icing Sugar

Icing sugar gets defined as the sugar present in the granular form and is mashed properly to give it a snowy look. Whenever we eat something sweet such as a doughnut or a cupcake, there is always a spread of something on the surface that is white in color, mostly it the sugar that becomes refined in such a way that it looks like snow thrown upon the food item. Although it seems so refined and people may think you just need a grinder to make it, but that is not the case. Several processes and proper ingredients compensate for the current form. Even on the packet of such sugar there always show some items used that help in keeping the mixture together. The exact snowy way makes for a material that is rough and therefore spreads quickly. Therefore, a binding agent becomes necessary. It is important to keep the mixture together, and the other things required are 1 cup of granulated sugar that shows white tinge. One spoon of cornstarch that is the binding agent. The last item is the grinder where everything takes place. First, we put the sugar in the grinder, the grind is for some time and then add the agent, once cornstarch becomes added in the solution, then the final grinding takes place and helps to make the snow form. If the agent fails to keep everything together, then more of it adds. People hold it in a jar or glass container and use it accordingly.

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Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar gets defined as a finely ground sugar produced by milling granulated sugar into a powdered state. It also gets known as also confectioners’ sugar, icing sugar, and icing cake. The process of making such sugar is not that tough; people just have to put the regular sugar in the grinder. Remember, that this sugar has to show the white color. Brown sugar, used for other purposes will lead to another mixture. Individuals just add a binding agent that gets used for keeping the sugar together once it becomes refined. Mostly the agent does not have any applications since the powdered form has to become visible. If we add the cornstarch in this sugar, then the resulting solution gets known as the icing sugar, and when no requirement of such an agent exists, then the solution is the powdered sugar. It does not come in one type but has many kinds that help in fulfilling the requirement of people. The typical sizes are XXX, XXXX, and 10X, to understand them, the higher the number of X the finer will be the grain size. Although some starch adds to the sugar if the texture is fine since that means avoiding it from caking. Most people use this sugar to spread over sweet items such as cakes and doughnut whereas others use it for common purposes since it becomes dissolved without any issues. Two other varieties of such sugar include the caster sugar and the snow powder and therefore used accordingly.

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Key Differences

  1. Icing sugar gets defined as the sugar present in the granular form and is mashed properly to give it a snowy look. On the other hand, Powdered sugar gets defined as a finely ground sugar produced by milling granulated sugar into a powdered state.
  2. Powdered sugar as a term mostly gets used in the United States whereas Icing sugar as a name mostly gets used in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
  3. Powdered sugar mostly gets used as a sprinkle over sweet dishes whereas icing sugar mostly gets used for general purposes such as cooking and mixing.
  4. Icing sugar is the one in which sugar gets thick but mashed with the help of binding agent such as cornstarch, whereas the latter one does not have any such item to keep it together and becomes soft and crumbly.
  5. The typical sizes are XXX, XXXX, and 10X, to understand them, the higher the number of X the finer will be the grain size for both the types of sugar.
  6. The process of making becomes simple, and we just put the regular sugar in the grinder, then add a binding agent that is used for keeping the sugar together once it becomes refined and then start the blender to get the natural product.