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Powdered Sugar vs. Confectioner’s Sugar: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 27, 2024
Powdered sugar and confectioner's sugar are the same: finely ground sugar often mixed with a small amount of cornstarch to prevent clumping.

Key Differences

Powdered sugar, also known as confectioner's sugar, is granulated sugar that has been finely ground into a powdery consistency. This sugar is ideal for use in icings, frostings, and dusting over desserts due to its fine texture that easily dissolves.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024
Confectioner's sugar often contains a small amount of cornstarch (about 3% to 5%) to prevent clumping. This is true for powdered sugar as well, which is why it's preferred in recipes where a smooth texture is essential, like in glazes or creamy fillings.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024
The smoothness of powdered sugar, synonymous with confectioner's sugar, makes it a perfect choice for decoration on cakes and pastries. Its ability to blend seamlessly into mixtures without granules being visible is a shared characteristic in both.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 27, 2024
Powdered sugar, or confectioner's sugar, can be made at home by grinding granulated sugar, though it's difficult to achieve the same fineness as commercially produced versions. This homemade version is used similarly in various confectionery and baking recipes.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024
Both powdered sugar and confectioner's sugar are available in different degrees of fineness, with 10X being the most common in the United States, indicating it has been ground ten times. This degree of fineness ensures a silky texture in frostings and icings.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Composition

Finely ground granulated sugar, often with cornstarch
Same as powdered sugar
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Texture

Fine, powdery consistency
Identical to powdered sugar
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Use in Recipes

Ideal for icings, frostings, and dusting
Same uses as powdered sugar
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Homemade Version

Can be made by grinding granulated sugar
Same method for confectioner's sugar
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

Fineness Varieties

Available in various degrees of fineness
Same varieties as powdered sugar
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024
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Powdered Sugar and Confectioner's Sugar Definitions

Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar can be made at home by grinding granulated sugar.
Out of confectioner's sugar, she made her own powdered sugar in a blender.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

Confectioner's Sugar

Confectioner's sugar is powdered sugar, fine in texture and used in baking.
The lemon pound cake recipe called for confectioner's sugar for the icing.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar dissolves easily, making it perfect for smooth frostings.
For the buttercream icing, he used powdered sugar to ensure a silky texture.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Confectioner's Sugar

Confectioner's sugar is perfect for dusting on desserts for a sweet, elegant finish.
A sprinkle of confectioner's sugar made the fruit tart visually appealing.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar is finely ground granulated sugar, often mixed with cornstarch.
She sifted powdered sugar over the freshly baked brownies for a sweet finish.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Confectioner's Sugar

Confectioner's sugar blends seamlessly into mixtures, ideal for frostings.
He used confectioner's sugar to make the chocolate frosting smooth.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar is used for dusting desserts for a decorative and sweet touch.
The French toast was topped with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Confectioner's Sugar

Confectioner's sugar is often used for sweetening whipped cream.
To sweeten the whipped cream, she added a tablespoon of confectioner's sugar.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar is a key ingredient in homemade fondants and glazes.
She mixed powdered sugar with milk to create a simple glaze for the cake.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

Confectioner's Sugar

Confectioner's sugar contains a small percentage of cornstarch to prevent clumping.
The confectioner's sugar in the pantry remained lump-free thanks to the cornstarch.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

FAQs

Can I use powdered sugar and confectioner’s sugar interchangeably?

Yes, they are the same and can be used interchangeably in recipes.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

What is confectioner’s sugar?

Confectioner's sugar is the same as powdered sugar, used in baking and confectionery.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 27, 2024

Why does powdered sugar contain cornstarch?

Cornstarch is added to prevent clumping and ensure a smooth texture.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

Is there a difference in fineness between powdered sugar and confectioner’s sugar?

No, they are typically available in the same fineness grades, like 10X.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

What is powdered sugar?

Powdered sugar is granulated sugar that's been finely ground, often with a bit of cornstarch.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Is powdered sugar healthier than granulated sugar?

No, it's just finer in texture but nutritionally similar to granulated sugar.
Harlon Moss
Jan 27, 2024

What are common uses of confectioner’s sugar?

Common uses include icings, frostings, and dusting over desserts.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Is powdered sugar vegan?

Generally, yes, but it's best to check the brand for any non-vegan additives.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

Is confectioner’s sugar suitable for diabetics?

Like any sugar, it should be consumed cautiously by diabetics.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

Can I make powdered sugar at home?

Yes, by grinding granulated sugar, though it may not be as fine as store-bought.
Harlon Moss
Jan 27, 2024

How should I store powdered sugar?

Store it in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024

Can confectioner’s sugar go bad?

It doesn't spoil, but it can absorb odors and moisture if not stored properly.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Can I use powdered sugar in place of granulated sugar?

Not always, as its finer texture can affect the recipe's outcome.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024

Is confectioner’s sugar the same as icing sugar?

Yes, in many places, confectioner's sugar is also known as icing sugar.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024

Does confectioner’s sugar have gluten?

It's usually gluten-free, but cross-contamination can occur, so check the label.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Are there any sugar-free alternatives to confectioner’s sugar?

Yes, sugar-free substitutes are available, often made with artificial sweeteners.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Can I use confectioner’s sugar in beverages?

Yes, its fine texture dissolves easily in beverages.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

How do I prevent clumps in powdered sugar?

Sift it before use and store it properly to prevent clumping.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

How do I measure powdered sugar correctly?

It should be spooned into a measuring cup and leveled off, not packed.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Can I use powdered sugar for caramelizing?

No, its fine texture and cornstarch content make it unsuitable for caramelizing.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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