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How Many Cups Are in A Box of Powdered Sugar?

How Many Cups Are in A Box of Powdered Sugar?

In cooking, I often get frustrated that there are many different ways to measure ingredients.

My recipes call for ingredients in cups most of the time, yet when I go to the store to buy said ingredients, they are measured out by weight.

Sometimes the eyeball test is sufficient. However, at times it would just be nice to know how many cups are in a box of powdered sugar.

How many cups are in a box of powdered sugar?

There are 3 ½ cups in a box of sugar. Generally, most boxes or bags of powdered sugar come in a measurement of 16 oz. Powdered sugar from the bag or box uses 4 ½ oz per cup. Therefore, a 16 oz bag of powdered sugar will contain roughly 3 ½ cups.

How Many Cups Are in A Box of Powdered Sugar?
How Many Cups Are in A Box of Powdered Sugar?

Ounces to Cups Conversions in Baking

You may have been taught that eight ounces of water are equal to one cup.

This is true, but that does not mean that eight ounces of other things equal one cup.

Other cooking ingredients may take up more space to equal one ounce.

So, eight ounces of powdered sugar is 1¾ cups rather than just one.

At the other end of the spectrum, eight ounces of a heavier substance than water, like molasses, will measure less than a cup.

So, it is important not automatically to think that eight ounces equal a cup when baking.

It is best to stick to either weighted or volume measurements and not mix the two up.

Using a conversion chart for common baking ingredients, from ounces to cups, is often beneficial.

These charts will show you how many ounces of an ingredient are in a volume measurement like a cup or ½ cup.

As you prepare to buy your powdered sugar, make sure that you are aware that you will buy the sugar by the ounce, but the recipe will probably ask for measurements in cups.

How many cups in a box of confectioners sugar?

So, if your frosting calls for four cups of confectioners’ sugar, make sure to buy more than 16 ounces at the store.

Sifted vs. Unsifted Powdered Sugar

You may have come across a recipe asking you to sift your dry ingredients or possibly sift your powdered sugar.

I hate to tell you but sifted powdered sugar actually measures differently than unsifted.

Yes, to make measuring your powdered sugar more complicated, there is the sifted or unsifted wrinkle.

But don’t worry, it makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

Powdered sugar attracts moisture, and when moisture comes into contact with the sugar, small clumps form.

A lot of people don’t care too much about these clumps unless they are professional bakers or if they are making a glaze or frosting.

When making a glaze or frosting, you want your powdered sugar to be light, fluffy, and lacking clumps.

This is because clumpy sugar will make the frosting lumpy. So, many recipes call for sifting to make sure there are no clumps.

But, as I mentioned before, sifting the powdered sugar creates little air pockets between the sugar particles.

Therefore, it will take less powdered sugar to fill one cup.

If you plan on sifting a 16 oz bag of powdered sugar, you will have around 4 cups rather than 3½.

Powdered sugar out of the bag or box is unsifted.

So you should count on the original measurement of 3 ½ cups of powdered sugar per 16 ounces.

Uses for Powdered Sugar

Bakers use powdered sugar most often. Interestingly enough, different types of sugar all provide different attributes to baked goods.

Bakers use powdered sugar most often for glazes and frostings on their confections.

However, powdered sugar also offers certain features to sweets that use it instead of granulated sugar.

Candy like fudge or fondant that features a dissolve in your mouth type texture generally uses powdered sugar.

Powdered sugar is also used most commonly as a topper for treats.

Often you will get a dusting of powdered sugar on your French toast, over some fresh fruit, or powdered over your favorite dessert.

Powdered sugar dissolves well in liquids and mixes well to provide a wonderful sweet flavor and excellent shine when used in a glaze or frosting.

And, since powdered sugar is so much finer than granulated sugar, it creates a smooth texture in whatever it is used.

These attributes of providing an aesthetic dusting look, a smooth melty texture, and a shiny gloss, are some of the main reasons bakers love to employ powdered sugar in their recipes.

And, it also makes things taste really good.

Frequentla Asked Questions About How Many Cups Are in A Box of Powdered Sugar?

Can I make powdered sugar at home?

You can make powdered sugar at home with a food processor.Powdered sugar is made by chopping granulated sugar into an extremely fine powder.
If you have a kitchen appliance that will do the job, you can make your own powdered sugar at home.

Do I always have to sift my powdered sugar?

Most professional bakers always sift their powdered sugar. This practice gives the best results for baking. However, many casual bakers only sift powdered sugar for glazes and frosting to ensure a smooth texture.

Conclusion About How Many Cups Are in A Box of Powdered Sugar

As you gear up to use powdered sugar in your next baking adventure, remember that a 16-ounce bag of powdered sugar will yield roughly 3 1/2 cups of unsifted sugar and approximately 4 cups of sifted sugar.

Don’t get caught in the middle of your recipe without enough powdered sugar because of the confusing measurements of the baking world.

And, if all else fails, pull out the food processor and make your own powdered sugar. Happy Baking!

Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)

Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking and have made it my mission to answer as many open questions related to cooking and food as possible. I am by no means a professional cook. But cooking is a hobby that I have loved for the past 20 years and I am getting better by the day.