Difference between confectioners sugar and powdered sugar

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Difference between confectioners sugar and powdered sugarMy question always is when reading a recipe is what is the difference between confectioners sugar and powdered sugar.  Why do all recipes call it the first and not the second?



As you already know, confectioners’ sugar and powdered sugar are the same thing – there is no difference.  This sugar is also sometimes also called 10X sugar. 10X sugar refers to the number of time the sugar is processed to produce fine powder.

I believe it is a regional thing on which sugar term is used in recipes.

In the northwest, where I live, we call it powdered sugar and use that term in our recipes.  I noticed that most of the southern cookbooks call it confectioners’ sugar.  In Canada and England, it is called icing sugar.

It is no different than the terms used for butter.  On the west coast, that is where I am from, we say cubes of butter.  On the east coast they say sticks of butter. There are probably a lot more cooking terms that are used regionally, but that is all I could think of right now.



Confectioners’ Sugar Substitute – How To Substitute Confectioner’s Sugar

Mix 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a blender at high speed for several minutes.  As with most substitutes, the consistency and texture of the dish may be altered.  If at all possible, take the time to purchase and use the sugar asked for in your recipe.


Did You Know?

One (1) gram of sugar, like that of any other carbohydrate, provides 4 calories in a person’s daily diet.  Sugar is converted immediately into the fuels a body needs.  Study after study shows that restricting foods or food ingredients won’t work.  In fact, it can create a forbidden fruit syndrome that causes individuals to gain weight.  Sugar plays a role in helping suppress feelings of hunger, a plus for those striving to control their weight.

Remember – One (1) teaspoon of sugar has 15 calories.


One (1) gram of fat, on the other hand, deliver 9 calories.  Fats are stored for later use.  Energy from fat cell reserves is released only when other sources are not available.

People gain weight when they take in more calories than they burn.  So, if you are concerned about your weight, eat reasonable amounts, drink plenty of water, and maintain an appropriate level of physical activity.  Sugar is a safe food that can easily be included in healthful eating.  People should limit their sugar intake to no more than 10 per cent of their daily diet.

Artificial Sweeteners – Many people use artificial sweeteners because they think they are cutting calories and will lose weight.  Often, these people will eat artificially sweetened foods or drinks and then eat even more of other foods.  They may even end up gaining weight!  The calorie savings with artificial sweeteners are not as great as most people think.  Also remember, artificial sweeteners are not found in nature.

It is not necessary to use artificial sweeteners to eat less sugar because foods taste just fine made with less sugar.  Today’s health-conscious consumers need to ask, “Is saving a few calories worth abandoning an all-natural food like sugar?”


Guide for baking with less sugar

For every cup of flour, use only:

Cake and Cookies – 1/2 cup sugar

Muffins and Quick Breads – 1 tablespoons sugar

Yeast Breads – 1 teaspoon sugar

Comments from Readers:

Just a little aside for you – I just read your Q & A on Icing/Confectioners sugar.  When I lived in Lancaster, PA, my Amish (and other) neighbors kept talking about 10X sugar.  It turned out to be the name they used for confectioners sugar.  My Amish friend used to buy milk crumbs as well to make cup cheese.  This term certainly took me for a loop  Turns out, what she was referring to was very dry, large curd cottage cheese.  Great site – I really enjoy it.



Comments and Reviews

5 Responses to “Difference between confectioners sugar and powdered sugar”

  1. Kirsten

    Your information about sugar versus fat is not accurate. Sugar consumption actually increases hunger feelings and cravings. Fat actually satiates the body and is essential for proper functioning in your body, especially your brain. Please look at the newer research on this, especially how the sugar industry shaped the nutritional recommendations in this country decades ago, and we are now facing the consequences.

    • Scott

      Actually, you’re both right/wrong. Fructose, which is a type of sugar, in shown in studies to increase appetite and food intake. Glucose, another form of sugar, does NOT increase appetite.

      So, what’s the difference? Fructose is generally found as a food additive and includes refined table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (common food/drink additive). Glucose is naturally occuring in things, such a fruit.

      Does this mean I should avoid adding sugar to foods or use artificial sweeteners? No. Proper brain function depends on sugar. 1/2 of your sugar intake is used for energy in the brain. Too much, however, can hurt brain function. So, as with most things, moderation is best, NOT elimination.

      • Joseph

        Umm…actually, fructose is found in fruit and honey. Sucrose is table sugar. Glucose is the form of sugar that our bodies burn for energy. They are all sugar. Whatever type you eat (or any other food, for that matter), your body must convert it to glucose in order to burn it for energy.

  2. JAS

    what the different between castor sugar and confectioner sugar ?


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