Powdered Sugar

December 3, 2012

Powdered Sugar in Burlap Bag

Powdered sugar is sucrose (table sugar) with an incredibly fine grain. Normal sugar is ground by factory milling machines until pulverized into a powder, but it can also be made at home with the use of a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.

Powdered sugar is also known as confectioner’s sugar and icing sugar.

Just like table salt, powdered sugar often contains inert anti-caking agents to keep the individual particles from clumping into a larger mass. These additives are usually mineral salts (in the chemistry sense) but may also be organic compounds like powdered cellulose or plant starches. Tapioca starch is the most common; cornstarch is also used; and powdered sugar with wheat starch will strip this sweetener of its gluten-free distinction that powdered sucrose would otherwise have.

When making powdered sugar at home with the aforementioned tools, know that water is not your friend. Any moisture present will turn granulated sugar into a paste rather than a fine powder.


  1. […] They are pure sucrose, and do not include the anti-caking agents found in other sugars like powdered sugar. As such, each cube or lump […]

  2. […] waterfront at the open air French Market.  Here they are unfilled and served with mountains of powdered sugar and chicory coffee or café au […]

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