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If youve been following an online recipe as a non-American, you may be confused by the term cup as a unit of measurement. As such you may be wondering what a cup means in this context. Rather than a mug for your tea, these are actually measuring cups to be used during cooking. Equally, if youre American and following a non-American recipe, you may be wondering how many cups you should use. The answer will fundamentally change with various ingredients. However, here youll find how many cups are in a pound of powdered sugar.

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What Is Powdered Sugar?

Powdered sugar or confectioners sugar as it is also known is simply finely ground granulated sugar mixed with a small amount of cornstarch. This cornstarch, roughly three percent of the mix, is added in order to prevent the powdered sugar from clumping when in contact with moisture.

Powdered sugar is often dusted on baked goods such as cakes and sweet pastries to provide an extra layer of subtle sweetness.

Quick Guide – How Many Cups In A Pound Of Sugar

As a quick guide here is a comparison of how many cups of sugar in a pound, brown sugar and powdered sugar are in a pound of each.

  • One pound of powdered sugar is equivalent to roughly four cups or nine hundred and sixty milliliters.
  • A pound of granulated sugar is equivalent to approximately two and a quarter cups, or five hundred and forty milliliters.
  • One pound of brown sugar roughly equals roughly two and two thirds of a cup, or six hundred and forty milliliters.

So roughly speaking each cup of granulated sugar is equivalent to approximately a quarter pound of powdered sugar.

Things to Consider When Measuring Powdered Sugar for Cooking and Baking

When you measure powdered sugar for cooking and baking, its important to ensure that your sugar doesnt have any clumps in it. Whilst powdered sugar is less likely to clump due to the small amount of cornstarch, clumping is still possible.

Powdered sugar may contain hardened lumps if it is exposed to moisture or compacted heavily. Fortunately, most clumping can be reversed by using a hand cranked sifter to break up these clumps. This sifted powdered sugar will often be finer and contain less clumps than unsifted powdered sugar. For this reason, most recipes will specify sifted powdered sugar.

The reason that you dont want these clumps in your powdered sugar is that they will make icing somewhat gritty in texture which is unpleasant to most. In order to avoid this eventuality, it is recommended that you ensure your cooking area is dry. Additionally, you should pour your powdered sugar into the measuring cup rather than scoop it up. The reason for this is that clumps can form from both absorbed moisture along with the sugar being crushed together.

How To Measure Powdered Sugar?

When measuring, the process is rather simple. However, it is important to be careful in order to avoid making a mess or creating clumps in your powdered sugar.

Instead of scooping it is best to slowly pour the powdered sugar into measuring cups. This is because scooping may crush the sugar left in the bag.However, if you need to measure how many grams of sugar are in a tablespoon this article can help you.

Following this, skim a knife across the top in order to level the cup. It is best not to tap to level the cup as this can potentially cause clumping. Additionally, this tapping can cause more sugar to settle in the cup than the recipe would actually call for.

How to Sift Powdered Sugar

When stored for long periods of time or exposed to moisture, powdered sugar is likely to clump up. When this happens, sifting powdered sugar helps the finer granules to separate. This will allow you to dust your baked goods with an even covering, which cant really be done with unsifted sugar.

To sift your powdered sugar take a bowl and use a hand cranked sifter or a wire whisk to stir the sugar. When doing so add the powdered sugar to ensure that it is all sifted and you dont accidentally spill any out the sides.

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Alternatively you can use a fine mesh strainer or sieve to remove the lumps. Slowly add the sugar to the fine mesh strainer whilst holding it over an empty, dry bowl.

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How Many Cups In A Pound Of Powdered Or Confectioners Sugar?

As mentioned above there are roughly four cups in a pound of powdered sugar. As such each cup will contain a quarter pound of powdered sugar.

When measuring this out, you should not press the sugar into the cup. Doing this will greatly increase the amount of sugar present to a point far past what a recipe calls for.

Powdered Sugar Conversions

We know now that four cups of sugar is equivalent to a pound of powdered sugar. However, this conversion rate isnt universal for every ingredient, with even different variations of sugar having different ratios.

That said however, below are some conversions for commonly used ingredients when cooking:

  • Four cups of baker’s flour are required.One pound of all-purpose flour
  • A pound of cake flour equals roughly four and one third cups.
  • A pound of cake flour is about four and one-third cups.
  • A pound of semolina flour equals two and a half cups.
  • A pound of butter equals two cups.
  • One pound of granulated sugar equals two and a quarter cups.
  • A pound of cornstarch equals three and a quarter cups.
  • A pound of cornmeal equals three cups.
  • One pound of rolled oat equals five and a third cups.
  • A pound of cocoa powder equals four and a three quarter cups.
  • One pound of honey equals one and a third cups.
  • A pound of peanuts or almonds equals three cups.
  • hazelnuts equals three and third cups.One pound of pistachios
  • A pound of pecans or walnuts equals four and a quarter cups.
  • One pound of raisins or dried currants equals two and three quarter cups.


When measuring powdered sugar, four cups will be roughly equivalent to one pound. However, this is only a somewhat accurate measurement when the sugar isnt crushed into the cup and is instead gently poured.

Once youve measured the appropriate amount of powdered sugar you should always make sure to whisk it in order to break up clumps.


How Much Cups Are In A Pound?

How many pounds there are in a cup or vice versa is not something that can be accurately stated since the amount will vary from ingredient to ingredient.

How Much Does 1 Cup Powdered Sugar Weigh?

One cup of powdered sugar weighs roughly one-quarter of a pound.

How do you convert lbs to cups? 

Pounds (lbs) cannot be universally converted into cups since different ingredients will weigh different amounts.


Does 4 cups of powdered sugar equal 1 pound?

Is 4 cups of powdered sugar a pound? 4 cups of powdered sugar is typically equivalent to one pound. However how tightly packed the sugar is can affect how much you end up with.

How many cups are in a 2 pound bag of powdered sugar?

How Many Cups Are in a 2-Pound Bag of Powdered Sugar? The usual 32-ounce package (2 pounds) of powdered sugar has about 7½ cups of powdered sugar.

How many cups equal 1 lb?

How many lbs is 4 cups of powdered sugar?

Four cups will be roughly equivalent to one pound when measuring powdered sugar.

How many pounds of powdered sugar is 2 cups?

One pound equals two cups.

Do you measure powdered sugar before or after sifting?

4 cups packed powdered sugar to 1 cup granulated sugar.Powdered sugar should be sifted before measured or used. If you don’t have a sifter, put the sugar in a fine sieve, place the sieve over a bowl or measuring cup, and gently tap the side. The equivalency is 1 3

How much confectioners sugar is in a 1 1 pound box?

To keep it simple, if a box is 1 pound (or 16 ounces), it will have 3 ½ cups of powdered sugar. In order to measure correctly, check if your recipe calls for sifted or unsifted sugar. Sifted sugar takes up more space in a measuring cup compared to unsifted, 4 ounces of sifted powdered sugar will equal 1 cup.

How do you measure powdered sugar?

Powdered sugar and granulated sugar are measured the same way. Granulated and powdered sugar should be spooned into a dry measuring cup and leveled off with a straight edge. Test Kitchen Tip: Be sure to stir the sugar first to remove clumps.

Why do you sift powdered sugar?

To avoid visible clumps of powdered sugar, simply sift the powdered sugar with a sifter or mesh strainer before adding it to your recipe.

How many dry cups in a dry pound?

As a general rule of thumb, 1 pound is equivalent to 2 cups of most dry ingredients. With these tips, you’ll be able to accurately measure your fat and achieve delicious results with every bake!

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