Is Powdered Sugar The Same As Confectioners Sugar?

There are many different types of sugar and they all have their own place when it comes to cooking, baking and even sweetening our beverages.

Due to the fact that there are so many different types of sugar, it can often be very difficult to understand what is what and how they all differ. 

When it comes to powdered sugar and confectioners sugar, many ask if they are the same.

Is Powdered Sugar The Same As Confectioners Sugar?

The answer is that commercial confectioners sugar and powdered sugar are basically the same, aside from the addition of cornstarch which prevents caking. 

However, normal confectioners sugar and powdered sugar are pretty much the same. This guide will look at everything you need to know about the two sugars and answer some of your most common questions.

Read on to learn more.

So What Is The Difference?

As we said, the two sugars are pretty much the same in terms of their composition and what is involved in the two. However, when it comes to commercial confectioners sugar, there is a slight difference.

Commercial confectioners sugar contains cornstarch and this helps to prevent caking. You would therefore use this type of sugar in things like meringue, which helps to stabilize the ingredients like eggs.

In other words, you would only use commercial confectioners sugars for some things and not others.

Due to the cornstarch, the sugary taste becomes lost and you end up tasting the cornstarch much more than the sugar.

So, as a result you’d be looking to use powdered sugar for the majority of baking or otherwise. 

How Do You Make Confectioners Sugar?

To understand the differences between the two, it’s perhaps best that we examine how you would make the two different sugars. We’ll start here with confectioners sugar. 

You start by mixing one cup of granulated sugar along with one tablespoon of cornstarch and blend them together in a food mixer or blender.

Do this at a high speed for several minutes until you get the desired consistency you are looking for. The more you blend and the higher the speed, the more coarse the sugar will be – so it’s worth bearing that in mind.

It’s also worth pointing out that if you are going to choose to use a substitute, the resulting product will likely be very different, so don’t be disheartened if your sugar comes out differently. 

How Do You Make Powdered Sugar?

Making powdered sugar is much easier to make than confectioners sugar.

All you need to do is put normal, granulated white sugar into a food blender or processor. Once again, do this at high speed for several minutes.

Adjust the time and speed to get either a more coarse or more refined, smooth sugar. The latter is better for things like cakes and pastries

The Differences Between Refined Sugar And Natural Sugar 

You may at this point be wondering what the differences are between these two sugars too. Here’s what you will need to know.

Refined Sugar

Refined sugar is usually described as the worst type of sugar, in terms of when it comes to your health. One teaspoon of this type of sugar is the equivalent of 15 calories (Kcal) and this is exceptionally high for what it is.

What’s more, this type of sugar is broken down extremely quickly in your body.

Due to this, the digestion of this sugar is as rapid – which leaves you to feel hungry, and also leads to your insulin levels and blood sugar levels to go through the roof.

As a result of this, too much refined sugar can cause health conditions like diabetes, bad teeth, digestive problems, heart problems and obesity. 

Natural Sugar

Natural sugar is the type of sugar that you will normally find in things like fruits. While this type of sugar is still not good for you when consumed in high amounts, it is still much better for you than refined sugar.

Because of where these sugars are found, the sugar tends to come with a lot of fiber which helps to slow down the digestive process – as a result, the sugar is digested much slower and therefore, the negative effects are rapidly decreased.

Artificial Sweeteners

It’s worth pointing out some things about artificial sweeteners too. As we mentioned before, the use of substitutes can cause a different end product for your baked goods. 

The idea of artificial sweeteners helping people to lose weight is a bit of a fallacy. While the calories are lower, the ingredients that are included can cause the same body reactions as natural sugar does. 

Resultedly, you may end up feeling hungrier and then eat more food. Because of this, people may actually gain weight. 

So, when choosing which sugars you should use in baking, it’s better to use natural sugar whenever possible – but when it comes to things like eggs and milk, it might be better using confectioners sugar for the reaction. 

Does It Matter What Sugar I Use?

Yes and no. Between confectioners sugar and powdered sugar, as we mentioned – there’s not a great deal of difference between the two. 

However, you need to bear in mind what you are actually using the sugar for.

If you are going to make something that you need to prevent caking for – then yes, commercial confectioners sugar is much better than powdered sugar.

When it comes to choosing natural over refined sugar, then you should always try to use natural sugar whenever possible.

While the price and taste might be slightly compromised, your health will benefit in the long run.

The Bottom Line

The two sugars aren’t overly different from one another, except when it comes to commercial confectioners sugar. All you need to do is understand what you’re using the sugar for and move from there!

Mark Williams