I recently tried a cookie recipe purely to see what the end product would be. Compared to the cookie recipes I was used to, it was really odd. There were no eggs at all, and instead of regular sugar, I had to use powdered sugar. The cookie came out fine, if a little dry. But I was hoping someone here could give me any reason why. I'll list the recipe down below.

  • 1 3/4 cups of AP flour
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of white chocolate chips (to dip the baked cookies in)
  • 1 cup of chocolate sprinkles (to dip the chocolate-coated cookies in)
  • 1
    Did you substitute 3/4 of a cup powdered sugar for 3/4 granulated, or did the original recipe call for a different amount?
    – GdD
    Jan 23 at 9:10
  • More to the point, did the recipe call for powdered or regular sugar? You had to use it because the recipe specified, or you had to because you were out of regular? I read this as "shortbread adjacent" when classifying it into cookie styles in my head. Shortbread certainly does not need eggs, and has flour, sugar and butter as the main ingredients. This obviously went to chocolate, but still "shortbread adjacent" from here.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 24 at 0:04
  • @Ecnerwal The recipe called for 3/4 cup of powdered sugar so that's what I used.
    – AlecMac
    Jan 24 at 3:44
  • @GdD that's what the recipe called for, I didn't substitute or anything.
    – AlecMac
    Jan 24 at 3:46
  • Interesting, that's an unusual recipe @AlecMac.
    – GdD
    Jan 24 at 8:32

1 Answer 1


The difference between powdered sugar and regular sugar in baking cookies lies in particle size and moisture content. Powdered sugar with its finer texture and added cornstarch can lead to a drier result. The absence of eggs in your recipe might have contributed to the dryness. To achieve a softer texture consider using granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar and adding eggs for moisture and structure.

  • Cornstarch (cornflour) is certainly a contributor, that's a good call. I add a small amount of it to my shortbread as it makes it 'shorter', i.e. crumblier, it also adds a bit of a dry mouthfeel.
    – GdD
    Jan 24 at 8:55
  • The added cornstarch seems to be location dependent. If you buy powdered sugar in the US it usually contains 2-5% cornstarch or a similar anti-caking agent. In Germany you can buy Puderzucker = powdered sugar for homebaking, this will be pure sugar and hence prone to caking. There is a separate product called Dekorzucker which does contain anticaking agents like cornstarch but that is mostly used in industrial or professional baking.
    – quarague
    Jan 25 at 10:32
  • I have a biscuit (cookie) recipe using fat, custard powder (basically cornflour) and icing sugar (powdered sugar). In effect, it's a very delicate shortbread. Jan 25 at 16:47
  • I've never heard of cornstarch in powdered sugar before. Is this regional to the US?
    – npst
    Jan 26 at 15:24

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