2

How does powdered sugar stack up to regular sugar and artificial sweeteners in terms of sugar/carbohydrate content?

  • Well, strictly speaking... Powdered has a lower specific weight than granulated sugar, at least according to this site, so one cup of powdered sugar contains slightly fewer calories than granulated sugar. On the other hand, you get the same effect if you just don't fill your cup to the brim. Less sugar has fewer calories than more sugar. – Federico Poloni Nov 27 '15 at 7:10
  • The one difference is the increased surface area in some uses will make it taste sweeter allowing less to be used. – neil Nov 27 '15 at 9:32
  • @FedericoPoloni ... which is only relevant in those regions where you use volumetric measurements, not where a scale would be preferred. – Stephie Nov 29 '15 at 11:03
18

Powdered sugar is, basically, just sugar, but with the grains ground to a fine dust.

To be very precise, powdered sugar sometimes contains an anti-caking agent like corn starch to prevent clumping but as far as nutritional values go, treat it like ordinary sugar.

So:
Powdered sugar is no sugar alternative because it is simply sugar.

  • 4
    Many sugar substitutes come in powder form, but they are labeled as substitutes, not as sugar. – GdD Nov 26 '15 at 13:47
  • If you add water to sugar, you get syrup / sugar solution. If you add water to powered sugar, you might very well get a glaze / icing. This is due to the (almost always) added cornstarch or potato flour. So powered sugar is not simply sugar. From a diabetes perspective, it is the same is sugar because it mostly contains sugar. But it is not equivalent from a cooking perspective. So I doubt sugar-replacement sweeteners would be a good replacement for powdered sugar in a recipe. – dynamo Nov 26 '15 at 17:32
  • 5
    @dynamo, the "glaze" has absolutely nothing to do with starch. The crucial thing for a glaze is to dissolve your sugar crystals - powdered dissolves simply faster, but you can get roughly the same effect if you heat sugar with water. Besides, not all powdered sugar contains starch. – Stephie Nov 26 '15 at 17:36

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