I have some old recipes that call for a box of powdered sugar. How many cups would that equal ? I buy powdered sugar in two pound bags.

  • 7
    If at all possible, measure powdered sugar by weight. It's very susceptible to inaccurate measurement due to packing.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 16:53
  • It might help to summarize one of the recipes. Depending on how old the recipe is, "box" might have a meaning that is no longer used. Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 15:22

3 Answers 3


My best guess would be one pound, since it's still often sold in stores in 1lb boxes, regardless of brand:

imperial 1lb box enter image description here

You can see plenty more like that if you do a Google image search for [powdered sugar box].

As others have pointed out, measuring by volume is inaccurate (one pound could be 3.5 to 4.5 cups), so you'd be best off using a scale, or perhaps measuring your two pound bag into two equal volumes.

That said, if your recipe can tolerate being off by a couple ounces (around half a cup), you could use four cups for a one-pound box.


According to King Arthur Flour's Master Weight Chart, 1 pound (the most likely size of a box in the US) of unsifted powdered sugar is about 4 cups. As I said in a comment above, I highly recommend weighing powdered sugar instead of measuring it by the cup.


Per Domino® Sugar,

The answer to how many cups are in one pound of powdered sugar will vary depending on if your powdered sugar is sifted or unsifted. In general:

1 pound = 3 1/2 to 4 cups unsifted powdered sugar
1 pound = 4 1/2 cups sifted powered sugar

Customarily sold in boxes in the US, as in the illustration provided by @Jefromi, they are one pound/16 ounces. For a 2-pound bag, either measure out 3 1/2 to 4 cups for the recipe or, more straightforward, half of the quantity in the bag.


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