So there is a cupcake recipe I wanna make and it's my first time making it also one of my first time making any dessert like this. I got some icing sugar but the recipe asked for caster sugar. Are they both the same? If not can I use icing sugar to replace it? I see they're both powdered sugar.

  • If I remember correctly, caster sugar is a superfine granulated sugar rather than a powdered sugar.
    – Cindy
    Apr 30, 2018 at 20:19

1 Answer 1


Icing sugar is much finer than caster sugar. However this way round you can probably get away with it ("probably" because without the exact recipe it's hard to tell). I have recipes for butter biscuits that differ only in one using caster sugar and the other using icing sugar, for example, and cake recipes that use icing sugar. Icing sugar clumps badly so can be less convenient, plus it used to be more expensive though these days there's nothing in it.

You must work by weight when substituting between coarse and fine sugar, as they pack very differently into volume measures. If your recipe works by volume, you shoudl go out and get the right sugar.

What you can't do is use caster instead of icing sugar in icing, as there's not enough liquid for it to dissolve.

  • Here is the recipe: Chocolate cupcakes: 100g/3.5oz plain flour, 100g/3.5 caster sugar, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 3 tbsp veg oil, 125ml water, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 0.5 tsp bicarb soda, 0.5 tsp Apple cider vinegar, Chocolate Icing: 300g vegan icing sugar, 100g dairy free margarine, 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract Apr 30, 2018 at 20:26
  • That's quite an unusual recipe, using bicarb + vinegar as the raising agent, no egg (I note the 'vegan' and 'dairy free'), and water. But it should be fine.
    – Chris H
    Apr 30, 2018 at 20:40

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