Powdered sugar

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Closeup of unsifted powdered sugar
Powdered sugar on cannoli

Powdered sugar, also called confectioner's sugar, icing sugar, and icing cake, is a finely ground sugar produced by milling granulated sugar into a powdered state. It usually contains a small amount of anti-caking agent—usually cornstarch in North America, or tricalcium phosphate in other regions—to prevent clumping and improve flow. Although most often produced in a factory, powdered sugar can also be made by processing ordinary granulated sugar in a coffee grinder, or by crushing it by hand in a mortar and pestle.

Powdered sugar is utilized in industrial food production when a quick-dissolving sugar is required. Home cooks use it principally to make icing or frosting and other cake decorations. It is often dusted onto baked goods to add a subtle sweetness and delicate decoration.

Powdered sugar is available in varying degrees of fineness, most commonly XXX, XXXX, and 10X: the greater the number of Xs, the finer the grains.[1] Finer particles absorb more moisture, results in caking. Corn starch or tricalcium phosphate is added at 3 to 5% concentration to absorb moisture and to improve flow by reducing friction between sugar crystals.[2][3]

Other Varieties[edit]

Caster sugar (also referred to as superfine or baker's sugar) has a larger particle size than powdered sugar, approximately half that of granulated sugar.[4]

Snow powder (or snow sugar) is a non-melting form of icing sugar usually consisting of dextrose, starch and anti-binding agents, useful for retaining its structure when dusted onto cakes or pastries that require refrigeration. It is mostly used for decorative purposes.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Crushing Difference Between Granulated & Confectioners' Sugar". O Chef. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  2. ^ Asadi (2006), 451-452.
  3. ^ Chen (1993), 530
  4. ^ "C&H Baker's Sugar". C&H Sugar. Retrieved 30 October 2015.