As a baker, you’re well acquainted with sugar. It makes your cakes more creamy-dreamy, s’mores so much more, and your muffins more melt-in-your-mouth good. In short, it makes just about everything more extraordinary.
But what’s the deal with confectioners sugar? Chances are you know it’s the same thing as powdered sugar or 10X sugar (and that it’s sometimes also called “icing sugar” – yum!). Whatever the name, it’s granulated sugar that has been ground to a fine powder, and there are varying degrees of fineness (hence the 10X reference – you may also see labels with additional Xs, which represent finer grains.) With finer particles comes more moisture, so confectioners sugar typically has an anti-caking agent such as corn starch added to it to prevent clumping of the crystals. If you’re a brave soul who opts to make confectioners sugar at home, you can do so by putting granular sugar in a food processor, a coffee grinder or even by using a mortar and pestle. Just don’t forget the corn starch!
There’s nothing like a light dusting of confectioners sugar on just-from-the-oven baked goods, for both added sweetness and for aesthetic purposes. It’s also ideal for icings, frostings, and glazes, allowing you to avoid the grainy texture that would result from using regular sugar. Similarly, confectioners sugar won’t weigh down whipped cream or a rich meringue the way granular sugar will.
If you’re not regularly using confectioners sugar, start doing so. It will make your life (and your baked goods) infinitely more delicious!