Caster Sugar vs. Powdered Sugar: Which Should You Use?

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Making sweets for birthday celebrations and gatherings with friends can be an exciting experience. If you’ve ever tried your hand at preparing a dessert from a traditional British cookbook, you might have noticed that the ingredients call for caster sugar. 

On the other hand, if you’ve ever enjoyed fluffy waffles or french toast, you might have used a recipe that included powdered sugar dusted on top. Powdered sugar and caster sugar are both quality baking ingredients in their own right. But do you know the difference between the two? Understanding the different uses for these sugars can bring you one step closer to being a master dessert chef. 

We’ll show you everything you need to know about both these sugar varieties. Then, we’ll explain how we can help make your dessert preparation and grocery shopping a bit easier. Let’s get started!

What Is Caster Sugar?

As mentioned, caster sugar is a sugar variety that tends to be popular in British dessert recipes. It’s an ultra-fine sugar that dissolves more quickly than granulated sugar. 

Have you ever tried to pour regular granulated sugar into tea or another beverage to make it sweeter? You might have noticed that you end up tasting granules of sugar from the bottom of the glass, especially when using a straw. Since it dissolves easily, caster sugar can also help sweeten your beverage without leftover granules.

There are essentially two varieties of caster sugar: white and golden. 

How Do You Use Caster Sugar?

If you’re new to caster sugar, you might be wondering how to use this type of sugar. It’s widely available in the U.K. but not as often seen in the U.S., so you might not be as familiar with this variety as other kinds of sugar. 

Because it’s such a finely-ground sugar, it makes an excellent sweetening and mixing agent in fluffy desserts such as meringues and soufflés. In addition to these uses, you can substitute caster sugar for most recipes that call for granulated sugar. 

What Is Powdered Sugar?

You may already be familiar with powdered sugar. However, if you’re only recently getting more interested in baking, you could be wondering what you can use this type of sugar to create. 

You may have heard powdered sugar is also called confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar. Like caster sugar, this kind of sugar is extremely fine. Most powdered sugar also contains cornstarch to help prevent clumps during mixing and baking. 

How Do You Use Powdered Sugar?

Even though it’s significantly different from granulated sugar, powdered sugar can be used in all kinds of recipes. When you’re looking to expand your dessert menu, you can reach for powdered sugar to dry delightful sweet new recipes. 

You can also use powdered sugar as a topping. Whether you’re enjoying fruit tarts or french toast, adding powdered sugar can take your dessert to the next level. 

Because its texture is incredibly fine, you can use powdered sugar for icings, glazes, mousses, and buttercreams. These spreads do well with powdered sugar because of its fine texture. 

What Are the Differences Between Caster Sugar and Powdered Sugar? 

Perhaps you have both powdered sugar and caster sugar in your pantry. You want to branch out and try new recipes, but you want to learn more about how these sugars differ before you begin. Here are a couple of key differences between these sugar varieties:

Can You Interchange These Types of Sugar?

If you have both of these sugars in your possession, you might think you can interchange them. It’s essential to note that their consistency is different, so they’re not interchangeable. Still, they can both be tasty on their own.

Recipes You Can Make with Caster Sugar

Since caster sugar and granulated sugar are usually interchangeable, you should be able to try many typical dessert recipes with this variety of sugar substituted. Here are a few caster sugar recipes to get you started making tasty treats!

What To Make With Powdered Sugar

Suppose you’ve got some powdered sugar lying around, and you’d like to put it to good use. You can use it in dessert recipes, dust breakfast dishes, or make powdered sugar icing.

Let’s talk about how to make a powdered sugar glaze in just a few steps:

  1. Begin with 1.5 cups of powdered sugar. 
  2. Start to add cream little by little to your powdered sugar until it reaches an appropriate consistency. If you’d like to spread it over a bread-like substance, you may want to opt for a thinner consistency. On the other hand, if you’d like to drizzle this mixture over pastries, you may try to mix your glaze at a thicker consistency.

Once you’ve made this powdered sugar glaze, you can use it to top nearly any sweet treat.

More Recipes You Can Make for Dessert

Let’s say you’re on a dessert kick, and you’d like to know what other treats you can make for dinner parties, Saturday celebrations, or a random pick-me-up. 

Shopping for Dessert Ingredients Can Be a Breeze

Let’s talk about your groceries. When you have an upcoming event that calls for desserts, main courses, and side dishes, how do you prepare for the day? Do you scramble to make a grocery list, only to get to the grocery store and realize you forgot to mark down some of the ingredients needed? Or perhaps you get to the grocery store and begin to wander aimlessly, forgetting why you're there. 

Shopping isn’t always easy. Sometimes, your process of purchasing and preparing food can impact your desire to cook for others and yourself. Fortunately, there’s an easier way to approach buying ingredients from a grocery store.  

Let Jow Take Care of Your Groceries 

You don’t have to worry about making a list full of all the right things; We’ve got your back. With Jow, you can select easy-to-make recipes you’d like to try. Then we’ll add all the ingredients you’ll need to a cart. You can have your groceries and household items shipped to your door, or you can pick them up nearby. 

Whether you’re cooking with powdered sugar or not, we’ll help you take care of the details so you can enjoy more time in the kitchen.