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Dec 24, 2006 05:04 PM

how much is a pound?

Massive chocolate craving - found what looks like an easy fudge recipe from Alton Brown. It calls for 1 pound of powdered sugar (though i'm halving the recipe). Without a scale, how do i measure 1/2 pound?

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  1. According to the calculator discussed in the linked topic, 1-3/4 cups.

    Unless it's a no-cook recipe, halving the amounts might not work.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Joy of Cooking agrees: it says a pound of granulated sugar is two cups (so 1 cup is 8 ounces), and a pound of confectioners' sugar is 3.5-4 cups (so 1 cup is 1.75-2 cups).

      I checked with a digital scale and that's about right.

      Recipes that measure by volume often call for sifted confectioners' sugar to standardize the density.

    2. I would figure it at approx 2 cups. Paprika weighs out at about 4.2 cups per pound and I think powdered sugar outta be darn close to that.

      1. I just measured from a freshly opened bag of Domino pure cane 10X powdered sugar. 8 oz. is a mounded 2 C. in my rather humid kitchen.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Candy

          thanks :)

          Maybe it's time for me to invest in a kitchen scale - always thought they were silly, but i keep coming across recipes in which it would be useful!

          1. re: Nalega

            I would not be without one. Get a digital one that can weigh in lbs/oz & can be converted to grams. Balance scales are just not precise enough. As you bake more you will really appreciate having it. I cannot imagine being without one.

            1. re: Candy

              Get one that will let you account for tare weight. That means you can place a bowl on the scale, add an ingredient, reset to zero before adding something else, reset again, etc.
              Couldn't live without my scale!

              1. re: MakingSense

                Mine does. I have a Sohenle. Great scale.

            2. re: Nalega

              Could not live without my scale, and I want to get another one that is digital. The other kind are not at all accurate.

          2. According to Alton himself, which he repeats quite often on his shows, "a pint's a pound the world around." So half a pound is half a pint, or 8 ounces. :-)

            8 Replies
            1. re: Covert Ops

              but according to others, and to additional googleing on my part, its closer to 2 cups, and 8 oz is one cup - thats a huge head is starting to spin!

              1. re: Covert Ops

                Equal volumes of granulated and confectioners' sugar don't weigh the same, do they? The latter seems lighter to me.

                This table says a cup of granulated sugar is 8 ounces, a cup of confectioners' sugar is 4.5 ounces:


                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  confectioners probably does seem lighter, but because its finer theres less air in the cup and more sugar packed in, so it probably is about equal.

                  1. re: Nalega

                    Don't forget that powdered sugar has corn starch in it as well as sugar.

                    1. re: Nalega

                      Confectioners' sugar is only about half as dense as granulated.

                  2. re: Covert Ops

                    That only works for liquids and butter (maybe other fats too).

                    A pint of feathers and a pint of lead don't weigh the same, neither do a pint of powdered sugar and a pint of honey.

                    1. re: babette feasts

                      D'oh. . .sorry gang, my night-side brain's working a day shift and not focusing very well. :-P

                      1. re: babette feasts

                        really it only works for water, or things that are primarily water, like juices. Fats and oils are close enough, but slightly lighter for a given volume. Naturally any combination of the two will be close as well... but certainly not powdered sugar.

                    2. Nalega: Did you look on the box? I checked a 1 pound box of confectioners sugar (Dixie Crystals, also labeled 10X powdered sugar). According to the nutrition facts label, one serving is 1/4 cup and the box has 15 servings. Therefore there are 3-3/4 cups of sugar per pound. Half of that (1/2 pound) would be 1-7/8 cups (or 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons).