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how much is a pound?

Nalega Dec 24, 2006 05:04 PM

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. Robert Lauriston RE: Nalega Dec 24, 2006 05:10 PM

    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
      Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 25, 2006 04:44 PM

      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. DetectDave RE: Nalega Dec 24, 2006 05:12 PM

      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. Candy RE: Nalega Dec 24, 2006 05:55 PM

        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
          Nalega RE: Candy Dec 24, 2006 06:04 PM

          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
            Candy RE: Nalega Dec 24, 2006 06:06 PM

            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
              MakingSense RE: Candy Dec 24, 2006 07:49 PM

              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
                Candy RE: MakingSense Dec 24, 2006 08:54 PM

                Mine does. I have a Sohenle. Great scale.

            2. re: Nalega
              personalcheffie RE: Nalega Dec 26, 2006 12:02 AM

              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. Covert Ops RE: Nalega Dec 24, 2006 06:04 PM

            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
              Nalega RE: Covert Ops Dec 24, 2006 06:07 PM

              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 difference...my head is starting to spin!

              1. re: Covert Ops
                Robert Lauriston RE: Covert Ops Dec 24, 2006 06:09 PM

                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
                  Nalega RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 24, 2006 06:27 PM

                  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
                    Candy RE: Nalega Dec 24, 2006 07:11 PM

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

                    1. re: Nalega
                      Robert Lauriston RE: Nalega Dec 25, 2006 04:46 PM

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

                  2. re: Covert Ops
                    babette feasts RE: Covert Ops Dec 24, 2006 06:41 PM

                    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
                      Covert Ops RE: babette feasts Dec 24, 2006 06:46 PM

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

                      1. re: babette feasts
                        amkirkland RE: babette feasts Dec 24, 2006 08:31 PM

                        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. t
                      Timowitz RE: Nalega Dec 26, 2006 12:00 AM

                      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).

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