How much is a 16 oz box of powdered sugar?

Powdered sugar, also known as confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar, is a finely ground sugar produced by milling granulated sugar into a powdered state. It typically contains a small amount of anti-caking agent to prevent clumping. Powdered sugar is used in baking and confections to add sweetness, texture, and decorative elements. Understanding how much a typical box of powdered sugar contains and costs can help with shopping and recipe planning.

Typical Size and Weight of Powdered Sugar Boxes

Powdered sugar is commonly sold in boxes or bags ranging from 8 oz to 5 lbs. The most popular retail size is a 16 oz box, which typically contains about 1 lb or 454 grams of powdered sugar. This size is convenient for most home bakers to store and use up before it expires or gets hard.

Here are some standard powdered sugar box sizes:

  • 8 oz box – Contains around 227g of powdered sugar
  • 12 oz box – Contains around 340g of powdered sugar
  • 16 oz box – The most popular size, contains around 454g or 1 lb of powdered sugar
  • 2 lb box – Contains around 907g of powdered sugar
  • 4 lb bag – Contains around 1.8kg of powdered sugar
  • 5 lb bag – Contains around 2.3kg of powdered sugar

So a typical 16 oz retail box contains approximately 454g or 1 lb of powdered sugar. The actual amount can vary slightly between brands based on sifting, moisture content, and packing density. But a 16 oz box is generally expected to provide approximately 454g of powdered sugar.

Cost of a 16 oz Box of Powdered Sugar

The price of a 16 oz box of powdered sugar depends on the brand, store, and geographic location. But in general, the typical price range is:

  • Generic or Store Brand: $1.00 – $2.00
  • National Brand: $2.00 – $3.50

Here are some examples of current prices for a 16 oz box at major U.S. grocery chains:

Store Brand Price
Walmart Great Value (Store brand) $1.98
Kroger Kroger (Store brand) $1.69
Safeway Domino (National brand) $3.29
Publix Publix (Store brand) $2.29
Albertsons C&H (National brand) $3.49

Online prices may be slightly higher due to shipping costs. Bulk and warehouse stores like Costco often sell larger bags and boxes at lower per-ounce prices.

Based on these examples, a typical price range for a 16 oz box of powdered sugar is $1 to $3.50 in most U.S. grocery stores. Store brands are toward the lower end around $1-2 per box, while national brands range from $2-3.50.

Price Per Ounce

To compare prices and values between different box sizes, it can be helpful to calculate the price per ounce. This levels the playing field for differently sized packages.

For a 16 oz box of powdered sugar priced at $2, the price per ounce would be:

  • Total Price: $2
  • Box Size: 16 oz
  • Price per oz = Total Price / Box Size
  • Price per oz = $2 / 16 oz = $0.125 per oz

Applying this to the range of prices above:

Price Range Price per Ounce
$1.00 $0.0625
$1.50 $0.0937
$2.00 $0.125
$2.50 $0.156
$3.00 $0.187
$3.50 $0.218

Buying larger sizes generally provides a lower cost per ounce. But a 16 oz box represents a good compromise between value and convenience for most home bakers.

How Long Will a 16 oz Box Last?

How long a 16 oz box of powdered sugar will last depends on how frequently you use it in recipes. Here are some estimates:

  • Occasional baking – 6 months to 1 year
  • Weekly baking – 2 to 3 months
  • Frequent baking – 1 month
  • Commercial bakery – 1 week

For home bakers that use powdered sugar weekly or several times a month, a 16 oz box will generally last around 2-3 months before needing replacement. Storing it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place can help extend its shelf life. But expect to use up a 16 oz box within 3 months or less with regular baking.

Substitutions for a 16 oz Box of Powdered Sugar

In a pinch, you can make substitutions if you run out of powdered sugar and need an approximate replacement:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 teaspoon cornstarch, blended
  • 1 lb (454g) powdered sugar = 2 cups sifted powdered sugar OR 2 1/4 cups unpacked

These substitutions may change the texture slightly, but work acceptably when you’re out of powdered sugar. Always sift homemade substitutions to remove lumps. And reduce any liquid in the recipe slightly since granulated sugar will add more moisture.

Uses for a 16 oz Box of Powdered Sugar

A 16 oz box of powdered sugar provides around 4 cups sifted or 4 1/2 cups unpacked. Here are some example uses for that amount in recipes:

  • Glaze or frost two 9-inch cake layers
  • Make one large batch of buttercream frosting
  • Coat 16 cupcakes with buttercream or glaze
  • Make icing for two dozen cookies
  • Fold into whipped cream to make sweetened whipped cream for 8-12 servings
  • Mix with cream cheese to fill one 9×13 inch sheet cake
  • Shake with cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar for coating doughnuts, toast, etc.

A 16 oz box gives home bakers good versatility for icing cakes, glazing doughnuts, frosting cupcakes, and other sweet treats. It’s enough for most basic recipe needs without having excess powdered sugar taking up space.

Buying Recommendations

When shopping for powdered sugar, look for:

  • Popular size – 16 oz box for convenience and value
  • Reputable brand -national brand or store brand
  • Uniform texture – no major clumping or moisture
  • Sealed packaging – to prevent caking from humidity
  • Use-by date – consume within 6-12 months for freshness

Be wary of any signs of moisture, clumping, or other quality issues. Store powdered sugar in an airtight container in a cool, dry place and it will stay fresh for several months.


A typical 16 oz box of powdered sugar contains around 454g or 1 lb of powdered sugar. The average price range is $1 to $3.50 depending on brand and retailer. For the home baker, a 16 oz box provides a versatile quantity for most recipes, lasting around 2-3 months with regular weekly use. Look for popular brands in sealed packaging and store properly to get the most value from a 16 oz box of this essential baking staple.

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