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Your grandmother swore by hers - but that was in the days of unsifted flour. Today, most flours are so uniformly ground - you don't need to sift for the same reason your grandmother did - you need only sift to combine white ingredients like flour, baking powder, etc. Still, a sifter is nice to have! One use is to sift icing sugar on top of warm desserts - it's a fast way to get a lovely decoration. Professional kitchens will often combine a sifter with a paper mask with their logo cut out. The result is a unique design on the finished cake.