Here’s my philosophy on measurements in baking in two sentences: Use a scale. It’ll make your life so much easier.
In the US, most cooking measurements are still done in volume: measuring cups and spoons for dry ingredients, liquid measures for liquids. However, for baking, where precision is key to the success of many a recipe, once you measure in weight, you’ll realize the imprecision of using volume.
I use measuring flour as the best example. Use a measuring cup to scoop out a cup of flour from a bag and weigh it on a kitchen scale. Now scoop out a second cup and weigh it. What’s the difference in weight? Whether you packed in the flour tightly, levelled off the top of the measuring cup, shook the cup as you were filling it – all these variables will affect how much flour actually goes in your recipe – and it can vary every time. On the other hand, if you weigh out 5 ounces or 140 grams of flour on a scale, you’ll get the same amount every time.
That’s why I consider my kitchen scale to be one of the most indispensable tools in my kitchen. By using it, I eliminate one of the biggest factors that can influence the outcome of baked goods: imprecise measurement.
That said, many of my recipes on this site are still in US standard measurements (cups, pints, teaspoons, etc.) because I adapted them from recipes that used these measurements, and I wasn’t diligent enough at the time to convert everything to metric as well.
I am in the process of converting all the recipes on my website to have both standard and metric measurements (and to have them printable as well), but in the meantime I’m also putting up this page of conversions that I’ve accumulated over the years. If you come across one of my recipes and it isn’t converted, go ahead and use the conversions below. Note that this information is based on baking references I’ve consulted and my own personal experience. Please use caution when applying them to your own recipes – a little tweaking may be required as the translation between volume and weight is always a tricky thing. If you have any questions or any conversions you’d like to see, please e-mail me!
Flours/Other Dry Ingredients
All Purpose Flour (unsifted, dip and sweep): 1 cup = 5 ounces = 140 grams
All Purpose Flour (unsifted, spooned into cup): 1 cup = 4 1/2 ounces = 125 grams
All Purpose Flour (sifted before measuring): 1 cup = 4 ounces = 112 grams
Cake Flour (unsifted, dip and sweep): 1 cup = 4 2/3 ounces = 130 grams
Cake Flour (unsifted, spooned into cup): 1 cup = 4 ounces = 110 grams
Cake Flour (sifted before measuring): 1 cup = 3 1/2 ounces = 100 grams
Cornstarch: 1 cup = 4 ounces = 110 grams
Cocoa Powder (spooned into cup): 1 cup = 3 1/4 ounces = 91 grams
Baking Powder, Baking Soda: 1 teaspoon = 5 grams
Instant Yeast, Active Dry Yeast: 2 1/4 teaspoons = 1/4 ounces = 7 grams
Salt: 1 teaspoon = 6 1/2 grams
Granulated White Sugar: 1 cup = 7 ounces = 200 grams
Brown Sugar (Light or Dark): 1 cup = 7 ounces = 200 grams
Confectioners’ (Powdered/Icing) Sugar (dip and sweep): 1 cup = 4 ounces = 110 grams
Milk (All Kinds), Half and Half, Buttermilk: 1 cup (liquid measure) = 8.2 ounces = 230 grams
Heavy Cream, Sour Cream, Yogurt: 1 cup (liquid measure) = 8.2 ounces = 230 grams
Butter: 1 cup (2 sticks) = 8 ounces = 220 grams
Water: 1 cup (liquid measure) = 8.2 ounces = 230 grams
Corn Syrup: 1 cup (liquid measure) = 10.9 ounces = 310 grams
Molasses: 1 cup (liquid measure) = 9 ounces = 260 grams
Honey: 1 cup (liquid measure) = 10.9 ounces = 310 grams
Vegetable/Canola/Safflower Oil: 1 cup (liquid measure) = 7 ounces = 200 grams
1 large egg, in the shell = 57 grams
1 large egg, without shell = 50 grams
1 large egg white = 30 grams
1 large egg yolk = 18 grams
Common Units of Dry Measurements
3 teaspoons = 1 Tablespoon = 1/2 ounce = 14 grams
4 tablespoons = 2 ounces = 1/4 cup = 56 grams
32 tablespoons = 2 cups = 16 ounces = 1 pounds
Other Common Conversions
1 ounce = 28 grams
1 fluid ounce = 30 milliliters
1 gallon = 4 quarts = 8 pints = 128 ounces = 3.8 liters (liquid)
Substitutions (from Cook’s Illustrated)
To replace 1 cup whole milk, use:
- 5⁄8 cup skim milk + 3⁄8 cup half-and-half
- 2⁄3 cup 1% milk + 1⁄3 cup half-and-half
- 3⁄4 cup 2% milk + 1⁄4 cup half-and-half
- 7⁄8 cup skim milk + 1⁄8 cup heavy cream
To replace 1 cup half-and-half, use:
- 3⁄4 cup whole milk + 1⁄4 cup heavy cream