Measurements & Conversions

I’m an intuitive and spontaneous cook. I don’t use spoons and cups for everyday cooking where ‘guesstimation’ works. And there is no fun in measuring all the ingredients for every recipe. My mom and grandmom didn’t weigh each ingredient to prepare a meal. In fact, they didn’t taste the food for salt or sugar. Yet, they cooked delicious food for the family.

When I started blogging, I had difficulty composing a  recipe post with measurements. As a food blogger, I feel obliged to put a recipe which gives exact measurements. Hence, I use cup and spoon measurement (volume measurement) for most of my recipes to make life easy. For instance, I quote ‘1/4 cup of chopped onions or tomatoes’ so that it’s close to the required measurement. I adapted this way because the size and shape of vegetables and some ingredients differ from place to place. I seldom use ‘weight measurement’ as it can be restrictive for those who don’t use kitchen scales.

Whereas, Baking is a different ball game where precision counts. Accurate measurement is critical for successful outcome of baked goods. Therefore, take care while measuring ingredients for baking.

How to measure ingredients using spoons and cups

  • Use graded metal/ plastic teaspoons and tablespoons, not the spoons you use to eat with. For liquids, fill the spoon until it’s full. For dry ingredients, pour or scoop into the spoon until it’s full, leveling off the spoon with the straight edge of a knife.
  • Use graded cups to measure dry ingredients. To measure dry ingredients (with the exception of brown sugar), spoon the ingredients lightly into the measuring cup. DO NOT shake the cup to make level! Level off using the straight edge of a knife. This gives you one level cup. Do not dip the measuring cup to scoop the flour out of the container. It’s called ‘Dip and sweep’ method. This will give 150% of the correct measurement.
  • If the recipe calls for a heaping cup, do not level off the cup. Instead, leave a small mounded top of ingredients.
  • For solid fats, use a plastic/ metal graded measuring cup. Spoon the solid fat into a cup and pack down firmly with a spoon or rubber spatula to eliminate any air holes.
  • Use glass cups for measuring liquids. For an accurate reading, always rest the cup on a level surface and read at eye level.
  • When measuring thick and sticky liquids such as honey spray the inside of the measuring glass with nonstick cooking spray or grease it a little with oil. The liquid will then be much easier to remove.
  • For bulky ingredients like shredded cheese, brown sugar, herbs, coconut flakes, chopped nuts firmly packed spoon the ingredients into the measuring cup and pack down lightly. It will slightly retain the shape of the measuring cup after it’s dumped out into the bowl, but it will be easy to stir apart.

For Cake pan and Baking dish sizes and conversions check here and here

How I wish there was a standard system of  measurement the world over. Alas, that is not the case. I used ‘Centigrade’ and ‘Grams and Kilograms’ in Europe. Whereas, US has a different measuring chart. I’m still getting my head around using ‘F’ and ‘pounds’. I’ve collected this information from various sources and compiled to the best of my knowledge. Follow the charts given below as an estimated guide for converting equivalents for both metric and US measuring systems.Use this as a guide, not a bible for measurements 🙂

Oven Temperature Conversions

The table below consists of – Fahrenheit, Centigrade/Celsius, Gas mark, Description.

     225  F      105 C       1/4       Very Cool
     250 F      120 C       1/2  
     275 F      140 C       1       Cool
     300 F      150 C       2  
     325 F      165 C       3       Very Moderate
     350 F      180 C       4       Moderate
     375 F      190 C       5       Fairly Hot
     400 F      200 C       6       Moderately Hot
     425 F      220 C       7       Hot
     450 F      230 C       8  
     475 F      245 C       9       Very Hot
     500 F      260 C       NA  
     550 F      290 C       NA  
* The oven I use has a marking of 500 F, then broils/roasts !

Cooking Temperatures

     Freeze water      32˚ F      0˚ C
     Room Temperature      68˚ F      20˚ C
     Boil water      212˚ F      100˚ C


Weight to Volume Conversion

      15g      half oz
      30g      1 oz
      45g      1 and half oz
      60g      2 oz
      75g      2 and half oz
      90g      3 oz
      100g      3 and half oz
      125g      4 oz
      150g      5 oz
      175g      6 oz
      200g      7 oz
      250g      8 oz
      275g      9 oz
      300g      10 oz
      325g      11 oz
      350g      12 oz
      375g      13 oz
      400g      14 oz
      450g      15 oz
      500g      1 lb

Dry Ingredients by weight

      1/16 teaspoon          a dash
      1/8 teaspoon          a pinch
      3 teaspoons          1 tablespoon
      1/8 cup          2 tablespoons (1 standard coffee scoop)
      1/4 cup          4 tablespoons
      1/3 cup          5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
      1/2 cup          8 tablespoons
      3/4 cup          12 tablespoons
      1 cup          16 tablespoons
      1 pound          16 ounces

More Measurements

Scant      –    ‘slightly less than’. For example a scant ½ cup would mean slightly less than ½ cup.
Tad          –   1/4 teaspoon
Dash        –   1/8 teaspoon
Pinch       –   1/16 teaspoon
Smidgen –   1/32 teaspoon
Jigger or a shot is 3 tablespoons

Liquid Ingredients by Volume

Spoon measurements

      1/4 Teaspoon         1.25 ml
      1/5 Teaspoon         1 ml
      1/2 Teaspoon         2.5 ml
      1 Teaspoon         5 ml
      1 Tablespoon         15 ml ( Australian tablespoon = 20ml)
      1 Tablespoon         3 Teaspoons
      1 Fluid Ounce         2 Tablespoons
      1 Fluid Ounce         30 ml

Cup measurements

      1/2 Cup       118 mls (about 120 mls)
      1/3 Cup       78 ml (about 80 mls)
      1/4 Cup       60 ml
      1/5 cup       50 mls
      1 cup       240 mls
      2 cups (1 pint)       470 mls
      4 cups (1 quart)       .95 liter
      4 quarts (1 gallon)       3.8 liters
      1 oz       28 grams (30 ml)
      1 pound       454 grams
      1 Cup       8 oz
      1 Pint       2 Cups
      1 Quart       2 Pints
      1 Gallon       4 Quarts
      1 Pint (U.S.)       16 oz
      1 Quart (U.S.)       946 mls
      1 Quart (U.S.)       4 Cups
      1 Quart (U.S.)       32 oz
      1 Gallon       128 oz
      1 Gallon (U.S.)       3.79 Liters
      1 Gallon       4 Quarts
      1 Gallon       8 Pints
      1 Liter       1.76 Pints
      1 Liter       35.2 Fluid oz

6 thoughts on “Measurements & Conversions

  1. Cheryl, there is a lot of confusion in the cup measurement here. Tea cup is different than standard cup. Standard cup is 200 ml and tea cup is around 180/150. I read that American cup is 250 ml, even bought one set of measuring cups. I have both standard and american with me. You have given as 240 ml. My head is reeling.

    1. Not to be confused….when it comes to cups it can be conflicting. 1 metric cup is 250 ml. 1 US cup is 240 least the kitchen aid cup set and another set I have measures 240 ml. I stick to that as that’s what I use for all my recipes. For liquid measurement cup is alright, but not for dry measures. It’s best to have a weighing scale for accuracy.

  2. Hi Cheryl, thanks for the measurement info! I am a beginner in baking & I am not comfortable with the cup measurements at all..Can you please explain? I see there is american cup measurement, british cup measurement etc…For instance, I once tried a nigellas recipe. I don’t know what her measurements are but as her recipe said 1& 3/4 cup I used my measuring cup (240 ml) for it… she said that would give 24/36 cupcakes or something but I landed up with some enormous amount of batter, which didn’t taste great too, once baked… likewise I see joyofbaking guys use a totally different measurement but as it is in grams, I don’t find it difficult at all…and also when they say for example – 1 cup of something (flour, butter, cocoa powder, oil), without confusion do we just use the same cup? The measurements being the problem, I am unable to really try newer recipes.. I really wonder if there is no standard to all this..Thanks!

    1. Hi Meena,

      If you’re confused with measuring cups, it’s best to stick weighing the ingredients using a kitchen scale. Weight is the best way to measure ingredients. There is no standard cup measurement for all recipes the world over. Each country or region has their own measuring system. Like 1 tbsp in US is 15 ml, whereas 1 tbsp in Australia is 20 ml. You just need to explore and settle with what suits you. I use US measuring system as I live here. Makes life easy for me.

I truly appreciate your feedback. Drop me a word.

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