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How to Measure Ingredients

How to Measure Ingredients

Updated November 27, 2018.

How to measure ingredients accurately is one of the most important skills to know when cooking gluten-free recipes in order to achieve outstanding food product results.

Follow the instructions by ingredients type and you will have many wonderful cooking successes!

Measuring Equipment

Stocking your kitchen with the right equipment makes all the difference when it comes to learning how to measure ingredients.

This means using standard measuring cups and spoons for everything, and then using a straight-edged knife for leveling off to get exact measure.

Dry Measuring Cups

Dry measuring cups have no rim and the measuring line is even with the top of the cup.


Most dry measuring cups can be purchased in sets known as, graduated measuring cups and include cups measuring volumes in imperial measurements of 1/8, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 and 1 cup, or metric measurements of 30 mL, 60 mL, 80 mL, 125 mL, 250 mL.

Use a dry measuring cup for dry ingredients and solid fats, such as non-hydrogenated shortening, lard or cold butter.

Measure and level off dry ingredients over a paper towel or parchment paper square to catch any excess.


Use the parchment square to funnel the excess back into the ingredient container.

This prevents waste of ingredient product and preserves precious food dollars.

Liquid Measuring Cups

Liquid measuring cups have a rim above the indicated measuring line and often have a spout to make pouring liquid ingredients easy and drip-free.


To measure liquids, set the liquid measuring cup on a level surface, such as a counter top or table.

Pour the liquid ingredient into the measuring cup to the desired gradient line.

Check the accuracy of measure at eye level and adjust as needed.

Measuring Spoons

Like dry measuring cups, measuring spoons usually are purchased as a set of graduated measuring spoons in imperial measurements of 1/4, 1/2, 1 teaspoons and 1/2, 1 tablespoons, or metric measurements of 1.25 mL, 2.5 mL, 5 mL, 7.5 mL, 15 mL.


These are used for ingredients called for in recipes measuring less than 1/4 cup liquid or dry measures.

Straight-edged Knife

Use a straight-edged knife to level off dry ingredients over a paper towel or parchment square.


How to Measure Ingredients--Flour

For some recipes, such as cakes and breads, it is important to aerate the flour by sifting it through a large sifter into a mixing bowl, or over a paper towel or parchment paper square before measuring.


With a light touch, spoon the sifted ingredient into a dry measuring cup until it is heaping.

DO NOT tamp down ingredient or shake the measuring cup to compact the ingredient.

Level off with a straight-edged knife.

How to Measure Ingredients--Sugars

Dry Sugars

When dry sugars sit on the pantry shelf for a while, lumps can form.

Sift lumpy granulated white sugar using the same technique as sifting, measuring and leveling off flour.

If brown sugar is lumpy, as it often is, place a sufficient amount inside a plastic bag and run a rolling pin over it until the lumps are crushed.


To measure brown sugar, pack it into a dry measuring cup just until it holds it shape, and then level off with a straight-edged knife.

For best results, always sift and measure powdered (confectioner's) sugar, using the same method as for flour.

Liquid Sugars

To measure liquid sugars, such as molasses, honey or syrups, fill a dry measuring up until top rounds up, and then level with a straight-edged knife.


Use a rubber spatula to cleanly scrape out liquid sugar.

How to Measure Ingredients--Fats

Use dry measuring cups, or an adjustable measuring cup, to measure room temperature non-hydrogenated shortening and softened butter.


Firmly pack the fat into the measuring cup in such a way as to avoid bubbles.

Heap the measuring cup full, and then level off with a straight-edged knife.

Use a rubber spatula to cleanly scrape out fat.

Chilled, hardened fats, such as butter or lard, may be sliced to measure using a knife.


1 pound = 2 cups = 500 ml

1/2 pound = 1 cup = 250 ml

1/4 pound = 1/2 cup = 125 ml

1/8 pound = 1/4 cup = 60 ml

1/16 pound = 2 tablespoons = 30 ml

How to Measure Ingredients--Eggs

Eggs are considered liquid ingredients and should be measured in a liquid measuring cup.

As egg sizes vary, so do their measure.

The recipes on this website, like most recipes in the United States, are based on the measure of large eggs, unless otherwise noted.

1 large egg = 1/4 cup = 60 ml

2 medium eggs = 1/3 cup = 80 ml

2 large eggs = 1/2 cup = 125 ml

3 medium eggs = 1/2 cup = 125 ml

3 large eggs = 2/3 cup = 160 ml

How to Measure Coarse Ingredients

Lightly pack soft bread crumbs, dried fruits, such as raisins, chopped dates, apricots and figs, etc., nuts, coconut and shredded cheeses into a dry measuring cup.

Gently press down to level off.

For fine dry crumbs, such as dry bread crumbs and cracker crumbs, with a light touch, spoon the ingredient into a dry measuring cup until it is heaping.  

DO NOT tamp down ingredient or shake the measuring cup to compact the ingredient.

Level off with a straight-edged knife.

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