Cup vs Grams

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Hello,

I'm European so I usually use grams. But I find that there is much more resources on internet about baking that are in English, so I mostly look at informations in English. Thus the recipes usually use cups (sometimes give the equivalent in grams as well).

I have a question because I looked on the internet but different websites give different answers. So I wanted to check with the bakers here.

A cup is a measure of volume, not weight. But gram is a measure of weight, so I get confused when the recipes call for a certain amount in cup.

When it says a cup of sugar, I assume it is an entire cup, like 250ml cup filled with sugar, right?
But what about when it calls for a cup of butter?? Should it be 250gr of butter, or does it has an equivalent in gram? Because a cup filled with butter, it's hard to evaluate if it's not melted of course. So how do you people calculate a cup of butter?

Also a cup of flour isn't 250gr I guess, it's just a volume of 250ml. For my first cake I directly scooped with my cup but then my dough was extremely thick. I read on a website that a cup of flour should be spooned, for it not to be too dense. So the next cake's dough was much better. But then I'm a little confused now to how to approach the cup system.

Is there any rules of thumb for different ingredient? I found some charts on internet but different charts give sometimes different results. Some charts are probably very accurate, but I just wanted to ask for your opinion here.

Thank you!
Anthony
 
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Hello,

I'm European so I usually use grams. But I find that there is much more resources on internet about baking that are in English, so I mostly look at informations in English. Thus the recipes usually use cups (sometimes give the equivalent in grams as well).

I have a question because I looked on the internet but different websites give different answers. So I wanted to check with the bakers here.

A cup is a measure of volume, not weight. But gram is a measure of weight, so I get confused when the recipes call for a certain amount in cup.

When it says a cup of sugar, I assume it is an entire cup, like 250ml cup filled with sugar, right?
But what about when it calls for a cup of butter?? Should it be 250gr of butter, or does it has an equivalent in gram? Because a cup filled with butter, it's hard to evaluate if it's not melted of course. So how do you people calculate a cup of butter?

Also a cup of flour isn't 250gr I guess, it's just a volume of 250ml. For my first cake I directly scooped with my cup but then my dough was extremely thick. I read on a website that a cup of flour should be spooned, for it not to be too dense. So the next cake's dough was much better. But then I'm a little confused now to how to approach the cup system.

Is there any rules of thumb for different ingredient? I found some charts on internet but different charts give sometimes different results. Some charts are probably very accurate, but I just wanted to ask for your opinion here.

Thank you!
Anthony

Volume measurement is my biggest pet peeve. I don’t understand why the American home baking industry continues to use it. No one in commercial baking uses it; everyone who writes the cookbooks uses it. None of the culinary schools teaches it. Yet every cookbook and internet recipe persists in using it.

for American volume measurement

Sugar: granulated and brown
1 cup = 200 g

Sugar: confectioners (icing or powdered)
1 cup = 113 g

Butter: note, weigh the butter, then melt
1 cup = 226 g

Wheat flour: there is no standard for conversion; see notes below
1 cup = 120 g (Spoon and Level Method)
1 cup = 145 g (Dip and Sweep Method)


Gluten Flours
1 cup equivalents - this depends on the brand. These weights are based on the most popular of gluten free flours in the US. I made be different in Europe.
Superfine white rice flour
160 grams

Superfine brown rice flour
160 grams

Sorghum flour
136 grams

Sweet Rice flour
200 grams

Tapioca Starch
120 grams

Millet flour
120 grams

Almond Flour
105 grams

Cornstarch
128 grams

Almond Flour
105 grams

Coconut Flour
130 grams

Millet flour
120 grams

Oat flour
120 grams

Quinoa flour
112 grams


Potato Flour
180 grams

Potato starch
190 grams

Teff flour
164 grams

Buckwheat
120 grams

Hazelnut
112 grams











Wheat Flour Notes:

The reason there is a significant difference in the weight is the way they fill the measuring cup. Withe the Spoon and Level Method, flour is spooned into the measuring cup and leveled off. With the Dip and Sweep Method, the measuring cup is dipped into the flour container, then leveled off. This compacts more flour into the cup. Some bakers, like Dorie Greenspan, split the difference and use 1 cup = 136g. And speaking of Dorie Greenspan, she is American, but has a home in France where she spends 4 or 5 months every year. Since so much of her baking is done in France, her recipes should work well with French flour and ingredients. Flours are very different by country. The French mill some of the best flours of course.


Recipes from the following sources generally use 1 cup = 120 grams/4.25 oz. Use the Spoon and Level Method
  • King Arthur Flour
  • Sally's Baking Addiction
  • Handle the Heat
Recipes for the following sources generally use 1 cup = 142 grams/5 0z. Use the Dip and Sweep Method

  • America’s Test Kitchen
  • Cook's Country
  • Chris Kimball - Milk Street
  • Elizabeth Pruitt (Tartine)
  • J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
  • some early Stella Parks on Serious Eats, but later recipes and her cookbook revert to 120g
  • Joy of Baking
  • Serious Eats (EXCEPT where noted and most of the recipes by Stella Parks)
  • Older Betty Crocker recipes (1970's and earlier)
  • Older Fanny Farmer recipes (1970's and earlier)

Recipes for the following sources generally use slightly different equivalents

  • Dorie Greenspan 136 g = 1 cup
  • Smitten Kitchen 126 g - 130 g = 1 cup
  • Melissa Clark (NY Times) 126g = 1 cup
  • Anna Olsen 150 g = 1 Cup
NY Times recipes vary significantly by recipe developer—look carefully at each recipe.











===============================================================================
This is how to measuring cups are used correctly.


Dry measuring cup. Do not use for liquids

67ce6864-8959-48b8-8069-a47645cfd679-jpeg.3584.jpg


Liquid measuring cup. Do not use for dry ingredients

afaab384-b546-46ba-b91d-0718b486a021-jpeg.3585.jpg



Method 1: Spoon and Level Method

Stir flour, Spoon heaping spoonfuls into cup
74de4d74-cb02-418f-865f-03915c8db273-jpeg.3586.jpg



fill cup just beyond rim, VERY lightly tap DO NOT COMPRESS
2e92e972-c7e8-4069-bae5-a349f00d88cf-jpeg.3587.jpg



Level flour to rim of measuring cup
df9a0836-914e-4222-a602-6805f5b85c8b-jpeg.3588.jpg






Method 2: Scoop and Sweep
  • Stir the Flour
  • Scoop and fill the cup with flour
  • Do NOT tap - flour is already compressed by scooping motion!!!
  • Level to rim of measuring cup


When measuring liquids, get eye level to ensure liquid is level with the measuring line on the cup.

c1c857f0-041b-42cf-8a8b-bb31c6436d8b-jpeg.3589.jpg
 
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Wow thank you so much for all your notes!! Really appreciated! I will take note of those and keep them near me when I bake next time.
I'm french but live in Korea so I don't have french flours. Not sure of the quality of Korean ones.
I have one question though, why not measuring liquid with the dry ingredient cup (which I did until now), and vice versa?

Anthony
 
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Wow thank you so much for all your notes!! Really appreciated! I will take note of those and keep them near me when I bake next time.
I'm french but live in Korea so I don't have french flours. Not sure of the quality of Korean ones.
I have one question though, why not measuring liquid with the dry ingredient cup (which I did until now), and vice versa?

Anthony

Volume is the measurement how much space something takes up.

The liquid measuring cup is deep with multiple lines to measure different volumes in one cup. Liquid is fluid and simply by pouring the liquid, it will rise to the height in the cup to mark the volume.

Dry ingredients are not fluid. So to measure the volume, you have to spoon an ingredient in, then shake and tap the cup on the counter to level in the cup. This compacts the ingredients down into the cup, so you end up adding more, shaking and tapping to leveling it. The weight of the ingredients ends up more than it should be per cup.

A dry measuring cup is for a specific measurement: 1, 3/4, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, and 1/8 cup. The rim of the cup is straight so the ingredient can be leveled to the rim. This ensures no excess is in the cup.

This brings me to another important point about measurements.


US units are different from Imperial. These are the US and Imperial conversions



US 1 oz = 29.57mL
UK 1 oz = 28.41mL



US N/A
UK 1 gill = 5 oz = 142.07mL



US 1 cup = 8 oz = 236mL
UK N/A



US 1 pint = 16 oz = 473.18mL
UK 1 pint = 20 oz = 568.28mL



US 1 quart = 32 oz = 946.36mL
UK 1 quart = 40 oz = 1.137L



US 1 gallon = 128 oz = 3.785L
UK 1 gallon = 160 oz = 4.546L





There are also differences in egg sizes. So if using a recipe from a European source, calculate egg weight based the standard used for Europe; American and Canadian on their egg size.



Average America large egg shell weighs 8 grams. I note the weight of the shell because knowing the average weight of the shell will help you in reducing waste if you bake by weight.



For American large eggs

A 58g -59 g egg in shell will yield 50g of raw egg

A 61g - 62g egg in the shell will yield 53g of raw egg



The yolk weighs about 38% of the large raw egg



Eggs must meet a MINIMUM size to be included in a grade side. So any egg in the US between 56.7g - 63.7g is graded as a large egg.

United States
SizeMinimum mass per egg
Jumbo70.9 g2.5 oz
Extra-Large (XL)63.8 g2.25 oz.
Large (L)56.7 g2 oz.
Medium (M)49.6 g1.75 oz.
Small (S)42.5 g1.5 oz.
Peewee35.4 g1.25 oz.
Canada
SizeMinimum mass per egg
Jumbo70 g
Extra Large63 g
Large56 g
Medium49 g
Europe
SizeMinimum mass per egg
Extra large (XL)73 g
Large (L)63 g
Medium (M)53 g
Small (S)Less than 53 g
 
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About butter specifically, butter in the US is sold in individually wrapped sticks.

1 stick butter = 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) = 4 oz = 113 g

The sticks have lines marking 1 tbsp, 2 tbsp, etc. (not in the US so don't know exactly how the sticks are marked), so when recipes call for say "3 tbsp butter", people just cut the stick along the 3 tbsp mark.

In Canada, butter is usually sold in 1 lb (454 g) blocks. Stores do also sell packages that contain 4 individually wrapped sticks of 4 oz each instead of a single block, but those are a bit more expensive. Since I bake by metric anyway having it come in pre-portioned 4 oz sticks doesn't matter at all to me.
 
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About butter specifically, butter in the US is sold in individually wrapped sticks.

1 stick butter = 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) = 4 oz = 113 g

The sticks have lines marking 1 tbsp, 2 tbsp, etc. (not in the US so don't know exactly how the sticks are marked), so when recipes call for say "3 tbsp butter", people just cut the stick along the 3 tbsp mark.

In Canada, butter is usually sold in 1 lb (454 g) blocks. Stores do also sell packages that contain 4 individually wrapped sticks of 4 oz each instead of a single block, but those are a bit more expensive. Since I bake by metric anyway having it come in pre-portioned 4 oz sticks doesn't matter at all to me.

Packaging of retail butter depends on the brand and type of butter

Most of the 80% butterfat butter in the US is packaged in of four 113.4 g sticks.

The Irish Kerrygold brand butter comes in 113.4g sticks, but only two in a pack.

The 83% butterfat butter I buy is sold in two differ size blocks: 454g and 227g. Since I use a 454g block in a batch of buttercream and 227g in various batches of cookies and pie dough, I stock both.

The cultured French styled butter used to be sold in 227g logs. But the creamery sold out to a large corporation. They’ve since ruin the product by dropping the butterfat way down to 82% and repacked the butter into two 113g sticks.

The imported French butters are all in rolls or blocks and 250g. And the French butters are far superior to all other butters in flavor. The cream is cultured so the butter actually has flavor. I think it was a Dorie Greenspan was once told by a French pastry chef that he would not give her his recipe for sables because American butter was tasteless, so it would be a waste of time for anyone to bake it America.

Amish butter is usually sold in 2lb rolls.


Plugra is in blocks
Kerrygold (Irish) & LandOLakes sticks

34FC10B8-E662-43A4-81D6-7C558B37E8E5.jpeg


Kerrygold (top)
LandOLakes (bottom)
0383CD77-320B-441F-8C57-05745CC76058.jpeg
 
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Thank for all those infos, and I agree about the butter. I try to buy french butter here, I had bad experiences with other butters (there probably is good non-french butter, but at least when I tried it didn't go well lol, so I stick with what I know I like).

Many french butters also have the marks but in gram, not in tbsp.

Also I will check about the eggs. I was wondering about it actually because I found Korean eggs quiet small, but maybe it's just me. I'll weight one and see! Thanks.

Anthony
 
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Hi Abthory. I think volumes are confusing too. Take refined sugar: granulated, caster/superfine, icing/powdered. It's the same stuff but varies considerably in weight to volume, meaning the taste of sweetness will vary considerably.

In fact weighing water is a good idea too. You can get far more precision than measuring by volume. After all weights are defined by water. 1 litre of water defines 1 kilogram and consequently 1g is 1sq cm.
 
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Packaging of retail butter depends on the brand and type of butter

Most of the 80% butterfat butter in the US is packaged in of four 113.4 g sticks.

The Irish Kerrygold brand butter comes in 113.4g sticks, but only two in a pack.

The 83% butterfat butter I buy is sold in two differ size blocks: 454g and 227g. Since I use a 454g block in a batch of buttercream and 227g in various batches of cookies and pie dough, I stock both.

The cultured French styled butter used to be sold in 227g logs. But the creamery sold out to a large corporation. They’ve since ruin the product by dropping the butterfat way down to 82% and repacked the butter into two 113g sticks.

The imported French butters are all in rolls or blocks and 250g. And the French butters are far superior to all other butters in flavor. The cream is cultured so the butter actually has flavor. I think it was a Dorie Greenspan was once told by a French pastry chef that he would not give her his recipe for sables because American butter was tasteless, so it would be a waste of time for anyone to bake it America.

Amish butter is usually sold in 2lb rolls.


Plugra is in blocks
Kerrygold (Irish) & LandOLakes sticks

View attachment 3687

Kerrygold (top)
LandOLakes (bottom)
View attachment 3688
Oo. That image is good
 
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I’m French so I hear you. If you know what you are making then you should know the consistency and taste of your batter. Recipes are only a hint of what you can make.
 
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Hello,

I'm European so I usually use grams. But I find that there is much more resources on internet about baking that are in English, so I mostly look at informations in English. Thus the recipes usually use cups (sometimes give the equivalent in grams as well).

I have a question because I looked on the internet but different websites give different answers. So I wanted to check with the bakers here.

A cup is a measure of volume, not weight. But gram is a measure of weight, so I get confused when the recipes call for a certain amount in cup.

When it says a cup of sugar, I assume it is an entire cup, like 250ml cup filled with sugar, right?
But what about when it calls for a cup of butter?? Should it be 250gr of butter, or does it has an equivalent in gram? Because a cup filled with butter, it's hard to evaluate if it's not melted of course. So how do you people calculate a cup of butter?

Also a cup of flour isn't 250gr I guess, it's just a volume of 250ml. For my first cake I directly scooped with my cup but then my dough was extremely thick. I read on a website that a cup of flour should be spooned, for it not to be too dense. So the next cake's dough was much better. But then I'm a little confused now to how to approach the cup system.

Is there any rules of thumb for different ingredient? I found some charts on internet but different charts give sometimes different results. Some charts are probably very accurate, but I just wanted to ask for your opinion here.

Thank you!
Anthony
Better minds than mine have provided volume/weight equivalents (all over the internet) weight is easier to measure by when dealing with things like butter and shortening, fresh yeast, and flour. Things like liquids, sugar, salt, etc are easiest to measure with volume. As I said in another post, I often need to add flour (a little) when I use weight for flour.
 

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