How To Properly Measure Your Ingredients

How To Properly Measure Your Ingredients
Every baker has a set of measuring cups and spoons in their kitchen drawer. After all, as bakers we are constantly seeking that perfect bake; and a key component to this goal is the accurate measurement of the recipe's ingredients. However, these common kitchen tools may not provide the most precise measurements. For best results, I recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients. If your recipe does not contain the ingredients in grams or ounces, use a conversion chart to change a recipe from cups and teaspoons to grams or ounces. I often note the proper conversion directly on the recipe so that I don't have to refer to a conversion chart on a future bake.

If a kitchen scale is not yet in your cooking arsenal, below are some tips and techniques on how to properly use measuring cups and spoons.

Dry Ingredients:

Dry ingredients like flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and baking powder can yield significantly different weights depending on how they are filled into a measuring cup or spoon. If you compress or pack the dry ingredients into a measuring cup or spoon, the weight can vary by up to 50%. This swing in the actual amount of dry ingredients used in your recipe will ultimately affect the taste and texture of your baked goods.


Scooping flour directly into a measuring cup will cause the flour to compress. Instead, use a spoon to fill the measuring cup with flour and a small offset spatula (or other flat edge) to level off any excess flour. Flour should be sifted before measuring. Sifting flour not only contributes to a more light and fluffy end product, it also breaks up any lumps in the flour, which assists in a more accurate measurement.

Powdered Sugar:

The same method for measuring that is described above for flour applies to powdered sugar. Always scoop powdered sugar into your measuring cup to avoid packing or compressing the sugar. Sifting will remove any lumps in your powdered sugar, which will result in a more accurate measurement.

Brown Sugar:

Brown sugar is the one ingredient that you want to pack into your measuring cup. Be sure to firmly press the brown sugar into the measuring cup before using an offset spatula to level off. Most recipes will describe this technique by calling for "firmly packed" brown sugar.

Other Ingredients:

Granulated Sugar:

Granulated sugar's density means that it is not as finicky to accurately measure as flour. Simply scoop it into the measuring cup and level off any excess.


Liquids, such as milk, oil, or water, should be measured at eye level (meaning the top of the respective liquid is level with the measurement required).


Semi-liquids include Ingredients such as sour cream, jams or nut butters. These ingredients are neither fully sold or fully liquid. Spoon semi-liquids directly into a measuring cup and leveled off any excess. The best tool to transfer semi-liquids to your mixing bowl is a rubber spatula.

The accurate measuring of your ingredients is a basic but necessary skill. Once you have mastered the technique based on the type of your ingredient, you will notice an improvement in the quality, taste and texture of your sweet treats as well as the consistency of your baking experiences. Never forget that baking is as much a science as it is an art!


Crumble Crate is the culmination of years of experimenting with cooking and baking in my home kitchen. Since I was a small child, I found a simple pleasure in creating fresh delicious treats and sharing them with my family and friends. As life became more complicated, the basic task of baking in my kitchen became an even more critical and comforting sanctuary.

I want to share this joy of baking with you so that you too can experience the bliss you feel when you create and share fresh baked goodies with your loved ones. My goal is for us to explore baking together and take the stress out of the process so that you can decompress and learn to find refuge in your kitchen. I can’t wait to begin this baking journey with each of you!