Have you ever wondered what is the best way to measure the various ingredients you use to bake?
Wonder no more! Here’s how to measure dry ingredients, liquids, sugars, eggs, fruit, cheese and more of the ingredients you use in baking or cooking. While there’s almost always room for creativity, let that be your choice — not a mistake!
by Mary Ann and Kimberly Lainson
How to measure baking ingredients
Stir, then fill the measuring spoon or graduated measuring cup and level off with a straight-edged knife.
Use graduated measuring cup. Have shortening at room temperature. Pack shortening firmly into measuring cup. Level off with a straight-edged knife.
For approximate measure:
4 sticks (1 lb.) = 2 cups
1 stick (1/4 lb.) = 1/2 cup
1/2 stick (1/8 lb.) = 1/4 cup
2 medium = 1/3 cup
2 large = 1/2 cup
3 medium = 1/2 cup
3 large = 2/3 cup
Start with a liquid measuring cup. Pour liquid into cup on the table, then bend down to have the measuring line at eye level. (You do not want to hold the measuring cup because you hand might not be level and you can get the wrong measurement.) The liquid should line up right at the mark for the desired amount. Tip: A glass measuring cup allows you extra room at the top to prevent spillage.
Sift flour through large open sifter (to aerate it) onto a square of wax paper or into a bowl before measuring. Spoon the sifted flour into your graduated measuring cup and level off the cup with a straight-edged knife. Don’t shake the cup — a tip that’s very important to ensuring accuracy for your recipe.
Needs sifting only if lumpy. Spoon lightly into graduated measuring cup. Level off with a straight-edged knife. Do not knock or tap cup.
If it’s lumpy, press through a course sieve; or heat in slow oven; or crush lumps with rolling pin. Pack into graduated measuring cup until sugar holds its shape. Level off with a straight-edged knife.
Sift through flour sifter or press through sieve to remove lumps. Spoon lightly into graduated measuring cup. Level off with straight-edged knife.
Molasses or syrup
Fill cup. It rounds up, so level off. Scrape out with rubber spatula. (Some people suggest coat the measuring spoon with a fine layer or oil before measuring thick, sticky ingredients like honey, molasses or corn syrup. The desired ingredient will slide off the spoon more easily, and cleanup will be simpler.)
Pack raisins, dates, figs, etc., lightly into measuring cup. Press gently to level off top.
Nuts and coconut
Pack shredded coconut or shelled nuts lightly into measuring cup until level with top.
Soft bread crumbs
Pack lightly into measuring cup. Press gently until level with top.
Fine, dry bread crumbs
Spoon lightly into measuring cup. Level off. Don’t shake cup.
Shredded or grated cheese
Pack lightly into measuring cup until level with top.