Easily convert between grams, cups, ounces and millilitres for many popular baking ingredients with this interactive calculator.
Isn’t it annoying when you find a recipe in cups, and you only have scales or vice versa?
Well, I now have the solution… my Interactive Grams to Cups Calculator.
I’ve called it “grams to cups” as that’s the conversion I get asked for most often, but actually, it can convert between grams, cups, ounces or millilitres for many common baking ingredients. So you can go from grams to cups, or cups to grams, from cups to millilitres or grams to ounces to your heart’s content.
Simply select your ingredient, what you’d like to convert from and to and enter the amount, and it’ll tell you exactly what you need.
The ingredients currently included in the calculator are:
- Sugars & Sweeteners – Caster Sugar, Granulated Sugar, Icing/Powdered Sugar, Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, Runny Honey, Golden Syrup and Black Treacle
- Flours – Self-Raising Flour, Plain Flour, Spelt Flour, Wholemeal Flour and Cornflour
- Fats & Oils – Butter, Margarine and Vegetable Oil
- Nuts & Seeds – Ground Almonds, Chia Seeds and Linseeds/Flax Seeds
- Milk & Cream – Milk, Single Cream, Double Cream, Buttermilk
- Other Ingredients – Cocoa Powder, Chocolate Chips, Mini Marshmallows, Popping Corn, Raisins, Cream Cheese, Desiccated Coconut, Pudding Rice, Nutella, Custard and Skimmed Milk Powder
How to fill a cup for baking
I asked my followers on social media about how they fill cups. The majority scoop ingredients such as flour or sugar out of the bag and then level the top, so that's the approach I've taken when measuring similar ingredients for my calculator. I also like to give the bag a little squeeze beforehand to break up any lumps.
Many conversion charts give 1 cup of flour as 120g. However, I've found the only way I can get it that low is to sift the flour and then use a spoon to fill the cup with the sifted flour. I don't know about you, but I prefer to sift flour after it's been measured, not before. So in my conversions, you'll find a cup of flour weighs more as it reflects how I fill a cup.
For ingredients in smaller packets, I pour them into the cup straight from the bag and level the top.
For soft ingredients such as butter or cream cheese, I push them into the cup with the back of a spoon to ensure any gaps are filled and then level the top.
Are you best using scales or cups?
In baking accuracy is important, so for my baking recipes I recommend always using grams if you can. If you don't have scales, then I would thoroughly recommend both of these. I've owned (and loved) them both.
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When I was working out all of the conversions for this calculator, I found that how I filled a cup could significantly impact the amount of an ingredient I could fit in.
In the image below both cups appear to be full of flour. However, the one on the right weighs over 40% more than the one on the left, as I packed the flour in as tightly as possible.
The official size of a US cup is 236.588ml, but most cups available to buy in the shops assume it to be 240ml for simplicity (this is what I've assumed in my calculator). However, there are some cup manufacturers sell cups that are 250ml (but keep a ½ cup at 120ml!).
This isn't a huge problem as long as you know which you own. A bigger problem is that not all cups sold are hugely accurate.
I own two sets of measuring cups, and neither holds the amount they're supposed to. In one set my ¼ cup holds 65ml (it should be 60ml), yet the full cup only holds 225ml when it should be 240ml (don't worry I've adjusted everything here to ensure it's accurate for a correctly-sized cup).
If you've got a recipe such as scones or shortcrust pastry that need cold butter straight from the fridge, how do you get it into the cup to measure it?
Imagine measuring walnuts. If you put them into a cup whole, you're going to fit in a lot less than if you finely chop them before adding them to the cup.
There are also some ingredients such as Nutella or Black Treacle that are tricky to remove from the cup after filling. It's unlikely that you'll get everything out that you put in so you may well end up adding less to your mixture than the recipe calls for.
Many sets of scales have a tare button which allows you to rest the scales to 0 so you can keep measuring more ingredients into one bowl. The is great as it means you can pour in everything you need for your mixture without getting lots of extra measuring utensils dirty.
Imagine you've got a recipe that calls for a cup of butter, flour, maple syrup and Nutella (not too sure what you'd be making!). To get an accurate measurement, you'll need to either own lots of cups or wash the cup up between each ingredient before you can measure the next one.
How much does a stick of butter weigh?
I've seen many recipes from the US calling for a stick of butter, but just how much butter do you actually get in a stick?
A stick of butter = 113g = 4oz = ½ cup
What is a scant cup?
A scant cup is just under a cup. As measurements go it's a bit vague! Similarly, the amount you can fit into a heaped cup can vary significantly depending on the shape of the cup. I therefore don't use either of these descriptions in my recipes (it's a flat cup, tablespoon or teaspoon for me).
How are measurements rounded in the calculator
To keep the conversions to amounts that can be easily measured in the kitchen I've rounded...
- Grams to the nearest gram
- Millilitres to the nearest millilitre
- Ounces to the nearest ¼ ounce
- Cups to the nearest
- ¼ teaspoon (for under 1 teaspoon)
- Teaspoon for under ¼ cup
- Tablespoon for over ¼ cup