How To Measure Flour When Baking
This simple kitchen tip I learned years ago on how to precisely measure flour when baking saved my life! Well, my BAKING life, anyway 🙂 The trick is to SCOOP the flour into the measuring cup with a spoon which means you don’t need a scale…I’ll explain more below. Scooping the flour into the measuring cup takes a few extra minutes of your time, but it’s totally worth it and your baked goods will come out better.
In the past, I have had recipes that worked well for other people that turned out less than perfect for me and a lot of times it was to blame on the wrong amount of flour. After all, part of the science of baking successfully is accurately measuring all of the ingredients! Cooking doesn’t matter AS much, but when baking, it’s vital. Scooping flour from the container or bag directly with the measuring cup will pack the flour into the cup and you’ll end up with too much flour. A cookie or cake made with flour measured this way will be tough and dry and pie crusts crumbly and more dry than they should be.
For example: if you have a recipe with 3 cups of flour, and you scoop by using your measuring up and dipping it straight into the bag or container of flour, you would end end up with 18 oz of flour, when the recipe actually required 12.75 oz of flour. That’s nearly an extra 3/4 cup of flour in your recipe – crazy! That can and will drastically change the results you get from a finished baked good.
Kitchen scales are one of the other best ways to ensure that ingredients are correctly measured and your recipe will work. They are accurate and reliable and they make measuring ingredients pretty fail-proof, but I have to admit that I don’t always take the time to bust mine out. A gram is a gram and a milliliter is a milliliter when weighing ingredients, making international recipes more simplified.
BUT, you don’t need kitchen scale to get accurate measurements! Just follow these simple steps (this is how I do it most of the time!):
1. Use a whisk or a spoon to fluff up and aerate the flour within the container or bag (I store mine in an airtight container). Flour settles as it sits and this step helps a lot.
2. Use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup. Do not shake the measure cup to “settle” the flour as you are filling the measuring cup. Also, do NOT pack it down. Overfill the cup a little.
3. Use a knife or other straight edged utensil to level the flour across the measuring cup. Repeat as needed.
If you prefer to use a scale, here are some weight measurements for different types of flour listed below to help you out:
- all-purpose flour- 1 cup weighs 4 and 1/4 ounces
- cake flour- cup weighs 4 ounces
- bread flour- 1 cup weighs 4 and 1/4 ounces
I hope this helps! Maybe you all knew this already, but it’s something I wish I knew a long, long time ago and wanted to clue someone else in that maybe has never heard this before. Happy baking and flour measuring!
Thanks for the advice 🙂 Going to bookmark this one!! Happy weekend Xx
This a vital information. I guess that is why the best tool is probably the scale. So interesting to know and will now remember your helpful hints. Hey on a side note my kids are asking for something I know you made on your site before. I know something as simple as velvetta cheese might seem like a common item to you but here in Hong Kong that was like finding a diamond in a haystack and the boys want the recipe for the chill dip. Can you send me your link? Thanks
Wonderful tip, Ashley! Keep ’em coming! 🙂
Thanks for this explanation – probably knew from junior high Home Economics but it’s been too many years – thanks for this tip.
I am so guilty of shaking my measuring cup to settle the flour after I dump it from the sack! Thanks Ashley from saving me from getting a kitchen scale!
Useful tip(s)! I usually use the measuring cup to scoop up the flour. I’m going to have to give this method a try.
Thanks for sharing.
Great tip, Ashley! I admit that I’m pretty lazy when it comes to measuring flour… this is a good reminder to be more consistent! 🙂
I love love love this post! It’s seriously one of my pet peeves how people don’t measure flour correctly simply. It’s so important to a recipe and if the recipe writer doesn’t write it up correctly (because they measure incorrectly), I’m left with garbage.
Thank you so much for talking about this!
TRUTH! great job sharing this tip!
Ashley, I love this post! All of peeps do not realize how important it is to measure your flour carefully. I have to always remind myself to spoon the floor in the cup. Sometimes, we think it’s faster and easier to just stick the cup into the bag of flour and call it good. Thank you for these helpful tips. You’re awesome!
This is great info for people to have! I’m usually a scale girl myself, but when I don’t use it it’s scoop and level all the way. 🙂
I learned this many years ago from my 4-H leader! I always measure my flour this way and it does make a difference!!
I usually use a food scale, I am going to try to level it from now on great tips!
I love this post Ashley! You are so correct, scooping flour causes you to have way too much and it really does make a huge difference to the outcome of your baked good. Thanks for some great tips!
This is exactly what my cooking instructor advises — if you’re not going to weigh the flour, scoop it into the measuring cup and level it off with a knife. You have to be so exact in baking, so this is a great post, Ashley!
Great reminder on the importance of correctly measuring flour. I usually spoon it, but every now and then I get lazy and scoop it with the measuring cup and for some reason it’s always so tempting to shake it.
Great post! It’s so easy to get incorrect measurements when measuring by volume. We have a scale, and keep intending to convert all of our recipes using cups, etc. to weight measurement — so much more accurate. One of these days!
Great tip and very important….I had heard this, will pass it on…..I need to remember this too :)Thanks
Thank you for this fantastic post Ashley !
A real life saver for all of us who love baking.