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.

How to accurately measure flour when baking

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.

How to accurately measure flour when baking


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!