How to Measure Correctly when Baking

Baking is considered a science because it involves chemical reactions between ingredients. When you measure for baking, you must have the perfect balance between flours, leaveners, liquid ingredients and fats in order to get the results you want. Therefore, it is imperative that your baking measurements are accurate, according to the recipe's instructions. Getting perfect measurements while you are baking requires an understanding of measuring tools and methods, as well as the different types of ingredients and what a particular recipe is calling for. Follow these guidelines for how to measure properly when baking.


  1. Image titled Measure Correctly when Baking Step 1
    Learn about the different types of tools used in measuring for baking.
    • Measuring spoons. These come in a range of sizes, from 1/4 tsp. (1.25 ml) up to 1 tbsp. (15 ml).
    • Measuring glasses. These clear glass containers are marked on the side in increments ranging from 1/4 cup (60 ml) up to 2 cups (480 ml), 3 cups (720 ml) or 4 cups (960 ml). Measuring glasses come with a handle and a pour spout.
    • Graded measuring cups. These measuring cups come in sets of 4 to 6 cups, each cup representing 1 measuring amount, from 1/4 cup (60 ml) to 1 cup (240 ml).
  2. Image titled Measure Correctly when Baking Step 2
    Measure dry ingredients following these guidelines:
    • Use graded measuring cups for the most accurate baking measurements.
    • Spoon ingredients into measuring cups lightly. If the recipe calls for a leveled-off measurement, use a knife to level the ingredient off at the rim of the measuring cup. If the recipe calls for a heaping measurement, do not level the ingredient off; instead, leave a small heap atop the measuring cup.
    • If the recipe calls for a packed measurement, use a spoon to push the ingredient into the measuring cup either loosely or firmly (according to the directions). A packed ingredient will retain at least some of the shape of its measuring cup after it is dumped into the mixing bowl.
    • If you are using a measuring spoon for dry ingredients, scoop the dry ingredient with the appropriately sized spoon. Leave it as-is if a heaping spoonful is called for, but use a knife to level it off if a level spoonful is called for.
  3. Image titled Measure Correctly when Baking Step 3
    Measure liquid ingredients in a measuring glass. Rest the container on a flat surface and view the liquid at eye level to determine that you have accurately filled the container to the correct amount. If your baking measurements require a measuring spoon, simply pour the liquid into the appropriate spoon until it is full.
  4. Image titled Measure Correctly when Baking Step 4
    Measure fats and other solids in graded measuring cups. Spoon these ingredients into measuring cups, then pack them firmly with a spoon or a rubber spatula to get out any air bubbles.


  • Line your measuring cup with plastic wrap before measuring fats and other solids in order to avoid a sticky cleanup.
  • Refer to a measurement equivalent chart if your ingredient is labeled with a different measurement type than what the recipe calls for. For example, chocolate squares often come in grams, but your recipe may call for ounces. A conversion chart will help you determine the correct measurement.
  • When measuring sticky substances like honey or syrup, spray the glass measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray first to aid in a clean pour.


  • Avoid pouring ingredients into measuring spoons or cups over the mixing bowl, as any excess that lands in the bowl will throw off your measurement.

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Categories: Baking