Not every dinner or batch of cookies needs to serve a small army. Learn how to cut down recipes so you can make portion sizes that suit your needs.
How to Divide Measurements at a Glance
Use this handy chart when you’re cutting down a recipe. Need more recipes for two? We’ve got ’em!
Half the Amount
One-Third the Amount
||3 tbsp+ 1-1/2 tsp
||2 tbsp + 2 tsp
||2 tbsp + 2 tsp
||1 tbsp + 1-1/4 tsp
||1 tbsp + 1 tsp
How to Convert Measurements to Tablespoons and Teaspoons
Here’s a listing of how many tablespoons and teaspoons are in larger measuring cup amounts. By the way, here’s how to measure without measuring cups.
- 1 cup = 16 tbsp
- Half of 1 cup = 8 tbsp
- 3/4 cup = 12 tbsp
- Half of 3/4 cup = 6 tbsp
- 1/2 cup = 8 tbsp
- Half of 1/2 cup = 4 tbsp
- 1/3 cup = 5 tbsp + 1 tsp
- Half of 1/3 cup = 2 tbsp + 2 tsp
- 1/4 cup = 4 tbsp
- Half of 1/4 cup = 2 tbsp
- 1/8 cup = 2 tbsp
- Half of 1/8 cup = 1 tbsp
- 1/2 tbsp = 1-1/2 tsp
Learn how to measure ingredients like a pro.
How to Cut Down Weighted Ingredients
This is when cooking by weight instead of measure is incredibly handy. Cutting down (or doubling) recipes is as simple as a little division or subtraction.
To cut down any recipe, just divide the weights called for in the original recipe. Want to make a half batch? Divide the measures by two. A third batch? Divide by three. A quarter batch? Well, divide the amounts by four.
How to Halve an Egg
Cutting down recipes can be pretty easy when you’re just dealing with cups and ounces. Things get tricky, though, when the original recipe calls for just one egg. In this case, ask yourself if you really need to half the recipe, because cutting down on an egg can be tricky.
If you really do need to trim down the recipe, crack your egg into a small dish and whisk. Then you can add half of that mix by eye.
If you want to be really exact, bring out your kitchen scale. Start by weighing the bowl, hitting tare, then crack in the egg. Then you can divide that weight in half for precision baking.
No Need to Cut Down These Small Batch Cookies
When my mother (who's now a great-grandmother) gave me this no-flour , gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe about 15 years ago, I was skeptical, because it calls for only three ingredients (and no flour?!). But since then I've never had a failure. For these gluten-free peanut butter cookies—3 ingredients are all you need! —Maggie Schimmel, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
This recipe has been in my files for a long time...probably from when I first learned to bake. Any chocolate lover will like these melt-in-your-mouth cookies. I make them year-round with variations. They're even richer with a thin coat of icing or as a sandwich cookie with frosting in the middle. —Sarah Bueckert, Austin, Manitoba
These cookies are the next best thing to a good old-fashioned malted milk. With malted milk powder, chocolate syrup, and chocolate chips and chunks, these are the best cookies I've ever tasted … and with six kids, I've made a lot of cookies over the years! —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
This peanut butter cookie in a mug is perfect for when you have a sweet tooth but don't want to make an entire batch of cookies. So quick and easy! —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
These rich, fudgy cookies are chewy and studded with tangy dried cherries. It’s a good thing the recipe makes only a small batch, because we eat them all in one night! —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
Cookie butter and ground ginger add a new layer of flavor. The recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies, and they go fast. You may want to make a double batch. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
These coconut macaroon cookies earned me a first-place ribbon at the county fair. They remain my husband's favorites—whenever I make them to give away, he always asks me where his batch is! I especially like the fact that this recipe makes a small enough batch for the two of us to nibble on. —Penny Ann Habeck, Shawano, Wisconsin
Bake up the ultimate shareable cookie. For variety, swap the chocolate chips for an equal quantity of M&M's or chocolate chunks. Or go super fancy by mixing the chocolate chips and pecans into the dough, then gently folding in fresh raspberries. —James Schend
, Dairy Freed
These easy cookies use only five ingredients and taste very similar to a store-bought cookie. Of course, everything's better from your own kitchen! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
Take these deeply fudgy cookies to a party, and you're sure to make a friend. A little espresso powder in the dough makes them over-the-top good. —Rebecca Cababa, Las Vegas, Nevada
Get ready to pour yourself a cup of tea, because you won’t be able to resist sampling one of these cookies. Almonds add taste and texture to the simple strips that are dressed up with raspberry pie filling. —Taste of Home
My aunt gave me this recipe, and my family thinks these cookies are delicious. We enjoy all kinds of cookies and with this recipe, we can combine three of our favorites—oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chip—in one! —Jaymie Noble, Kalamazoo, Michigan
"Who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies?" inquires field editor Diane Hixon, who credits cocoa in the batter for the double dose of chocolate in her treats. These disappear fast from the cookie jar in her Niceville, Florida home!
Large, soft and chewy, these cookies are made to munch. This classic recipe has a warm blend of spices that seems stronger the second day. Your family will definitely ask you to make them again!, soft and chewy, these are a great snack. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
This is a springtime variation on my grandma's banana drop cookies and, with tons of coconut flavor, it's perfect for Easter. —Elyse Benner, Solon, Ohio
Here's a different version of a traditional recipe. I love these soft peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. — Clarice Schweitzer, Sun City, Arizona
I created these soft, sparkly cookies because my sister loves cinnamon French toast covered in maple syrup. In the case of these cookies, bigger is definitely better! I like to use white whole wheat flour, but any whole wheat flour will work.—Mary Shenk, Dekalb, Illinois
This perfect macaroon has dark chocolate, chewy coconut and macadamia nuts and is dipped in chocolate—sinful and delicious! —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
My husband, Bob, and I have a small sugaring operation with Bob's father. I love to put some of our syrup to use in these golden cookies. —Reba Legrand, Jericho, Vermont
These big country cookies are made to travel—in fact, I came up with this recipe while trying to match a commercial cookie that was good, but too crumbly to carry. —Jamie Hirsch, Powell, Wyoming
I heard this cookie recipe over the radio about 1950—shortly after my husband and I married. The big spicy treats are so nice and chewy, they remain my favorite to this day. —Sandy Pyeatt, Tacoma, Washington