How to Cut Down Recipes

Updated: Jan. 22, 2024

Always having to ask yourself how many tablespoons are in 1/3 cup? We have the answer, and more! Bookmark this page for the easiest way to downsize your favorite recipe.

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!

Download Chart

 Original Amount 
 Half the Amount 
 One-Third the Amount 
1 cup 1/2 cup 1/3 cup
3/4 cup 6 tbsp 1/4 cup
2/3 cup 1/3 cup 3 tbsp+ 1-1/2 tsp
1/2 cup 1/4 cup 2 tbsp + 2 tsp
1/3 cup 2 tbsp + 2 tsp 1 tbsp + 1-1/4 tsp
1/4 cup 2 tbsp 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
1 tbsp 1-1/2 tsp 1 tsp
1 tsp 1/2 tsp 1/4 tsp
1/2 tsp 1/4 tsp 1/8 tsp
1/4 tsp 1/8 tsp Dash

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 weigh baking 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
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