How to Measure Flour (Yes, There’s a Right Way)

Baking is a science! Too much or too little flour can totally alter a recipe. Our Test Kitchen shows you how to measure flour so you'll get your best-ever bakes.


 

All good bakers know their craft is just as much science as it is art. And any good science experiment requires precision for the best results. With baking, that means getting the right times, temperatures and—perhaps most importantly—measurements. Getting accurate measurements can be tricky, though, especially with finer ingredients such as flour.

To illustrate how easy it is to make a measuring mistake, we devised an impromptu test. Our Test Kitchen pros asked other Taste of Home staffers to measure a cup of flour as they would at home, and the results were staggering. Some measured cups of flour as light as 3 ounces and some as heavy as 5-1/2 ounces. In short, a far cry from the correct weight of a cup of flour: 4-1/4 ounces. That extra ounce or two can turn your favorite chocolate chip cookies into hockey pucks. Yikes!

To make sure you don’t run into problems the next time you’re craving a cookie, our Test Kitchen prepared a short refresher on how to measure flour just right—so you get perfect cookies (and cakes and brownies) every time.

Person using a knife to even off the top of a measuring cup filled with flourPhoto: Taste of Home
Photo: Taste of Home

How to Measure by Volume

For most home bakers, measuring by volume with a measuring cup is standard practice. But there are some secrets to getting a more accurate measurement with this basic tool. As a rule, flour should not be compacted when being measured—you’ll end up with far too much of the ingredient. To avoid overmeasuring, loosen the flour by giving it a good stir with a spoon or whisk. Next, spoon the flour into a measuring cup until heaping (piled beyond the rim of the measuring cup) and then level with the flat side of a knife. This should give you about 125 grams (4-1/4 ounces) of flour—a standard cup.

Person using a spoon to scoop flour into a small bowl on a scalePhoto: Taste of Home
Photo: Taste of Home

How to Measure by Weight

For the most precise measurement, our Test Kitchen recommends using a kitchen scale. To measure flour (or any ingredient), place a bowl on the scale, zero the tare and then add your flour. You can use the table below for exact weights and measures for the most common types of flours.

Convert Cups to Grams

FLOURS1/4 Cup1/3 Cup1/2 Cup2/3 Cup3/4 Cup1 Cup
All-Purpose3045608595125
Cake35457090100140
Self-Rising3045608595125
Whole Wheat3040608090120
All weights are in grams.

With these tips, your baking will be better than ever. Check out 35 cookie recipes you need to add to your collection for some inspiration!

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.
Sue Stetzel
Sue has been part of the Taste of Home family for over 16 years. Her collection of magazines dates back to the premier issue in 1993. When she isn’t writing, she’s answer your burning cooking questions and working with our team of Volunteer Field Editors.