Ever try a fabulous recipe and it just doesn’t turn out as promised? Maybe it was the measuring! Some recipes are forgiving if you’re a little off, some not so much. Here’s how to accurately measure baking ingredients to be sure.
Solids–Shortening, Butter, Lard: Some solids such as butter (and margarine) come in pre-measured sticks. (You can often find shortening or lard sold that way, too, though sometimes it costs a bit more….) Measure solids by pressing them into a cup or spoon and scraping across the top with the straight edge of a knife or spatula to level.
Flours: Flour today doesn’t need to be sifted (except for cake flour). Spoon or scoop flour into a cup until it overflows then level off with a straight edge. Don’t tap the cup or try to pack it.
Liquids: Measure liquids in cups or spoons. You have to use your eyeballs to level, so glass or see-through plastic is best when measuring liquids in cups.
Sugars and Spices: Sugars and spices should be measured in cups or spoons. Level off with a straight edge. Brown sugar should be pressed (packed) into the cup before leveling off unless the recipe specifies otherwise. Powdered sugar should be sifted before measuring.
Or, measure everything like your grandma and just pour it into your hand!
P.S. There will be a pop quiz later. (I’m just kidding. MAYBE.)
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The older I get the more I become the ‘in the palm of the hand’ measurer!
I do measure exactly for cakes though.
On December 15, 2010 at 5:31 am
Yes, measuring works best for me…a lot of my Grammy’s recipes say “flour to thicken” or “piece of butter the size of a walnut” or “pinch of salt”.
On December 15, 2010 at 9:32 am
My mother in law thought 1 stick of butter equaled 1 cup. She was so surprised when I corrected her. She had been using that measure all of her life. I guess she didn’t read the packaging on the stick. Her baking was a little dry to say the least.
On December 15, 2010 at 9:51 am
Kathi N says:
My grandma taught me how to make bread, and used her hands and fingers for measuring. Our hands were about the same size, so I could always make good bread. My sister (taller by a bit and a little bigger hands) could never get it quite right.
Thanks for this fun post.
Darlene, that cracks me up about 1 stick = 1 cup. Yikes!
On December 15, 2010 at 10:44 am