How To Measure Ingredients Without A Measuring Cup

Here's what you can do!

IMAGE Pexels

Everyone knows that baking is a science. Each ingredient is measured because every component has a role to play in the eventual baking of that dish. Measuring ingredients is particularly important because it can mean the success (or failure!) of that meticulously made cake! 

However, not everyone has a set of measuring cups and spoons in their kitchens. Whether you're new to baking and this is your first venture into baking or you suddenly find yourself measuring cup-less one unfortunate day, there is still a way to make that deliciously moist cake happen even without those baking tools. 

We caution however that despite this useful tip, it is still best to invest in a set of measuring cups and spoons for best results. We promise that this may solve your baking problem during an emergency cake craving but it may not be as perfect as you wish it was, provided you have the right basic baking tools and equipment

You should always have a measuring spoon in the kitchen!
Photo by Shopee
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When baking, the most basic equipment you need is measuring cups and spoons. When you don't have either of these basic baking sets, here's what you can use as a substitute: 

  • measuring cup = standard coffee mug 
  • measuring tablespoon = dinner spoon 
  • measuring teaspoon = coffee spoon 

You will have to make allowances for the size of cups and spoons you may have so don't use an oversized coffee mug to serve as your cup measure and don't use a serving spoon for your tablespoon. 

Find the most standard-sized coffee mug you have and use that for all your cup measurements

For your tablespoon measure, a standard eating spoon or dinner spoon should be a good replacement. 

For your teaspoon measure, use the small spoon you usually use to stir your coffee or even the dessert spoon you use for scooping up pudding or ice cream. 

Photo courtesy of Rustan's Supermarket

Once you have gathered these substitute equipment, note that you will not be using these substitutes as you would a regular measuring utensil. 

For the coffee cup, fill it up only up to the point it should be filled. It should be neither too full that it reaches the lip or rim of the cup nor not full enough that a three-in-one coffee sachet would be too strong if that was how much liquid you added. Take note of the amount each time you fill it, and that should be your standard cup measurement. 

For the dinner spoon, spoon the amount you need into the scoop of the spoon and pile it on until it is a little mound. It should be just enough of a mound that a little shake will let excess fall off but not too much that the mound disappears. This is because a tablespoon is usually more than your typical spoon will hold if leveled off. As for liquid measurements, use about 1/4 more than the spoon will hold. 


For the coffee spoon, most of these stirring spoons measures around 1/2 teaspoon. So when measuring teaspoons, use double the amount, leveled off. If you have a dessert spoon which is larger than a stirring or coffee spoon, fill only half since these usually measure around 2 teaspoons. 

Use a coffee spoon as your substitute teaspoon in a baking emergency.
Photo by Pixabay

Just note that for all of these measures, fill these cups and spoons with your ingredients as consistently as you can. Fill it more with flour one time and fill it with more cornstarch the next time, and you may end up with an overly floured dish. Consistency is key when using these substitutes measures. 

Now that you're equipped with all you need, including substitute measuring cups and spoons, get baking! Here are some ideas on what you can make: 


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