How To Measure Your Ingredients For Baking

These basic steps will help you bake consistently good treats.
topshot of baking ingredients arranged on a wooden table

Unlike cooking, once you put your mixture into the oven, you won’t be able to change its taste and texture. That might scare a few people from baking but actually, it’s an easy problem to solve. All you need to make sure is that you measure your ingredients accurately.

If you’re ready to tackle the world of baking, here are the key ingredients you’ll need to know how to measure correctly:

1 How To Measure Liquids

Looking at it from the top or the bottom will yield different results.
Photo by Enrico Gutierrez

Use a measuring jug specifically meant for liquids. (You’ll know it’s for liquids since it will have a spout.) Place the jug on a level surface, and pour the liquid in it. To know if you’ve added enough or too much, bend over to read the measurement at eye level. The bottom curve of the liquid should be in line with the correct measurement.


2 How To Measure Brown Sugar

Pack in the sugar to push air out.
Photo by Enrico Gutierrez

Use a spoon to add the sugar to a dry measuring cup. Then, pack it in with the back of the spoon until it is level to the top of the measuring cup. Brown sugar, when properly measured, should be firmly packed (unless otherwise stated) and still hold the shape of the cup even when it is turned out.

3 How To Measure Flour

It must be noted though, that the most accurate way to measure flour is with a weighing scale.
Photo by Enrico Gutierrez

Just like the brown sugar, spoon the flour into the measuring cup but keep adding flour until a heaping mound is formed. Using the straight edge of a knife or spatula, sweep off the excess.


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4 How To Measure Butter

Keep your measuring cups clean!
Photo by Majoy Siason

Use a knife to cut up a block of butter. Cut it in equal halves for 1/2 cup blocks, into four for 1/4 cup pieces, and into eight for 1/8 cup pieces which are also equivalent to two tablespoons. Keep in mind that a typical bar of butter, 200-220 grams, is roughly equivalent to 1 cup.

5 How To Measure Sticky Ingredients

Only lightly grease your measuring utensils.
Photo by Pexels

Lightly grease a measuring cup with oil before adding the sticky ingredient. This will allow the ingredient to more easily slip out of the measuring cup. You can use this method for ingredients like peanut butter, jam, and honey.


6 How to Measure Ingredients Using A Weighing Scale

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If you have a weighing scale, this is the best way to measure ingredients when baking. This is because weight, not volume, is the more accurate method of measurement. If you have a recipe that lists its ingredients by weight, use a digital weighing scale like this metal one from Shopee or this super affordable one from Lazada to measure the ingredients.

Here’s how to use a weighing scale:

  • 1 Turn on your digital scale. 
  • 2 Place the bowl you will use on the scale. Press “tare” to reset the measurement back to “0”.
  • 3 Add the ingredients one at a time, pressing “tare” after every addition to accurately measure the weight of the ingredient as listed.

Digital Food Weighing Scale, P184, Shopee

Digital LCD Electronic Kitchen Weighing Scale, P98, Lazada

Are you using an analog or manual scale like these from Lazada or Shopee? It’s still easy to use! You just need to do one extra task before you start weighing ingredients: Calibrate your analog scale. To calibrate your scale, turn the dial so that the needle pointer is pointing at “0” with the bowl empty. 

You can reset the needle back to “0” if you’re adding the ingredients one after the other without emptying the bowl. However, if you’re measuring each ingredient separately, there’s no need to reset it back to “0”. Once empty, the needle should be back to “0” and you can accurately measure the weight of your ingredients again.  

Plastic Weighing Scale, 1 kg, P135; 2 kg, P135; 3kg, P144; 5kg, P155; and 10 kg, P449, Lazada 

Kitchen Weighing Scale, available in 1 kg, 2 kg, 3kg, 5kg, P190, Shopee 

Even when you’re experimenting with a recipe, it’s good to use measuring tools and take note of the ingredients you add. This baking technique will help you easily replicate your results easily every time.

Tips/feature was published in the July 2010 issue of Yummy Magazine. Minor edits have been made and any additional text is made by the editors.


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