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24 replies to this topic

#1 mignardise

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 11:53 AM

Trying to convert my recipes to weights.

RLB- has her numbers, and Gourmet Sleuth has their numbers...but they all seem to be different. Bo Friberg seems to have different numbers too.
Who do I follow....HELP!

Cups to ounces

Edited by mignardise, 15 November 2006 - 11:55 AM.


#2 Patrick S

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 01:44 PM

Where I have double-checked, RLB has been accurate. I wouldn't worry too much about a couple of grams here and there if you're considering an ingredient like flour or sugar.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#3 choux

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 03:56 PM

I use RLB for my conversions too, but one I have noticed wrong is her peanut butter weight in the Pie&Pastry Bible. It should be 8 oz instead of 16.

#4 mignardise

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 04:47 PM

Okay.....Thanks Patrick..... I am using it for Flour and sugar mainly.
I will stick w/ RLB.
Again, Thanks Choux & Patrick.

#5 Tweety69bird

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 05:41 AM

Have you tried to do some measurements of your own? I know it's not a quick solution, but at least you will have peace of mind that you have weighed a cup of flour or sugar as you do it now, so if nothing less, you'll be able to see how you compare to RLB? That's what I have done, and just to give you some examples of my results:

Sugar: 1 Cup = 190g
Corn Syrup: 1 Cup = 355g
Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

#6 mignardise

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 11:56 AM

You know.......for 1 cup
I measured as I would.......lightly scooping flour into a measuring cup, then sweep
A/P came out 5 oz.

In RLB-- A/P
lightly spooned: 4.25 oz
dip and sweep: 5 oz.

So, looks like I am off. If I don't dip the entire cup into flour and sweep.
And, I don't use a spoon to add to the cup, I use a scooper(maybe filling it twice)

Sorry to be so confusing.....and If I am making any sense.
Which do everyone follow..the lightly spooned OR dip and sweep?

#7 chiantiglace

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 12:20 PM

We are never going to get out of these measuring techniques if people dont stop printing them in it.

Honestly mignardise, you cant really tell what an author is doing. I think Peter Reinhardt said in his book that in his book, and its true. Your best bet is to find a recipe that is already in weights. Because every author and reader does it differently, or has different equipment, or product, or climate differences. One persons flour may be well sifts (light and fluffy), while anothers may be somewhat damp and clumpy. And whos to say the authors were in perfect condition when testing it?

Your best bet is to convert your own recipes. Break out the scale and the cup and make a conversion list for yourself. That way your product will always bee the same at least.
Dean Anthony Anderson
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#8 SweetSide

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 12:27 PM

You know.......for 1 cup
I measured as I would.......lightly scooping flour into a measuring cup, then sweep
A/P came out 5 oz.

In RLB-- A/P
lightly spooned: 4.25 oz
dip and sweep: 5 oz.

So, looks like I am off. If I don't dip the entire cup into flour and sweep.
And, I don't use a spoon to add to the cup, I use a scooper(maybe filling it twice)

Sorry to be so confusing.....and If I am making any sense.
Which do everyone follow..the lightly spooned OR dip and sweep?

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First off, let me say that I wholeheartedly agree with Chiantiglace's comments.

But, until every cookbook is rewritten, we'll have to live with volumetric measuments.

I try to read a given cookbook and see what the author says about measuring flour. Some dip and sweep, some lightly spoon. Some "fluff" the flour first. Some people "fluff" the flour into the cup.

But, the first and second times I make a recipe, I write down how much my volume measure weighs and if I like the outcome of the recipe. If the book doesn't specify how an author measures, I do it my way, and MY cup of AP flour is 4.5 oz.

And we continue to wonder why some people's recipes flop and others come out perfect every time -- the ART of baking.... :blink:
Cheryl, The Sweet Side

#9 mignardise

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 12:42 PM

That's funny you mention Peter Reinhart, he was my Bread Instructor at CCA.
In school you get weights, I am used to weights. On my second $$scale. Wish all the formulas are in weights.
But, you come across wonderful old recipes, that you would like to convert.
You know..that's what I have been doing....scaling my own recipes, and jotting down the results.
Just want it to be simple.

#10 Patrick S

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 01:21 PM

Which do everyone follow..the lightly spooned OR dip and sweep?

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If the method is not specified in the recipe, I always assume 1C AP flour weighs 5oz/145 grams.

Edited by Patrick S, 16 November 2006 - 01:22 PM.

"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#11 mignardise

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 06:15 PM

Which do everyone follow..the lightly spooned OR dip and sweep?

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If the method is not specified in the recipe, I always assume 1C AP flour weighs 5oz/145 grams.

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What do you come up w/ Cake Flour?
Thanks Patrick...appreciate it!

#12 Patrick S

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 06:54 PM

Which do everyone follow..the lightly spooned OR dip and sweep?

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If the method is not specified in the recipe, I always assume 1C AP flour weighs 5oz/145 grams.

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What do you come up w/ Cake Flour?
Thanks Patrick...appreciate it!

View Post


RLB lists 4.5oz/135g per dip-and-sweep cup for cake flour, and that's the value I always use, unless the recipes specifies a different measuring method. I double-checked just now and got 133g.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#13 alanamoana

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 07:08 PM

if i have a recipe that use volume measurements and i've made the recipe a hundred times and know that it works the way i measure it, then i go ahead and mise everything out and then weigh the results.

i do this two or three times.

i take an average.

i use those weight measurments, not somebody else's.

a friend of mine recently went to a "baker's dozen" meeting, it is a group of people (don't know if you have to be a professional to be in the group...i think it is mostly networking, but there are a lot of professional bakers and pastry chefs involved). they had an assignment to make a pound cake recipe. everyone had to make it. they got as many different results as there were people at the meeting. i don't know if the recipe was in volume or weight, but regardless it just shows that everyone does things differently.

#14 Tweety69bird

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 05:29 AM

I think you have to keep in mind also, the fact that your baking has worked for you in the past, when you have been measuring by volume, just because you now know the weight of that cup of flour that is probably packed the same way as you've always done it, it doesn't mean that it's not going to work now... get it? I'm not sure if my point comes across... but I hope it does!! :rolleyes:
Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

#15 Patrick S

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 06:27 AM

These questions come up so frequently, wouldn't it be helpful if we devoted a thread just to listing weights for various ingredients?
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#16 alanamoana

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 09:45 AM

probably a good idea patrick, but it would have to be a list in one post that can be edited by a moderator or manager that can be kept pinned as a reference. that way, you wouldn't have to search through a whole thread of people debating the weight of a cup of flour in order to find one measurement.

there will still be debate though.

there are a lot of charts available in books (as the initial poster pointed out) and they don't necessarily agree either.

edited to add: utility vs. futility

Edited by alanamoana, 17 November 2006 - 09:46 AM.


#17 Patrick S

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 10:27 AM

probably a good idea patrick, but it would have to be a list in one post that can be edited by a moderator or manager that can be kept pinned as a reference.  that way, you wouldn't have to search through a whole thread of people debating the weight of a cup of flour in order to find one measurement.

there will still be debate though.

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Sure, as long as people are using slightly different measuring cups and different scales and different measuring techniques, slightly different weights will be reported. That's not a problem. In every case I've encounted so far, the variability from person to person has been pretty insignificant. Also, if we did create such a list, I think it would be best to take the accuracy of people's scales into account, so that a value reported by someone with a scale with an accuracy of, say, 0.2 grams, could be given more weight than a similar weight reported by someone with a scale with an accuracy of 2 grams.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#18 Patrick S

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 10:53 AM

Incidentally, if anyone wants to check the accuracy of their scales, they can do so using coins -- according to the US mint, new pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters weigh 2.500g, 5.000g, 2.268g and 5.670 g, respectively. So, for instance, 20 nickels should weigh out to 100g.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#19 alanamoana

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 10:55 AM

Incidentally, if anyone wants to check the accuracy of their scales, they can do so using coins -- according to the US mint, new pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters weigh  2.500g, 5.000g, 2.268g and 5.670 g, respectively. So, for instance, 20 nickels should weigh out to 100g.

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that's a great tip. it's too bad that they don't have more specific weights for dimes and quarters, i.e. dimes 2.25 and quarters 5.5 or 5.75...darn the US and our random weighing technique! :wink:

#20 Patrick S

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 11:16 AM

Incidentally, if anyone wants to check the accuracy of their scales, they can do so using coins -- according to the US mint, new pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters weigh  2.500g, 5.000g, 2.268g and 5.670 g, respectively. So, for instance, 20 nickels should weigh out to 100g.

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that's a great tip. it's too bad that they don't have more specific weights for dimes and quarters, i.e. dimes 2.25 and quarters 5.5 or 5.75...

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Well, the weights might be arbitrary, but they are specified to 1/1000 of a gram -- I'd say that's pretty specific! :wink:
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#21 Patrick S

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 09:11 AM

There is another source of error that I hadn't considered, and that is differences in cup volume. I checked my measuring cup last night, and when it is filled with water, it weighed 235g, and since a ml of water weighs one gram, that means the cup has a volume of 235ml. Assuming the weight is accurate, of course. A cup should supposedly have 236.58ml. But apparently there is a little bit of variation from "cup" to "cup." I'm curious if others did the same test what you would get for the weight of 1C water in your dry measure cups.

ETA: I checked RLB again last night, and she specified that the cup she used was exactly 236ml. She also says what kind of scale she used for her measurements -- an extremely accurate Mettler lab scale.

Edited by Patrick S, 22 November 2006 - 09:16 AM.

"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#22 alanamoana

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 05:02 AM

There is another source of error that I hadn't considered, and that is differences in cup volume. I checked my measuring cup last night, and when it is filled with water, it weighed 235g, and since a ml of water weighs one gram, that means the cup has a volume of 235ml. Assuming the weight is accurate, of course. A cup should supposedly have 236.58ml. But apparently there is a little bit of variation from "cup" to "cup." I'm curious if others did the same test what you would get for the weight of 1C water in your dry measure cups.

ETA: I checked RLB again last night, and she specified that the cup she used was exactly 236ml. She also says what kind of scale she used for her measurements -- an extremely accurate Mettler lab scale.

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what about surface tension and the ability to "overfill" a dry measure with liquid, particularly viscous liquids?

#23 Patrick S

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 01:01 PM

There is another source of error that I hadn't considered, and that is differences in cup volume. I checked my measuring cup last night, and when it is filled with water, it weighed 235g, and since a ml of water weighs one gram, that means the cup has a volume of 235ml. Assuming the weight is accurate, of course. A cup should supposedly have 236.58ml. But apparently there is a little bit of variation from "cup" to "cup." I'm curious if others did the same test what you would get for the weight of 1C water in your dry measure cups.

ETA: I checked RLB again last night, and she specified that the cup she used was exactly 236ml. She also says what kind of scale she used for her measurements -- an extremely accurate Mettler lab scale.

View Post


what about surface tension and the ability to "overfill" a dry measure with liquid, particularly viscous liquids?

View Post


Just get your eye level down to the level of the top of the cup, much as you would do with a liquid measuring cup, and fill to the top of the cup as best you can. My interest is simply whether there are significant differences (i.e. more than a few ml) in dry measure cup volumes.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#24 Sergio

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 01:45 AM

Is there anywhere online that I can find these conversions?

#25 Patrick S

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 11:30 AM

I did some checking over the weekend, and found that one of my liquid measuring cups is way off. I checked my scale for accuracy, and found that it is off about 1g at 50g. The weights below are not corrected for this.

1C of water in my dry measure cup weighed 235g, which within the margin of error for my scale is perfect.

1C of water in my 2C Pyrex liquid measure weighed 235g. The cup was filled so that the bottom of the meniscus was even with the top of the 1C line on the cup. 1C of water also weighed 235g in my plastic 4C liquid measure.

However, in my 1C Oven Basic liquid measure, 1C of water weighed 225g when filled so that the bottom of the meniscus was even with the top of the 1C line, and 220g when the meniscus is level with the bottom of the 1C line.

Also I did some tests with AP flour, and found something interesting. 1C of dip-and-sweep flour from my nearly empty generic flour weighed 147g, while 1C of dip-and-sweep flour from a just-opened bag of King Arthur AP flour weighed 156g. So even if you use exactly the same cup and method of measuring, differences in flour density will still introduce quite a bit of variability in volumetric measurements.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi