How To Measure Flour
Learn how to measure flour with the spoon and level method.
Sometimes I get comments from friends and family about how cool it is to be able to make things like cupcakes and cakes from scratch. But the truth is that with some practice and an understanding of the basics of baking, it’s really not too hard.
When I first started baking, there were a lot of things I didn’t know that would’ve really helped me in the beginning. So, I’ve decided to start posting some baking tips and tricks here and there to help you when it comes to baking.
For today’s post I wanted to cover how to measure flour. You’re probably thinking umm.. what.. this is so easy. You’re totally right too, it is easy!
Now, I will start by saying that this is how I measure flour and the guidelines I use when creating recipes on my blog. Keep in mind that some brands of flour or other types of flour may vary a little when it comes to their weight. Also, some recipes may state a specific amount of flour to use (in grams or ounces) and it’s always best to stick with those measurements to ensure that your baked goods turn out the same.
When measuring flour, it’s best to use the spoon and level method. Scooping the measuring cup into the container to measure out flour can cause the flour to become packed inside the cup. When this happens, you can end up with too much flour in your recipe and you’re not as likely to get the best results.
To spoon and level the flour, you’ll start by fluffing the flour a little with a spoon to aerate the flour. Then you’ll spoon the flour into the measuring cup.
You want to fill the measuring cup all the way to the top and let the flour flow over a little. Then, you’ll use the back of a knife to level the top off.
Easy, right? I always use this method when I’m measuring all-purpose flour for recipes I create for this blog. One cup of all-purpose flour comes out to 4 and 1/2 ounces or roughly 127 grams.
I also like to use my kitchen scale when I’m measuring ingredients, just to be on the safe side. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, don’t worry. Almost every time I spoon and level the flour into a measuring cup, I usually end up close to 127 grams, give or take a couple of grams.
I really hope everyone found this post helpful. I’m curious to know if any of you struggle with certain things when it comes to baking? Or if you have questions? If you do have questions, please feel free to shoot them my way! I’ll be back on Monday with another delicious recipe for the 4th of July. Have a wonderful weekend!
Measuring flour does sound easy, but it can really mess up a recipe if not done right! I’ve learned my lesson several times haha! This is such a great post and I think a lot of people will find this useful…especially if they like to use a kitchen scale, too!
I’ve definitely learned my lesson when it comes to measuring flour! It helps a lot to know the best way to measure it. Thanks, Gayle 🙂
And I thought I were a smart guy! No wonder “almost every time” I made a dough for pizza, stromboli or whatever……it’s usually too dry and end up adding water to make it “elastic”. Haven’t used your “spooning” method (that always meant something else, to me) but now, you’re making me wanna bake a pizza instead of spooning the traditional way!………..thanks bunches!
Can you teach me how to make a flakey buttery pie crust? Thanks
You can find my homemade pie crust recipe here.
I like this, it’s a good thing to know. They used to use flour sifters. They made sure that you didn’t use too much flour due to it being packed in the cup or even in the container you use.
I love that you included the grams for a cup measurement, this is really useful info, and I need it since I am what I term an unnatural cook, lol. I was the kid who worked outside and did not learn to cook at my mother’s side! Thank you and God Bless you and yours!
So glad you found it helpful, Deb!
Great pie crust. Thank you!
Baking is all in the measuring! I have a scale but rarely use it — I always measure this way instead. Great photo tutorial, Danielle!
It definitely is all in the measuring! Thank you, Marcie 🙂
I never even thought about this..now I have a reason to blame some of my baking disasters I’ve had in the past! Spooning and level off will be the way from here on out! Thanks for this great advise!
So glad you found the post helpful, Stephanie! 🙂
New to this site, took your Blueberry Lemon Bread with Lemon Glaze for a breakfast potluck and it was a hit. Very helpful post. Why do some recipes call for sifting flour and if I aerate the flour before spooning can I skip the sifting? Thanks,
So glad to hear that everyone enjoyed the bread, Diane! Sifting flour will definitely aerate it more than stirring it around. I find that for a lot of recipes, just using this method is fine. But if your recipes calls for sifted flour and it’s something light and delicate (like angel food cake for example) it’s best to follow that recipe to ensure you get the best results.
pourriez vous nous mettre les quantités en grammes s’il vous plait ?
J’aime beaucoup vos recettes
I included gram measurements in this post are you asking for a specific recipe? I’d be happy to add gram measurements to a certain recipe if you’re needing them! 🙂
Merci , je voudrais la recette en grammes des mini cheesecake svp
Do you know which mini cheesecake recipe? I believe they should all have gram measurements on them.
Thank you, your recipes are fabulous! However to measure 127 grams is really difficult and here in Italy I don’t find your cup. How can I do?
How do you typically measure ingredients? Do you use a food scale or something else?
Yes, I measure with the balance but 10 grams weights example 210 g, 220g …
You can round up and weigh 130 grams per cup and that would be fine, a few grams won’t make too much of a difference.
I’ve had to use tablespoon to measure out flour and sugar. If I aerate the flour in a separate container, then level off with back of knife, do I still have to worry about the packed down result?
If I’m using a tablespoon to measure a few tablespoons of flour for a recipe, I aerate the flour, use a separate spoon to spoon it into my measuring tablespoon, and then level it off. If it’s a small amount of flour in your recipe, it likely won’t affect it too much if it’s a little packed inside the spoon. Sometimes for smaller amounts of flour, I like to just use my food scale too since it’s a bit easier.
Do you have a guideline for substituting a weight of grain to be ground rather than a volume of flour? For example, is it as simple as 127 g of hard wheat (then ground) when the recipe calls for “1 cup flour”?
Hi, Keri! I do not have one because I don’t personally grind my own flour. As long as you measure your flour with the spoon & level method after its ground, then you should be fine.
I usually sift flour into the measuring cup then level it off. is that good, bad, or negligible?
1 cup of sifted flour is about 115 grams and 1 cup of spooned & leveled flour (unsifted) is 125 grams. It’s probably not enough to really affect the recipe, but I always recommend that you only sift the flour first if the recipe calls for sifted flour.
Hi Danielle, very helpful tip, but is there a tip to the actual baking time and oven cooking temperature? I always struggle with that, and conventional or regular oven use? As well as dark or light pans? Please advice. Thank you in advance
Glad you found it helpful, Christina! As far as baking time and temperature that’s always going to vary based on the recipe, things like biscuits will bake at a much higher temperature than something like a cheesecake. When it comes to dark/light pans, light pans absorb less heat and will bake more evenly. Dark pans can sometimes cause things to brown too quickly, which is why some recipes may suggest reducing your oven temperature by 25 degrees if using a dark pan. Your best bet is to always follow a recipe as far as oven temperature, baking time, and use the type of pan it suggests (if applicable).
Thanks for this information, I used to measure like this but I stop! I will definitely start back doing my measuring this way again.
Glad you found it helpful, Thelma!
Wow your work is so incredible..can I please get a recipe with actual ingredients measurement for a half kilogram red velvet cake.
Thank you! I have a red velvet cake recipe here: https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/the-best-red-velvet-cake/.
Thank you for the best biscuits I’ve made so far. I learned to weigh ingredients watching Alton Brown so I was happy to find the flour and butter weights. I made a half batch, used a rolling pin and guide to get exactly 1/2″ thickness. The finished biscuits tripled in height. They are light and fluffy. Exactly what you want in a biscuit.
PS I’m bookmarking your page
Glad the biscuits turned out great for you, Jim!
How does this apply to sifted flour? Same thing?
If a recipe calls for 1 cup sifted flour, you would sift the flour then spoon and level it in your measuring cup. 1 cup of sifted flour weighs less though, it’s about 115 grams. If a recipe calls for 1 cup flour, sifted then you would spoon it into your measuring cup, level it off, then sift it. The weight would still be 125 grams.
That is the way I do the measuring of my flour. So it is nice to see that I am doing that right.
That was great information and nicely done.
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Rita!
How do you measure brown sugar if the recipe doesn’t specify? Packed down with a spoon or loosely scooped?
If a recipe doesn’t specify, a good rule of thumb is to just lightly pack it into your measuring cup.
Thank you, Danielle! THIS is the CORRECT method for measuring flour! I learned this method from my grandmother. Every time I see someone baking on TV, and I see them SCOOP the flour into the measuring cup, I just want to SCREAM!! UGH!!!
Same here, Linda!
Hi! Thank you for this helpful post. Can you share where you bought your flour jar?
I bought it at Pier 1 several years ago 🙂
how do you measure brown sugar for cookies ?
If a recipe doesn’t specify, it’s best to lightly pack it into your measuring cup.
This advice is helpful and accurate but the problem with recipes that use only VOLUME for dry ingredients. depend on how THAT baker measures flour (or whatever dry ingredient). In your example you gave the volume and the grams which is great. However, most recipes that give volume do not include weights in grams/oz. so one has to guess at how this or that baker measured. I’ve seen some published recipes stating that one (1) cup of flour weighs 4.25 oz to 5.0 oz! So if a scale is used ti weigh out ingredients all of us involved would have have no questions and would have more consistent results. Looking forward to getting more “tips” from you and spending time on your website
Glad you found the post helpful, Paul!
Thanks for the tip. I will always weigh my ingredients when that information is available. That seems to be the best way to go, but if that isn’t available, I will give this a try.
Thank you so much for your pie crust recipe! I’m 65 and have never made a homemade pie crust, so I thank you for a great post and blog! I actually made your Mini Pecan Pies and they were delicious! I love your photos and attention to details. I plan to bake and cook more in my retirement, so I look forward to checking out more recipes on your site! Thank you!
Thank you, Diana! So glad the mini pecan pies turned out great for you too!
It’s odd, but I’ve always measured like this and have never had a dry cake or anything! This method definitely is perfect! Others can definitely benefit from this! Danke Danielle!
I would like to thank you for your advice about the measuring of flour. It will be very helpful to me. I would like to know about eggs. When baking, are eggs suppose to be cold or room temperature?
So glad you found it helpful, Kathy! A good rule of thumb with eggs is to bring them to room temperature if other ingredients are supposed to be at room temperature (for example, butter). If the recipe doesn’t call for anything to be at room temperature, then it would be okay to use cold eggs.
Thanks for this helpful piece. But is it Okay to use already marked containers for measuring flour. Say this particular cups has 150g written on it’s body…is it OK to use it?
I’m not quite sure what you mean, Clinton. It’s always best to weigh the flour though if you’re not sure.
Thank you so much. I now can laugh at myself for the mistakes I made. So much to learn. You are so kind. last week I made your Banana Bread recipe and it’s delicious. Everyone love it.
So happy to hear that everyone enjoyed the banana bread, Gladys!
I didn’t think I needed to read this, but realized I’ve been doing it wrong. Thank you
This is very helpful I had no idea! I keep trying to make a simple cake from scratch and I always end up liking the box one better! So maybe I’m measuring wrong! I did try your lemon poppy seed Bundt and I almost nailed it! Just a little dense I’m going to give it another try the flavor was really good . Thank you for the great recipes!
I have 2 measuring cups where the measure is marked on the inside and it is on a slant so would be unable to measure correctly you would need flat topped measuring cups in several sizes Is that correct
Hi, Pat. The measuring cup you’re referring to sounds like it may be a liquid measuring cup. If you’re measuring flour, you’ll want to use dry measuring cups with a flat top so you can level it off.
HI WHAT BRAND OF MEASURING CUPS DO YOU RECCOMMEND .
Any kind is fine, I really like the Baker’s Dozen 13-piece measuring cups and spoons.