Why cook by weight or cups? Which is better?

Accurate (and easy) measuring is critical to avoiding expensive baking mistakes. Discover exactly what you need to make delicious homemade baking.

Plus I’ve got FREE Kitchen Conversion Charts for you to make it all simple.

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charts showing the best way to measure baking by cups or weight

There is an eternal debate over the question is it better to cook by weight measurements or by volume measurements?

Measuring ingredients by weight is more accurate, but using dry measuring cups or liquid measuring cups is easier.

Whether you prefer to use imperial measurements or the metric system for measuring ingredients, these conversion charts will help you get consistent results every time.

How to cook by weight

Cooking by weight using a digital kitchen scale is the most accurate way to measure baking ingredients whether you prefer the imperial measurements or the metric system to measure ingredients.

It’s worthwhile to buy a set of cheap kitchen scales to get precise ingredients. In the long run, it will save you money because you will stop expensive baking mistakes.

I recommend you buy a set of electric digital kitchen scales that can measure ounces and grams so no matter what your recipe calls for, you can get exact measurements. It’s the easiest method for weighing ingredients.


  • It’s accurate.
  • Measure directly into a mixing bowl.
  • It’s easy to add each ingredient and then press “tare” or “zero” on the electronic scales.
  • You create fewer dishes as you use fewer measuring cups and spoons.
  • You can measure dry ingredients directly into your mixing bowl.
  • Converting recipes is a breeze with a touch of a button.


  • None.

How to cook by cups

Most of us grew up measuring flour and sugar using measuring cups, and it’s a hard habit to break. But measuring baking ingredients using measuring cups may give you inconsistent results.

If you’re calculating your carbs, fat, and protein, accuracy is incredibly important where you need to know the nearest gram of what you’re eating. Don’t leave it up to chance. You can often misjudge the ingredients (and your carbs) by 10%-20%.


  • Quick and easy to scoop and measure.


  • Inaccurate.
  • The measured ingredient may be more or less depending on how firmly you pack the cup or how loosely you scoop the ingredients.
  • 1 cup measures differently if you don’t have a straight edge.

Best kitchen digital scales

The best kitchen scale is one that you will actually use. So choose a kitchen scale that is easy to use, and will measure metric measurements, fluid ounces, and small quantities.

Some will help you convert recipes too.

  • Diet nutrition food scales – help to portion control meals, calculate calories, carbs, and fat with food facts/
  • Simple scales – these wooden effect electric scales are easy to use and easy to wipe clean
  • Baking scales – baking scales with a bowl makes it easy to bake cakes with accuracy and with less washing up.
  • Slimline scales – so you can keep them in a kitchen drawer and use them every single time
  • Measuring cup scale – a scale with a measuring cup has to be the best of both worlds. You can measure baking ingredients by weight or by cups.
  • Beautiful kitchen scales – to keep on display on your kitchen worktop. Please DO NOT store something decorative in them. Use them.

Measuring cups, tbsp, and tsp

The most common kitchen measuring tools are teaspoons, tablespoons, and a measuring cup. It’s important that you know what sizes you have and what sizes a recipe uses. Knowing how many ml are in a cup and how many ml are in a tablespoon is imperative.

An American recipe might use a standard 240 ml measuring cup, whereas a standard measuring cup in the rest of the world is 250 ml.

Every kitchen needs a good set of measuring cups and measuring spoons for quick baking recipes.

  • standard tablespoon is 15ml which is 3 teaspoons.
  • standard Australian tablespoon is 20ml, which is 4 teaspoons.

How to measure butter

How to measure butter – quick butter conversion charts.

Butter is easiest to measure by weight (using grams or ounces) but some people prefer to measure sticks of butter (that are pre-wrapped and pre-measured portions of butter) or with a tablespoon.

Using a measuring cup to measure butter is difficult. This butter conversion chart shows the number of grams or ounces are in a cup, a stick, or a tablespoon.

½ stick4 tbsp¼ cup2 oz57 g
1 stick8 tbsp½ cup4 oz113 g
2 stick16 tbsp1 cup8 oz227 g
3 sticks24 tbsp1.5 cups12 oz340 g
How to measure butter


mockup of cooking conversion chart


â…• teaspoon = 1 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 fl ounce = 30 ml
1 cup = 237 ml
1 pint (2 cups) = 473 ml
1 quart (4 cups) = .95 liter
1 gallon (16 cups) = 3.8 liters
1 oz = 28 grams
1 pound = 454 grams


1 gram = .035 ounces
100 grams = 3.5 ounces
500 grams = 1.1 pounds
1 kilogram = 35 ounces

charts showing the best way to measure baking by cups or weight

What this website uses

These cooking conversion charts are a handy kitchen reference guide. Ditch The Carbs is an international website, so the cooking measurements are a useful tool to convert weight, volume, temperatures, and even ingredient names.

Unless otherwise stated, I use a Standard US Cup which is 240ml, 5ml teaspoon (tsp), and a 15ml tablespoon (tbsp). The chart below shows the conversion from cups, ml, fl. oz, tsp, and tbsp.

The standard metric cup is 250ml, often used in NZ, UK, and CA. But who/where each cup is used is being muddied now with shops importing measuring cups from suppliers around the world.

Weight vs volume FAQ

How much does a standard measuring cup hold?

If you are baking American recipes, the standard cup holds 240ml. Everywhere else in the world uses a 250 ml measuring cup.

How do you measure fluid ounces?

US fluid ounces, 1 fl. oz = 29.6 ml. 1 ml = 0.033814 fluid ounces.

Why do I need to use a dry measuring cup?

A dry measuring cup will give accurate volume measurements. If you use a wet or damp cup, the flour will stick to the cup and you can lose valuable grams of flour that won’t go into your cake batter.

What’s the difference between fluid ounces and regular ounces?

Fluid ounces measure fluids (how much space it takes up) and a regular ounce is a weight measurement.

What’s the best way to measure dry ingredients?

if you want to measure cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, or other mass measurements, it is best to use a digital scale.

If you prefer to use dry measuring cups, make sure you don’t pack the flour into the cup and use something with a straight edge (such as a knife) to flatten the surface. If you overfill your 1 cup measure, you will add excess flour to your cake batter and it will end up dry.

What’s the best way to use measuring spoons?

A measuring spoon set is perfect to measure small liquid ingredients such as vanilla essence (vanilla extract), or small dry ingredients such as baking powder, salt, gelatin, and even citrus zest.

How many grams of flour are in 1 cup of flour?

1 cup of all-purpose flour = 120 grams
1 cup of almond flour = 100 grams
1 cup of coconut flour = 100 grams

It is always best to measure flour by weight.

Should I pack my cup of flour firmly?

No. Use the sweep method to gently scoop a cup of flour from a flour bag to prevent a firmly packed cup of flour.

1 cup of flour that is firmly packed will weigh heavier than 1 cup of flour that is not pressed firm and has been leveled with a straight edge.

It makes a huge difference when measuring flour into your mixing bowl.

No matter which method of ingredient measurements you use, you need to

Are scales more accurate than cups?

Scales will always give more accurate results but most home cooks prefer to scoop 1 cup into their mixing bowl. Try to get into the habit of measuring by weight.

So many recipes show both methods. I write recipes using cups, grams, and ounces so all the recipe conversions are done for you.

How do you measure an egg?

One large egg is the same size as 2 oz or 57 grams.

Is it better to bake by weight or volume?

measure the same way every time, with the same amount every time, so the same recipe is perfect every time.

Happy baking!

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  1. I love your recipes but I can’t get on with e-recipe books. I would definitely buy your books if they were real ones. Is there any chance I will see them in bookshops?
    Also do you have a recipe for soft white bread, I struggle to enjoy the keto bread recipe I use, it is brown and has a very chewy crust.

    1. I’m so pleased that you love my low-carb keto recipes. Yes, I do have some of my cookbooks in printed format. they are for sale in my low-carb keto Amazon store. However the printing charges can be quite hefty, hence why my eBooks are more popular, but I sell the printed books for those who prefer them (I do love flicking through a traditional cookbook too).

  2. Great article, I liked it very much congratulations!!

  3. Hi Libby. I’ve been following you for sometime from Canada and have a question re measurements. Many recipes are for 6, 8, 10 servings so dividing amts for 1 or 2 is difficult when get numbers like .33 or .67 for ingredients especially eggs !! Being a senior and raised on imperial measurements, my brain can’t figure how best to adjust correctly !!Any easy tips for this non metric adapted cook 😀

    1. Hey there Kassie, the good news is that each recipe card has a button to make 1x, 2x, 3x or you can go up to the number of servings and switch it up or down until you find a whole number of eggs (or close enough to a whole number).