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Am not sure about you, but I find it difficult to follow some recipes. The measurements are different (US vs UK vs Aussie) and definitely my one cup of flour does not equate to 150gm!  I bought a digital weighing machine which is in metrics only.  It is a pain as I had to resort to googling each time they asked for a pound or a stick of butter!

When you are baking, especially for cake decorating, you want to be able to replicate the results time after time – same results, every cake, every time.  A slight difference in flour weight would make a big impact on the texture of the end result. By the same token, the difference of sugar has a great impact on taste.

Incorrect measuring is one of the most common causes of inconsistent results.  Unfortunately, there’s not one formula to help convert different ingredients from one kind of measurement to another. The only way is to weigh the ingredient one by one, then measure it by a cup/tablespoon, or vice versa.  The problem is that  I have found that measuring in cups/teaspoons is not quite reliable.

A cup of plain flour, levelled with a knife, then place on the digital weighing scale, would give a different answer each time: 141 grams (1st time); 143 grams (2nd time); 150 grams (3rd time)..

So, which one is correct? How much plain flour is in a cup actually? Why the difference?

Cup is a tool for measuring volume. The problem occurs when measuring a dry ingredient, like flour or sugar, by volume, it results in a variety of different weights which sometimes can be quite significant .  For example, if a cup of flour is scooped out from a container or packet, the weight may differ from 142 grams to 113 grams, whether tapped or without tapping. That’s a huge difference!

The most accurate way of measuring is to use a weighing machine or a kitchen scale.

On another note, follow the recipe to the letter to ensure you get the same result:

Some examples of these are…..

1 cup flour, sifted – means you measure 1 cup of flour and then sift it

1 cup sifted flour – means you sift the flour first and THEN measure it.

(It will make a difference – there will be LESS flour in the cup where you have sifted first – because of increased air surrounding the particles)


Thanks to Christine, from Christine’s Recipes, who has created a conversion table by measuring each ingredient over ten times on her electric kitchen scale (thanks again Christine!)

Converting “grams” to “cups”:
Please note these are based on Australian metric measurement.

  • 1 metric cup = 250 ml (cc)
  • 1 tablespoon = 20 ml (cc)
  • 1 teaspoon = 5 ml (cc)

bread flour:

  • 1 cup = 155 grams
  • 1 tablespoon =12 grams
  • 1 teaspoon = 3 grams

plain flour/all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup = 140 grams
  • 1 tablespoon =12 grams
  • 1 teaspoon =3 grams

cake flour

  • 1 cup=130 grams
  • 1 tablespoon =10 grams
  • 1 teaspoon =2.5 grams

self-raising flour

  • 1 cup = 150 grams
  • 1 tablespoon = 12 grams
  • 1 teaspoon = 3 grams

corn flour

  • 1 tablespoon = 12 grams
  • 1 teaspoon = 3 grams

white sugar

  • 1 cup = 220 grams
  • 1 tablespoon = 16 grams
  • 1 teaspoon = 4 grams

caster sugar

  • 1 cup = 224 grams
  • 1 tablespoon = 18 grams
  • 1 teaspoon = 4 grams

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