Baking Measuring Do's and Don'ts

Turn out better baked goods by following these cardinal rules.

Accurately measured ingredients can often be the difference between perfect baked goods and not-so-perfect ones, so it’s key to read recipes carefully and measure ingredients properly. With these measuring do's and don'ts, you’re set to tackle any kind of bread, cake, cookie or pie your heart (or stomach) desires.

DO get yourself a set of proper measuring cups and spoons. Cups and teaspoons are standardized units of measurement that require specific tools — a regular cup or spoon won’t cut it.

DON'T use liquid measuring cups with dry ingredients. Though you can kind of get away with using dry measuring cups for liquids, it doesn’t work the other way around. Measuring spoons can be used for either dry or wet ingredients.

DO read and follow directions carefully. "1 cup sifted all-purpose flour" and "1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted" are not the same the thing. You sift the flour before measuring it in the former and after in the latter, which leads to different amounts of flour.

DON'T use your measuring cup to scoop out flour. We recommend you spoon it into the cup and then level it off instead.

DO pack brown sugar into measuring cups and spoons. Packing is the standard way brown sugar (but only brown sugar) is measured for all recipes.

DON'T tilt your utensils when measuring liquids. An un-level measuring cup can lead to error, so always set it on a flat surface to get an accurate reading.

DO read liquid measurements from the side. To get an accurate reading you must view from the side to see where the bottom of the meniscus (the curved shape at the top of liquids caused by surface tension) lands.

DON'T forget to coat your measuring cups and spoons with nonstick cooking spray before filling with sticky substances such as honey, agave or maple syrup. The spray will help them slide out with ease.

DO invest in a digital scale if you intend to do lots of baking. It is the most-accurate method of measuring ingredients. Be sure to zero out the scale after adding a bowl to hold your ingredients, and make sure your scale is set to either grams or ounces per the recipe.

DON'T confuse ounces with fluid ounces. The first is a measure of weight, and the second is a measure of volume (though for water — and other liquids of similar density — they are equivalent).

DO get to baking! Now that you're a measuring pro, all that's left is to grab some recipes and preheat your oven.

Baking Measuring Do's and Don'ts [Infographic]

Turn out better baked goods by following these cardinal rules.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Baking Ingredient Guide

Everything you need to know about flour, sugar, chocolate and other pantry staples.

Baking Measuring Do's and Don'ts [Infographic]

Turn out better baked goods by following these cardinal rules.

Baking with Butter

Find out how using different butters and butter-mixing strategies can affect the outcome of your baked goods.

Baking Tools Guide

Stocking your bakeware arsenal? Read through our handy guide first to find out which tools you definitely need.

Bakers' Dozens: Corn Desserts

Corn contains natural sweetener, has a buttery and sometimes creamy texture, and is seasonal and local for many of us. Sounds like the perfect dessert ingredient!

The Only List of Baking Substitutions You'll Ever Need

We all know what it's like to reach for the baking powder and only come up with baking soda. With this guide, you'll never be caught without an ingredient mid-recipe again.

Top Tips for Baking Better Cupcakes

Cupcakes are easy to bake, but little tips and tricks will help you make the best batches. Here are a dozen rules of thumb — plus a bonus one — for how to bake like a pro.

How to Bake Bread

Follow this 101 primer to bake your own loaves with ease.

The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate for Baking (and Beyond)

Chocolate is available for purchase in dizzying variety: from bitter to sweet, white to dark, powders to chips, bars to bricks. To keep your head from spinning, here's a breakdown of what you'll encounter in the baking aisle.

50 Bar Cookies

Bake for a crowd: We came up with dozens of new one-pan treats. 

Check Out Our

Get a sneak-peek of the new Food Network recipe page and give us your feedback.

See it Now!

Latest Stories