How To Measure Flour

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A post on how to measure flour may seem a little strange to many, bu to me it’s a baking basic that is never taught.

I really like to communicate with my readers, friends, family and guests at my cooking classes about the struggles of cooking and baking. I want to know what people struggle with so we can change things for them. Time and time again the same things come up, “my cookies never turn out” and “I cannot bake”. Now there are other concerns, but those are the two I get the most, so clearly it’s time to start solving these problems.

Not measuring flour correctly can completely, 100% ruin your cookies. Some of you may have a lighter hand with flour anyway, so you haven’t had the worst of time, while others really struggle to not have flat, hard, or bland baked goods.

I set out on a little adventure to experiment with flour measuring methods, and I was so excited to see the results. Aha! The measuring makes a huge difference!

A kitchen scale is such a lovely device to have. I’m serious. You don’t have to be a professional, in fact it’s the opposite. If you struggle with baking, a kitchen scale can help you to perfectly measure everything. In this case, it’s going to show us which method of measuring is the most accurate.

*Disclaimer- I am using my all-clad measuring cups which are very heavy. This has added enough weight to the scale that it truly throws things off, but remember if you just watch my numbers it will still show you just how much measuring can change things.

*UPDATE: I’ve just learned  only needed to “zero” out my scale by pressing, “On/Tare/Off. That is such a huge tip!

How much does one cup of flour weigh?

When you are measuring at home, using your own scale (don’t have one? Scroll down to enter the giveaway) you should reach about 4.25 ounces for one cup of flour.

The picture above is probably the most common method for measuring flour. I certainly grew up doing it. You scoop the flour, and add a little shake to make sure that you have filled the measuring cup. This  method, including my heavy measuring cup, is 13.9 ounces.

I’ll fully admit that I still do this next version if I’m in a really big hurry. You pre fluff the flour, stick the cup in, scoop and dump, and then scoop one last time, and level off the top with a flat edge. This method came up with 13.2 ounces. Significantly less.

The last method is the one I generally use, and is the preferred method. You use a scoop or spoon to scoop the flour and then sprinkle it in the cup until it is at the top and then use a flat edge to level it off.

This method comes up with 12.9 ounces.

And just look how much extra flour I have to add to get it back up to the original weight. Now, in baking, as you know, it’s a careful science to get foods to turn out, so having too much flour completely changes the physics of the recipe which can result in too dry, too flat, or too hard of food.

For my recipes I usually grind my own wheat, or I use King Arthur Flour. I’ll talk more about this later, but using a good quality flour is another huge component in baking. Quality ingredients equals quality foods.

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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90 comments on “How To Measure Flour”

  1. Pingback: Pinned & prepped: Sugar cookie bars - is this REALLY my life? | is this REALLY my life?

  2. I have a really hard time with cakes for some reason.

  3. For some reason, I'm rarely satisfied with my brownies.

  4. I wish I could make really good homemade bread!

  5. Things generally go super well here but there are occasionally bread dough incidents!

  6. Believe it or not- Chocolate Chip Cookies! I know they are supposed to be easy, but mine turn out different every time. And I just can't get them the right consistency.

  7. I completely failed at making homemade bagels… I'm guessing that may have been because of I don't have a kitchen scale.

  8. I follow King Arthur on twitter @rusthawk

  9. I follow you on twitter @rusthawk

  10. I have a hard time with some breads.

  11. Follow King Arthur on Twitter @aliasr2 dguillen at kc dot rr dot com

  12. Follow SB on Twitter @aliasr2 dguillen at kc dot rr dot com

  13. I love to cook, but have a hard time with baking. My husband loves cookies and the are the hardest baked item for me to get to turn out correctlyng dguillen at kc dot rr dot com

  14. anything with phyllo dough.

  15. following king authur
    sexykitten666
    crazycat09@ymail.com

  16. Cookies never turn out right for me

  17. I have a hard time with phyllo dough

  18. I have a hard time with my biscuits

  19. i love to bake but cakes sometimes don't turn out right

  20. I follow King Arthur on twitter

    @sixcherries

    sixcherriesontop(at)gmail(dot)com

  21. I follow SB on twitter

    @sixcherries

    sixcherriesontop(at)gmail(dot)com

  22. My recipes usually come out fine as long as I follow the recipe. When I start getting one of my wild ideas and begin adding to the recipe to “improve”, that's usually when things go downhill. Although, I do make a ton of muffins for my six kids and would love to experiment more with new varieties.

    sixcherriesontop(at)gmail(dot)com

  23. like king arthur on FB already

  24. follwo king arthur on twitter

  25. cakes always seems to be different and weighing seems to help

  26. I am just getting back to baking. Never thought to measure. Maybe my banana bread will taste better.

  27. I follow King Arthur flour on twitter. yellow_patricia at hotmail dot com

  28. I have a hard time with Oatmeal cookies. Yeah I know. Patricia. yellow_patricia at hotmail dot com

  29. I tweeted the giveaway @icywit (I see all these entries about liking KA on FB and like you on FB – but that wasn't part of the instructions was it?

  30. I follow King Arthur on twitter @icywit

  31. I have to saw most everything comes out well. I would love a scale and King Arthur flour though!

  32. homemade cakes. I can never get one to turn out right. I have been sticking w mixes.

  33. Great tutorial! It amazes me how many people don't know how to properly measure flour, it does make a HUGE difference!

  34. Ooh I so need a kitchen scale!!

    I'd love it for dough, sometimes I struggle with it!!

  35. Banana bread! Almost always raw down the middle yet burned on the outside. 🙁

  36. I always have a hard time making dough! A scale would help 😉

  37. Thanks for your post. I have never measured anything while cooking (unless you count measuring myself the next morning and feeling guilty).
    Anyways, it would be nice to have a scale to use when making bread. I always add different amounts to the exact same recipe and my friends want me to tell them exactly how much flour I add. Well it always differs, sometimes 9 cups, sometimes 10 1/2. It is frustrating.
    Thanks!

  38. I followed King Arthur.. 🙂

  39. I follow you on twitter already!! :o) But I so love Escali scales!!! 🙂

  40. I have a hard time getting fudge not to crystalize… 🙁 my biggest pain… Unless i cheat and use condensed milk….

  41. I have always had a hard time getting bread to turn out. Do you do the same method for any flour type?

  42. I started following king arthur on twitter 🙂

  43. I tweeted your AWESOME giveaway!!

  44. I follow you on twitter already of course!

  45. I want it…

    (Not that I don't already have two analog scales already or anything.)

  46. I follow (and annoy) on Twitter. 😉

  47. I honestly had no idea there was such a difference in measurements. I have a kitchen scale, which I love because I can put a measuring cup on it and then zero it out so I know exactly what the item weighs. I don't grind my own flour but I do love King Arthur. And I have issues with brownie cookies–I never get those right.

  48. Love this post, Carrian! Measuring by grams is definitely the way to go!!

  49. Yay!!!! I'm so excited! Thank you!!!

  50. I've never had good luck with gingersnaps. I want them to be soft, but I have yet to find a recipe that comes out that way.

  51. I tend to stick with pretty basic stuff when it comes to baking, so it turns out alright (unless I forget to check on it!). I've had some mishaps when I've tried to tweak recipes on my own too much!

  52. Cookies are sometimes right on and sometimes not so much.A scale just might change that.

  53. Chocolate chip cookies! My husband's always turn out perfect, but I am still trying 🙂

    tarapwin @ gmail.com

  54. I actually have that exact scale, so don't enter me in the giveaway, but I just wanted to say that I'm always amazed how different it is when I weigh things. My pizza dough recipe is perfect when I weigh, but never turns out the same when I just measure!

  55. Chocolate chip cookies are always hit and miss with me. Sometimes they turn out perfect, sometimes they are flat and hard. A scale would be a big help!

  56. i am having trouble learning how to make gF, it's an entirely new way of baking!

  57. i am having trouble learning how to make gF, it's an entirely new way of baking!

  58. i am having trouble learning how to make gF, it's an entirely new way of baking!

  59. A good brioche. I don't weigh the flour because the recipe just calls for cups and whatnot. So I use the prefluff method and then I end up having to add more and then there is the yelling and throwing away the dough. Then I start over and mess up again. I could really use a scale to cut down on the waste and make something wonderful!

  60. …and now on twitter! (@StephieCooks)

  61. I am afraid to try macarons because 1.) I don't have a great scale to measure things with (!) and 2.)…They're kind of scary!!

  62. A great tutorial, Carrian. I'm guilty of not doing it correctly and I can't believe how “off” all the methods were. Time to do it right!

  63. I already follow King Arthur flour on twitter

  64. I already like King Arthur flour on fb

  65. Usually my recipes turn out pretty well, but we all have our moments 😛 This is such a helpful post, I'm going to share it on my fb page (and pinterest)!

  66. We use scales in our commercial kitchen to do all the baking since we have to multiply the recipe by 10 -12 sometimes! We even measure water by weight sometimes! 🙂 Great tip, Carrian! Wish all US recipes were in weight!