Weighing ingredients: your measure of success

All right, I’m not usually this adamant, but I’m going to come right out and say it:

For best success, measure your ingredients with a scale, rather than measuring cups.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. I know home bakers got along without scales for centuries.

Then again, we also got along without food processors and mixers, accurately calibrated ovens and digital thermometers and silicone spatulas. But isn’t life in the kitchen easier – and food prep more pleasant – with these useful tools?

If you absolutely, positively love using your mom’s measuring cups to bake a loaf of bread, then stick with them. They’re a happy memento of the hours you and Mom spent in the kitchen together, a nostalgic connection to your earlier, simpler life.

But if you’re interested in saving time; cutting back on cleanup; and almost certainly enjoying more consistent baking success, then I highly recommend baking with a scale.

It just might be the best $29.95 investment you’ve made in quite some time.

Here’s why –

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1. Weighing ingredients saves time.

Fill a series of measuring cups with ingredients. Level them off. Scrape contents into the mixing bowl.

Or, scoop ingredients directly from the jar or canister into the mixing bowl.

Your choice.

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2. A scale is more accurate than measuring cups.

First, how accurate are your liquid measuring cups? Do the test to find out.

See these two cups? I poured 6 ounces of water into each. The cup on the left looks fairly accurate. The one on the right? Not so much.

fudgecocoa2

Second, while dry measuring cups are more likely to be accurate than liquid measuring cups (with their sometimes random line markings), a lot depends on how you fill the cup.

Do you scoop and tamp? Level off the top, or just kind of give it a shake? There’s about 2 tablespoons difference between the cocoa in the cup on the left, and the one on the right.

We’ve found when measuring flour, the difference can be even more extreme… up to 3 to 4 tablespoons per cup. That means you might be adding up to 3/4 cup additional flour to a typical bread recipe. OUCH! Talk about dry, tough bread… For more on that, please see how to measure flour for best success.

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3. Weighing batter or dough ensures consistency of portion size.

Think muffins. Do you totally nail your portioning every single time. Or do you end up with some muffins small and pitiful looking – and some mushroom-capped and overflowing their cups?

Here’s what to do for muffins, layer cakes, cookies, or any time you want to portion your dough or batter into finished treats that are all the same size:

•Know the weight of your mixing bowl before you start.
•Once you’ve mixed up your batter, put the bowl on the scale and weigh it.
•Subtract the weight of the bowl, to establish the weight of the batter.
•Do some simple arithmetic: divide the weight of the batter by the number of portions the recipe calls for (e.g., 12 muffins; 24 cupcakes; 2 round cake layers).
Scoop out that amount of batter for each muffin (or cake layer, etc.)

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The result? As you can see, pretty darned nice.

OK, I know you’re wondering: these are our Doughnut Muffins (prior to their “dip” in melted butter and cinnamon-sugar), made into both mini muffins, and standard-size.

Serendipitously, the recipe makes the perfect amount of batter for 20 minis and six standards; I knew that ahead of time, because I weighed the batter. [Pats self on back.]

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4. Weighing ingredients makes it easy to increase (or decrease) recipes to the size you want.

OK, you decide you want 18 muffins, instead of 12. Well, that’s easy – just multiply everything by 1 1/2, right?

This Doughnut Muffin recipe calls for 1/4 cup each butter and vegetable oil; 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1/3 cup brown sugar.

Rather than get into multiplying fractions, I simply convert to grams (via the easy toggle button on our recipe site), do the basic arithmetic, then weigh everything into the bowl.

Or, if I didn’t have a scale – “Hmmm, 1/4 x 1 1/2 = 3/8 cup. That’s kind of between 1/3 and 1/2, isn’t it? Or maybe I should use the 1/4-cup and fill it 1 1/2 times…” See how measuring by volume can lead you down the slippery slope to inaccuracy?

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5. Weighing = no cleanup of messy measuring cups. None.

Is this what you typically end up with at the end of a relaxing, enjoyable baking project? Sink time, right? Or at a minimum, dishwasher space.

When you weigh ingredients, there are no measuring cups to clean. Full stop.

And that’s where I’ll leave you, as I go on to finish these peanut butter cookies I’ve been using as a demonstration. Just remember, my muffins and cookies turned out great – and I won’t be washing any sticky measuring cups. Will you?

Do you use a scale for baking? Weigh in! Tell us in comments (below) why you bake with a scale.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Amy

    I’ve had a scale for a few years now and use it constantly. I love it! I only wish more North American cookbooks were written in grams or even ounces as well as cups and tablespoons, although I’ve memorized quite a few of the common weights by now. I now give out scales as wedding gifts….I’m afraid I’ve become ‘that person’. A couple of the brides have commented to me that at first they thought they’d never use it, but it’s actually come in handy. Then I tell them all the other things they can use it for and they’re blown away! 🙂

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Amy, do you use our ingredients weight chart? It’s pretty handy for recipes that don’t include weights. I love the idea of scale as wedding gift! And you’re right, you end up using it for a lot more than baking. My husband is on a diet, and I weigh practically everything I make for him, to get the calorie count. Thanks for weighing in here! PJH

    2. Jim

      PJ, I wish your ingredients weight chart was in a printable format like your recipes. Thanks for the link — I’ll print it as is and hang it in my kitchen.

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      Jim, I printed a copy of the list and mailed it to you. Hope this helps! JoAnn@KAF

    4. Rusty Drake

      I have been using scales for years to measure flour, but just recently started using them for liquids. I have been amazed at how much variation there is between measuring cups. I have also discovered variations in my ability to consistently measure fluid ounces of liquid.
      In addition, not every recipe book measures fluid ounces of water to the same standard. I have found variations between 227g-240g for the weight of 1 cup of water.
      If one U.S. gallon weighs 3785.41g, then one cup should weigh 236.59g

    5. member-stanleyd

      I like to weigh ingredients but there is a huge difference in what various sources tell you a cup of all purpose flour weighs. KA says 120.5 grams, one web source says 125 grams and Rose Beranbaum in “The Bread Bible” – who endorses KA throughout her book – says 142 grams for a “dip and sweep cup”!

    6. MaryJane Robbins

      That’s true. Flour is one of those ingredients that doesn’t have a universally agreed upon weight. For flour, it’s best to use the measure listed with the particular recipe for best results. ~ MJ

    7. Ross Jones

      PJ, the ingredients weight chart is wonderful except for one minor problem, salt is not in the list. Given that salt is a basic ingredient of virtually all breads, this is a problem. Could it be added? Thanks

    8. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for the suggestion, Ross. We tend not to include weights for salt in our recipes because we’re typically using it in such small amounts that home scales aren’t even always accurate to that degree. We will take your idea of adding it to our Ingredient Weight Chart into consideration, though, as that might be able to provide a baseline for those who want to be especially acurate. Thanks again! Mollie@KAF

  2. gaahonore

    You’re singing my tune PJ! I have been measuring dry ingredients with a scale for years. Primarily because I found your web site and the blog. After reading a number of posts, I realized that weighing those dry ingredients is the best way to go for all the reasons that you stated above. Saving time? check. Accuracy? check. Consistent sizing of loaves, rolls, etc.? check. Sizing up/down? yep. Easy cleanup? You betcha!! KAF’s recipe page makes it super duper easy to calculate the weight measurements that you need. I recently started my new business giving in-home baking lessons and I teach my students in each and every lesson that weighing those dry ingredients id the only way to go. Thanks for the reinforcing post this morning.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      And thank YOU for spreading the word! I’m so glad you discovered weighing all those years ago. When I occasionally have to bake without a scale, I find it SO frustrating… Thanks for connecting here, and happy baking – PJH

    2. PJ Hamel , post author

      And thanks for teaching your students now only how to weigh – but simply teaching them how to bake. We need more people spreading the joy of baking (and sharing)! 🙂 PJH

  3. Buttermilk Biscuit

    This is one of the first things I learned from KAF years ago, and it transformed my baking. I can vouch for everything PJ said. Baking with a scale = faster, easier, better, more consistent results. Thanks PJ!

    The only place I have ever run into trouble is when I use a non-KAF recipe. Sometimes converting someone else’s volumetric measurement for flour is tricky because other folks don’t always measure flour correctly! If someone who scoops & packs flour writes “2 cups” and I come along and convert that to 8.5 oz., sometimes it’s not enough. But I’ve learned to watch for that so I can adjust & correct the recipe for next time. 🙂

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That can certainly be trick, Alane. I tend to just skip recipes if only volume is given, chances are you can find one with weight measurements. Jon@KAF

  4. Dan

    Yes! I really wish this would catch on in the U.S. It’s a slow climb, but I think weighing is catching on. The NY Times has been giving its baking recipes with weights for the last few years — that’s a big help. I think even for people who aren’t sticklers for accuracy, the argument about being able to scale up/down a recipe so easily is a powerful one. Who hasn’t wanted to halve a recipe sometimes? (I’ve even been known to weigh out an egg and then just use half of it, although I know that might be getting a little extreme.)

    Reply
  5. SLJ

    I much prefer using a scale when I bake. I often adapt recipes to include the weights. However, I find that with KAF recipes I consistently have to use different flour amounts for success. I can’t get KAF in Canada…is the weight of our flour different?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      If you are converting from volume to weight then the weights can differ between flours. If not, the type of flour still plays a role in your recipes. Protein level or the amount of whole grains in the flour will change how much or how little liquid you will need in your recipe. Jon@KAF

    2. smd

      I’m in Ontario and use all different flours (Robin Hood, Five Roses, whatever they sell at Shoppers Drug Mart…) and the 4.25 oz cup works well for me if that’s any help.

      I brought a balance scale (the one with the little weights that you put on one side) with me when I moved back here from Scotland and have used it for years. To convert recipes I have made up a spreadsheet of the most common ingredients, & I convert new recipes before starting to bake them. I’d be quite happy to share it if anyone wants it.

  6. Roxann

    I use a scale for many things, including dividing portions from the recipe, but never have used it for actually mixing the recipe. That magic ingredient weights chart was the key I was missing!

    Thank you, and my sink full of dirty measuring cups thanks you too!

    Reply
  7. JennC13

    I too, discovered weighing my ingredients thanks to King Arthur! I’ve written down the weights of several “common” ingredients to use when I have a recipe that is not from the KAF website. My family teases me about my rolls at the holidays, saying that they must be store bought since they look so perfect. I’d never be able to get them that way without my scale 🙂 I probably should try it for muffins too, since mine definitely never come out the same. I especially love it for items like PJ mentioned – honey, peanut butter, shortening – all things that are a pain to try and measure and then scrape out of cups. I’ve also used it to weigh portions for meals while trying to watch my diet. And scales were the perfect gifts for my mom and sister who love to bake as well. If you don’t have one – get it today – you’ll never regret your purchase!!

    Reply
  8. Renee

    I also weigh my ingredients, and have for about 20 years. Great and consistent results!
    Would there be a printable ingredients weight chart? I would love to be able to tape that on the inside of my cabinet for quick access when baking.

    Reply
  9. Amy S

    Oh, this is a post with which I whole-heartedly agree! Ever since I purchased the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book, (complete with weight chart in the back), I’ve measured my ingredients for all baking. What a difference it makes! Yes, it is much faster. And the clean-up is so much less. Agree, agree, agree!!! But the best part is that I can make the upward or downward adjustments on recipes, which makes me a versatile baker. I feel invincible!! Now, I use my measuring cups for things like measuring portions of cereal in the morning (and I can leave the cup in the container until the cereal is gone…..) and for portioning out cooked soup. Accuracy is less important in those cases as opposed to being fair when dividing food between several hungry people. I don’t know why more people don’t insist on weighing food. Even recipes in grams can be made now without conversion — just change the button on the scale!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Great tip, Amy. That is exactly what I use my measuring cups for as well, or for scooping flour into my bowl when weighing it. Jon@KAF

  10. Rockycat

    Preaching to the choir, sister. If only more recipes were written by weight. That’s only one thing I love about your recipe site – the ability to toggle between different measurements.

    One thing has always confused me, though. When a recipe calls for 6 oz., say, of a liquid ingredient, is that 6 oz. by volume or by weight? It may not matter much with water, but if the liquid is corn syrup it could matter a lot. Is there a convention about that so that if I use a commercial recipe I know whether the liquid is by weight or volume?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      When you see ounces, think weight. When you see cups or fractions of a cup, think volume. Some liquid measuring cups will list both cups (volume measure) and ounces (weight measure). For best accuracy – use a scale for the ounces measurement. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  11. Nanciew

    Thank you for this post. Whenever a recipe gives me weights, I use my scale. Even where I think I can get the measurements accurate enough for it to turn out well, I love how doing it this way reduces cleanup (especially on sticky ingredients like honey or molasses.) And it makes substitutions easier in some cases to do it by weight.

    I’ve always hesitated though on trying to convert baking recipes that are written with volume measurements into weight measurements because I don’t really know how accurate the recipe writer’s volume measurements were to begin with (if that makes sense.) Sometimes recipe books will indicate their measuring technique, but often not. Maybe the thing to do is to make that type of recipe the usual way, measuring the ingredients out by volume, but weigh them as well, and make a note of the weights and then if the recipe comes out right that time, you have the weights to make it again successfully another time. Seems like a good option for recipes you’ve made before by volume. hmmm.

    Thank you for the ingredient weight chart. Didn’t know you had that. I’ll definitely give that a try. With it, you could go the other way and use the chart to convert a recipe from volume to weight. If the recipe author weighs ingredients like KAF, then it should work.

    Either way, you need to be willing to experiment a little to convert from volume to weight but with a favorite recipe, it might be worth the trouble.

    Reply
  12. Greg

    I’ve used a scale for years, and won’t ever go back! There are a few approximate weights I’ve memorized to make things faster (A/P Flour ~ 140g/cup; Sugar ~ 200g/cup; Water ~ 240g/cup) and this helps a lot. I still haven’t convinced my wife that it’s easier (she can’t remember those weights because she doesn’t use them often enough), but she definitely appreciates the lack of dishes at the end.

    Also, that ingredients weight chart would be even more useful if it had both ounces AND GRAMS. Now you’re just going to make me do all the conversions! 😉

    Reply
    1. Melissa

      I second having grams on the weight chart. If I have to calculate a fraction of an ounce and it goes to thousandths when my scale only goes to tenths I would rather just start with grams. I feel like I am sliding “down the slippery slope to inaccuracy” otherwise! 🙂
      PS: I love my scale from KAF!

    2. Shel

      I “third” the idea of having grams on the chart. 5/8 of an ounce STILL requires me to do much hated math instead of much loved baking!

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      Shel, thanks for casting your vote for grams. I will pass on your suggestion. Barb@KAF

  13. Kristina

    I’ve always noticed on British baking shows that the cooks weigh their ingredients. I always wondered why…this makes so much sense now! I’m definitely going to get a scale and do this. Thank you!

    Reply
  14. Victoria

    here in the UK baking by weight is standard, although US cups are popular for the fun of scooping and dipping into flour and sugar. I love mine, but I’ve never really understood why you’d want to make so much extra washing up! And do you need more than one set for wet/dry? And how do you get the last bit of sticky ingredients out? And do you have to squish the butter down? etc, etc. Much easier to pop your mixing bowl on to a digital scale, zero it each time, and chuck everything in.

    Thanks, KAF, for the useful ‘click to convert’ function on the recipes – I use it all the time!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I never understood it either, Victoria. I loathe, no I detest dishes with a fierce passion (of course I -am- the dishwasher at home, go figure?). Nothing is harder to clean than a measuring cup that held fat like butter or shortening. Jon@KAF

  15. Bob

    I’m 100% with you. Started using an electronic scale several years ago after I started baking all our bread. While some of it was learning curve, my initial loaves were inconsistent; and that evaporated when I bought and started using the scale for my dry ingredients. The scale, the King Arthur dough hook and rising buckets have been the best tools in my bread baking kitchen!

    Reply
  16. Mary Poppins

    I have used a scale for baking for years. It is very odd that more people in America don’t. I have taught my three children to bake with the scale as well. And that scale is used constantly for all sorts of school projects to weigh things for science, craft projects to weigh fabric for dyeing, and fundraisers when we need to put the exact amount of candy in each bag. I give out scales as gifts regularly. Best wedding gift is a scale and cards with a few basic recipes for pancakes, muffins, bread, and pasta. I am a scale zealot and have converted many to the best and easiest way to bake. Thank you for this great blog post and the FABULOUS ingredient weight chart!

    Reply
  17. Inge Diodati

    I have used a scale for many years now. A lot of my recipes, especially bread, rolls, etc. are tweaked for my altitude at 5,000 feet in Colorado, so measuring is essential. Some of my friends think I must not be a good baker because I don’t just “eyeball” my ingredients but my bread, rolls, etc. always come out looking the same. I think it is an essential part of baking. I just tried a new bread recipe and baked it according to instructions and it came out heavy and dense. Back to the drawing board and tweaking for my altitude!

    Reply
  18. Carolyn

    I’ve had a scale for years but don’t use it all the time — until now. I broke my thumb and now have a cast on my left hand/arm. I can still bake some things and just put the bread machine pan/bowl on the scale and zero it when necessary but things that need measuring spoons can be awkward. A problem I have always had with the scale is that it’s smallest increment is 1/4 oz. or 5 grams. I never know when to stop adding the ingredient – when the display changes to the desired amount or add a little more and maybe have to take a bit back if the scale display notches up. I often use the most inexpensive paper plates on the scale when measuring ingredients that are added later and sometimes not all at once like flour for cakes and cookies. The soft cardboard rolls/curls for neat pouring into my mixing bowl and when done can be tossed in the trash or sometimes re-used later (clinging sugar brushes off easily, cocoa not so much!)

    Reply
  19. Carolyn

    Forgot to mention that my scale (brand is Salter purchased from the KAF store) came with a spiral bound, stand up, conversion chart. It’s very comprehensive, has pages for Cereals and Grains, Condiments, Fats, Flour, Liquids, Meat-Poultry and Cheese, Nuts, Sweeteners, Vegetables and Miscellaneous.

    Reply
  20. Jaytee

    YES!

    I was given a scale and started using it religiously only recently.
    One thing I’ve always struggled with is accurately dividing batter between two cake pans.
    Thanks to my new scale, I now know that when I make KAF’s fudge birthday cake,
    each pan gets *exactly* 24 ounces of batter.
    SO much easier! And my cake layers are perfect twins now instead of being slightly uneven.

    When I am making ganache, so much more accurate to measure chocolate on the scale than trying to guess with a measuring cup.

    Reply
  21. Alicia Dean

    I use my scale for EVERYTHING! I’ve put the items I use most often from your weight chart into an Excel spreadsheet. I then used the calculation functions in Excel to calculate the correct weights for fractional amounts of those items. So if a recipe calls for 1/3 cup of brown sugar, no hand calculations necessary–the spreadsheet has already done the work!

    Reply
    1. Jessica's Kitchen

      Alicia

      So Excel will do calculations ? I never knew that. That is what I have trouble with the most is upping or downing amounts for ingredients. Could you explain to me how to do the excel thing please? I am a daily baker and if hubby is not around to do the quick math for me, I’m lost!

  22. Beth

    I only bought a scale because I wanted to try a recipe that only had weight measurements. I wasn’t sure if I’d use it much after that, but wow! I use it for everything I bake now. I can’t do without it.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Weighing your ingredients is the way to go. We are so glad that you have found a fun and accurate way to measure. Happy Baking!JoAnn@KAF

  23. Kayla

    I went to KAF baking demonstration and was told that measuring ingredients by volume was a better method because the humidity can cause things like flour to weigh as much as 20% more in the summer than it does in the winter. I’ve never tried weighing because we do regularly have days where the humidity reaches over 80%.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Kayla, in general we have had the best success using weight to measure ingredients because we recommend storing flour in an air-tight canister to prevent any of this absorption. When we do measure by volume, the “fluff and sprinkle method” is the best way to get the most accurate measurement of flour. However, if you’ve found a tried and tested method that works for your environment and your recipes, by all means stick to it! Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  24. Anna

    It’s to the point, for me at least, that I won’t buy cookbooks if there aren’t weights in the recipes. I picked up a couple of books from the library (thank goodness I didn’t buy them!) to peruse and test a few recipes. Both of the authors made statements about the weight vs. volume measurement and that they wouldn’t include weights. One deigned to include a weight chart for those wishing to convert the volume to weight: according to them, one cup of flour weighs the same as a cup of cocoa powder and a cup of sugar. NOT!

    Reply
  25. TN Rita

    Wow! In addition to the great bread recipes, and the many cool tools I have purchased (among my favorites the dough whisk and the best ever herb scissors) I have learned so many good things from the KAF site. I totally love the KAF site. I have a scale but have not used it for weighing recipe ingredients but will sure start now! I’ll be baking a loaf of bread later and will weigh flour and other ingredients. The measurement chart you included in your info is a great help! I’d love to have a nice hole punched laminated 8×10 copy to put into my “self-made” cookbook (includes lots of KA bread and bakery recipes). So I will get that done. In the meantime, I’ll slip the one on the site here into page protectors and put into my homemade cookbook! Keep up the great work PJ. I’ve learned a lot from you. I ordered 2 KA cook books on sale last week. Can’t wait till they come!!!

    Reply
  26. Carol

    I had never heard of measuring by weight before, but this article makes a lot of sense.
    However, I really wish your chart was more user friendly for someone like me wanting to print it out for reference. After all, isn’t that why you offered it?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Carol, you’re absolutely right – and we’re about to start redesigning the chart. I’ll make a note to have it be printer-friendly. Thanks so much for the good suggestion – PJH

  27. Tami

    Preaching to the choir here!! My husband and I both love to cook. He does not weigh (that’s what he says). I caught him recently deveating from his no weigh mantra by sneaking up behind him. He is out of the measuring cup closet now and is feeling fine. Happy to be a weighing Family now!! Thanks for the conversion in your recipes. I / We love it!!

    Reply
  28. lionschild

    I credit Alton Brown for getting me to use a scale…and I’ve never regretted it! When I began using recipes from Asia it made metric measuring a breeze!

    Reply
  29. Suzanne Quigley

    I started baking only a few years ago and have always used a scale. I took a bread baking class at the local vocational high school. The baker strongly advised that we always weigh our ingredients. Being a novice, I took his words seriously and have never regretted it!

    Reply
  30. Shari

    I too use weights for all my baking – but I have a request. Can you put weights for EGGS in, too? I have hens, and our eggs are not labeled as to size! I’ve tried weighing them before, but I’m never sure if I should weigh with the shell or not. Please help! Also – much easier to halve a recipe if I knew how much half an egg should weigh.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Shari- On large egg out of the shell equals 3 tablesoons +1/2 tsp OR 1.75 ounces OR 50 grams. Hope this helps! Laurie@KAF

  31. Mary Hehlke

    I bought a scale from KAF several years ago, and have not used it, as I don’t have a chart telling me about the grams, etc or weight. Do you have anything like this, so I could use my scale. I read where everyone likes measuring with the scale. Any help would be most appreciated. I do so want to get use of my scale. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Mary, if you use our recipes, the ones on our site, you’ll see the ingredients’ weight (in both grams and ounces) simply by clicking on one of the buttons at the top of the list of ingredients. We also offer a handy ingredients’ weight chart. Now, go ahead and start using that scale – you’ll love it! 🙂 PJH

  32. Barbara DG

    I read all my recipes, kept at Dropbox, on a tablet these days, so I am going to convert that fabulous chart (BIG THANK YOU!) to a PDF for myself. It would be a great download to offer everyone, too, PJ! For a printable, it would be wonderful on standard letter size paper. I may also print it on the front and back of a sheet and laminate it. It’s too good a resource to not have close at hand!

    Reply
  33. Damon

    Buy a set of scales and it will set your soul free in the kitchen! I especially like that most KAF recipes are available in grams! If they aren’t I have to think long and hard about making them.

    This chart is a great resource.
    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/master-weight-chart.html

    I wish that other Yankee cooking magazine with no ads would get with the plan. While I’m on that subject someone needs to tell them how much a cup KAF UB AP Flour weighs! That’s all I’ve got to say about that!! 🙂

    Reply
  34. Carrie K

    Weighing ingredients has changed my baking life!

    If you’re stubborn like me and didn’t want to purchase a scale and weigh everything, CHANGE YOUR MIND RIGHT NOW! I have pretty successful cupcaking business on the side, and when I first started making cupcakes, I refused to weigh. It seemed so pretentious and I was just fine with using the established old-fashioned way of using measuring cups. Lets just say my first six months of cupcake baking brought tons of frustration and tears. Tough, dry cupcakes or cupcakes that fell flat due to lack of structure. I was ready to give upon the whole cupcake business idea when I decided to give it a shot with an inexpensive food scale on the recommendation of a favorite food blogger.

    Suddenly my cupcakes were PERFECTION. Light and fluffy, perfectly moist. Consistent EVERY TIME. I cannot imagine baking ANYTHING now without a scale. If I find a recipe I want without weights, I convert it immediately.

    Scaling is one of the three best pieces of cake advice I follow, along with making sure ALL your ingredients are room temperature, and investing in King Arthur Flour’s Cake Enhancer. Word.

    Reply
  35. Edgewater

    I agree with Damon’s comments re that other great Yankee company whose recipes we also love. The flour weights are SO different for their recipes! It makes it really confusing – I follow their guidance for their recipes, but what to do for all those old favorites still listed as volumes only? I tend to follow KAF guidance for flours since you should be the experts on all things flour – I just wish both parties could work out something. It’s amazing to me that two such well-respected companies don’t agree on whether a cup of AP flour weighs more or less than whole wheat flour! Have the two parties ever discussed this, and just have agreed to disagree?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We agree Edgewater, that the different methods used to measure flour can make things confusing and cause quiet a bit of variability in the outcome of recipes to say the least. It’s not quiet an “agree to disagree” situation, but rather just different methods used by different bakers and baking companies, all of which can produce great results. Different methods of measuring can work, as long as your are consistent and the recipes are adjusted accordingly. Be sure to use our “fluff and sprinkle” method when making King Arthur recipes or use that scale and shoot for 4.25 ounces! Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  36. Kathryn Kemp

    TARE is the added weight of a container. My scale has a TARE button that will reset to zero after I put a mixing bowl on it. This is a very handy feature to look for when buying a scale. To weigh small quantities, a square of waxed paper is handy.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for the information, Kathryn. That TARE button certainly comes in handy. Barb@KAF

  37. Judy Austin

    I’m on my second scale–bought the first years ago–and wouldn’t consider making bread without one any more. I do the dough in a bread machine, then shape it and bake it myself; I can put the machine pan on the scale and turn it on after I’ve put in the liquids and salt, then scoop in the flour by weight. The scale is also useful, in a 2-person household, for–an example–taking half of a one-pound container of strawberries out and rinsing them off and then dividing them equally between us, something I could never do by sight.

    Reply
  38. Mary E

    I converted your table of ingredient conversions to a spreadsheet. My scale is digital, so fractions have been converted to decimals. Feel free to make available, just let me know where to email.

    Love all the cooking how-to’s and video’s.

    Converted to digital scale when I first tried making bread and results were inconsistent due to flour measuring inconsistency. Who knew it could vary so much??

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Mary, I once took an employee class here at King Arthur Flour and everyone measured a cup of flour by volume and then weighted the flour. Even with a room full of flour people, the weights were all over the place. It was an enlightening experience! Barb@KAF

  39. Mary Provost

    Agree that a scale is the way to go, but want to add a cautionary note. With some digital scales that require batteries, when the batteries begin to fade your weights might be off. Although they last a long time, be sure the batteries in your digital scale are good and if you’re unsure, replace with fresh ones.

    Reply
  40. Carla in Kansas

    I am in agreement with all of you on the usefulness of a kitchen scale. Mine is an old one, with the large dial on the front and a flat platform on top, and not the fine degree of “nths” of the new ones, but I live alone and at 75, can’t justify buying a snazzy new digital one.

    On to the positives. One thing I’ve found the scale useful for is when I am making ground meat patties to freeze for quick burgers later, or meatballs – first, I cover the platform with waxed paper or plastic wrap. I “eyeball” the meat, cut it into pieces, then weigh them and add/subtract smaller bits of meat to make them all equal later when they are cooked. I also use it when bagging shredded zucchini in the summertime for winter baking …I cup-measure the zucchini into baggies, then weigh the baggies and add or subtract to make the same weight bags. Hope this helps someone new to scale-using, and I’m sure there are dozens of other good things a scale can be used for. Happy baking, y’all!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for sharing your scale stories, Carla! It sounds like your old fashioned scale still does the trick! Barb@KAF

  41. Rachel

    Might be a silly question… How do you manage to not use any measuring dishes when doing weights? Don’t you need weighing paper or some vessel to hold the ingredient as you add it to the scale? Or if you are zeroing with with the mixing bowl, don’t you run the risk of adding too much? I work in a lab and weigh chemicals from time to time, and I can’t imagine adding straight into my “recipe”… I often overshoot and need to remove some before adding… How do you all manage this with baking with a scale? I’m very interested in trying it!!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Rachel, I’m careful; but when I add too much flour or sugar, say, I simply scoop it back out of the bowl – carefully, from the top, where it hasn’t touched any of the other ingredients. Liquids, I’m just very, very careful. Works for me – give it a try! PJH

  42. Russell Vaught

    Salt is an especially nasty ingredient unless you use a scale. What is key is the amount of sodium chloride, but in general there is wide variance in how much volume they take. That is true even within types as one batch of sea salt may be quite different than another, for example. I have found the KAF’s bread salt is very consistent, but I do ALWAYS weigh it.

    A few years ago, I splurged and purchased the Escali Pana Volume and Weight Scale. The ability to weigh ingredients even when weights are not listed in the recipe is something I now could not live without. I consider it amongst my best purchase for backing.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Russell, so glad to hear you like your Pana. And salt can be tricky, it’s true, due to its low volume; as well as its grind, which can range from coarse to extra-fine, all of which affects volume. As you say, better to use a scale. Thanks for your feedback here – PJH

  43. thyra

    I don’t ever weigh my flour…but after my last loaf of Rye bread, I plan to weigh my flour (and everything else) from now on !!! Made pizza dough today and could not believe the differance. I always measure carefully, but after weihging, I see how much more flour I would have used.
    I copied the weight chart for flour and taped in inside my bread recipe file. Thanks so much for this article.:)

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We have the weight chart taped to the wall in our test kitchen, Thyra. It is at the ready! Elisabeth@KAF

  44. Barbara

    Place the bowl on the scale. Turn on the scale the scale will register zero. No need to subtract the weight of the bowl.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Barbara, this is once I have all of the ingredients in the bowl – I want the weight of the ingredients, without the weight of the bowl, thus subtracting the weight of the bowl. But thanks for your suggestion – PJH

  45. Susan

    I read the blogs faithfully and really enjoy the information presented by the host and readers…thanks you all for your input! I always use a scale when baking breads and rolls to measure “equal portions” for uniform baking. I think I will try the scale to measure ingredients as I find I have a “heavy hand” when measuring flour (as evidenced by my last loaf of whole wheat “dry brick” bread!) I never knew about the ingredients weight sheet on the site. Thanks so much. I referred to the sheet and have a question about cracked wheat (as I use a lot of cracked wheat in my bread and rolls). There are 2 entries for cracked wheat…the first is up in the “C”s and is entered as “Cracked wheat – 1 cup = 2 5/8 ounces.” The second entry is at the end of the chart under “W” and states “Wheat Cracked 1 cup = 5 1/4 ounces.” Is there something different about cracked wheats or is it simply a typo? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Susan, so sorry to lead you astray! The correct weight is 5 1/4 ounces; the other is a mistake. I’ve asked the IT folks to wave their magic wand over the chart and make that errant 2 5/8-ounce cup of cracked wheat disappear! Thanks for alerting us to this – PJH

  46. SarahD

    I’ve been using a scale for years and really wish more American recipes would go to weights. I love that King Arthur does–though it would be nice if some of the older recipes could get updated with weights. I have your weight/volume scale, which is nifty for my old recipes that have no weights. I did discover one down side to weight rather than volume–when I started baking with my toddler, he didn’t have the fun of dumping the measuring cup into the bowl when we baked by weight. I’m still trying to figure out a solution to that one…

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We didn’t consider the downside of a scale being “less fun” for kids, but you’re right! Maybe your son can find a new found love of mixing, stirring and scraping all things? Good luck and happy baking with your family! Kye@KAF

  47. Carol

    You are absolutely correct! I was trying to post a remark too early, before I read the entire blog and was corrected, Thank You for that! All my comments were already mentioned and repeated further down in the blog.
    Yes I have been using a scale for about 30 years for everything BUT baking, (measuring portions, wrapping meats for freezing, even weighing the ground coffee for the pot! But not any more… A friend raved about the KAF website and recipes, and I thank her for that wholeheartedly. Your blog and the ingredient weight list have convinced me to “do the math” where necessary, and enjoy better results. Wish I had found your website years ago!

    Reply
  48. Dee

    I am a very new convert to using a scale. About 3 or 4 months ago I tried baking the Bacon-Cheddar-Chives scones and used my scale (that I usually use to weigh yarns) to weigh out the ingredients, and later for dividing the dough exactly in half to make the mini-scones. It was so much easier to do and I liked that it took out a lot of the guess work — is this really enough cheddar? Do I need to pack it down to fill in the spaces or leave it as poured in?

    I am now printing recipes in ounces and getting annoyed with my old books that don’t have weights.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Dee, we’re so glad to hear you love using a scale as much as we do! As for the amount of cheese, we’ve found 4 ounces (which is about 1 cup) to be just the right amount for our taste buds. If you would like these scones to really burst with cheesy flavor, feel free to increase the cheese by 1-2 ounces. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  49. Di

    Hi! I agree weighing is the way to go!!! In EU we use weights for everything! A lot less clean up!!! But with volume measurements in the states, I have had a hard time converting! I have converted many a recipe to weight and have had them fail miserably!!!! It seems like not everyone spoons the flour into the cups, some people dip and sweep! For example, many recipes on Martha Stewarts site and her baking handbook use fluff, dip and sweep. I appreciate KAF site for recipes because I know you have consistent weights… would you ever consider posting weights for D&S.

    Thanks!!!!!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Hi, Di – a cup of all-purpose flour using the D&S method (though no fluffing) typically weighs in at about 5 ounces. Hope this helps – PJH

  50. Valerie

    I’m still measuring using cups. Doesn’t matter to me if the muffins are perfectly uniform.

    Another twist on this is to make muffins from a yellow cake recipe – our fave addin is blueberries! Yum!!! I have some frozen rhubarb I need to use. Maybe I’ll try that next.

    Finally I love your donut muffin recipe! Next I need to buy one of your donut pans…maybe I’ll treat myself (and family) for Christmas.

    Reply
  51. Lorena

    The German baking recipes I’ve used for more than 40 years always give ingredient weights, but now I want to follow all of your suggestions to use the scale for more accurate baking and portioning (such as for muffins and cake layers), and to convert my favorite family recipes for Christmas cookies.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We have passed your feedback forward to our team to consider adding a printer-friendly option for this chart in the future. We hope you find it helpful! Kye@KAF

  52. Khassy

    I just got a scale for Christmas and have been weighing my baking recipes. I’m a little confused on one matter, though. When I switch from volumes to grams, 3 cups of water becomes 680 grams. That’s still by weight, right? Not fluid volume?

    Reply
  53. Marc Lindhout

    I have been trying to bake bread for about a year with marginal success. First, I convert recipes from KAF to grams and weigh everything. My question is this: because liquid in the recipe is also given in grams, will this compromise ratio, or should I use volume measuring on the liquid and mass for the dry? My loaves typically are dense and heavy crumb.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Marc, whenever we refer to ingredients in ounces or grams, we are measuring by weight, not volume. It works fine to weight all the ingredients, without adding the complication of measuring liquids by volume. In most of our recipes you can select to view the recipe by either volume, ounces, or grams by clicking on the option you want under the word “Ingredients” on the recipe page. Barb@KAF

  54. Sheryl Schneider

    Love the ease and consistency of a scale. As most, I use the scale for so many more things. I need a printable list to frame and keep on the wall next to my mixer! The hardest part is trying to remember!!

    Reply
  55. Al F.

    I’ve recently discovered the virtue of using a kitchen scale and love it, not just for measuring baking ingredients, but also for pasta and other recipe ingredients.

    Reply
  56. Christine Nelson

    I have been a member of the KAF baking circle for some time now. One of the first things I learned from all those wonderful members was the attributes of a scale. I was resistant at first, but they finally convinced me. It was an eye-opening experience. What a wonderful thing!!!! I never bake without it now. It has a permanent spot on my counter.

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Hi, Christine. I love a scale because I hate washing dishes. Hopefully your testimony will help others give it a try! Susan

  57. craig barton

    I have been weighing ingredients for 8 years now and it’s the only way to bake. I hope people don’t get confused with web sites like Joy of baking and use the wrong amount of all purpose flour, it is 120g, not 130g for 1 cup of flour

    Reply
  58. Kazzy

    Hi, just purchased a “drop”, it’s a Bluetooth enabled kitchen scale that intuitively guides you step by step through finding, making and sharing dishes with the help of an iPad connected app. They continue to build on drops capabilities. Personally I like the fact that their recipes are kitchen tested, it’s of course less messy and it’s challengin NOT to be successful! I believe they’re looking for content partners, this might be considered for KAF? I can already see a new class perhaps…Baking Perfection the Intuitive, Fast, Easy, Weight Way!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for sending this information our way, Kazzy. We’re certainly intrigued and appreciate modern day enhancements to baking. We’ll be sure to pass this suggestion along to the appropriate part of our team to consider when discussing future avenues to explore. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  59. T

    For some reason the dough from a cookie recipe I have made forever (Spritz Cookies from 1966 Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery) was just too dense for my cookie press this year. King Arthur’s website converted me to weighing ingredients months ago so I have decided this recipe needs to be converted too.

    I see on your website, 1 cup all purpose flour is 120 grams. My 1966 recipe calls for unsifted flour. Would you recommend the same conversion? 1 cup =120 grams? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      I suspect the unsifted flour called for in your cookbook would weigh more than 120g. But it was also probably lower protein than King Arthur Flour, and since lower protein flours absorb more liquid, that would balance the extra weight of the flour. In short — go ahead and use 120g as your weight, but when you make your cookies add the flour gradually, using just enough to make dough that’s the right consistency for your press. Good luck — PJH

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Good question, Avery. One cup of sourdough (maintained the way we recommend) will weigh between 8 to 8 1/2 ounces or 227-241 grams. Mollie@KAF

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