Measuring: Tips and Techniques to Get It Right
You’ve probably heard it: Baking is a science. Every cake or batch of brownies you put into the oven is its own chemistry experiment. So making sure you measure your ingredients accurately is important. Start with high-quality kitchen tools like the measuring cups and spoons by CS Measuring™, then follow the tips and techniques below for success in the kitchen!
- Lightly spoon flour. Too much flour can ruin your baked goods. When you see instructions to lightly spoon flour into measuring cups, follow them! Spooning a little flour at a time into the cup preserves air pockets and prevents the flour from getting packed down. Once you have a heaping mound of flour over the top of the cup, use the back of a butter knife to level it off before pouring it into your mixing bowl.
- Pack brown sugar. In contrast to flour, brown sugar should be packed into the measuring cup to get the intended amount into the recipe. Spoon some sugar into the cup, then use your fingers or the back of the spoon to press it into the cup. Repeat until the sugar is even with the top of the cup. When you pour it out, the sugar should be in the shape of the cup (like building a sand castle!).
- Grease cups before measuring sticky ingredients. It’s not hard to measure an exact amount of honey or molasses—but getting the full amount out of the measuring cup and into your bowl is its own challenge! Before pouring sticky things into measuring cups, spray the cups lightly with nonstick cooking spray (or wipe with a small amount of vegetable oil). The sticky stuff will slide right out, and your recipe will get the intended amount.
- Know some simple conversions. You can save time while baking by knowing some easy measurement conversions. Don’t have a ⅛ measuring cup? No problem, ⅛ cup is the same as 2 tablespoons. And 3 teaspoons equals 1 tablespoon. Some recipes give measurements by weight rather than volume: 1 cup of all-purpose flour is approximately 4.25 ounces. Granulated sugar is heavier, however, measuring 7 ounces to 1 cup. (King Arthur Flour provides an excellent list of weight-to-volume conversions for all kinds of ingredients here.)
Understand nonstandard terms. When recipes use nonstandard terms, it can throw off your measuring game. Here are some simple definitions: A pinch is approximately 1/16 tsp. (a smidgen is less and a dash is more, about ⅛ tsp.). A scant measurement means not quite the full amount (just under the top of the measuring cup or spoon), while a heaping measurement means a little bit more than the full amount (mounding slightly over the top of the measuring cup or spoon).