A cup is a cup, right?

When I started seriously baking and cooking a few years back, I had no concept of proper ingredients measuring. For me, a coffee cup was enough to measure out a cup of flour and I thought I could eyeball half a cup of water quite well. It was no surprise then that my earliest attempts at baking fell flat. In the case of my first ever cream puffs, literally flat.

While cooking may be more forgiving of a few miscalculated ingredients, baking is not so merciful. One thing that struck me while I was desperately googling for tips to fix the cream puffs was this: Baking is a science. And, like any science, proper measuring is important.

At first I bought the traditional measuring cups and spoons, but the results I was getting were varied. In my utter frustration, I caved in, bought a simple weighing scale, and weighed my ingredients. I know most of us dislike math, but there’s no getting away from it if you want consistent results in baking and cooking.

The recipes that I have in this blog use a mixture of volume and weight measurements. Although I try to stick to metric weight measurements for dry ingredients (especially if the recipe calls for anything greater than two tablespoons), I don’t sweat it for teaspoons and I still use my trusty Pyrex measuring cup for liquid ingredients.

Here are some of the ingredients that are used in this blog with their corresponding metric and volume measurements.

Common Baking Measurements

IngredientVolumeGrams
All Purpose Flour1 cup120
Bread Flour1 cup120
Cake Flour1 cup120
Granulated Sugar1 cup220
Brown Sugar, packed1 cup200
Baking Powder1 teaspoon4
Baking Soda1/2 teaspoon3
Icing/Powdered Sugar1 cup100
Coconut, sweetened flakes1 cup85
Coconut, desiccated1 cup100
Cornmeal1 cup138
Almond Flour1 cup96
Almond, sliced1/2 cup43
Cocoa, unsweetened1 cup85
Cheese, grated (cheddar, jack, mozzarella, Swiss)1 cup113
Cheese, grated (Parmesan)1 cup50
Cream Cheese1 cup227
Chocolate Chips1 cup170
Chocolate, chopped1 cup170
Peanut Butter1/2 cup135
Polenta1 cup163
Yeast, instant2 1/4 teaspoons7

A thing about Oven Temps

Another important aspect in baking is the preheating of the oven.  When preheating your oven, it helps to use a thermometer since a lot of our ovens are not calibrated correctly. While your oven may indicate that it has reached the desired temperature, I’ve found that it is usually off by 10 degrees or more.

In addition, most, if not all, American recipes use Fahrenheit oven temperatures. While this is no problem for ovens with Fahrenheit/Celcius displays, it does get a bit tricky for the rest of us laboring with Celcius displays. Here’s the oven temperature conversion that I use.

Oven Temperatures

FahrenheitCelsiusGas Mark
2751401
3001502
3251703
3501804
3751905
4002006
4252207
4502308
4752509

Enjoy baking and cooking!