Informational Articles

How to Measure Flour

Measuring is easy once you know how to do it, but not quite as easy as it might seem, so let me teach you How to Measure Flour!
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Hi Bold Bakers!

As all of you know, delicious and high-quality baked goods are built from the ground up! From the actual ingredients you use to the tools and techniques you practice, Bold Baking is all about striking that balance between taste and technique.

To truly learn how to bake, you should be learning the basics. My Bold Baking Basics series was created for that reason and features things like how to make your own Homemade Butter or Homemade Brown Sugar. But, I think it’s important to go even deeper — even more basic. Let’s talk How to Measure Flour.

What kind of measuring cups do you use to measure flour?

To start off, you want to make sure you are using the right tools for the job. A drinking cup, a coffee cup, and things of that sort are not actually a proper way to measure a cup of flour — or any ingredient for that matter.

Treat yourself (or the baker in your life) to a nice set of measuring cups. Here are the cups I use for Bigger Bolder Baking.

How to Accurately Measure Flour

Now that you’re all set with the correct kind of measuring cup, you’ll want to address the way you scoop your flour. There are two ways to skin this cat, you’re either a spooner or a scooper.

The spooners fill their cup up spoonful by spoonful and they level off with a knife. If you spoon this will give you a little more air in your cup. This means 1 cup could be somewhere in and around (4 1/2oz/128g).

However, I’m a scooper, so for all of my recipes, I dunk my cup into my jar of flour and level off. This method means that my 1 cup of flour will weigh (5oz/142g). So if you following my recipes just note that I like to scoop and maybe my cup is a little fuller than other websites or blogs. The good thing is that my weight is consistent across all my recipes so along as you follow them accurately, your recipes will work out perfectly. 

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Do I have to level off my flour?

Once you’ve scooped enough flour into your cup, you absolutely want to make sure to level it off. I always do this. I like to level off my measuring cups with the blunt edge of a butter knife.

To do this, I swiftly run the knife’s edge over the cup allowing the excess to be swiped away. If my cup isn’t full after I level, I add a bit more then level it off again. This, in combination with spooning the flour into the cup, ensures there is never too much flour and never too little, and my measurement is always just right!

Not All Flour Is Created Equal

The last thing to know is that just like brown and white sugars have different weights, different kinds of flour vary in weight.

From whole wheat to white to rye, each one of these grains is ground differently, and while they all end up to be a fine powder they can still vary in the weight per cup. To get the MOST accurate measurement of all, I suggest using a scale to get the grams and ounces measurements. Baking is about precision and a scale will get you the most exact weight. You can take a look at my handy Weight Conversion Chart for more information.

I also know this is a kitchen tool not everyone has, but I suggest making the investment if you love to bake. I have had an OXO Digital Scale for many years and it was well worth it.

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29 thoughts on “How to Measure Flour

  1. Hi Gemma!
    Wanted to know if your 1cup= 200g or 8 ounces. I know that 1 cup of flour, white sugar, brown sugar will all have different weights and its a measure of volume after all. But still wanted to know if yours and mine are similar.

        1. Hi there,
          Cup measurements are based on an informal system of measurement, prior to home weighing scales. People would share recipes based on their kitchen cups, it did not matter the weight of the ingredients, or the size of the cup, as long as the same cup was used to measure all of the ingredients, in any one kitchen. It a measure of volume. Once the balance is right, then all will be well. Different ingredients have different equivalent weights too, so rice will be different to sugar, cocoa to flour, and different flours will have a different weight too. Think Rocks and Feathers! So, the rule is simple, fill your cups in the same way, scoop/level/compress, however you choose, and the balance in the recipe will be good. It is not a good idea to mix cup measurements with another method, it is unnecessary, and will not be good for your recipes. You have to trust this system, if not, get a digital scales, it will be the most accurate of all!
          I hope this is of help,
          Gemma 🙂

          1. Thanks a lot for the explanation. I have a kitchen scale and have used it in all your recipes I have tried and have had successful results thankfully.

            Its just that weighing is time-taking and Its easier to use a cup rather than a scale when I don’t have a lot of time on my hands.

            So, my 1 cup is around 8 oz and even if it isnt the same as yours. I can use my cup as long as the same cup is used for all ingredients coz its all about balance. Right??

            1. Hi Hafsa, weight of the ingredients will change depending on the ingredient themselves. Volume can be the same, but weight will definitely not be the same. I hope this clarifies, Gemma

  2. Love all your recipes. Am just a novice in baking & your recipes are easy to follow. Thanks so much. Yes, I do scoop flour from the bag & level off with knife. Taught that by my late mum.

        1. Hi Shaan,
          I have lost the thread of this comment. I am thinking you mean the range of measurements, and you are right, it is a good idea to be accurate when starting to bake. You eye will eventually begin to tell you if a measure ‘looks’ right.
          Gemma 🙂

  3. I’ve been baking for almost 30 years now, and I’ve always been a “spooner”. I read a long time ago that you’re never supposed to be a scooper, as you don’t get an accurate measurement that way. But then again, most blogs/tv shows/websites always say that weighing ingredients is the best, and most preferred way, of measuring ingredients. I have a digital scale, but have yet not been able to consistently use that particular tool. It’s funny that you’re addressing this topic now, as I’ve always wanted to ask your opinion on the subject. I see so many “scoopers” and never thought that was the correct way to measure. So thank you so much for answering my question that I never got around to asking!

  4. I held my measuring cup under the spout of the flour hopper Hoosier cabinet and twirled the handle to get the flour into the cup. Then I leveled the cup with a knife to measure my flour. I was 8 yrs. old and in 4-H. I had been taught to spoon my flour in from the cannister but we didn’t have a flour cannister. I still shift flour for bread because I get a better crumb.

  5. I read some time ago that to measure flour, fluff it first with a spoon, spoon flour into your measuring cup, & thento level it. This is to get an accurate measurement. I just leave a spoon in my flour canister.

    Also, what is the web site that you refer to for buying baking items?

    Thank you

  6. I learned a long time ago which measuring cups to use for dry & liquid & to aerate the flour & either scoop or spoon. I usually do the later. I see most of the TV celebrity cooks scoop & never mention the proper way to measure flour. They have such a larage audience for teaching its too bad they dont do this

    1. Hi Diana,

      Yes that is a way to do it. I cover that in the post. There really is very little in the difference, maybe only 15g per cup. That’s why I write this post, so people could decide what they want to do.


  7. love, love, love your recipes and hints –
    Would like to access the banana bread recipe however, i am unable to use the given password –

    1. Ugh Ursula I’m sorry. You should be able to access all of my recipes without having to log in.

      Here’s the link for banana bread. if you have any issue viewing this let me know and I’ll get Kevin on it.


  8. Hi.i really liked your baking n easy to follow recipes n home made stuff really convenient .Bundle of thanks to you n ur team.i have some issues plz help me out.
    Firstly my cakes sink down in middle although I follow recipe quite strictly.taste is always good.n second thing is dat my cookies n cake takes longer to cook.kindly help me out .take care

  9. In Home-ec (eons ago) we were taught to scoop, use table knife to run pointed end in cup to loosen packed flour then level it off with knife.

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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