All About Measuring Cups

All About Measuring Cups

All About Measuring Cups

Ever wonder why the recipes you get from the interwebs don’t work? Well there could be a lot of reasons… but one is probably how the ingredients are measured.

Did you know that there is no standard ‘measuring cup’ used around the world? Did you know that even within countries you will find multiple sizes of measuring cups for sale?

This variation can wreak havoc on your baking… so lets try and clear this up.

In the U.S. a measuring cup is 236.588 mL in volume… except when it’s 240 mL in volume. Very slight small difference to be sure, but you will see both measuring cups in your cupboard. The difference of 1 teaspoon doesn’t really matter much, but if you are making a large volume, it can add up.

In most Commonwealth countries a cup is 250 mL in volume - but even this is problematic, because Canada and Australia have chosen different spots for 1/3, 2/3, and 3/4 cup measurements (see chart below).

If you are in Canada (like we are) current cookbooks all use 250 mL as a ‘cup’, but if you walk into a kitchen store you will find Canadian measuring cups, Both American cups, and Australian cups for sale. Unless you take the time to look closely at what you are buying… you could end up with multiple sizes in your cupboard.

On shopping trips to the U.S. we’ve also noticed multiple cup sizes for sale, and have to assume that it would be the same elsewhere as well.

Of course even though measuring cups are marked with a measurement - it doesn’t mean that they are accurate. Many of the cups in our kitchen are out by as much as 20% when tested; so pretty useless.

Just to add to the confusion Canada has a pre-Metric cup… so any recipe written prior to the mid 1970’s a cup is even smaller in volume - 227 mL - so that’s why you may be having trouble with your Gran’s recipes. You may also still have these smaller cups in your cupboard. 

Another point of confusion is that Australian recipes use a different size Tablespoon - 20 mL - while Canada and the U.S. uses 15 mL. 

Of course when using volume to measure ‘dry’ ingredients there will always be variations between people - so weighing is always the best way to go.

Measuring cup sizes.jpeg

 

 

 

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