How to Measure Flour

Learn how to measure flour accurately for baking recipes! With these two easy methods, you'll get great results every time.

How to measure flour

Have you ever made a bread or cake recipe that promised to be moist and tender but turned out to be dry and dense? You’re not alone. This is a common problem in baking, and often, the solution is trying a new method for how to measure flour.

First, if you don’t already have a kitchen scale, get one, because weighing your flour will give you the most accurate measurement every time. When you weigh the flour for a recipe, you know exactly how much you’re using. By contrast, when you measure by volume, the actual amount of flour you use varies based on a variety of factors – your specific measuring cups, how you scoop the flour, how tightly you pack it, and more. If a recipe calls for a cup of flour, you could end up using as much as 1.25 times more. A difference this large can have a huge impact on how your baked goods turn out.

Kitchen scales don’t have to be expensive, and they’re easy to store. Mine is similar to this one, and it’s the perfect size to tuck into a drawer under my potholders. Trust me, if you bake often, you’ll loving having a scale in your kitchen!

Fluffing flour with a spoon

How to Measure Flour with Measuring Cups

But what if you don’t have a scale? Can you still bake?

Of course! Though weight measurements will always be the most accurate for baking, you can still get good results with the spoon-and-level method for how to measure flour. Here’s what you need to do:

First, fluff up the flour in the bag or canister. Flour settles easily, becoming tightly packed inside a bag or jar. In order to make sure you’re not scooping up packed flour, you should fluff it up with a spoon or fork before you measure it.

Spooning flour into measuring cup

Second, spoon the flour into the measuring cup. Gently pile it in until it forms a heap above the rim of the measuring cup. Don’t pack the flour down.

Leveling cup with a knife

Then, scrape a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level the flour. This way, you’ll get rid of excess flour on top of the cup without packing down the flour inside.

Scooping flour out of container

Whatever you do, DON’T scoop the flour directly from the canister. This flour is often densely packed, so dipping the measuring cup into the bag or jar will yield too much flour nearly every time.

1 cup flour

For reference, 1 cup of spooned and leveled all-purpose flour should weigh between 120 and 125 grams.

How to measure flour with measuring cups

Conversely, a scooped and packed cup can weigh up to 155 grams. That’s over 30 grams more!

Weighing your flour is always the best way to go, but if you don’t have a scale, spooning the flour into a measuring cup and leveling it with a knife is your next best bet.

Favorite Baking Recipes

Want to try this method for how to measure flour? Give it a go in any of these recipes:

How to Measure Flour

rate this recipe:
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Prep Time: 2 mins
Total Time: 2 mins
Learn how to measure flour accurately for baking recipes. By using the spoon and level method, you'll get great results every time!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour

Instructions

  • First, fluff up the flour in the bag or canister. Flour settles easily, becoming tightly packed inside a bag or jar. In order to make sure you're not scooping up packed flour, you should fluff it up with a spoon or fork before you measure it.
  • Spoon the flour into the measuring cup. Gently pile it in until it forms a heap above the rim of the measuring cup. Don't pack the flour down.
  • Scrape a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level the flour. This way, you'll get rid of excess flour on top of the cup without packing down the flour inside.
  • DON'T scoop the flour directly from the canister. This flour is often densely packed, so dipping the measuring cup into the bag or jar will yield too much flour nearly every time.
  • 1 cup of spooned and leveled all-purpose flour should weigh between 120 and 125 grams.

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A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.