How many grams in a cup depends on the ingredient you’re measuring. Let’s dive into the difference between a cup and a gram, and the importance of accurate measurements in baking.
How Many Grams Are In a Cup? Let’s Find Out!
One of the most-asked questions I get is, “How many grams are in a cup?” And the answer is, there’s no single answer! It all depends on what you’re measuring.
As you may already know, or maybe you’re finding out, precision is everything in baking. If you’ve ever followed a baking recipe to the “T”, only to have it not work out exactly, there’s a good chance it’s because you were measuring your ingredients by cups instead of by weight.
Baking relies heavily on chemical reactions between ingredients, whether you’re baking cookies or cupcakes. Like any science experiment, the slightest “off” measurement can lead to a totally different outcome. So, let’s break down the difference between grams and cups, and what you can do to get the most accurate measurements in all your favorite recipes.
Why Use Grams Instead of Cups?
Here in the USA, the customary measuring system is the Imperial system (ie. cups), while many countries outside of the US use the Metric system (ie. grams). If you’re operating in grams, and a recipe is written only in cups, it can often lead to inconsistent results in baking. For this reason, it’s best to measure dry ingredients in grams using a kitchen scale.
Another reason to measure or weigh out in grams? Not everyone knows exactly what a cup is! For someone just starting out in baking, it’s not always crystal clear that a “cup” is a measuring cup, and not a coffee cup or drinking glass, etc.
What Are Grams?
A gram (g) is a unit of weight/mass in the Metric system, which is the system used by most countries in the world apart from the United States. One gram divided by 1000 equals one milligram (mg) and 1000 grams equals a kilogram (kg).
What Is a Cup?
While grams are used to measure dry ingredients by weight, cups (c) are a unit in the US Imperial system used to measure ingredients by volume. One cup is equal to 8 fluid ounces, one half-pint, 16 tablespoons, or 48 teaspoons.
What About Liquids?
Liquid ingredients are measured by volume instead of weight. So, in the US Imperial system, we usually measure liquids using cups, fluid ounces, or gallons. Meanwhile, in the Metric system, liquids are measured in milliliters (ml) and liters.
How Many Grams In a Cup?
It’s important to know the difference between weight and volume in baking. This is because different ingredients have different densities and weights (even if they’re taking up the same amount of space/volume in a measuring cup). Think of it this way: butter is denser than flour, so a cup of butter will weigh more than a cup of flour. This is when measuring by actual weight in grams is essential. 100g is 100g, no matter what you’re measuring.
With this in mind, as mentioned earlier, how many grams in a cup depends on what’s being measured. A cup of flour weighs about 125g, while a cup of sugar weighs 200g (see the table below). Thin liquid ingredients are a little more consistent, in that one cup of water (237g) will weigh roughly the same as one cup of milk.
The best way to know how many grams are in a cup is to measure the ingredient using a kitchen scale. It’s always a good idea to go by weight over volume whenever possible.
Converting Cups to Grams
You can also convert grams to cups, and vice versa. For ease of reference, I’ve included some common baking measurements in the chart below.
|Volume (Cups)||Butter||All-Purpose Flour||Granulated Sugar||Brown Sugar (Packed)|
I hope this breakdown helps with all of your baking adventures. Baking can be so precise, and I want all of your cookies to turn out perfectly, always! Feel free to reference this post and the chart above whenever you need a quick conversion of grams to cups or cups to grams.