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Baking Basics: Measuring Ingredients

By Cook's Illustrated Published October 2003

Here are our no-fail ways to measure dry and liquid ingredients.

Measuring Dry Ingredients

Our preferred method for measuring dry ingredients is to "dip and sweep." This method reliably yields a 5-ounce cup of unbleached all-purpose flour and a 7-ounce cup of granulated sugar. Dip the measuring cup into the container and scoop up the ingredients in a heaping mound. Use a straight edge to sweep off the excess, letting it fall back into the container. For absolute reliability, always weigh flour and sugar when baking.

Measuring Liquid Ingredients

To measure liquid ingredients, use a liquid measuring cup set on the counter and lean down to read the measurement at eye level. When emptying the measuring cup, use a rubber spatula to scrape it clean.

The "dip and sweep" method for dry ingredients.

For an accurate liquid measurement, read at eye level.