How to Measure Flour

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Understanding how to measure flour is an important step in baking.  Learn how to measure flour the correct way so your recipes come out perfect every time!

Flour measured in a measuring cup

How to Measure Flour

Have you ever had a recipe come out dense or dry? Chances are, you are using way too much flour in the recipe. This happens by not properly measuring the flour. Yes, there is a proper way to measure flour!

This short post will explain why it is so important to use accurate measurements to achieve the best results with all of the recipes on Baked by an Introvert.

Let me start by prefacing that different flours have different weights and you should always measure the flour the way the original recipe developer intended.

The way that I measure my ingredients may not necessarily work for someone else’s recipe. This post is geared toward all the recipes on this site (Baked by an Introvert).

I often get comments on my most popular recipe for basic vanilla cake on how the cake was too dense and dry. This can happen if you use too much flour in the recipe.

Bread and cookies are also affected negatively when you don’t measure flour correctly. Bread will come out dense and heavy while cookies will crumble.

Scooping flour out of a clear canister with a metal measuring cup.

How to measure flour without a scale

Let’s focus on all-purpose flour since 95% of all my recipes call for this flour. It’s versatile and can be used in cookies, bread, cakes, brownies, pizza dough… just about anything. You can learn more about other types of flour in my flour basics post.

When I measure all-purpose, I go off the assumption that 1 cup is equal to 130 grams. This is pretty standard, but as I stated above, it can vary with different types and brands of flour.

The most accurate way to measure flour is to weigh it with a small, inexpensive kitchen scale. You can get them for around $20. Place your bowl on the scale and zero it out before adding the flour.

Now let’s say you don’t own a kitchen scale and the recipe calls for 1 cup of flour. How would you measure it?

Most people will scoop the flour right out of the container with the measuring cup. I know some Food Network stars who do this. But this wrong! Here’s why.

Flour compacts. A 1-cup measuring cup can hold much more than 130 grams of flour. Remember, 130 grams is my standard cup.

When I weighed the flour that was scooped out with the measuring cup, it was a staggering 155 grams. That’s 21 grams more flour than needed. And this can certainly lead to a dry, heavy baked good.

Flour being scooped out of a clear canister into a metal measuring cup with a spoon.

So now you are probably wondering how you are supposed to measure flour without a kitchen scale. Well, it’s simple…

Use a fork or a spoon to lightly fluff the flour in the container. This will add a little air making the flour lighter.

Then gently scoop some flour up with a spoon and sprinkle it lightly into the measuring until you have a mound of flour above the rim.

Once the flour is piled high in the measuring cup, use the back of a knife to level off the top.

Flour being leveled in a metal measuring cup with the back of a knife.

Can you guess how much the flour weighs when it’s measured this way? 130 grams! And that is going to yield perfect recipe.

I don’t always use a kitchen scale, but I do always fluff, spoon, and level the flour. Every single recipe on this site is developed using this method.

I can promise you will end up with a successful recipe as long as you follow these steps for how to properly measure flour.

Flour weighed on a digital scale in a clear glass bowl.

More helpful baking posts you’ll love

Baking 101 – Baking should be creative and fun, not stressful.

How to make the perfect cake – The days of dry, tasteless, failed cake recipes will be no more if you follow each of the tips I have laid out for you.

Must have tools for every baker – From the type of pans I use to bake cakes to my most desired spatula, you want to know.

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