Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon

Measuring Cups

Last updated date: 16th May 2024
Total views: 362.1k
Views today: 3.62k
hightlight icon
highlight icon
highlight icon
share icon
copy icon

What are Measuring Cups?

Measuring Cups are basically a cup-like tool to measure ingredients in different forms that are used in cooking and baking. Measuring Cups are used to measure the volume of liquids such as milk, water, oil, or solid powders like sugar, flour or washing powder. A Measuring Cup generally consists of scale markings at varying heights and the material being measured is added to the cup till it reaches the desired level. Measuring Cups are usually measured in fluid ounces and pint.

Example of a Measuring Cup

A Measuring Cup can hold more than "1 Cup" of liquid. Below is a Measuring Cup that can hold up to 4 cups of liquid. If the liquid goes all the way to the 2, then there are 2 cups of liquid. Between the numbers, we also find fractions of a cup.

(Image will be uploaded soon)

As we fill up the Measuring Cup, we are required to see at which number it is filled to. 2 cups of a liquid is similar to 1 pint. Thus, the above Measuring Cup can also hold 2 pints (4 cups equals 2 pints).

Uses of Measuring Cups

Measuring Cups as the name says is used for measuring. That said, there are various uses of Measuring Cups given as below:

  • Also referred to as a Measuring Cup jug or a measuring spoon is a kitchen utensil used primarily to measure the volume of liquid or amount of solid substances that are used as cooking ingredients.

  • The Measuring Cup is particularly used to measure cooking ingredients weighing volumes from about 50 mL (2 fl oz) and upwards.

Types of Measuring Cups

Usually, there are two kinds of Measuring Cups i.e:

  1. Dry Measuring Cups (used for weighing powder ingredients).

  2. Liquid Measuring Cups (used for weighing liquids substances).

What can You use to Measure a Cup?

A Measuring Cup generally consists of scale markings at varying heights. Thus, Measuring Cups are usually measured in pint and fluid ounces. However, we can also measure the cups with respect to tablespoons and teaspoons in the U.S.

The table shown below depicts all the measurements:






















How Can You Measure a Cup of Water without using a Measuring Cup?

For measuring water without a measure, we can instead use an object as a reference point.

It can be helpful to have some visual illustrations in your mind as a reference for the exact amount, therefore check below for the visual aid of the alternate object.

Here are a few examples that are given in the table for measurements:

Measuring Cup Measurements


A teaspoon is approximately the size of the tip of your finger from the joint.

(Image will be uploaded soon)

A tablespoon is approx the size of an ice Cube.

(Image will be uploaded soon)

¼ cup is approximately the size of a big egg

(Image will be uploaded soon)

¼ cup is approximately the size of a tennis ball

(Image will be uploaded soon)

A full cup is approximately the size of an apple, a baseball, etc.

(Image will be uploaded soon)

Solved Examples


Rohini was reading a baking recipe from a book.

She observed some abbreviated terms like 1 T and 2Tbsp in the list of ingredients. Can you help Rohini understand what these terms mean?


As per the measuring standards, T or Tbsp stands for tablespoon.


Can ordinary drinking glasses, coffee mugs, or silverware be used for measuring substances in the form of powders or liquids?


Ordinary drinking glasses, coffee mugs, or silverware are not used for measuring since their sizes differ, and thus, the measurements will be conflicting.


What are the two materials from the given list which you would measure with a Measuring Cup?

  • Milk and water

  • Milk and stone

  • Water and wood

  • Flour and brick


Measuring Cups are used to quantify the volume of liquid or powder materials. Thus, milk and water will be easily measured using a Measuring Cup.

Conclusion: As per the need, the quantity of a Measuring Cup can also be changed. Note that humidity can play a role when measuring dry ingredients; they may weigh variably.

Did You know?

Few interesting facts and examples are given below:

  • If you measure all ingredients using a cup, you can see that every cup weighs differently as per the density of the substance.

  • The abbreviation for a cup used is "c" or "C".

  • Occasionally the measurements are provided on the surface of the transparent Measuring Cup.

  • As we fill up the Measuring Cup, we require checking at the numbers on the cup to ensure that we fill up to the needed quantity.

  • For example, 8 fluid ounces, 5 fluid ounces, ½ pint, etc.

  • While cooking and baking, different sizes of Measuring Cups and measuring spoons are required. However, there is no standard size needed throughout the culinary industry.

  • There are differences in liquid measures when converting recipes from the U.S to British or vice versa.

Overview on Measuring Cups

A Measuring Cup is a culinary tool that is used to measure the volume of liquid or bulk solid cooking components like flour and sugar, especially for large amounts.of 50 mL (2 fl oz) and more. For clothing washing, Measuring Cups are also used to measure washing powder, liquid detergents, and bleach. A scale marked in cups and fractions of a cup, as well as fluid measure and weight of a variety of dry commodities, are commonly included in the cup.

Measuring Cups are available in a variety of materials, including plastic, glass, and metal. Metal cups can only be read from a dipstick or scale marked on the inside; transparent (or translucent) cups can be read from an external scale.

Larger sizes are available for commercial use, with capacities ranging from 250 mL (about 1 cup) to 1000 mL (approximately 4 cups = 2 pints = 1 quart). They frequently have variable height scale markings: the material to be measured is added to the cup until it reaches the desired level. Dry measure cups, usually in sets of 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and 1 cup, are sometimes used without a scale. Milliliters or fractions of a liter, or the cup (unit, with varied definitions) with fractions (usually 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, and 3/4), pints, and commonly fluid ounces, are among the units. Dry measure cups are shallower than liquid measure cups, and are supposed to be filled to the top so that any excess can be scraped off. Liquid Measuring Cups are microwave safe and clear, making it easier to judge the meniscus.

FAQs on Measuring Cups

1. What Measurement is a Cup in Grams (gms)?

Dry ingredients such as sugar, spices' powder, flour, semolina, etc. are measured in grams.

We can simply convert 1 cup into grams.

Below are a few ingredients along with their corresponding measurement in Measuring Cup and weight in grams. You can see that the weight in grams varies depending upon the density (thickness) of the dry ingredients.

Ingredients (Dry in Powder Form)

    One Cup Weight (Grams)

All-purpose flour

120 gms

Powdered sugar

120 gms

Whole wheat flour

120 gms

Gram flour

150 gms

Raw rice

200 gms

Granulated sugar

200 gms

2. How Many Tablespoons of Sugar are Needed to Fill One Measuring Cup?

As per the measurement standards, there are in total 16 tablespoons in one Measuring Cup. Therefore, 16 tablespoons of sugar are needed to fill one Measuring Cup. In the same manner, there are 8 fluid ounces in 1 Measuring Cup according to measuring standards. Therefore, 2 Measuring Cups will contain (8 + 8) fluid ounces which equal to 16 fluid ounces.

3. How Many Teaspoons are Needed for 2 Measuring Cups?

As per the measurement standards, 48 teaspoons are needed for filling a Measuring Cup. Therefore, for filling 2 Measuring Cups we require (48 + 48) teaspoons which equals 96 teaspoons.

4. How Can I Measure Water Without a Measuring Cup?

Even without a Measuring Cup, a cup of water can be measured. Any object can be used as a reference point. Having some visual assistance in our minds as a reference for the exact quantity can be beneficial. When we don't have access to normal Measuring Cups or equipment, we use the following examples as a guide.

  • A teaspoon is around the size of the joint on the tip of our finger.

  • A tablespoon is roughly the same size as an ice cube.

  • The size of a quarter cup is about the same as a large egg.

  • A tennis ball is about the size of 1/2 cup.

  • A full cup is around the size of a baseball, an apple, or other similar sized object.

We utilize other equivalent measurements like pints and fluid ounces when measuring liquids when we don't have a Measuring Cup.

5. What are the important points about Measuring Cups?

Important Points are-

  • Flour, sugar, semolina, powdered spices, and other dry ingredients are measured in grammes. One cup can be converted to grammes. The weight of whole wheat flour, for example, is about equal to 120 grams from the cup weight in grams.

  • 1000 milliliters, 0.264 gallon, 1.0566 quarts, 2.1133 pint, and 1 kilogramme are all equivalent to 1 liter.

  • If we measure one cup precisely, the substance should be filled to the brim, not below or above.

  • When measuring dry ingredients, always keep in mind that humidity might affect how much they weigh.

  • According to conventional measurements, one tablespoon equals three teaspoons.

6. What Measuring Cup is Used to Measure?

A Measuring Cup usually has scale markings at different heights, and the material to be measured is put to the cup until it reaches the required level. Pints and fluid ounces are the most common measurements for Measuring Cups. Take a look at the Measuring Cups below, which are used to measure both dry and liquid substances.

It should be noted that the cups can alternatively be measured in tablespoons and teaspoons.

16 tbsp Equals 1 cup 48 tsp

12 tbsp = 3/4 cup

36 teaspoons

8 tbsp = 1/2 cup

24 teaspoons

4 tbsp = 1/4 cup

12 teaspoons

2 tbsp Equals 1/8 cup 6 tsp

7. How to measure ¾ cup using a Measuring Cup?

A Measuring Cup is a cup used to measure the volume of liquids such as water, oil, milk, and other liquids, as well as powdered items such as flour, sugar, and washing powder. There are two types of Measuring Cups in general:

  • Cups that are not wet (used for measuring powders)

  • Cups for measuring liquids (used for measuring liquids)

In general, measuring 3/4 cup is challenging because 3/4 cup is not a popular measurement cup in measuring sets. A typical set of four Measuring Cups is available: 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, and 1/4 cup. If we wish to measure 3/4 cup, we either multiply 1/4 cup by three to get 3/4 cup, or we can say that 3/4 cup is three times 1/4 cup. 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 equals 3/4.

8. How to Measure Wet Ingredients?

The volume of your ingredient is the amount of space it takes up. A liquid substance, such as milk, water, or oil, is best measured in terms of volume, which is measured in fluid ounces. Any liquid's volume will take up the same amount of space as any other liquid's volume. Liquid Measuring Cups contain markings that allow you to see exactly how much space any liquid takes up (like this early Pyrex glass set).

Fill your Measuring Cup halfway with liquid. Make sure the lowest point of the smooth curve at the top of the milk reaches the right fluid ounce indication by looking at it from eye level. Because all liquids take up the same amount of space, you can measure all of your wet ingredients in the same way. Here's how to measure without Measuring Cups, by the way.