Baking Measurements

Antique Kitchen ScalesAntique Kitchen Scales for Baking Measurements
(Source: ©chris-elwell/123RF)

Old fashioned baking measurements like the gill, grain, scruple, and dram (drachma) are little used nowadays, so if the quantities called for in Grandma's dessert recipes seem unclear, just refer to the historical weights and measures tables below.

And if you're still unsure, you can always do what Grandma did, she simply took what she called an "educated guess."


Handy Conversion Calculators

Here's a useful cooking resource. Simply input the quantity, select the units, and the calculator instantly converts from one common baking measurement to another.

For example, you can convert from cups to ounces, from pints (US) to pints (UK), and even gills to dessertspoons. Grandma would have loved this!

Weight Converter Calculator

From:
To:
Result:


Volume Converter Calculator

From:
To:
Result:

Calculators Courtesy UnitConversion.org
The Ultimate Unit Conversion Resource



Historical Weights and Measures

Level - Rounding - Heaping MeasurementLevel, Rounding, and Heaping Spoon Measures
(Source: ©Don Bell)

All kitchen measures are level, unless otherwise specified. Because of the loss or gain of moisture constantly happening in dry ingredients, exact measures are not possible; but for ordinary purposes, and for home cooking and baking, the following kitchen baking measurements are approximately correct:

  • About 25 drops of any thin liquid = 1 teaspoonful

  • 1 Pinch = 4-1/2 grains, or less than 1/8 teaspoonful

  • 1 Saltspoonful = 1/4 teaspoonful

  • 1 Scruple = 20 grains, or about 1/2 teaspoonful

  • 3 Saltspoonfuls = 1 dram (drachma), or 27-1/3 grains

  • 1 Teaspoonful = 4 saltspoonfuls, or 36-1/2 grains

  • 4 Teaspoonfuls = 1 tablespoonful liquid

  • 2 Tablespoonfuls, or 16 drams (drachmas) liquid = 1 fluid ounces

  • 4 Tablespoonfuls = 1 wineglass, or 1/2 gill, or 1/4 cupful

  • 2 Wineglasses = 1 gill, or 1/2 cupful

  • 2 Gills = 1 coffee-cupful, or 16 tablespoonfuls, or 8 fluid ounces

  • 1 Tumblerful = 1 coffee-cupful, or 1/2 pint

  • 1 Goblet = 10 fluid ounces

  • 2 Coffee-cupfuls = 1 pint

  • 2 Pints = 1 quart

  • 4 Quarts = 1 gallon

  • 16 Ounces = 1 pound, or 1 pint of liquid

Note: A set of measuring cups (with small lips), from 1 pint to 1/4 cup, will be found convenient in every kitchen, though common pitchers, bowls, glasses, teacups, wineglasses, etc., may be substituted.

Kitchen Baking Measurements

Equivalent Measures are level unless otherwise indicated:

  • 1 pinch of salt or sugar = 4-1/2 grains or less than 1/8 teaspoonful

  • 1 tablespoonful of salt = 1 ounce


  • 8 rounded tablespoonfuls of granulated sugar = 1 cupful

  • 2 cupfuls of granulated sugar = 1 pound

  • 1-1/2 coffee-cupfuls of granulated sugar = 1 pound

  • 1 pint of granulated sugar = 1 pound


  • 3-1/2 cupfuls of powdered (confectioners') sugar = 1 pound

  • 2 coffee-cupfuls of powdered (confectioners') sugar = 1 pound

  • 1-1/3 pints of powdered (confectioners') sugar = 1 pound


  • 2-1/2 cupfuls of best brown sugar = 1 pound

  • 1-3/4 coffee-cupfuls of best brown sugar = 1 pound

  • 1 pint of best brown sugar = 13 ounces


  • 1 square Baker's chocolate = 1 ounce

  • 3 tablespoonfuls of grated chocolate = 1 ounce


  • 4-1/3 cupfuls of coffee = 1 pound


  • 2 teaspoonfuls of flour, heaped = 1 tablespoonful

  • 4 tablespoonfuls of flour = 1 ounce

  • 7 to 8 rounded tablespoonfuls of flour = 1 cupful

  • 4 cupfuls of pastry or bread flour = 1 pound

  • 3 coffee-cupfuls of sifted flour = 1 pound

  • 1 quart of sifted flour, heaped = 1 pound

  • 1 quart of unsifted flour = 1 pound 1 ounce


  • 3-7/8 cupfuls of whole wheat flour = 1 pound

  • 2-2/3 cupfuls of corn meal = 1 pound

  • 4-1/2 cupfuls of graham flour = 1 pound

  • 4-1/8 cupfuls of rye flour = 1 pound

  • 4-3/4 cupfuls of rolled oats = 1 pound

  • 2-2/3 cupfuls of oat meal = 1 pound

  • 3-1/2 cupfuls of Indian meal = 1 quart

  • 2-3/4 coffee-cupfuls of Indian meal = 1 quart

  • 1 quart of sifted Indian meal = 1 pound 4 ounces


  • 1 Fleischmann's 0.6-ounce yeast cake = 1 envelope dry yeast

  • 1 Fleischmann's 2-ounce yeast cake = 3 envelopes dry yeast


  • 6 tablespoonfuls of baking powder = 1/2 ounce


  • 16 tablespoonfuls of any dry ingredient = 1 cup


  • Butter the size of a walnut = 1 ounce

  • Butter the size of an egg = 2 ounces

  • 1 tablespoonful of soft butter, well rounded = 1 ounce

  • 4 tablespoonfuls of soft butter, heaped = 1 cupful

  • 1 cupful of butter, pressed down = 1/2 pound

  • 2 cupfuls of butter, pressed down = 1 pound

  • 1 pint of soft butter = 1 pound


  • 2 cupfuls of lard = 1 pound


  • 2 cupfuls of finely chopped meat = 1 pound

  • 1 pint of finely chopped meat = 1 pound


  • 10 ordinary-sized eggs = 1 pound

  • 9 large-sized eggs = 1 pound


  • 2 cupfuls of milk = 1 pound


  • 1-7/8 cupfuls of rice = 1 pound


  • 3 cupfuls of raisins = 1 pound

  • 2 cupfuls of raisins, packed = 1 pound


  • 2-1/4 cupfuls of currents = 1 pound


  • 2 cupfuls of stale bread crumbs = 1 pound


  • 40 small prunes = 1 pound

  • 28 large prunes = 1 pound

  • 75 apricot pieces = 1 pound

  • 3 large bananas = one pound


Metric Conversion Guide

Metric Conversion GuideMetric Conversion Guide by Craftsy
(Source: ©Craftsy)

Craftsy is world famous for their online cooking classes, but did you know they also give away high-quality reference materials that you can download? That's right — it's FREE. The Metric Conversion Guide: Cooking & Baking by Craftsy is a must-have chart for every kitchen. CLICK HERE to get yours.

About the Baking Measurements

Published baking measurements were important to 19-century cooks. Most homes didn't have the luxury of weigh scales and some didn't even have a proper set of measuring cups. So, available containers such as cups were used as kitchen measures, and ingredient quantities were often approximated.

If you knew the weight of one ingredient, the weight of another could often be guessed. For instance, if 1 cup of butter, pressed down, equals one-half pound, you could estimate that 1 cup of lard would equal the same weight — close enough for most recipes. And if you knew one measurement, another could be obtained. For instance, 2 wineglassfuls equal 1 gill, or 1/2 cup.

Historical weights and measures tables and baking measurements can still be of help in today's modern kitchens when experimenting with older recipes. After all, it's always good to have some "scruples."

Sorry, please excuse my lame pun — just in case you might be wondering a scruple is 1/2 teaspoon.


You May Also Like

Basic Cooking Tips





Comments

Have your say! Leave a friendly comment about Grandma's old fashioned desserts in the box below. (No links or promotion please.)


Like This Page? Please Share It




Visit Home Page

Old Fashioned Rose Cookbook Icon

Donald R. Bell is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. If you make a purchase through a link on this page, I may receive a small commission to help support this site — at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

Don Bell with Old Fashioned Recipes

Please click the Like button above and help me preserve Grandma's old fashioned recipes in their original form.


Recent Articles

  1. Vintage Cornflake Cookies Recipe

    Use these cornflake cookies recipes to make those crunchy cornflake patties you fondly remember from childhood. So easy, so delicious!

    Read More

  2. Traditional Italian Dessert Recipes

    Grandma's favorite Italian dessert recipes are something very special. Experience the authentic taste of Old Italy.

    Read More

  3. Cherry Dessert Recipe - True Comfort Food

    You'll love these retro cherry dessert recipes. The Cherry Delight and Cherry Junk desserts are truly comfort foods to bring back memories of childhood.

    Read More

  4. Cottage Cheese Pie Recipe - Old Fashioned Cheese Kugen

    Here's a cottage cheese pie recipe from a grandmother of Dutch-German decent. She called her dessert a Cheese Kugen, and it's sure to please.

    Read More

  5. French Apple Gateau Recipe

    This traditional apple gateau recipe is so simple to make. Enjoy the amazingly delicious taste of apples reduced to a nearly candied state.

    Read More