Cake Decorating Basic

Baking Measurements

Multiple Measurement Systems

If you’ve been pouring over your favorite cake decorating books or searching the latest recipe magazines for cake-baking ideas, you’ve probably noticed that there are many abbreviated words, as well as differences in the units of measurements used. For both novice and experienced bakers, this can be confusing and daunting. What you might not know is that there is more than one type of measurement system in existence, with variations between standard U.S. and UK units and the Metric System. (The U.S. has two systems for volumes – one for dry goods and one for liquids – and the UK uses a third system, the British Imperial Measure). For this reason, baking conversion charts have been created, as well as online conversion calculators that do the math for you at lightning speed, helping pave the way to your baking success.


Baking Abbreviations

Most recipes are written in abbreviated form and assume that you understand what the abbreviated measurements stand for. Fortunately, at the front or back of almost every recipe book you can find an abbreviation table or key, helping you decode the recipe requirements.

For starters, here are the most common and basic recipe abbreviations you will encounter:

tsp. = teaspoon
tbsp = tablespoon

T. = tablespoon
ml = milliliter

c. = Cup

“Stick” of butter = 1/2 cup, or 1/4 pound


Baking Conversions

If you have ever asked yourself the following questions, you are not alone:

How do I convert metric units to U.S. units and vise versa? How do I convert cups to grams? How many ounces are there in a cup? How many teaspoons are there in tablespoon? How do I convert Celsius temperatures to Fahrenheit? How many pints are there in a gallon?

While baking isn’t an exact science, proper ingredient measurements are important as incorrect measurements can throw off the ingredient ratios and ruin your recipe.


Measurement Conversion Charts/Tables

Here are some of the most common types of recipe conversion tables you will find:

•- U.S. Standard to Metric

•- U.S. Standard to UK

•- Cups to Grams

•- Volume measurement conversions from: teaspoons to tablespoons; tablespoons to cups; ounces to cups; cups to pints; pints to quarts; cups to gallons

•- In abbreviated form you can find the following volume conversions: ml – tsp – tbsp – fl oz – cups – pints – quarts – liters – gallons

•- Liquid measurement conversions from: ounces to tablespoons to milliliters (For example, ½ ounce = 1 Tablespoon = 15 ml.)

•- Weight measurement conversions from: ounces to pounds to grams to kilos

•- Butter measurements from: grams – tbsp – oz – cup – stick

•- Oven temperature conversions from Fahrenheit to Celsius (and vice versa). To do the calculations by yourself, follow these instructions:

Convert Fahrenheit to Celsius: Subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit reading, multiply by 5, and then divide by 9 to find the Celsius (Centigrade) reading.

Convert Celsius to Fahrenheit: Multiply the Celsius (Centigrade) reading by 9, divide by 5, and then add 32 to find the Fahrenheit reading.


Baking Tip of the Day

Post a printed copy of a recipe Measurements Equivalent Table and Measurements Conversion Chart on your fridge or have it handy while you bake.