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February 23, 2007

bethCookies (and other weighty subjects)


How much does a cup of flour weigh? Seems like a simple question, but it is actually anything but:

  • What kind of flour: all-purpose, cake, bread, pastry? (Whole grains just complicate this equation so we are not going there…not today anyway.)
  • Sifted: before measuring, after, or not at all?
  • Scooped from a container or spooned into the measuring cup?
  • Measured while hopping on your left foot or right?

(Okay, I made the last one up, but you know what? It might actually make a difference because the shaking would make the flour settle…in which case, more would fit in your cup! Determining this, however, would require a complex equation taking into account your weight, the structural integrity of your kitchen floor, and how often heavy trucks drive by and shake the flour before measuring. Too much work.)

In any case, depending on who you ask, and how they measure, a cup of flour can range from about 3 ounces to about 6! Even the mid-range is 4 1/4 – 5 1/2, which is a huge difference when you are baking. One article I came across said: "I can make a cup weigh almost anything I want."  Now, isn't that helpful?

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