Thula's Cake Lab

Measuring DRY and WET ingredients- Know the difference

Basics, Tutorials | July 8, 2016 | By

Accurate measurements and precisely followed recipes also are key factors to successful baking. Even a slight imbalance in proportion of wet to dry ingredients may affect the outcome in certain delicate recipes. You cannot eyeball and throw in ingredients like in regular cooking! Take your time, be patient and most importantly use the right utensils.
Look at the picture below. I have measured out one cup of flour and one cup of milk. Both technically measure the same weight/volume but utensils made specific for wet and dry ingredients make it easy to measure while improving accuracy.

wet vs dry ingredients

Notice how the “liquid specific” cup has extra space above the final measurement line, in this case the 1/2 pint mark, while the “dry ingredient specific” cup does not. The former allows you to fill up to the desired measurement line, improving accuracy, without spills while the latter allows you to scoop out, or instance flour, and level it out.

MEASURING DRY INGREDIENTS eg. Flour

1. Fluff up the flour with a dry spoon, this will loosen the lumps. Scoop out into the measuring cup.

scoop
2. Use a blunt knife to level the flour.

Level
3. This is one cup perfectly levelled flour.

levelled

Use the right cup “size” for measurements. For instance if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar then use half cup and not “half” of “one cup”. Difference of a few grams could affect the end result especially when mass proceed. Same applies to measuring spoons.

Dry Ingredients measuring cups

I find that the most accurate way to measure dry ingredients is by using a weighing scale. You cannot go wrong with a scale- I use a basic electric one. My recipes measure dry ingredients by weight rather than by cups so that repetition keeps errors to a minimum.

MEASURING WET INGREDIENTS eg. Milk

When measuring fluids such as water, oil, milk etc., use a cup meant for liquids.

liq

1.Place the container on a flat surface.
2.Pour your liquid while keeping your eyes parallel to the measurement mark.
3.The lower curve (meniscus) level needs to line up with the measurement mark.

For dense sticky liquids like honey, corn syrup etc., spray the spoon or cup with cooking oil so it doesn’t stick to it.

Smaller volumes are measured in teaspoons and tablespoons by filling up to the brim. Measure over the sink so you needn’t worry about the mess!

Hope you found this tutorial helpful in your initial steps into baking…. and if you did, please remember to share because it means you care ! 🙂

  1. Ann nduku
    July 27, 2016

    I am well educated here. I exactly do what you have just said. I use half a cup of one cup. I will never repeat such a mistake. Again i dont bother to level my cups with a knife insteaf i shake the cup for leveling. Thank you Thulas.

    • Thulashitha RD
      July 27, 2016

      I am glad you could benefit. Thank you Ann for your feedback 🙂 enjoy this new learning experience. Appreciate your continued support !

  2. Anju
    August 30, 2016

    Didn’t know that liquids like milk and oil need to be measured using cups meant for the specific purpose..

    • Thulashitha RD
      August 30, 2016

      Now you do 🙂