Cups Vs Weights?

Baking By CoinUK Updated 21 Jun 2015 , 10:56pm by littlejewel

CoinUK Posted 21 Jun 2015 , 11:46am
post #1 of 4

After seeing this mentioned in another thread, I'm curious as to which people prefer?

Personally, I hate recipes that use cups as a guide. It's just soooo imprecise! I can't seem to find a standardised amount for a cup. Is it 225g? 250g? More? Less?

Baking for me is as much as science as an art. It#s basically science experiments where you get to eat the result! Can you imagine someone making a chemistry experiment that said "use half a cup of hydrochloric acid mix it with 1 cup of magnesium" ? :D

I much prefer a recipe that says 225g of butter. I find even using the same cup can give slightly different results, especially when it's things like sieved flour which changes it's weight based on how well it's sieved!

I'm going to guess the US bakers here will probably prefer the cups method, having grown up with that? Saying that, my wife (also from the UK) also prefers cups! her cakes aren't as nice as mine though~! (Her words, not mine, before anyone comes after me! :D )

3 replies
CatPoet Posted 21 Jun 2015 , 12:01pm
post #2 of 4

A cup  is different between  Australia, USA and UK.   I have  a American cup set and measuring spoon since they differ from  European,  there is slightly more in a tablespoon in the USA then in  Sweden.  I used to have an Australian set too but it broke.  So I dont do Australian recipes that ask for cups any more.

In Sweden we use decilitre which is 100 ml, easy and no question how much it  it is.  

I prefer weights for recipes since weights  are either imperial or metric and easily converted.   I hate 1 cup of butter or a 1 stick of butter, that just too damn hard to figure out how much I do need. Yes there is  sites on the net but  100 gram or 3 ounces are easier to measure up.

I wish people would weigh eggs too since my large eggs must be tiny compared to Americans.

BakerBlackCat Posted 21 Jun 2015 , 10:03pm
post #3 of 4

Greetings from California!

I use & prefer weights - how else is it going to come out the same?  I've had the same issue with cups, especially with flour, where the recipe wonked out on me because the weight wasn't right.  If I'm trying a new recipe, I use this King Arthur Flour weights & measurements chart to write out the possible conversion, then take the time to measure out the called-for cups/teaspoons/whatevers, weighing that in my bowl, and then comparing everything & tweaking accordingly. 

@CatPoet: yeah, gotta weigh the eggs.  I have yet to get a case of eggs where each egg weighed the same.  And didn't that little discovery make for some interesting baking? :)  @CoinUK: And then there's the fun of having both bricks and sticks of butter in the mix.  Seriously, is it so hard to get 16 ounces of butter into a 1 pound brick?

(I hope the link up there worked.  My hyperlinking on CC has been a bit spotty as of late! And for the record, KAF flour weights only work for KAF flour.  A cup of Gold Medal flour, the last time I checked, was about an ounce heavier, which shot my cookie texture all to hell...)

I did indeed grow up using cups, and have the incredibly scattered collection of measuring cups from about 5 different sets to prove it.  But once I made the switch to weights, long before going to culinary school, I never looked back!

littlejewel Posted 21 Jun 2015 , 10:56pm
post #4 of 4

I have been told by pastry professionals that if you are a serious, weigh you ingredients. I weigh all my ingredients. My mother refuses to use anything other than American measuring cups, I caught my father talking to relatives saying my cakes and pie taste better than my mother's.

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