There are 16 tablespoons in a US customary cup.
- How many tablespoons are in a cup (video)
- Tablespoons in a cup free printable conversion chart
- How many tablespoons are in a 1/4 cup?
- Different sizes of tablespoons and cups
- Why do the recipes from the US use tablespoons and cups
- The US customary measuring system
- The US legal measuring system
- Tablespoons in a cup – the UK, New Zealand and Australian recipes
- Calculating tablespoons in US customary cups
- Measuring tablespoons in liquid cups
- Measuring tablespoons in dry cups
- Tablespoons, teaspoons and dessert spoons
- Measuring tips
- Conclusion- how many tablespoons are in a cup?
- Tablespoons in a cup FAQ
- Food nutter’s free kitchen conversion charts
How many tablespoons are in a cup (video)
Tablespoons in a cup free printable conversion chart
The easiest way to know how many tablespoons are in a cup is to use a free printable conversion chart and simply stick it someplace in the kitchen. This way you won’t need to scroll over your phone the next time and look for answers.
Grab your free printable right here.
How many tablespoons are in a 1/4 cup?
There are 4 tablespoons in a US customary cup.
Once you know the number of tablespoons in a cup, it’s easy to calculate how many tablespoons are there in 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 cups by simply dividing the number of tbsp in a single cup.
However, things get slightly more complicated from here.
Hopefully, one day the world will unite when it comes to measuring systems and measuring units. Till then, we’ll need to do a little bit of math when it comes to recipe instructions from the other side of the world.
Different sizes of tablespoons and cups
There are four different measuring systems around the world. Most countries use the international metric system; there’s still the imperial measuring system, the United States legal and customary system, and the United Kingdom metric system.
In the US, customary cups are used for most of the recipes, while legal cups are mostly shown for nutrition values. While using tablespoons and cups to follow the recipes, the measures of the cups differ depending on where the recipe is coming from.
Measures of 1 US customary cup:
- 16 US tablespoons
- 236, 588 ml
- 15,77 metric tablespoons
Measures of 1 US legal cup:
- 16.2307 US tablespoons
- 240 ml
- 16 metric tablespoons
Why do the recipes from the US use tablespoons and cups
The US customary measuring system has its origins in the British imperial system of measurement, which was used in the American colonies before the American Revolution. When the United States gained independence, it continued to use the system as it was already established and widely used by Americans at the time.
The US customary system became the standard measurement system in the United States in 1836, when Congress officially adopted it for use in trade and commerce. Since then, it has been widely used in the United States in many different areas, including cooking.
One reason the US customary system has persisted in the United States is that it is deeply embedded in its culture and history. Many Americans are familiar with the system and have grown up using it, and there is a sense of tradition and familiarity associated with it.
Additionally, some argue that the system is more practical and intuitive for certain applications, such as cooking and carpentry.
However, it is worth noting that the US customary system can be confusing and difficult to use, especially when converting between units or when trying to measure small or precise quantities.
This is one reason why the metric system is used in many other countries and why there have been quite some efforts to adopt the metric system in the United States as well.
The US customary measuring system
The US customary measuring system is commonly used in recipes in the United States. The basic units of this system are:
- Volume: Cups, tablespoons, teaspoons, fluid ounces
- Weight: Ounces, pounds
The common conversions for US customary measuring system that you might find in recipes are:
- 1 cup = 16 tablespoons = 48 teaspoons = 8 fluid ounces
- 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons = 0.5 fluid ounces
- 1 fluid ounce = 2 tablespoons = 6 teaspoons
When following a recipe that uses US customary measuring units, it is important to use the correct measuring cups and spoons. Measuring cups and spoons are typically sold in sets that include 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup, 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1/2 teaspoon.
Besides that, it’s important to use a level measuring spoon or cup to ensure accuracy.
The US legal measuring system
The US legal measuring system is similar to the US customary measuring system and is commonly used in nutrition labeling in the United States. The basic units of this system are:
- Volume: Cups, tablespoons, teaspoons, fluid ounces, gallons, quarts, pints
- Weight: Ounces, pounds, tons
Here are some common conversions for US legal measuring system that you might also find in recipes:
- 1 cup = 16 tablespoons = 48 teaspoons = 8 fluid ounces = 0.0625 gallons = 0.25 quarts = 0.5 pints
- 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons = 0.5 fluid ounces = 0.0031 gallons = 0.0125 quarts = 0.025 pints
- 1 fluid ounce = 2 tablespoons = 6 teaspoons = 0.0078 gallons = 0.03125 quarts = 0.0625 pints
Note that neither the US customary measuring system nor the legal system are not the same as the metric system, so it’s important to convert the measurements properly if you are using a recipe that uses metric units.
The most convenient thing to solve this problem is using a handy kitchen scale, which can be helpful for accurately measuring ingredients by weight, regardless of the measuring system used in the recipe.
Tablespoons in a cup – the UK, New Zealand and Australian recipes
Measuring cups used in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia are similar but not identical to those used in the United States.
While the US recipes typically show volume in cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons, recipes from the UK, New Zealand, and Australia are shown with volume in milliliters (ml) and/or fluid ounces (fl oz).
Here are the measures in milliliters for measuring cups, tablespoons, teaspoons and fluid ounces in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia:
|1 cup (US)||237 ml|
|1 cup (UK)||250 ml|
|1 cup (Australia)||250 ml|
|1 cup (New Zealand)||250 ml|
|1 tablespoon (US)||15 ml|
|1 tablespoon (UK, Australia, New Zealand)||15 ml|
|1 teaspoon (US)||5 ml|
|1 teaspoon (UK, Australia, New Zealand)||5 ml|
|1 fluid ounce (US)||29.57 ml|
|1 fluid ounce (UK)||28.41 ml|
|1 fluid ounce (Australia)||30 ml|
|1 fluid ounce (New Zealand)||28.4 ml|
Calculating tablespoons in US customary cups
The easiest way to handle tablespoon-to-cup conversions is to remember the number of tablespoons in a cup simply.
If there are 16 tablespoons in every cup, then eight tablespoons are in every half cup. It’s easy to go from there; just calculate every half cup as eight tablespoons.
The simplest way to memorize the calculation is the following:
1 cup = 16 tablespoons
1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons
and if going further,
2,5 cups = (2 x 16) + 8 tablespoons
Measuring tablespoons in liquid cups
In the US cup is used to measure the volume. While the weight of dry ingredients in a cup will differ, the volume of liquids in a cup will always be the same.
When measuring liquid ingredients, it’s important to use a clear measuring cup with markings for both cups and fluid ounces.
To measure, pour the liquid into the measuring cup, ensuring that the bottom of the meniscus (the curved surface of the liquid) lines up with the correct measurement on the cup. Be sure to read the measurement at eye level for accuracy.
Measuring tablespoons in dry cups
In the US customary system, measuring spoons and measuring cups are used to measure both liquid and dry ingredients. Measuring spoons typically include one tablespoon, one teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, and 1/4 teaspoon. Measuring cups, on the other hand, come in various sizes, including 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, and 1/4 cup.
It’s important to note that tablespoons are a unit of volume, while cups are a capacity unit. As a result, it’s impossible to directly convert the weight of tablespoons to cups in the same way that you would convert teaspoons or fluid ounces to cups.
The number of tablespoons in a dry cup partially depends on what ingredients you are measuring. There are 16 tablespoons in one dry cup for most dry ingredients, including all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar (packed), confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar), cocoa powder, cornstarch, and many others.
It’s important to note that these measurements are approximate and can vary depending on how tightly you pack the dry ingredient into the measuring cup. For the most accurate measurement, it’s best to use a kitchen scale to weigh out dry ingredients.
Tablespoons, teaspoons and dessert spoons
In many countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, a dessert spoon is a common measuring spoon used in cooking and baking. A dessert spoon is slightly larger than a teaspoon but smaller than a tablespoon and is equivalent to about two teaspoons or 10 milliliters.
In the United States, measuring spoons are typically sold in sets. However, some recipes may use the term “dessert spoon” or “heaping dessert spoon” to indicate a slightly larger or more generous amount of the ingredient.
In general, if a recipe calls for a dessert spoon and you don’t have one, you can use a tablespoon and aim for a slightly rounded or heaping measurement. Keep in mind that this may result in a slightly different taste or texture in the final dish, as the ingredient ratios may be different than intended.
- When measuring in tablespoons or teaspoons, it’s important to note that these are measures of volume, not weight. To convert tablespoons or teaspoons to cups, you can use the following conversion factors:
- 1 tablespoon = 1/16 cup
- 1 teaspoon = 1/48 cup
- Measuring tablespoons, teaspoons and cups are a convenient tool for measuring both dry and liquid ingredients. For best results, make sure to use the correct size measuring cup or spoon and fill it to the appropriate level. Level off the top of the tablespoon or a cup with a knife.
- Use a measuring tablespoon, teaspoon or cup from the same material for all ingredients. Avoid compressing the ingredients, as the different densities of the ingredients might change the desired outcome of the recipe.
- It’s also important to note that using precise measurements can be critical to the success of a recipe, especially when baking. Measuring cups and spoons are typically the most accurate tools for measuring, but using a kitchen scale can also provide more precise measurements by weight.
Conclusion- how many tablespoons are in a cup?
In the US customary system, there are 16 tablespoons in a cup.
This is a useful conversion to know for cooking and baking, as many recipes call for ingredients in tablespoons, teaspoons, or cups. By knowing the conversion factors between these different units of measurement, you can easily adjust recipe quantities to suit your needs.
Measuring accurately is important for getting consistent results, especially when baking, so it’s always a good idea to use measuring cups and spoons or a kitchen scale when following a recipe.
The easiest way to quickly see how many tablespoons, teaspoons and ounces are in a cup, without the need to memorize it or calculate it every time is using a free printable conversion chart.
Tablespoons in a cup FAQ
A coffee cup, commonly used as a measure in very old recipes is 150 ml, while the customary US cup equals 237 ml and the international metric cup 250 ml.
Depending on what kind of coffee you are cooking and how you are cooking it, for a mild coffee you will usualy need one tablespoon and for a stronger one two tablespoons per cup. Therefore, for 5 cups of water use 5-10 tablespoons of coffee.
Canada adopted the metric measuring system in 1971, but a large number of people still uses a mixture of metric, Imperial and US customary measurements.
The US customary cup equals 16 tablespoons, therefore, four tablespoons make a quarter cup.
There are eight tablespoons in a half cup.
There are 16 tablespoons in a cup, therefore, 3/4 cup consists of 12 tablespoons.
7/8 cup equals 14 tablespoons.
2/3 of a cup equals 11 tablespoons.
There are 24 tablespoons in a 1 1/2 cup.
9 tablespoons equal 0.5625 cup.
There are 16 tablespoons (or 8 fluid ounces) in one liquid cup.
There are 16 tablespoons in a cup of sugar.
Three tablespoons equal 0,1875 cup.
2 sticks of butter equal 16 tablespoons or one cup.
There are 12 tablespoons in 3/4 cup of butter.
One cup of flour equals 16 tablespoons of flour.
Food nutter’s free kitchen conversion charts
How many tablespoons in a cup
- 1 US customary cup equals 16 tablespoons (236, 588 ml)
- 1 US legal cup equals 16, 2307 tablespoons (240 ml)
- 1 international metric cup (250 ml) equals 16.67 metric tablespoons
- 1 international metric cup (250 ml) equals 14.08 imperial tablespoons
- 1 Australian cup (250 ml) equals 12,5 Australian tablespoons (20 ml)
- 1 Canadian cup (250 ml) equals 12,5 Canadian tablespoons (20 ml)
- 16 tablespoons in a US customary cup
- 16, 2307 tablespoons in a US legal cup
- 16.67 metric tablespoons in an international metric cup
- 14.08 imperial tablespoons in an international metric cup
- 12,5 Australian tablespoons (20 ml) in an Australian cup
- 12,5 Canadian tablespoons (20 ml) in a Canadian cup
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