How many tablespoons are in a cup

How many tablespoons are in a cup?

Common kitchen conversion questions are sometimes the most annoying thing when cooking. Most often, when following US recipes but living elsewhere, you need to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius and back and cups to tablespoons, teaspoons, milliliters, deciliters and liters. Heck, even cups to pints.

Oh yes, and typing on your phone with your hands wet or sprinkled with flour while searching for common kitchen conversions sounds so familiar.

So let’s make this easier for you and serve you with some answers.

There are 16 tablespoons in a US customary cup.

How many tablespoons are in a cup (video)

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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

that’s why

1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons

and if going further,

2,5 cups = (2 x 16) + 8 tablespoons

tablespoons in cups conversion table

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.

CUPSLIQUID OUNCES
1/160.5
1/81
1/42
1/33
1/24
2/35
3/46
18
216
312

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.

Measuring tips

  • 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.

teaspoons and tablespoons to cups table

Tablespoons in a cup FAQ

Are coffee cups used on an actual measurement of 1 cup?

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.

How many tablespoons of coffee do I use for 5 cups of water?

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.

Does Canada use Imperial or US cups?

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.

How many tablespoons make a quarter cup?

The US customary cup equals 16 tablespoons, therefore, four tablespoons make a quarter cup.

How many tablespoons are in a half cup?

There are eight tablespoons in a half cup.

How many tablespoons are in a 3/4 of a cup?

There are 16 tablespoons in a cup, therefore, 3/4 cup consists of 12 tablespoons.

How many tablespoons are in 7/8 of a cup?

7/8 cup equals 14 tablespoons.

How many tablespoons are in a 2/3 cup?

2/3 of a cup equals 11 tablespoons.

24 tablespoons equal how many cups?

There are 24 tablespoons in a 1 1/2 cup.

9 tablespoons equal how many cups?

9 tablespoons equal 0.5625 cup.

How many tablespoons are in one liquid cup?

There are 16 tablespoons (or 8 fluid ounces) in one liquid cup.

How many tablespoons are in a cup of sugar?

There are 16 tablespoons in a cup of sugar.

How many cups are three tablespoons?

Three tablespoons equal 0,1875 cup.

How many tablespoons are in a cup of butter?

2 sticks of butter equal 16 tablespoons or one cup.

How many tablespoons are in a 3/4 cup of butter?

There are 12 tablespoons in 3/4 cup of butter.

How many tablespoons are in a cup of flour?

One cup of flour equals 16 tablespoons of flour.

Tablespoons in cups – decimal values
Tablespoons (tbsp)Cups (cup)
1 tbsp0.0625 cup
1.1 tbsp0.0688 cup
1.2 tbsp0.075 cup
1.3 tbsp0.0813 cup
1.4 tbsp0.0875 cup
1.5 tbsp0.0938 cup
1.6 tbsp0.1 cup
1.7 tbsp0.1063 cup
1.8 tbsp0.1125 cup
1.9 tbsp0.1188 cup
2 tbsp0.125 cup
2.1 tbsp0.1313 cup
2.2 tbsp0.1375 cup
2.3 tbsp0.1438 cup
2.4 tbsp0.15 cup
2.5 tbsp0.1563 cup
2.6 tbsp0.1625 cup
2.7 tbsp0.1688 cup
2.8 tbsp0.175 cup
2.9 tbsp0.1813 cup
3 tbsp0.1875 cup
3.1 tbsp0.1938 cup
3.2 tbsp0.2 cup
3.3 tbsp0.2063 cup
3.4 tbsp0.2125 cup
3.5 tbsp0.2188 cup
3.6 tbsp0.225 cup
3.7 tbsp0.2313 cup
3.8 tbsp0.2375 cup
3.9 tbsp0.2438 cup
4 tbsp0.25 cup
4.1 tbsp0.2563 cup
4.2 tbsp0.2625 cup
4.3 tbsp0.2688 cup
4.4 tbsp0.275 cup
4.5 tbsp0.2813 cup
4.6 tbsp0.2875 cup
4.7 tbsp0.2938 cup
4.8 tbsp0.3 cup
4.9 tbsp0.3063 cup
5 tbsp0.3125 cup
5.1 tbsp0.3188 cup
5.2 tbsp0.325 cup
5.3 tbsp0.3313 cup
5.4 tbsp0.3375 cup
5.5 tbsp0.3438 cup
5.6 tbsp0.35 cup
5.7 tbsp0.3563 cup
5.8 tbsp0.3625 cup
5.9 tbsp0.3688 cup
6 tbsp0.375 cup
6.1 tbsp0.3813 cup
6.2 tbsp0.3875 cup
6.3 tbsp0.3938 cup
6.4 tbsp0.4 cup
6.5 tbsp0.4063 cup
6.6 tbsp0.4125 cup
6.7 tbsp0.4188 cup
6.8 tbsp0.425 cup
6.9 tbsp0.4313 cup
7 tbsp0.4375 cup
7.1 tbsp0.4438 cup
7.2 tbsp0.45 cup
7.3 tbsp0.4563 cup
7.4 tbsp0.4625 cup
7.5 tbsp0.4688 cup
7.6 tbsp0.475 cup
7.7 tbsp0.4813 cup
7.8 tbsp0.4875 cup
7.9 tbsp0.4938 cup
8 tbsp0.5 cup
8.1 tbsp0.5063 cup
8.2 tbsp0.5125 cup
8.3 tbsp0.5188 cup
8.4 tbsp0.525 cup
8.5 tbsp0.5313 cup
8.6 tbsp0.5375 cup
8.7 tbsp0.5438 cup
8.8 tbsp0.55 cup
8.9 tbsp0.5563 cup
9 tbsp0.5625 cup
9.1 tbsp0.5688 cup
9.2 tbsp0.575 cup
9.3 tbsp0.5813 cup
9.4 tbsp0.5875 cup
9.5 tbsp0.5938 cup
9.6 tbsp0.6 cup
9.7 tbsp0.6063 cup
9.8 tbsp0.6125 cup
9.9 tbsp0.6188 cup
10 tbsp0.625 cup
10.1 tbsp0.6313 cup
10.2 tbsp0.6375 cup
10.3 tbsp0.6438 cup
10.4 tbsp0.65 cup
10.5 tbsp0.6563 cup
10.6 tbsp0.6625 cup
10.7 tbsp0.6688 cup
10.8 tbsp0.675 cup
10.9 tbsp0.6813 cup
11 tbsp0.6875 cup
11.1 tbsp0.6938 cup
11.2 tbsp0.7 cup
11.3 tbsp0.7063 cup
11.4 tbsp0.7125 cup
11.5 tbsp0.7188 cup
11.6 tbsp0.725 cup
11.7 tbsp0.7313 cup
11.8 tbsp0.7375 cup
11.9 tbsp0.7438 cup
12 tbsp0.75 cup
12.1 tbsp0.7563 cup
12.2 tbsp0.7625 cup
12.3 tbsp0.7688 cup
12.4 tbsp0.775 cup
12.5 tbsp0.7813 cup
12.6 tbsp0.7875 cup
12.7 tbsp0.7938 cup
12.8 tbsp0.8 cup
12.9 tbsp0.8063 cup
13 tbsp0.8125 cup
13.1 tbsp0.8188 cup
13.2 tbsp0.825 cup
13.3 tbsp0.8313 cup
13.4 tbsp0.8375 cup
13.5 tbsp0.8438 cup
13.6 tbsp0.85 cup
13.7 tbsp0.8563 cup
13.8 tbsp0.8625 cup
13.9 tbsp0.8688 cup
14 tbsp0.875 cup
14.1 tbsp0.8813 cup
14.2 tbsp0.8875 cup
14.3 tbsp0.8938 cup
14.4 tbsp0.9 cup
14.5 tbsp0.9063 cup
14.6 tbsp0.9125 cup
14.7 tbsp0.9188 cup
14.8 tbsp0.925 cup
14.9 tbsp0.9313 cup
15 tbsp0.9375 cup
15.1 tbsp0.9438 cup
15.2 tbsp0.95 cup
15.3 tbsp0.9563 cup
15.4 tbsp0.9625 cup
15.5 tbsp0.9688 cup
15.6 tbsp0.975 cup
15.7 tbsp0.9813 cup
15.8 tbsp0.9875 cup
15.9 tbsp0.9938 cup
16 tbsp1 cup

Food nutter’s free kitchen conversion charts

200 Celsius to Fahrenheit

375 Fahrenheit to Celsius

Cups to liters

Cups to dl

Cups to ml

Cups to pints

How many tablespoons in a cup

Simple instructions on how to quickly calculate how many tablespoons are in a cup.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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)

Video

NOTES

There are:
  • 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 
 
1 US  tablespoon equals 3 teaspoons.

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  1. 5 stars
    Beautiful! Just what I needed.

    1. Thank you Joanne!

  2. 5 stars
    Very helpful information!

    1. Thanks Donna 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I will definitely print the conversion chart. This will be handy for me and my WW journey! Thank you for sharing.

    Have a wonderful day!

    1. I’m very glad you find these charts useful.

5 from 3 votes

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