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Cooking Conversion Charts and Substitutions

Author:

Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

At the recommendation of a friend, I started watching the Great British Baking Show, and, like Bill Holland, I have become absolutely mesmerized. The cakes, tarts, and pastries that they create are works of art, the techniques are fascinating, and the terminology and measurements are . . . totally befuddling.

Litres, grams, Celsius—of course, one can find conversion charts online, but wouldn't it be nice if all of the references, cues, and aids were all in one place? Then I started thinking about the mathematics of cooking and baking. What if you want to bake a three-egg cake and have only two eggs in the fridge? How can you convert the other ingredients proportionately?

It can be done, and I've compiled all of the answers for you here.

Dividing a Recipe

Have you ever found yourself needing to scale back the size of a recipe because (1) the original recipe as written makes much more than you need/want, or (2) you don't have quite enough of a key ingredient? (You wouldn't believe how many times I've needed three eggs and found that there are only two in the refrigerator).

With this simple table, I hope that your task of dividing a recipe will be a bit easier.

I wish I had thought of this. Genius!

I wish I had thought of this. Genius!

Equivalent Measures

Dash

= 2 to 3 drops

1 tablespoon

= 3 teaspoons

1/16 cup

= 1 tablespoon or 3 teaspoons

1/8 cup

= 2 tablespoons

1/4 cup

= 4 tablespoons

1/3 cup

= 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon

3/8 cup

= 6 tablespoons

1/2 cup

= 8 tablespoons

2/3 cup

= 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons

1 cup

= 16 tablespoons

1 pint

= 2 cups

1 quart

= 4 cups

1 gallon

= 4 quarts

1 peck

= 8 quarts

1 bushel

= 4 pecks

1 pound

= 16 ounces

Don't have the right size pan?

Don't have the right size pan?

When You Don't Have the Right Size Pan

You need an 8 x 1 1/2-inch pan. You could use:

  • 10 x 6 x 2-inch dish
  • 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pan
  • 8 x 4 x 2-inch loaf pan
  • 9-inch pie plate
  • (Approximate volume = 1 1/2 quarts)

You need an 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan. You could use:

  • 11 x 7 x 1 1/2-inch pan
  • 12 x 71/2 x 2-inch pan
  • 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan
  • two 8 x 1 1/2-inch round pans
  • (Approximate volume = 2 quarts)

You need a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. You could use:

  • 14 x 11 x 2-inch baking dish
  • two 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans
  • three 8 x 1 1/2-inch round pans
  • (Approximate volume = 3 quarts)
how-to-kitchen-cooking-conversion-charts

Converting Recipes Across the Pond

Have you ever searched for (and found, oh joy!) new cooking/baking ideas on Pinterest, the website that proves that one picture is truly worth a thousand words? And then, your heart is broken when you find that all of the measurements are listed in grams, the temperature is in Celcius or, worse yet, Gas Mark?

Here's what to do.

Dry Measure Conversions

ImperialMetric

1/8 oz.

5 g

1/4 oz.

10 g

1/2 oz.

15 g

3/4 oz.

20 g

1 oz.

30 g

1 1/4 oz.

35 g

1 1/2 oz.

40 g

1 3/4 oz.

50 g

2 oz.

55 g

2 1/4 oz.

60 g

2 1/2 oz.

70 g

2 3/4 oz.

80 g

3 oz.

85 g

3 1/4 oz.

90 g

3 1/2 oz.

100 g

4 oz.

115 g

4 1/4 oz.

120 g

4 1/2 oz.

125 g

5 oz.

140 g

5 1/2 oz.

150 g

6 oz.

175 g

7 oz.

200 g

8 oz.

225 g

9 oz.

250 g

10 oz.

280 g

10 1/2 oz.

300 g

12 oz.

350 g

13 oz.

375 g

14 oz.

400 g

1 lb.

450 g

1 lb. 2 oz.

500 g

1 lb. 4 oz.

550 g

1 lb. 5 oz.

600 g

1 lb. 9 oz.

700 g

1 lb. 12 oz.

800 g

2 lb.

900 g

2 lb. 3 oz.

1 kg

Liquid Measure Conversions

ImperialMetric

1 fl. oz.

30 ml

2 fl. oz.

60 ml

2 1/2 fl. oz.

80 ml

3 1/2 fl. oz.

100 ml

4 fl. oz.

125 ml

5 1/4 fl. oz.

160 ml

6 fl. oz.

185 ml

7 fl. oz.

200 ml

9 fl. oz.

250 ml

10 1/2 fl. oz.

300 ml

12 fl. oz.

350 ml

13 fl. oz.

375 ml

14 fl. oz.

400 ml

17 fl. oz.

500 ml

21 fl. oz.

600 ml

22 1/2 fl. oz.

650 ml

24 fl. oz.

700 ml

26 fl. oz.

750

28 fl. oz.

800 ml

35 fl. oz.

1 L

44 fl. oz.

1.25 L

52 fl. oz.

1.5 L

Oven Temperature Conversions

FarhenheitCelciusGas

150

70

1/4

200

100

1/2

225

110

1/2

235

120

1/2

250

130

1

275

140

1

300

150

2

315

160

2-3

325

170

3

350

180

4

375

190

5

400

200

6

415

210

6-7

425

220

7

450

230

8

475

240

8

500

250

9

How Much Do You Need to Cook?

Not sure how much macaroni to cook for just yourself? (No, you don't need to boil the entire box, trust me.)

Your recipe asks for 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs—how many graham crackers do you need?

Need 2 cups of cooked rice and not sure where to begin?

You need this:

Handy Equivalents

 

 

 

Cereals

Amount Before Preparation

Amount After Preparation

Macaroni

1 cup (3 1/2 ounces)

2 1/2 cups cooked

Noodles, medium

3 cups (4 ounces)

3 cups cooked

Spaghetti

8 ounces

4 cups cooked

Long grain rice

1 cup (7 ounces)

3 cups cooked

Quick-cooking rice

1 cup (3 ounces)

2 cups cooked

Popcorn

1/4 cup

5 cups popped

Crumbs

 

 

Bread

1 slice

3/4 cup soft or 1/4 cup fine dry crumbs

Saltine crackers

28 crackers

1 cup finely crushed

Rich round crackers (Ritz)

24 crackers

1 cup finely crushed

Graham crackers

14 squares

1 cup finely crushed

Gingersnaps

15 cookies

1 cup finely crushed

Vanilla wafers

22 cookies

1 cup finely crushed

Fruits

 

 

Apples

1 medium

1 cup sliced

Bananas

1 medium

1/3 cup mashed

Cherries, dark sweet

1 pound

2 cups pitted

Cranberries

1 pound (4 cups)

3 cups sauce

Lemons

1 medium

3 tbsp juice; 2 tsp shredded peel

Limes

1 medium

2 tbsp. juice; 1 1/2 tsp shredded peel

Oranges

1 medium

1/4 to 1/3 cup juice; 4 tsp. shredded peel

Peaches, pears

1 medium

1/2 cup sliced

Strawberries

4 cups whole

3 1/2 cups sliced

Vegetables

 

 

Beans, dry

1 pound (2 1/2 cups)

6 cups cooked

Cabbage

1 pound (1 small)

5 cups shredded

Carrots, without tops

1 pound (6 to 8 medium)

3 cups shredded or 2 1/2 cups chopped

Celery

1 medium bunch

4 1/2 cup chopped

Green beans, cup up

1 pound (3 cups)

2 1/2 cups cooked

Green peppers

1 large

1 cup chopped

Mushrooms

1 pound (6 cups)

2 cups sliced and cooked

Onions

1 medium

1/2 cup chopped

Potatoes

1 medium

2/3 cup cubed or 1/2 cup mashed

Spinach

1 pound (12 cups)

1 1/2 cups cooked

Tomatoes

1 medium

1/2 cup cooked

Nuts

 

 

Almonds

1 pound in shell

1 1/4 cups shelled

Pecans

1 pound in shell

2 cups shelled

Walnuts

1 pound in shell

1 1/2 cups shelled

Miscellaneous

 

 

Eggs

4 whole, 8 yolks, or 8 whites

1 cup

Cheese

4 ounces

1 cup shredded

Whipping cream

1 cup

2 cups whipped

Boneless raw meat

1 pound

2 cups cooked and chopped

Cooked meat

1 pound

3 cups chopped

how-to-kitchen-cooking-conversion-charts

But I'm Missing Something

What should you do when the kids are starving (or you are starving) and there's no time to run to the store for that one little thing you are missing? This table might help:

Off-the-Shelf Substitutes

If You're Out Of:Use:Or try:

Basic Ingredients

 

 

1 cup cake flour

14 tablespoons all-purpose flour

 

1 tablespoon cornstarch (for thickening)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons quick-cookin tapioca

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 cup molasses

3/4 cup granulated sugar

 

1 1-ounce square unsweetened chocolate

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon butter

 

Dairy Ingredients

 

 

1 cup milk

1/2 cup evaporated milk + 1/2 cup water

 

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar + enough milk to measure 1 cup

1 cup milk + 1 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream

1 8-ounce carton plain yogurt

6 ounces cream cheese + 3 tablespoons milk

1 cup light cream

1 cup undiluted evaporated milk

14 tablespoons milk + 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

1 4-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed

 

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks

 

Tomato Ingredients

 

 

1 cup catsup or chili sauce

1 cup tomato sauce + 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons vinegar

 

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1 6-ounce can tomato paste + 1 cup water

 

1 16-ounce can tomatoes, cut up

3 fresh medium tomatoes, cut up

1 16-ounce can stewed tomatoes

1 15-ounce can spaghetti sauce

2 cups Italian cooking sauce

2 cups pizza sauce

Pasta, Cereal, and Grain Ingredients

 

 

6 ounces uncooked pasta (3 cups cooked)

4 ounces (3 cups) uncooked egg noodles

4 ounces (1 1/4 cups) uncooked macaroni

1 cup cooked rice

1 cup cooked bulgur wheat

1 cup cooked pearl barley

1 8-ounce package stuffing mix

4 cups croutons

4 cups toasted bread cubes

1 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1 cup crushed cereal crumbs

1 cup crushed crackers or potato chips

© 2015 Linda Lum

Comments

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on July 24, 2015:

Thank you Jackie. I appreciate your feedback. As to whether HP will agree--who knows?

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on July 24, 2015:

These are great charts I am sure we all can use! ^+ and it should go over well with HP too would think!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on July 20, 2015:

Thank you Rachel. I appreciate your comments always, but am a bit confused. Is there such a thing as too much pasta?

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on July 20, 2015:

This is all very good information. Some of it I knew but I always had trouble knowing how much pasta to measure out when they say 2 cups. My old way is like my mother's a handful. lol I voted up and interesting.

Blessings to you.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on July 18, 2015:

Ahh, thank you Bill, but I don't believe that anyone is hopeless in the kitchen--not even you! Will be going to a movie tomorrow to try to beat the heat for a few hours.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 18, 2015:

This really is a very handy and useful hub, Linda. Not for me, of course, because I am hopeless in the kitchen, but for the other 99.9% of the population, this is a great article. :) Have a great weekend and stay cool.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on July 17, 2015:

Flourish - thank you so much. I hope you find it useful.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on July 17, 2015:

Thank you MsLizzy. I agree that eggs are not really critical unless, of course, you are baking something. Baking is truly a science and precise measuring is demanded. Thanks for your support.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 17, 2015:

What an incredibly useful hub, especially the handy equivalents.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on July 17, 2015:

Thank you RTalloni - I grew weary of thumbing through goodness-knows how many cookbooks to find the information I needed, so I entered it on my computer so that it would be in one tidy place. And then I figured, if it works for me, it might just be helpful to someone else. I'm glad you like it.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 17, 2015:

Ah--most interesting! I've had to look up such equivalents several times.

I have also become very good at doubling or halving recipes in my head. but..when cutting in half, I notice much of the time, the measurement comes out to something for which no measuring devices exist.

There is no such thing, for example, as a 3/8 cup measuring cup, or a 1/16th teaspoon or Tablespoon measure. At that point, it comes down to pure guesswork.

As far as eggs go, I don't find they are critical; if you need 4 and only have 3, that will be good enough; if you need to cut the quantity from 3 to half a recipe, 1 will be good enough, since it's hard to measure out half an egg. Or, you could just use 2; either way, it won't ruin the dish, with the possible exception of some very fussy batters, such as for creme puffs (known to some as profiteroles). With those, it's better not to try and mess with the ingredient quantities.

Voted up, useful, interesting, pinned and shared.

RTalloni on July 17, 2015:

How handy this will be, affirmed by staff or not. :) All these useful equivalents in one easy to find place has to be appreciated by anyone who spends time working in the kitchen!