Cooking Conversion Charts and Substitutions

Updated on July 3, 2019
Carb Diva profile image

Exploring 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! | Source

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? | Source

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)

Source

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

Imperial
Metric
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

Imperial
Metric
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

Farhenheit
Celcius
Gas
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

But I'm Missing Something

And, about 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

Questions & Answers

    © 2015 Linda Lum

    Comments

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      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        4 years ago from Washington State, USA

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

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        4 years ago from The Beautiful South

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

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        4 years ago from Washington State, USA

        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 profile image

        Rachel L Alba 

        4 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

        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.

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        4 years ago from Washington State, USA

        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.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        4 years ago from Olympia, WA

        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.

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        4 years ago from Washington State, USA

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

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        4 years ago from Washington State, USA

        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 profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        What an incredibly useful hub, especially the handy equivalents.

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        4 years ago from Washington State, USA

        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.

      • DzyMsLizzy profile image

        Liz Elias 

        4 years ago from Oakley, CA

        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.

      • profile image

        RTalloni 

        4 years ago

        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!

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