Measurement Conversion List

Tuesday 9 February 2010

I've had some requests to sort out the measuring problems that some of you are having in understanding the difference between British and American measures and converting them, so I am posting a handy list here for future reference! Hope this helps!

Converting British weights and measures to American
There are sometimes significant differences between the measures used for ingredients in British and American recipes. For example a British standard tablespoon holds 17.7ml while the American tablespoon has a 14.2 ml capacity. Similarly a British pint measures 20 fluid ounces while an American pint is just 16 fluid ounces. The standard American measuring cups sold here in the UK are one 4 ounce cup and smaller, Many American recipes use an 8 ounce (two cup) as a basis for measuring recipe ingredients. Bear in mind that the same cup measures differently for liquid and dry, depending on the weight of the ingredient, i.e. flour, breadcrumbs and oatmeal will be 4 oz, (110 g), but sugar, butter, dried fruit, chopped vegetables, syrup etc., will weigh differently. The listings below should enable recipes to be successfully made by American cooks. The only advice I would offer, having spent hours trawling websites and reading through books for factual information, hints and tips, is, to be consistent, never mix imperial, metric or cup measures in one recipe, If you use the same measuring system throughout, your dishes should work out correctly. If in doubt, weighing is still the most reliable and much preferred method to use, even by many American cooks. Purchasing a good set of balance scales with either metric or imperial weights, really will eliminate any guesswork and give good, consistent results every time.

Helpful measurement conversions.

British = American
1 teaspoon = 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon = 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons = 3 tablespoons
3.5 tablespoons = 4 tablespoons
4 tablespoons = 5 tablespoons

Solid measures
Using the one-cup standard measure as sold here in the UK (NB: Please remember to alter the amount for your own recipe):-

British = American
1lb (450g) butter or margarine = 2 cups (or four sticks).
1lb (450g) flour = 4 cups.
1lb 450 g, granulated or caster, (superfine), sugar = 2 cups.
1lb 450 g, icing sugar (confectioners' sugar) = 3 cups.
4 oz, 110 g, icing sugar, (confectioner's sugar), = half a cup plus a heaped tbsp.
8 oz, 225 g, flour = 2 cups.4 oz,
110 g, flour, = 1 cup.8 oz,
225 g, breadcrumbs = 2 cups.4 oz,
110 g, breadcrumbs. = 1 cup.8 oz,
225 g, oatmeal = 2 cups.
4 oz, 110 g, oatmeal = 1 cup.
8 oz, 225 g, grated cheese = 2 cups.
4 oz, 110 g, grated cheese = 1 cup.
8 oz, 225 g, butter, margarine, or shortening = one cup (or two sticks).
4 oz, 110 g, butter, margarine, or shortening = half a cup (or one stick).
2 oz, 50 g, butter, margarine or shortening = a quarter of a cup (or half a stick).
4 oz, 110 g, dried mixed fruit, (fruitcake mix) = 2-thirds of a cup.
2 oz, 50 g, dried mixed fruit, (fruit cake mix) = one-third of a cup.
8 oz, 225 g, brown sugar = 1 cup.
4 oz, 110 g, brown sugar = half a cup
3 oz, 75 g, plain, (semi-sweet) chocolate, broken into squares = 3-quarters of a cup.
4 oz, 110 g, whole hazelnuts = 1 cup.
2 oz, 50 g, flaked, (slivered) almonds = half a cup.
4 oz, 110 g, ground almonds = 1 cup.

Useful teaspoon measures.
1 oz, 25 g, is one heaped or heaping, tbsp of flour, oatmeal, cheese, breadcrumbs, or icing, confectioners grade, sugar.

1 oz, 25 g, is 1 rounded tbsp, of granulated or caster, superfine, sugar.

1 oz, 25 g, is 2 level tbsp of butter, margarine or shortening.

Liquid Measures

British = American
half a tsp, 2.5 ml. = half a tsp,
2.5 ml.1 tsp, 5 ml. = 1 tsp,
5 ml.1 average tbsp,
15 ml. = 1 average tbsp,
15 ml.A quarter of a pint,
150 ml. = Two thirds of a cup.
120 ml, 4 fl.oz, = half a cup.
Half a pint, 275 ml,
8 fl.oz, = A generous 1 cup.
Three-quarters of a pint, 425 ml. = Two cups
1 pint, 570 ml. = Two and a half cups.
One and a half pints, approx. 840 ml. = Three and three-quarter cups.
1 and 3-quarter pints, 1 litre, = 4 and a half cups.
2 pints = 5 cups.


  1. Marie, many thanks for this amazing information. You must have read my mind. Not an hour ago, I was trying to figure out how to convert the ingredients for your "Marbled Fudge Cake" recipe. I found a "device" that supposedly converts grams to cups. 25 grams of butter converted to 0.109. Huh? I was so distressed, I binned the recipe. I then went to your site and found this measurement conversion list! A coincidence? Hmmmm. I rescued the recipe just as you have rescued me. Many, many thanks. I can get to baking today!

  2. Thank you! I'll print this out and put it with my cookbooks! How sweet of you to give us this info! Enjoy your day! ♥

  3. this is SOOOO helpful, Marie--thank-you! Hope you're having a marvellous white & sparkly winter's day. Love you tons & hope you're feeling so much better today!

  4. Thank you! It's such a pain to keep getting online to convert in the middle of a recipe!
    xoxo Pattie

  5. I've been looking for this info for a long time so Thank You!!! But I think I will invest in a set of scales as well. To further muddy the water, Canadian measures are not the same as American....are Canadian the same as British?
    Have a blessed day

  6. You smart and thoughtful person!..Thanks.Our Québec measurements used to be like the US.. we converted to the European metric brain has stayed in US measurements..I am all over the place loving recipes form just about everywhere.
    I saw the neatest thing I will be looking for..a spoon..that weighs.:) Imagine that:)

  7. Oh thank you SO MUCH for this post! I already bookmarked it. I find lots of interesting recipes on British blogs and was always sad cause I didn't know the measurement stuff. So thank you!

  8. Marie, perhaps you could help me. I have a super recipe which calls for 3 tablespoons of butter and I'm always at a loss if I've added the right amount - have you a conversion for this?

  9. Thanks! I will keep this handy!

  10. Cleo, 1 TBS is the same as 3 tsp, or 1/2 ounce or 14grams, so 3 TBS would be, 9tsp, 1 1/2 ounces, or 42 grams.

  11. Excellent info! I have a metric/standard scale but it also helps to see it written out like this as well. Bookmarked.

  12. Thanks Marie, that's solved a long standing problem. Now I'll be able to tell everyone I've given my recipe to. :)

  13. Hi, well be sensible, well-all described

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. THANK YOU!
    This has helped me enormously! I love baking and cooking and have just moved to England for my master's degree and feel lost with a lot of the recipes and directions on making some of the things here.
    Bookmarked and will come back often.

  16. Thanks a lot for that, Marie. Big help. For the most part, your recipes are showing both Brit and American, right? Every now and then, I get confused!

  17. Thanks for the very helpful conversion chart. Would you mind if I published it on my site?

  18. That would be fine Simon, although a link back to me would be nice! Thanks!

  19. Hi Marie,
    Many thanks this is incredibly helpful! I'm slightly the opposite (an English person who's quite often trying to follow American recipes.) This morning I came across a new one to me which was a recipe calling for "2 T of Butter." Is that shorthand for a Teaspoon, or a Tablespoon? - or something else entirely? (normally I get away with guessing if stuck but I think a difference this big could potentially really affect the recipe!) any suggestions would be really appreciated! Many thanks.

    1. Capital "T" tablespoon Oliver. Small "t" teaspoon! Hope this helps!

  20. Could you also include a conversion chart/list for oven temps (non fan, election, us convention)?? Thank you much!!

  21. could you give the conversation for oven and fan temps on cooking too?

  22. Hi Mary
    Thanx for inf. Hope you can help me. I want to try a recipe which includes 4/10 tsp. what is the value?

    1. Hi there, since 5/10 would be half a teaspoon, 4/10 would be a scant half tsp. Hope this helps!

  23. Hi Marie. Thank you so much for this really useful guide. I can now stop asking Alexa! If you happen to know the abbreviation differences might it be possible to add those too? Once again thank you 🙏🏼


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