Learn how to


Measuring Cups & Spoons

I've had more trouble lately with baking than I care to admit. I thought for sure it was the flour I was using... so I bought a different kind.

Then my bread machine died the other day, so I thought maybe it wasnt working correctly to begin with.

Then I got to doing some cleaning and wanted to change where I keep my measuring cups & spoons. When I got them all laid out and matched back up to sets I noticed they didnt look the same size at all. So I did a test.

I took the purple 1c cup and filled it with salt, leveling it off. I then poured that into the 1c white one. It wouldnt all fit. Then I tried the green one, it was a no go too. The white one and the green one were the same but the purple one held quite a bit more! I tried the 1/2c the same way. The same thing. The white one and green one were basically the same, the purple was way bigger. I tested my spoons and found the purple were also incorrect. I have no spoons to match the white cups, but the old metal ones and green ones were the same.

I was wondering what was going on, how could a set of cups be so different? So I decided to go hunting on google and I found that I wasnt the only one who had this problem. I found Matilda of Cookbook People had done the same experiment as I had. She did a little more research than I did and she found that measuring cups & spoons are not regulated for accuracy in manufacturing.

I've not tested any of my liquid cups, but she did hers and found not all were correct either!

Now I know you are probably thinking, "Oh it wont matter!" but using cups/spoons so far off along with a bread machine that was acting up, along with flour bought two months ago that had expired 8 months ago, NO WONDER my son told me "Mom, I love you, but your bread is like bricks!" lol

I wont be forking out the money for a "calibrated" set any time soon. I'm too afraid to even find out how much they cost. I love the white set of cups because they are so easy to level off, but the green set has every size from 1 cup down to 1/4 tsp. The green spoons are ok to level but the cups with their pour lip thingy makes it hard. I've had the white set for over 20 years. I only recently bought the green set. So I guess the only ones I will throw away is the purple ones for now. Maybe one of these days I will buy one calibrated full set and throw the rest away.

At least now I have one good excuse for turning out those bricks! lol

How does your set measure out?


  1. oh my goodness I've been wondering the same thing! Thanks for the heads up - I'll check this out!

  2. I bought a nice metal set from a kitchen store. I may have to try it against the old plastic cup I have here too!

    I think we just trust we are getting what we need on things like that. The metal set wasn't too costly, provided its right.


  3. I have multiple sets of measuring cups and spoons, and although I haven't tested any of them against the others, I think they are all pretty close. I haven't noticed any problems, anyway.

    But thanks for the tip. I'll keep it in mind for when I buy more cups and spoons (one thing I think you can never have too many of!)

  4. Gosh, I've never thought of this! I have a couple sets of spoons and cups. Hmmm, gonna have to check this out!

  5. im boy wonder2/17/09, 8:34 PM

    im her son and i love her.

    she is the best mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. It's also because of the thickness of the sides. If you look, your purple ones have thin sides and the others are thicker. My mom is a professional cake and confectionery maker and only uses the measuring spoons that have the thick sides. Her favorites are the Wilton ones that are sold at craft stores. They are sturdy and always measures correctly(she weighs her measurements too, so she knows for a fact that they produce the right amount).

    Hope that helps!

    Come visit me sometime! ;o)

  7. lindsey I would be interested in knowing what you find out.

  8. I guess it's a good thing that I don't bake all that much. I never noticed any issue, though, with the few things that I do bake. Of course, the only thing I bake comes from a box/bag and it's usually a liquid or cubed butter that I'm adding.