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Flour Measurements and Calories By Weight and Volume

Last Modified: 12/23/11
First Published: 11/18/07
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Views: 3914

When you read a recipe that calls for a certain ingredient such as flour you typically see it referred to by "1 cup AP Flour". When you use a measuring cup, such as the one below you should note that both photos show measures over 1 cup, even though by weight they are 8 ounces.

flour

Flour

1 cup (8 ounces)

By weight

flour

Flour - Sifted

1 cup (8 ounces)

By weight

For a given cup of flour, by volume you should expect to see a weight of about 5 ounces, not 8. We say about 5 ounces because sometimes it may be 6 or so, if it is packed to any degree.

Note: For the purpose of calorie calculation 4.4 ounces (by weight) is considered to be one cup of flour. This is how flour is labeled on the side of its packaging.

So for 1 cup of flour the calories listed are 455, although one should realize that this is for 1 cup by volume, not 8 ounces by weight. A rule of thumb for calorie computation is that 1 ounce of white flour (by weight) is 100 calories.

It is strange but true that the side panel of many foods do not distinguish between volume and mass. If you see 1 cup and then a gram (metric) measure you should go by the grams and realize that this does not mean cup volume used on measuring cups.

When you are baking it is important to have the correct measurements, so we recommend that for ingredients that are affected by air, such as flour, you go by weight (mass), and not volume. This is especially true when using recipes that call for something sifted. Make sure that you make your measurements before sifting. As the second photo illustrates, sifting the same 1 cup (8 ounces by weight) increases the volume by around 10 - 15%, and can throw off your baking.

Don't forget to get a Kitchen Scale