Baking Hacks: how to accurately measure ingredients

baking ingredients

Dear Ruthy, Whenever I measure liquid sweeteners for recipes a good layer sticks to the measuring cup — I’m sure that at least a teaspoon gets stuck and I can’t get it out without getting my fingers all up in there. Is there any way to make this process easier and cleaner?

Also, I’ve noticed that when I measure a given amount of coconut oil before and after melting it, the volume changes. Are you supposed to measure oils and fats that are solid at room temperature before or after melting?

drizzling honey

(Photo from Heartbeet Kitchen)

These are great questions and I’m happy to share some hacks! I’ve got a great trick to avoid the stuck-in-the-cup problem. I’m sure I didn’t invent it but it just kind of happened one day when I was baking and I had one of those “Duh!” moments. I’d measured oil in the same measuring cup that I then used to measure honey, and what do you know — because a thin film of oil had remained in the cup, the honey then poured right out without leaving a drop behind! So, simply brush or rub a thin layer of oil with your finger all around the inside of the measuring cup you plan to use for measuring your sticky, liquid sweeteners.

baking measurements

(Photo from Minimalist Baker)

On the question of measuring solid fats like coconut oil, ghee and butter before or after melting, unfortunately there’s no one right approach — it actually depends on the way the recipe is written (if it’s written accurately!). Ideally, the recipe includes both the volume and weight, and that way you can be 100% sure you’ve measured the right amount since the weight won’t change after melting. But, if the recipe only provides volume measurements, your approach would be as follows, using coconut oil as an example:

If the recipe says “X-amount coconut oil, melted” — this would typically mean to melt the coconut oil after measuring

If the recipe says “X-amount melted coconut oil” — this would typically mean to measure the oil in its melted state

Happy baking!

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