What’s the difference between cups and grams and how do you measure them?

If you love baking, you’ll want to know the difference between cups and grams (Picture: Getty Images)

Baking has always been a hugely popular pastime – but it’s come into its own in recent years thanks to the success of The Great British Bake Off – as well as providing a distraction for many during the Covid lockdowns.

Whether you want to perfect your sourdough or brush up on your brownies, one thing you’ll always want to get right is your ingredients – meaning that getting the right quantities matters.

Except that can get a bit complicated if you’re used to measuring everything in grams – but suddenly you find yourself with a recipe which requires you to weigh out your ingredients in cups.

Just what is the difference between the two – and how do you measure them both?

What’s the difference between cups and grams?

The difference between the two is that ‘cups’ and ‘sticks’ adhere to the imperial measurement scale, whereas ‘grams’ and ‘litres’ are metric measurements.

In general, Europeans and Australians use the metric system when it comes to weighing out ingredients, while Americans use the imperial measurements.

That’s why you might more commonly see ‘cup’ and ‘stick’ quantities on recipes on US websites.

Ingredients are different depending on where your recipe comes from (Picture: Getty Images)

However the quantities in cups and sticks differ from those in grams and litres – so if you’re working from an American recipe you’ll need to convert them to ensure you get the right result.

How do you measure cups and grams?

The easiest way to ensure you have the correct amount of ingredients on an imperial recipe is to invest in some cup measurers, which will do the job for you – Amazon has a good selection of these.

If you don’t have a cup measurer, however, the quantities are easy to convert – although bear in mind they vary according to wet and dry ingredients.

Cup measurements are also done by volume as opposed to weight – which means that a cup of flour will have a lower weight in grams than a cup of sugar.

These are the basics you need to know for your average cake:


  • 1/2 cup – 65g
  • 1 cup – 125g
  • 2 cups – 250g

Sugar (caster or granulated)

  • 1/2 cup – 100g
  • 1 cup – 200g
  • 2 cups – 400g

Sugar (icing)

  • 1 cup – 125g
  • 2 cups – 250g


  • 1/3 cup – 75g
  • 1/2 cup – 110g
  • 2/3 cup – 150g
  • 3/4 cup – 180g
  • 1 cup – 225g

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