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How Many Ounces in a Cup – Dry and Wet

How many ounces are in a cup?  A very useful question to know the answer to when cooking. Sometimes you need to convert a recipe from ounces to cups. Perhaps your measuring scales are buried deep in the back of the cupboard but your trusty cup measures are to hand. Either way, it is a helpful conversion to know.

An ounce is a constant unit of measurement that reoccurs in every kitchen measurement. So, it is not unusual to be in a situation or tight end where you have to convert or determine the number of ounces in a cup. Even though many see it as a challenge, especially when they don’t like figures, the secret is that the conversion is pretty simple when you know the basics. No worries, you will find all the answers here.

An Ounce vs. A cup

Most commonly used in the U.S. and United Kingdom, an ounce is a unit of measurement for weight. An ounce weighs roughly 28.53 grams. It is a small unit of weight. On the other hand, a cup primarily measures volume while cooking.

How Many Ounces in a Cup?

Well, the answer can be complicated as not all measurements are created equal. The simple answer is, it depends on what you are measuring. In the case of liquid ingredients, the conversion is straightforward, but with dry ingredients, things become a little more convoluted.

The answer to this question also depends on the measurement system of your country and the nature of the ingredients you are measuring. For example, in the US, 1 cup equals 8 oz. In the UK, 1 cup equals 10 oz.

Liquid ingredients

With liquids, the answer is simple and easy to remember. Liquids are measured in fluid ounces, and there are 8 fluid ounces in 1 cup. This is true of all liquids. So;

  • 1/8 cup = 1 Ounce
  • 1/4 cup = 2 Ounces
  • 1/3 cup = 2 ½ Ounces
  • 1/2 cup = 4 Ounces
  • 2/3 cup = 5 Ounces
  • 1 cup = 8 Ounces
  • 1 ½ cups = 12 Ounces
  • 2 Cups = 16 Ounces
  • 2 ½ Cups = 20 Ounces
  • 3 Cups = 24 Ounces
  • 4 Cups = 32 Ounces

Dry ingredients

With dry ingredients, the conversion is a little more complicated. When recipe writers such as myself measure out dry ingredients in cups, we are talking more about volume than weight. The actual weight will depend on the density of the ingredient you are measuring.

For example, 1 cup of fresh spinach equals about 1 ounce in weight. Whereas a cup of chocolate chips, which are denser, will weigh approximately 6 ounces.

What is the difference between Ounces (oz.) and Fluid Ounces (Fl. oz.)?

The simple difference is that an ounce measures dry ingredients while fluid ounces measure liquid ingredients. Also, ounces measure the weight of the dry ingredients, while fluid ounces measure the volume of the liquid.

Different Measurement Systems for a Cup

The measurement system for cups in the US is different from the system in the UK. For example, while a cup is 8 ounces in the US, a cup is 10 ounces in the UK, Australia, and Canada.

For conversion for dry measurement, the simple formula is;1 ounce = 1/8 cup For conversion for wet measurement in the US, 8 Fluid Ounces = 1 Cup. Whereas in the UK, it is 10 Fluid Ounces = 1 Cup 

Wet vs. Dry Ingredients

When calculating ounces, many people confuse liquids with solids. Ounces are generally divided into dry ounces and fluid ounces.

To work with dry ingredients, you should use ounces, and for liquids use fluid ounces. For dry ingredients, you need a scale; for wet ingredients, you need a wet measuring cup. Examples of dry ingredients include Salt, flour, soda powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, powdered milk, etc. Wet ingredients are water, oil, eggs, liquid milk, yogurt, and honey.

Ensure that you use the correct measuring cup for each type of ingredient. For example, avoid using wet measuring cups for dry ingredients, especially when baking.

How to fill in a Dry Measuring Cups

A liquid measuring cup can be a plastic mug or glass cup with a measurement line on the side. On the contrary, a dry measuring cup is designed to hold a specific amount of dry ingredients. So, you have to level the ingredients with a butter knife once you fill it. To fill your dry measuring cups, you can do the following:

  • Step 1 – To use the dry measuring cup, first put your measuring cup in a bowl.
  • Step 2 – Pour the dry ingredients gently into the cup.
  • Step 3 – When it is full to the brim, you can level it and remove the excess into the bowl.
  • Step 4 – You can check the measuring rule on the cup or place it on the scale to weigh.

How to fill in a Wet Measuring Cups

It is easier to fill the liquid measuring cup than a dry one. Cups come with a pouring edge to aid liquid transfer from the storage to the cup. The pouring edge prevents the liquid from spilling.

  • Step 1: Pour the liquid into the measuring cup gently
  • Step 2: Check the measuring line by the side to track the measurement. 
  • Step 3: If you need to weigh it, you can use your scale.

How many ounces in a Cup of water?

  • 1/4 cup = 2 oz
  •  1/3 cup = 2 ½ oz
  • 1/2 cup = 4 oz
  • 1 cup = 8 oz 

How Many Ounces in A Cup of Maple Syrup?

  • 1/4 cup = 3 oz
  • 1/3 cup = 4 oz
  • 1/2 cup = 6 oz
  • 1 cup = 12 oz

How Many Ounces in a Cup of Cocoa Powder?

  • 1/4 cup = 0.9 oz
  • 1/3 cup = 1.2 oz
  • 1/2 cup = 1.3 oz
  • 1 cup = 3 ½ oz

How Many Ounces in A Cup of Flour?

  • 1/4 cup = 1 oz
  • 1/3 cup = 1 ½ oz
  • 1/2 cup = 2 ¼ oz
  • 1 cup = 4 ½ oz

Should I use measuring cups or scales?

Liquid ingredients can be just as accurately measured in cups as by a measuring scale. Now that you know the handy conversion that there are 8 ounces in a cup, you can switch between the two as you wish.

If a recipe states to measure out a dry ingredient in cups, go ahead and do it. The recipe writer will have taken into account the volume of the ingredients and figured out the correct amount for you. However, pay close attention to how the recipe says you should prepare the ingredient. A cup of finely chopped spinach will weigh a little more than a cup of loosely packed spinach. Equally a cup of grated cheese will weigh more than a cup of chunks of cheese as you can pack more of it in. 

If the recipe states its dry ingredient measurements in ounces, it is always more accurate to use measuring scales than to convert it to cups. If you don’t happen to have measuring scales, the blog King Arthur baking has a comprehensive table of how much a cup of various dry ingredients actually weighs, in ounces and grams. 

Finally, the amount of ounces in a cup is determined by the ingredients in the cup. The cup may have the same volume but a different weight. This calculation is simple once you get the basic math on the conversion table provided. Ensure that you follow your recipe measurements to get the best result. Check other similar measurement posts you might be interested in:

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Friday 6th of October 2023

But the last three conversions on the top chart is wrong! You have three (same) cup measurements "equaling" different amounts of ounces.

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Saturday 25th of May 2024

Thank you. Its been corrected.


Tuesday 9th of May 2023

Your statement that "Liquids are measured in fluid ounces, and there are 8 fluid ounces in 1 cup. This is true of all liquids." is perhaps close, but technically incorrect. It is accurate for water and things like water. However, oil is lighter than water, and honey is substantially heavier than water.

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Tuesday 13th of June 2023

Thank you, Dana. I understand that it varies with the nature of the liquid. Will look into an update to include this.