Liquid vs. Dry Measurements: Why It Matters

It may come as a surprise to some – but not all – that there’s a difference between liquid measuring cups and dry measuring cups. And that difference can make all the difference when it comes to your baking. If you’ve ever wondered why a baking project didn’t come out right, it could be because of how you measured your ingredients.

A dry measuring cup can be used for wet measurements, but if you’re using a typical dry measuring cup, it can be difficult to get, for example, exactly 1 full cup of water because of a) how the cup is designed and b) how difficult it is to keep a steady hand while transferring a liquid in a completely full dry measuring cup into your recipe.

A dry measuring cup allows you to measure flour – as an example – to 1 full cup. You’d typically scoop out a cup of flour and then use your index finger or a knife to scrape the top, ensuring 1 completely full cup of flour. This type of accuracy can’t be achieved in a liquid measuring cup. While the amount of difference is just a small fraction over one single cup, the real impact occurs when you’re measuring several cups of flour (in this example) and that missing amount can add up to a big difference. How could you tell? In a cookie or a cake, the amount of flour over or below what is needed will affect the look, taste, and texture of your dessert. And that’s just a bummer for everyone!

The moral of the story is that it pays to have both wet and dry measuring systems in your kitchen. Unlike most cooking, where a pinch of this or a dash of that doesn’t really make too much of an impact, in baking, the wrong amount of an ingredient could have a dramatic impact on your final product. Both products are inexpensive to purchase, yet absolutely priceless when it comes to the quality of your food.

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