How to Measure Flour Correctly – How to use the scoop & level method to accurately measure your flour. This simple trick will give you better baked goods every time!
One of the most common problems with gluten-free baking is tough, gummy, or dry baked goods. In the last 8 years of baking, I’ve found that one of the most common reasons for this is not properly measuring your flour!
It might seem like a trivial skill, but measuring your flour incorrectly can lead to overfilling your measuring cups, which leads to unintentionally adding more flour to your recipe.
Adding too much flour = tough, doughy, or gummy baked goods. No bueno!
So today I’m going to share one of the easiest tips to become a better baker: How to Measure Flour Using The Scoop and Level Method.
Don’t worry, it’s SUPER easy. Let’s learn about it!
What Is The Scoop And Level Method?
The scoop and level method is considered the most accurate method for measuring flour. Simply put, this method is exactly what it sounds like. You’ll use a spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup. Then, you’ll level off the top with the back of a knife so the flour is level with the top of the measuring cup.
HERE’S HOW TO USE THE SCOOP-AND-LEVEL METHOD, STEP-BY-STEP:
- First, loosen the flour up in your canister or storage container with a whisk or fork, if you can. (This helps prevent the flour from getting clumped together or getting packed too tightly.
- Next, use a spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup. Don’t pack the flour down into the cup with your spoon. You want the flour nice and light!
- Then, use the back of a knife to level the surface of your measuring cup, letting the excess flour fall back into the flour canister or bag. (You don’t want that excess falling into your mixing bowl)
- Optional: double-check your flour measurements using a kitchen scale for accuracy. You’ll get the best results if you follow the flour measurements in a recipe to the gram rather than by the cup.
WHY CAN’T I USE A MEASURING CUP TO SCOOP THE FLOUR?
I grew up doing this in my pre-gluten-free days and didn’t notice a huge difference. But once we switched to gluten-free baking, I learned just how important it is to measure your flour by scooping it INTO the measuring cup rather than scooping WITH the measuring cup.
Let’s Prove It! Here’s What Gluten-Free Flour Weighs Using Different Scooping Methods:
Let’s take a look at just how different our results can be if we don’t follow the scoop and level method. For reference, I’m using King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Measure-For-Measure Flour + This Kitchen Scale.
MEASURING FLOUR WITH THE SCOOP & LEVEL METHOD (CORRECT)
When we use the Scoop and Level Method, 1 cup of flour comes out to 124g., which is accurate based on our King Arthur Four Measure For Measure Flour package. The exact weight you’ll need will depend on your recipe & the kind of flour you’re using.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Even though this is the most correct method for measuring flour, you may still be a few grams over or under using this method, which is why we double-check with the scale!
MEASURING THE FLOUR BY SCOOPING WITH THE MEASURING CUP (INCORRECT)
When I use the measuring cup to scoop, I get a whopping 141g, even after leveling off the top. That’s about 20g or about 2 1/2 Tbsp. different!
If you had a recipe that called for 2 1/2 cups of flour, you could end up with more than 1/3 cup of extra flour in the recipe using this method, which will likely mean more dense, gummy cakes or dry cookies that don’t spread.
MEASURING THE FLOUR BY SCOOPING WITHOUT LEVELING THE SURFACE (INCORRECT)
If you scoop the flour into the measuring cup but don’t level it off, your results can vary a lot depending on how overstuffed the measuring cup is. But even in the photo below, you can see that the cup is closer to level. It still weighs in at 136g!
What did we learn? Use The Scoop & Level Method to measure flour!
After seeing it in action, it makes sense, right? Using the scoop and level method to measure your flour (and double-checking with a kitchen scale when you can), is the most accurate way to add the correct amount of flour to your recipes. It’s one more step on the way to fluffy gluten-free cakes, gorgeously fudgy brownies, and perfect cookies!