How many tablespoons in a cup? The quick answer is 16 tablespoons. Easy-to-read tables and charts given in this article will help your measurement conversions for any culinary endeavor, whether cooking or baking, old-fashion or modern recipe.
While working on a recipe, it is often necessary to know how many tablespoons are in a cup. Unfortunately, it is not easy to scale up or down memorizing.
Using cups for measuring ingredients like chocolate chips or chopped nuts will not impact your bake by adding a bit more or less of an ingredient. But measuring the flour has to be exact.
That is why it is highly recommended to use a kitchen scale for accurate results to measure baking ingredients. While measuring with cups, please, follow the scoop and level method.
It is essential to figure out the location of the recipe developer since the measurement system is different in different countries.
For example, the US cup is different from the UK cup, American tablespoon is other from the Australian tablespoon.
So, British recipes might not work in the US and Australia without quick conversions or using a conversion calculator.
Imperial vs. Metric
The United States still uses the imperial system for measurements while other countries use the Metric system.
Imperial measurements contain pounds, feet, quarts, inches, and miles.
Other countries use grams, kilograms, centimeters, meters, kilometers, milliliters, and liters.
When it comes to baking-specific measurements, regardless, many countries recognize cups, tablespoons, dessert spoons, and teaspoons as measurements for volume.
This blog post relies on the US standard cup (customary cup or standard unit cup size).
The US customary system
The United States has its own measurement convention called 'US cups,' where 1 cup is equal:
- 1 US Cup = 236.588 mL
- 1 US Cup = 16 US tablespoons (tbsp)
- 1 US Cup = 15.77 metric tablespoons (United Kingdom, international)
The US legal cap
Legal US cup is used in cooking units, serving sizes, and nutrition labeling in the USA.
- 1 US Legal Cup = 240 mL
- 1 US Legal Cup = 16.2307 US tablespoons (tbsp)
- 1 US Legal Cup = 16 metric tablespoons (UK, international)
Metric cup and imperial cup
A metric cup is a unit of liquid measurement commonly associated with cooking and serving sizes. What countries employ the metric cup?
Australia, Canada, and New Zealand employ the metric cup of 250 milliliters.
- 1 metric cup (Australia) = 12 Australian tablespoons
An Imperial (UK) cup is a non-metric liquid measurement unit of volume. One imperial cup equals 284.131 mL.
Basic tablespoon conversions
So how many tablespoons are in a cup? There are 16 tablespoons in a cup and 8 tablespoons in a half cup.
Here is a handy chart of the tablespoons (or tbsp), dry measuring cups (abbreviated as 'c'), and fluid ounces (or fl. oz.) equivalency.
|1 tbsp||1/16 cup||½ fl. oz.|
|2 tbsp||⅛ cup||1 fl. oz.|
|2 tablespoon + 2 tsp||⅙ cup||1 ⅓ fl. oz.|
|4 tbsp||¼ cup||2 fl. oz.|
|5 tablespoon + 1 tsp||⅓ cup||2 ⅔ fl. oz.|
|8 tbsp||½ cup||4 fl. oz.|
|10 tablespoon + 2 tsp||⅔ cup||5 ⅓ fl. oz.|
|12 tbsp||¾ cup||6 fl. oz.|
|16 tbsp||1 cup||8 fl. oz.|
If you measure dry products by volume and you don’t use a kitchen scale, then the above conversion table works for all types of flour, white and brown sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and other ingredients.
But how to simplify conversions for butter, margarine, and shortening? Here is a simple chart for you to use.
|tablespoon||Cups||Ounces||Grams||Stick of butter|
|16 tbsp||1 cup||8 oz.||226.8 g||2 sticks|
|10 tablespoon + 2 tsp||⅔ cup||5.33 oz.||151.2 g||1 ⅓ sticks|
|8 tbsp||½ cup||4 oz.||113.4 g||1 stick|
|5 tablespoon + 1 tsp||⅓ cup||2.66 oz.||75.6 g||⅔ stick|
How many teaspoons in a tablespoon
Sometimes you need to know how many teaspoons are in one US tablespoon.
One tablespoon contains 3 teaspoons.
It means 1 ½ teaspoon equals ½ tablespoon.
If you need to measure anything smaller than a teaspoon, you can use ½ and ¼ measuring spoons.
Smaller than that is a 'pinch' that equals between 1/16 and ⅛ teaspoon.
It is a tiny bit when you pick up between your thumb and your index finger.
What is a 'dash'? It is a unit of liquid measurement, equivalent to a pinch, which equals about ⅛ of a teaspoon.
What if you need to measure 1/32 teaspoon? This measurement is called a 'smidge,' about a tiny pinch using just your thumb and the tip of your index finger.
Measuring liquid ingredients is one of the most straightforward tasks while baking since they generally weigh as much as they count in ounces.
When measuring liquids, make sure you use a liquid measuring cup. Please don't rely on your standard dry ingredient measures since they don't work with wet ingredients.
Liquids either fill the space of a cup at room temperature, or they should be melted first.
For example, butter, margarine, and shortening are solid at room temperature but could be melted to measure.
Here is a conversion chart for fluid ounce conversions.
|1 fl. oz.||2 tbsp|
|2 fl. oz.||¼ cups|
|4 fl. oz.||½ cup|
|6 fl. oz.||¾ cup|
|8 fl. oz.||1 cup|
|12 fl. oz.||1 ½ cup|
|16 fl. oz.||2 cups|
|32 fl. oz.||4 cups|
|128 fl. oz.||1 gallon|
Other conversion charts
If you are looking for more conversion charts, please, visit Baking Conversion Charts.
Also, if you ever need to convert your baking pan sizes, use this simple Cake Pan Converter.
Baking is a great way to create delicious desserts, but it does require some precise measurements.
If you are a new baker, I hope the conversion charts on dry and wet ingredients are easy enough so that all of the tricky conversions are simplified for you.
Frequently asked questions
There are 16 tablespoons in a cup.
There are 4 tablespoons in ¼ cup.
There are 3 teaspoons are in a tablespoon.
There are 48 teaspoons in a cup.
There are 16 tablespoons UK in 1 cup UK.
1 Australian cup equals 16.67 metric tablespoons and 12.5 Australian tablespoons.