How to Measure Flour (without a scale!)


by Sil Pancho



Is there anything better than baking season? I think not. Freshly baked cookies, cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, a good old fashioned muffin for breakfast — these make a long winter *somewhat* bearable.

Because we’re in the thick of baking season I wanted to go wayyy back to basics and share a little kitchen tutorial that you may already know, or that may change your baking game for good. Today we’re learning exactly how to measure flour without a scale! I know, I know, using a kitchen scale is truly the most accurate way to measure flour (so absolutely feel free to use one if you have it) but I have a method for you that’s even easier and more accessible in case you don’t have a scale.

This scoop-and-level measuring technique will be one you can use for almost all of your baking projects. Skip the mess and get an accurate measurement every time! I promise it will be a game-changer.

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different types of flour in bowls

Common mistakes when measuring flour

If you’ve been guilty of any of these methods for measuring flour, you’re not alone! Many, many people use these methods, but in reality, they’re not the most accurate.

  • Scooping from the bag. We’ve all been there — baking in a hurry, trying to follow a recipe, and BOOM in goes your measuring cup right into the bag. This method is not only messy (flour…everywhere…) but it also can provide an inaccurate measurement because it will naturally pack the flour into the cup.
  • The shake method. When you level off your cup by “shaking” it, you’ll typically be left with too much or too little flour because the flour settles towards the bottom of the measuring cup.
  • The press method. If you press your freshly scooped flour into the measuring cup you’ll end up with a lot more flour than the recipe calls for (unless it calls for “packed” flour). Flour is very light and fluffy, so it’s really easy to accidentally pack it, which results in more flour than you want.

baking tools on a board

Tools you’ll need to measure flour

We’re keeping this tutorial super simple and accessible by ditching the scale and using what you likely already have in your kitchen:

Yep, that’s it! I promise the results will be as close to perfect as possible even without using a scale.

How to measure flour without a scale

Are we ready to get down to business? Good. Here is the best method for measuring flour without a scale.

scooping flour into a measuring cup with a spoon

Step 1: use a spoon or scoop to fluff the flour in your bag or jar. As flour sits in a bag or jar it settles, naturally “packs” a bit, and can even create clumps, so fluffing it up helps it redistribute so that you can get an accurate measurement.

Step 2: use a spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup until it’s completely full. Be very careful to not press the flour into the measuring cup as you pour it in.

leveling flour in a measuring cup

Step 3: use the flat end of a knife to level the flour off on the top of the measuring cup.

That’s it! With the scoop-and-level method, your flour measurement will be accurate and your baked goods will turn out even better.

Should I sift the flour?

Sifting flour will make for lighter and airier baked goods. I rarely sift my flour unless I’m making a super light cake as I find that fluffing up the flour in my jar before measuring does the trick! If you are making something like an angel food cake, feel free to use a sifter to sift the flour before doing the scoop-and-level technique.

What types of flour does this method work for?

The scoop-and-level method will work for pretty much any type of flour you’re baking with! However, be sure to check the ingredient list to see if you should be packing the flour. For example, many of my gluten free recipes that use almond flour require packing the almond flour (just like you would with brown sugar).

cinnamon rolls in a baking pan

Use perfectly measured flour in these recipes

Get all of our baking recipes here!

pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a pan

More how-to guides

Get all of our tutorials and how-to guides here! Looking for more baking techniques? Get our Ultimate Guide to Cookie Baking e-book here with all of my best tips and tricks for baking perfect cookies every time.

I hope you love this easy tutorial on how to measure flour! If you try it be sure to leave a comment so I know how it went. Enjoy, xo!

How to Measure Flour (without a scale!)

Learn exactly how to measure flour accurately without a scale! Measuring flour can become messy and even inaccurate when done incorrectly, so use this step-by-step tutorial on how to measure any type of flour for all of your baking projects.

  1. Use a spoon or scoop to fluff the flour in your bag or jar.

  2. Scoop the flour into the measuring cup with your spoon.

  3. Use the flat end of a knife to level the flour off on the top of the measuring cup.

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