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How to convert ingredient measurements in US cooking and baking recipes

Find out how to adapt ingredient quantities and oven temperatures if you’re in the UK but following an American recipe

How to convert ingredient measurements in US cooking and baking recipes

In a recent survey, a quarter of Which? members told us they have been trying out more new recipes since lockdown started*.

If you’ve been tempted to expand your cooking repertoire over the past few months, you might have found yourself turning to the internet for culinary inspiration.

A quick search online brings a vast array of recipes to your fingertips, many of which direct you to American cookery sites and food blogs.

Here, Which? explains how to convert US cup measurements to grams and millilitres, how to easily translate Fahrenheit temperatures into Celsius and some common American names for ingredients that have a different name in the UK.


Kit out your kitchen with our top cooking gadget picks, including the best stand mixers, the best food processors and the best blenders.

Converting cup measurements to grams

Person measuring out flour on kitchen weighing scales

In US recipes, cups are used to measure ingredients that would usually be weighed in the UK.

As cups are a volume measurement, the equivalent weight in grams varies depending on the density of the ingredient you’re using. For example, a cup of sugar weighs more than a cup of flour, as sugar has a higher density.

The graphic below shows how to convert common baking ingredients from cups to grams, to help you work out the right ingredient quantities.

Graphic showing number of grams in one cup for common baking ingredients

Converting cup measurements to millilitres

Person pouring out milk in to a measuring jug

US recipes also use cups to measure liquids such as oil, water and milk.

You can use the table below to convert cup measurements to millilitres.

Liquid measurement conversion

Cups (US)

Millilitres (UK)

1/4 cup

60ml

1/3 cup

80ml

1/2 cup

120ml

2/3 cup

160ml

3/4 cup

180ml

1 cup

240ml

Oven temperatures: converting Fahrenheit to Celsius

Person setting oven temperature

Most US recipes give oven temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit (°F), while UK ovens typically measure temperature in degrees Celsius (°C).

The conversion table below will help you work out what temperature to set your oven at when following a US recipe.

Oven temperature conversion

Fahrenheit (US)

Celsius (UK)

275°F

140°C

300°F

150°C

325°F

170°C

350°F

180°C

375°F

190°C

400°F

200°C

425°F

220°C

450°F

230°C


American vs British ingredient names

Happy adult man cooking dinner at home and smiling

When using US recipes, you might come across some unfamiliar ingredients.

But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an ingredient that you can’t get hold of in the UK – it could just have a different name in the US.

The table below lists out US names for some commonly used ingredients.

US name

UK name

All-purpose flour

Plain flour

Arugula

Rocket

Baking soda

Bicarbonate of soda

Cilantro

Coriander

Eggplant

Aubergine

Garbanzo beans

Chickpeas

Heavy cream

Double cream

Powdered sugar

Icing sugar

Superfine sugar

Caster sugar

Zucchini

Courgette

Go to our Which? taste tests to see the tastiest butter, alcohol-free beer, instant coffee and ice cream that’s topped our taste tests.

 

*Results based on a survey of 5,619 Which? members conducted in May 2020.

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