How to Accurately Measure a Cup of Butter


Successful cooking and baking involves not only skill but a little bit of chemistry as well. Some recipes can be altered based on the cook's whims, while others must be followed to the letter to achieve the desired result. In many recipes, accurate measuring is key. Sticky substances like butter or shortening are sometimes difficult to measure because they are available in both soft and hard forms. Although butter is usually sold in sticks or 1-pound bricks, there are easy ways to measure out a cup of butter without having to consult a conversion table.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-cup liquid measuring cup
  • 1 cup dry measuring cup
  • Rubber spatula
  • Cold water

Soft Butter

  • Scoop butter into a 1-cup dry measuring cup. A dry measuring cup generally comes in a set of nesting cups that measures dry ingredients in amounts from 1/8 cup to 1 cup.

  • Using a rubber spatula, push the butter down into the cup making sure to push out any air pockets.

  • Level off the top of the cup with the spatula or a knife.

Hard Butter

  • Cut the butter into manageable chunks from the stick or brick form.

  • Pour enough cold water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup to reach the 1-cup mark.

  • Add the chunks of butter to the water until the water level reaches the 2-cup mark. Push down the butter if necessary until it is completely submerged in the water.

  • Pour off the water and use the butter as needed.


  • Photo Credit Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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