There are two types of measuring cups that are used for cooking and baking. The liquid measuring cup has a subtle spout built into the side of the rim. A dry measurement cup has a solid rim around the top of the cup circumference. It is important to have accurate measurements when baking. You can weigh dry ingredients or measure items in dry measurement cups.
A professional or home baker will scoop or spoon dry solid ingredients into a dry measuring cup filling it completely to the top of the rim. The baker will then take a knife or spatula and evenly scrape or smooth the ingredients level with the top of the container. This gives a true dry measurement. The baker will then add the contents of the dry measuring cup to the mixer bowl.
The baker incorporates several types of solid ingredients into his recipes. The dry measure cup is ideal for measuring and leveling off ingredients such as peanut butter, butter and lard that are solid fats that can be melted. Flours, oats, granulated and confectioner's sugars are all measured out into the dry measuring cup. Brown sugar may need to be packed or lightly packed into a dry measuring cup according to a recipe's instructions.
Dry measuring cups are manufactured in one-eighth, one-quarter, one-third, one-half and 1 cup (8 ounce) measurements. Some sets include two-thirds and three-fourths cup measurements. Sets can be purchased that nest one within another. Some dry measurement cups sets have a hole in the end of the handles which allows for hanging storage.
Dry measuring cups are made from plastic, melamine, stainless steel and rarely, glass. The plastic cups can become stained. Stainless steel measuring cups can last for years with little change in appearance. Dry measuring cups can be purchased on any budget. They are excellent for wedding or kitchen shower gifts.
Coconut, dried fruits, candy bits and nuts should be measured by using the dry cup. When placing sticky items into a dry cup measurement it is helpful to spray the interior with a light coat of vegetable spray first. This method helps with apple sauce, honey, molasses, sour cream and thick substances.