How many cups are in a 12 oz package?

Quick Answer

There are approximately 2.4 cups in a 12 ounce package. A standard US cup is 8 fluid ounces, so dividing 12 ounces by 8 ounces per cup gives us 1.5 cups. However, when measuring dry goods like flour, sugar, etc., a cup is a measure of volume not weight. So the number of cups in a 12 ounce package depends on the density of the substance. For most baking ingredients, there are around 2 to 2.4 cups per 12 ounce package.

Measuring Cup Conversions

Understanding liquid versus dry measurements is important when converting between ounces and cups.

Liquid Measurements

A US liquid measuring cup is 8 fluid ounces. So there are exactly 1.5 liquid cups in 12 fluid ounces:

– 1 US cup (liquid) = 8 fluid ounces
– 12 fluid ounces / 8 oz per cup = 1.5 cups

This conversion holds true for liquids like water, milk, juice, oil, etc. So if you have a 12 ounce bottle of water, it contains 1.5 cups of liquid.

Dry Measurements

Dry measurements like cups of flour, sugar, rice, etc. are measured by volume, not weight. A standard US dry measuring cup holds approximately 4.9 ounces of flour. However, other baking ingredients may have different densities.

For example:

– 1 cup all-purpose flour = approx. 4.9 ounces
– 1 cup white sugar = approx. 7 ounces
– 1 cup brown sugar = approx. 8 ounces

So while a 12 ounce package may contain close to 2.4 cups by weight, the actual volume measured may be a little more or less depending on the density of the substance. Let’s look at some common baking ingredients:

Cups per 12 Ounce Package

– All-purpose flour: 2.4 cups
– Cake flour: 2.5 cups
– Whole wheat flour: 2.4 cups
– White sugar: 1.7 cups
– Brown sugar: 1.5 cups
– Powdered sugar: 3.2 cups
– Butter: approx. 2 cups
– Shredded cheese: approx. 2.5 cups

As you can see, the number of measured cups can vary widely depending on the density of the ingredient. So it’s important when substituting ingredients by weight to look up the equivalent volumes.

Factors Affecting Cups per Ounce

There are a few reasons why the number of cups per ounce varies between ingredients:


Density describes how tightly packed a substance is by weight. Denser ingredients take up less space per ounce. For example, 1 cup of brown sugar weighs more than 1 cup of white sugar because it is more tightly compacted.

Moisture Content

Ingredients with higher moisture content tend to have less cups per ounce. For example, butter and cheese contain more moisture than dry ingredients like flour and sugar.

Particle Size

The particle size of ingredients also affects density. Finely ground ingredients like powdered sugar tend to pack more efficiently than coarse ingredients like granulated sugar. So powdered sugar has more cups per ounce than granulated sugar.


Dry ingredients can settle and become compacted during shipping and storage. This causes the volume to decrease over time. So a 12 ounce bag of flour may start with more cups when freshly packed but settle down to around 2.4 cups over time.

Measuring Dry Ingredients Accurately

Since dry ingredient volumes can’t be precisely converted from weights, the best way to accurately measure them is:

Use Standard Dry Measuring Cups

A set of nesting dry measure cups (1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup) will give you the most accurate volumes for baking. Don’t try to estimate or convert from liquid measuring cups.

Spoon and Level

The proper technique is to spoon flour or sugar into a dry measuring cup, without packing or compressing, then level off the top with a knife or other straight edge. This will give you the standard volume for that ingredient.

Weigh for Precision

If you want more precision, weigh out the ingredients instead of using cup measurements. Weighing ingredients gives you more control over the quantities and ratios in a recipe. Just be sure to use a recipe designed for weight measures, not volumes.

Typical Weight to Volume Conversions

Here are some common weight to volume conversions for handy reference:


– 1 ounce all-purpose flour = approx. 2 tablespoons
– 4 ounces (1/4 pound) = approx. 3/4 cup
– 8 ounces (1/2 pound) = approx 1 1/2 cups
– 16 ounces (1 pound) = approx 3 cups


– 1 ounce granulated sugar = approx. 2 tablespoons
– 4 ounces (1/4 pound) = approx. 1/2 cup
– 8 ounces (1/2 pound) = approx 1 cup
– 16 ounces (1 pound) = approx 2 cups


– 1 ounce butter = approx. 2 tablespoons
– 4 ounces (1 stick) = 1/2 cup
– 8 ounces (2 sticks) = 1 cup
– 16 ounces (4 sticks) = 2 cups


– 2 ounces grated cheese = approx. 1/2 cup
– 4 ounces grated cheese = approx. 1 cup
– 8 ounces grated cheese = approx. 2 cups

Keep in mind volume measures are approximations. For accuracy, always weigh dry ingredients when precision is important.


While there are approximately 2.4 cups in a 12 ounce package, the actual volume can vary based on the density and particle size of the ingredient. Dry measuring cups give standard volumes for baking recipes. But for precision, weighing ingredients is recommended over using cup measurements. When converting between weights and volumes, look up the specific ingredient densities for the most accurate equivalents.

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