# How many cups of butter is 2 sticks?

Butter is a staple ingredient in many recipes and is commonly used in baking, cooking, and spreading on breads. Many recipes call for butter by the “stick.” But how much butter is actually in a stick? And how can you convert stick measurements to volume measurements like cups?

In the United States, one stick of butter equals 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons. This conversion is standard across brands and types of butter. Knowing how to convert butter measurements allows you to seamlessly substitute stick butter for cup butter and vice versa in recipes.

## What is a Stick of Butter?

A stick of butter refers to a pre-measured or pre-packaged amount of butter. Most butter in American grocery stores is sold in sticks that are 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons. A box of butter typically contains 4 sticks, totaling 2 cups or 16 tablespoons of butter.

Some key facts about butter sticks:

• One stick of butter weighs 4 ounces or 113 grams.
• The dimensions of one stick are approximately 4 inches long, 1.5 inches wide, and 1.25 inches high.
• Butter sticks are usually wrapped in waxed paper or sealed in aluminum foil.
• Salted and unsalted butter sticks contain the same amount of butter – the only difference is the presence of salt.

Butter sticks make it easy to measure out the exact amount of butter needed for recipes. When a recipe calls for “1 stick” you know to use 1/2 cup of butter.

## Cup to Stick Butter Conversions

It’s easy to convert between cup and stick butter measurements using these simple conversions:

### Cups to Sticks

• 1/2 cup butter = 1 stick
• 1 cup butter = 2 sticks
• 1 1/2 cups butter = 3 sticks
• 2 cups butter = 4 sticks

To convert cup measurements to sticks, divide the cups by 1/2. For example, 1 cup divided by 1/2 equals 2 sticks.

### Sticks to Cups

• 1 stick butter = 1/2 cup
• 2 sticks butter = 1 cup
• 3 sticks butter = 1 1/2 cups
• 4 sticks butter = 2 cups

To convert sticks to cups, multiply the number of sticks by 1/2. For example, 2 sticks multiplied by 1/2 equals 1 cup.

Knowing these simple conversions allows you to seamlessly substitute sticks for cups and vice versa when a recipe calls for one measurement and you only have the other.

## More Accurate Butter Measurements

For more precision when measuring butter, you can use tablespoons or ounces instead of stick and cup conversions:

• 1 stick butter = 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
• 2 sticks butter = 16 tablespoons = 1 cup
• 1 stick butter = 4 ounces
• 2 sticks butter = 8 ounces

This allows you to more accurately measure out portions like 6 tablespoons or 3 ounces of butter by converting to sticks.

Measuring butter precisely by weight in ounces is ideal for baking, when accurate measurements really matter. Cup measurements can vary based on how densely the butter is packed into the cup.

## Metric Conversions

In countries outside the United States, butter is sold in different stick sizes. To convert butter measurements from U.S. sticks to metric, use:

• 1 U.S. stick = 113 grams butter
• 2 U.S. sticks = 226 grams butter

Common metric conversions include:

• 250 grams butter = 2.2 U.S. sticks
• 500 grams butter = 4.4 U.S. sticks
• 1 kilogram butter = 8.8 U.S. sticks

So if a European recipe calls for 250 grams of butter, you would use 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (or 5 tablespoons) of butter in the U.S.

## Substituting Butter Measures in Recipes

When a recipe calls for butter by volume (cups, tablespoons) but you only have sticks, or vice versa, you can easily substitute using the conversions above.

Here are some examples:

• If a recipe calls for 2/3 cup butter but you only have sticks, use 1 1/3 sticks (round up to 1 1/2 sticks).
• If a recipe calls for 5 tablespoons butter but you only have sticks, use 1 stick + 1 tablespoon.
• If a recipe calls for 2 sticks butter but you only have cup measurements, use 1 cup butter.

The conversions work both ways – you can seamlessly substitute sticks for cups or cups for sticks. The most important thing is to maintain the same total amount of butter by converting accurately.

## Common Butter Measurement Equivalents

Here is a table summarizing some of the most common butter measurement conversions:

Butter Amount Sticks Cups Tablespoons Ounces Grams
1 stick 1 stick 1/2 cup 8 Tbsp 4 oz 113g
2 sticks 2 sticks 1 cup 16 Tbsp 8 oz 226g
3 sticks 3 sticks 1 1/2 cups 24 Tbsp 12 oz 339g
4 sticks 4 sticks 2 cups 32 Tbsp 16 oz 452g

This table can help give you a quick reference for converting between sticks, cups, tablespoons, ounces, and grams of butter.

## Tips for Measuring Butter

To accurately measure butter for baking and cooking:

• Use cool, firm butter straight from the refrigerator.
• Cut off a stick of butter and let it come to room temperature before measuring if specified in the recipe.
• Use the markings on the butter wrapper to cut a precise stick amount.
• Level off cups and spoons of butter when measuring.
• Use a kitchen scale for the most accurate measurements by weight.
• Avoid over-softened butter that spreads and won’t hold its shape.
• Pack down firmly when using cup measurements.
• Scrape out butter from cups and spoons for a clean measure.
• Use proper cup measures and kitchen spoons, not random cups or flatware.

Accurately measuring butter is important for getting the right amount fat and moisture in baked goods. Too much or too little butter can lead to baking failures.

## When Precision Matters Most

For most recipes, the small differences between a cup measurement and a stick are negligible. However, precision in butter measurements becomes more important for certain delicate baking recipes like croissants, pie dough, puff pastry, or shortbread cookies.

A small change in the moisture and fat content from too much or too little butter can alter the chemistry in the dough or batter. For finicky pastries and cookies, consider weighing butter in grams for the most accurate measurement. Otherwise, be sure to level off cup measures and pack the butter consistently each time.

## How Temperature Impacts Butter Measurements

The temperature of the butter significantly impacts measurements. Cold butter right out of the refrigerator is firmest and easiest to accurately cut and measure by cup or spoon. Softened butter at room temperature will compress more than cold butter in the cup measure.

Melted butter takes up much less volume than solid butter. One cup of melted butter condenses down to about 3/4 cup or 12 tablespoons. Adjust butter quantities in recipes accordingly if melted.

Use cup measurements for firm, cold butter. If the butter is quite soft or melted, it’s best to measure by weight in grams or ounces instead.

## Salted vs. Unsalted Butter Measurements

Salted and unsalted butter contain the same amount of butterfat so they measure exactly the same when converting sticks to cups or other volumes. The only difference is the presence of salt, about 1/4 teaspoon per stick in salted butter.

If substituting salted for unsalted butter or vice versa in baking:

• Reduce salt by 1/4 tsp for each stick of salted butter used.
• Increase salt by 1/4 tsp for each stick of unsalted butter used.

For example, if a recipe calls for 2 sticks of unsalted butter but you use salted butter, reduce added salt in the recipe by 1/2 teaspoon.

## Butter Measurement FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about measuring butter:

### Why are butter sticks 1/2 cup each?

One stick or 1/2 cup is a convenient standardized size that provides enough butter for most baking and cooking needs. Two sticks makes a full cup for recipes requiring larger quantities. The 4-stick box contains 2 cups total.

### Can I measure cold butter straight from the fridge?

Yes, cold butter is actually easiest to measure accurately by cutting into sticks and leveling off cup measures. Avoid using mushy or melted butter.

### Should butter be softened to room temperature before measuring?

Not necessarily. If a recipe specifies softened or melted butter, follow those instructions. Otherwise, cold butter works for most baking recipes. Just cut off a stick and level cups.

### Is butter packed or sifted into cup measures?

Pack butter firmly into cups for accurate measurements as you would for shortening or brown sugar. Don’t sift which allows air pockets.

### How should I measure butter if all I have are tablespoons and teaspoons?

Use the conversions that 1 stick = 8 tablespoons or 48 teaspoons. 2 sticks = 16 tablespoons or 96 teaspoons, and so on.

### What’s the best way to measure butter precisely?

For the most accuracy, weigh butter in grams with a kitchen scale. Otherwise use proper butter sticks, leveled cups, and flatware spoons.

## Conclusion

Knowing how to convert between sticks and cups of butter is essential for baking and cooking. One stick of butter equals 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons. Use the simple conversions to substitute sticks for cups and vice versa. Weighing butter in grams provides the most precision. Be mindful of butter’s temperature and consistency for accuracy. With the right techniques and conversions, you can easily measure butter for any recipe.