How many dry ounces are in a cup?

There are 8 dry ounces in a standard US cup. A US cup is a standardized unit of volume used for measuring dry ingredients. It is equal to exactly 236.588 ml. Since 1 ounce is equal to 28.3495 grams, and 1 cup is 236.588 grams, there are 8 ounces in a cup (236.588/28.3495 = 8.35). This measurement is used universally in the United States and is an important concept to understand for cooking, baking, and measuring dry goods.

Defining a Cup

A measuring cup is a kitchen tool used to measure out known volumes of liquid and dry ingredients. In the US customary system, a standard cup holds exactly 8 fluid ounces, or 240 ml. It is usually sized in 1⁄4, 1⁄3, 1⁄2 and 1 cup volumes. Measuring cups can be made of glass, plastic or metal. The cup was standardized in the early 20th century so recipes could be written with standardized measurements.

Dry vs Liquid Ingredients

It’s important to distinguish between dry and liquid ingredients when talking about cup measurements. A US liquid cup is 8 fluid ounces, while a US dry cup is 8 dry ounces. Dry ounces measure weight, while fluid ounces measure volume. So the amounts are close but not equivalent. This is why you use a liquid measuring cup for liquids, and a dry measuring cup for dry goods. The cups are sized differently to account for the density of the ingredients.

International Cups

While the US cup is standardized, cup measurements vary slightly in other countries. The Canadian cup is 10% smaller at 227 ml. The Australian cup is 250 ml. The British Imperial cup is 284 ml. Recipes should be adapted when converting between cup measurements of different countries.

Breaking Down Dry Ounces

So how much are 8 dry ounces exactly? And what does it mean when something is measured in dry ounces?


An ounce is a unit of weight or mass in both the imperial and US customary systems of measurement. In the United States, a dry ounce is defined as exactly 28.3495 grams. There are 16 dry ounces in one pound. Some key facts about ounces:

– Abbreviated as oz
– 1 oz = 28.3495 g
– 16 oz = 1 lb
– Used to measure the mass or weight of dry ingredients

Dry vs Fluid Ounces

There are two types of ounces – fluid ounces and dry ounces. Fluid ounces measure the volume of liquids. Dry ounces measure the weight or mass of dry ingredients. The conversion differs because liquids and solids have different densities.

– 1 fluid ounce = 29.5735 ml
– 1 dry ounce = 28.3495 g

This difference is why ingredients must be measured properly using the right cups and tools.

Converting Ounces to Grams

Since dry ounces are a measure of weight, they can easily be converted into grams. Grams are a metric unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI). Here is the simple conversion:

1 Ounce to Grams Conversion

– 1 oz = 28.3495 g

Ounces to Grams Formula

To convert any number of ounces to grams, use the formula:

Grams = Ounces x 28.3495

For example:

– 5 oz = 141.7475 g
– 10 oz = 283.495 g

This conversion can be useful when following international recipes that use grams instead of ounces.

Measuring Dry Ounces

When cooking or baking, dry ounces are most often measured using measuring cups and scales. Here are some tips:

Measuring Cups

– Use dry measuring cups for dry ingredients – they come in 1⁄4, 1/3, 1⁄2, and 1 cup sizes. Don’t use liquid measuring cups.
– Scoop ingredients like flour, sugar, oats, etc using the appropriate cup and level off the top using a knife.
– When sifting baking powder or flour, stir the dry goods before spooning into the cup to aerate.

Food Scales

– Digital kitchen scales will measure dry ounces accurately. Look for a scale that switches between metric and imperial units.
– Place a bowl on the scale, press tare to zero it out, then add ingredients directly to the bowl to measure.
– Scales are great for fractional measurements like 1.5 oz, 0.25 oz, etc.

Other Tools

– Measuring spoons are useful for small amounts under 1 ounce.
– Avoid packing or tamping down ingredients, which can lead to incorrect amounts when measuring by volume.
– Use a knife to level off ingredients for optimal accuracy.

Dry Ounces in Cooking

Understanding dry ounces enables accurate measuring of common cooking ingredients like:


– All-purpose flour weighs approximately 4.25 ounces per cup.
– Spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level the top. Scooping packs it down.
– Check the weight on the bag – 5 lbs of flour is about 80 dry cupfuls.


– Granulated white sugar weighs approximately 7 ounces per cup.
– Brown sugar weighs 5.5-6.5 ounces depending on moisture level. It is denser than white sugar.
– Pack brown sugar firmly into the cup to measure properly.


– Rolled oats weigh about 5 ounces per cup.
– Due to their shape, oats should be gently spooned into the cup rather than scooped.


– Dried beans weigh about 7 ounces per cup.
– Lentils weigh about 7.5 ounces per cup.
– For even cooking, soak beans overnight before cooking.

Dry Ounces in Baking

Measuring dry ingredients precisely is crucial for baking success. A basic understanding of dry ounces helps with recipes.


– Most recipes are based on all-purpose flour at 4.25 oz per cup. Measure correctly.
– An extra 1.5 cups flour in a recipe adds about 6 oz – enough to affect the texture.
– For cakes, weigh flour for the most accurate measurements.


– Granulated sugar weighs 7 oz per cup. Follow recipe amounts precisely.
– When creaming butter and sugar, use the right proportions for proper structure.
– Add sugar in batches for best incorporation and avoid overbeating.

Cocoa Powder

– Cocoa powder weighs 3 ounces per cup.
– It is more delicate than flour so don’t pack the cup when measuring cocoa powder.

Common Baking Conversions

– 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon = 0.5 ounces
– 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup = 2 ounces
– 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup = 4 ounces
– 16 tablespoons = 1 cup = 8 ounces

Dry Ounces in Nutrition

Nutritional information on food packaging is often listed with the dry ounce as a serving size. Here are some things to look for:

Serving Size

– Cereals often list 3/4 cup or 1 oz as a serving size. Read carefully.
– Pay attention to the serving size weight, not just the volume amount.

Comparing Calories and Nutrients

– Look at the calories and nutrients per ounce to accurately compare products.
– An ounce of nuts with 160 calories is different than an ounce of pretzels with 100 calories.

Tracking Grams of Protein

– Meat, poultry, fish, and other proteins list protein content in grams per ounce.
– Compare products using the ounces column if possible.

Nutrient Density

– Identify how many nutrients you obtain per ounce to determine nutrient density.
– Prioritize foods that offer more nutritional value per ounce.

Read the Label

– Check the serving size weight and volume amount – they may differ.
– Make sure you know exactly how many ounces are in a serving.

Measuring Dry Ounces of Common Ingredients

Ingredient Ounces per Cup
All-purpose flour 4.25 oz
Whole wheat flour 4.5 oz
Granulated sugar 7 oz
Brown sugar 5.5-6.5 oz
Confectioners sugar 4 oz
Cocoa powder 3 oz
Rolled oats 5 oz
Rice 6.5-7 oz
Dried beans 7 oz

Key Takeaways

– A US dry cup equals 8 dry ounces.
– Dry ounces indicate the weight or mass of dry goods.
– Use a dry measuring cup and level ingredients to measure accurately.
– Scales measure dry ounces precisely for fractional amounts.
– Compare nutrition labels using dry ounces for accuracy.

Converting Between Dry Ounces and Cups

Since dry cups and dry ounces are standardized measurements in the US Customary system, they can easily be converted between one another.

Cups to Ounces

To convert cups to ounces:

– 1 cup = 8 dry ounces
– 2 cups = 16 dry ounces
– 0.5 cups = 4 dry ounces

Follow this simple rule: cups x 8 = ounces. For example:

– 2.5 cups x 8 = 20 dry ounces
– 1/3 cup x 8 = 2 2/3 dry ounces

Ounces to Cups

To convert ounces to cups:

– 8 ounces = 1 cup
– 16 ounces = 2 cups
– 6 ounces = 3/4 cup

Follow this simple rule: ounces / 8 = cups. For example:

– 32 ounces / 8 = 4 cups
– 12 ounces / 8 = 1 1/2 cups

Fractions and Decimals

Fractions and decimals can be used to convert smaller amounts:

– 0.5 ounces = 1/8 cup
– 1.5 ounces = 3 tablespoons
– 2.25 ounces = 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons

Real-World Examples

Here are some real-world examples of measuring dry ounces in cooking and baking:


A chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for:

– 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (2.25 cups x 8 oz = 18 oz)
– 1 cup granulated sugar (1 cup x 8 oz = 8 oz)
– 1 cup brown sugar, packed (approximately 6.5 oz)
– 1 cup chocolate chips (6 oz)

Doubling a Recipe

When doubling a muffin recipe that calls for:

– 2 cups flour (2 cups x 8 oz = 16 oz)
– 1 cup sugar (1 cup x 8 oz = 8 oz)

You would use:

– 32 oz (4 cups) flour
– 16 oz (2 cups) sugar

Nutrition Facts

A nutrition label for almonds lists:

Serving size: 1 oz (28g/about 23 almonds)
Calories: 160
Protein: 6g

So 28 almonds is a 1 oz serving with 160 calories and 6g of protein.

Measuring Small Amounts

When measuring small amounts for a recipe calling for:

– 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (approx. 0.2 oz)
– 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (approx. 0.1 oz)

Use a scale for accuracy down to 0.1 oz.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about dry ounces and cups:

Why are there both fluid ounces and dry ounces?

Fluid ounces measure the volume of liquids and dry ounces measure the weight/mass of dry goods. Since liquids and solids have different densities, there are two separate systems for measuring them accurately.

Can you measure dry ingredients in fl oz?

It’s not recommended. Dry ounces measure weight, while fluid ounces measure volume. For accuracy in recipes, always measure dry ingredients by weight in dry oz, grams, or lbs.

Is a measuring cup always exact?

Dry measuring cups are designed to provide standardized measurements. However, ingredients can settle and pack down differently affecting volume. Weighing dry ingredients removes this variability.

Are dry ounces the same as ounces by weight?

Yes, dry ounces and ounces by weight are the same unit and can be used interchangeably when referring to the weight or mass of dry ingredients.

Why don’t cups have consistent weights across ingredients?

The weight per cup depends on the density of the ingredient being measured. Granulated sugar is more dense than powdered sugar, so a cup weighs more. Dry ounces remove this variability.


In summary, a US dry cup is defined as exactly 8 dry ounces. Dry ounces indicate the mass or weight of dry goods, which allows for more consistent measurements compared to volume. Many ingredients can be approximated at about 7 ounces per cup, but using a scale removes the guesswork. When publishing recipes and nutrition information, dry ounces help eliminate ambiguity. Understanding the dry ounce and how it converts to cups, grams, and other measurements is an important skill for cooking, baking and measuring dry ingredients.

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