Is 170 grams a cup?

When it comes to measuring ingredients for cooking and baking, knowing the right conversions between weight and volume measurements is essential for accuracy and success. One common question that comes up is how 170 grams compares to a standard cup measure. The quick answer is that 170 grams is not exactly equivalent to a cup, but it’s close enough for most ingredients to be used interchangeably in recipes.

The relationship between grams and cups

In the metric system, grams are a unit of mass or weight. The gram is the basic unit of mass in the metric system, with 1000 grams equal to 1 kilogram. Grams provide a precise measurement of the weight or mass of an ingredient.

Cups, on the other hand, are a unit of volume typically used in the U.S. customary system of measurements. A standard U.S. cup measure contains 8 fluid ounces or 240 milliliters. Cups are designed to measure the volume or capacity of ingredients.

The key difference between grams and cups is that grams measure mass while cups measure volume. The relationship between the two units depends on the density of the ingredient being measured. More dense ingredients will have a higher number of grams per cup while lighter ingredients will have fewer grams per cup.

The density of common baking ingredients

For dry ingredients like flour, sugar, oatmeal, etc. the number of grams in a cup measure can vary based on how dense the ingredient is:

Ingredient Grams per cup
All-purpose flour 120 g
Whole wheat flour 120 g
Granulated sugar 200 g
Brown sugar 220 g
Confectioners’ sugar 120 g
Oatmeal 80 g
Cornmeal 140 g

As you can see, flour weighs about 120g per cup while granulated sugar is denser at 200g per cup. Brown sugar is even denser at 220g per cup. Oatmeal is quite light at just 80g per cup. Cornmeal falls in the middle at 140g per cup.

Is 170 grams equal to a cup?

So how does 170g compare? Looking at the chart above, 170g falls between some of the more common baking ingredients. It is heavier than a cup of flour (120g) but lighter than a cup of granulated sugar (200g).

Here’s how 170g compares for some common baking ingredients:

  • Flour – 170g is about 1 1/3 cups (extra 40g)
  • Granulated sugar – 170g is about 3/4 cup (missing 30g)
  • Brown sugar – 170g is between 3/4 and 1 cup
  • Oatmeal – 170g is more than 2 cups (extra 90g)
  • Cornmeal – 170g is about 1 1/4 cup (extra 30g)

So while 170g doesn’t precisely equal 1 cup for any of these ingredients, it comes close for ingredients like brown sugar, cornmeal, and flour.

When can 170g and a cup be used interchangeably?

For baking recipes, 170g can often be used in place of 1 cup for ingredients like flour, brown sugar, cornmeal, and oats. A little more or less of those ingredients likely won’t make a major difference in the outcome.

However, for ingredients like granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar, the difference of 30g between 170g and a cup matters more. Using 170g could potentially throw off the chemistry in more delicate baked goods by providing too little sweetness. For these ingredients, it’s best to measure precisely by weight or volume as called for.

In general these guidelines apply when substituting between 170g and a cup:

  • Flour – 170g is close enough to use in place of 1 cup.
  • Sugar (brown or granulated) – Use 170g only if you don’t have an exact cup measure available.
  • Oatmeal – 170g provides slightly more than 1 cup but can be used interchangeably.
  • Cornmeal – 170g is fine to use in place of 1 cup.

Tips for measuring 170g of dry ingredients

If you need to measure out 170g of a dry ingredient like flour or sugar, here are a few tips:

  • Use a digital kitchen scale for the most accurate measurement. Zero out the scale before adding the ingredient.
  • For flour, spoon it lightly into the bowl rather than dipping from the bag or canister. Packing flour tightly increases the weight.
  • Level off the top of the ingredient with a straight edge like a knife to get exactly 170g.
  • If you don’t have a scale, use an adjustable measuring cup. The closest common measure is 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons.

When you need very precise measurements

While 170g is a close enough substitute for 1 cup of many ingredients, there are some instances when precision matters more:

  • When baking delicate pastries, cakes or breads from a recipes that requires exact ingredients by weight.
  • For candy making, since altering sugar and liquid amounts can prevent proper crystallization.
  • When developing your own recipes and needing to accurately replicate measurements.
  • If you have food allergies or intolerances, precision ensures avoiding ingredients.

For these situations, it’s best to weigh dry ingredients directly in grams for every recipe rather than substituting cup measures. Investing in a digital kitchen scale makes this easy and improves consistency.

The takeaway on 170g vs 1 cup

While 170 grams does not exactly equal 1 US standard cup, it is fairly close for many common baking ingredients like flour, brown sugar, oats, and cornmeal. However, for ingredients like granulated sugar where weights differ significantly from cup measures, you’ll get the best results from using the exact weight or volume called for in recipes.

Understanding the relationship between weights in grams and volumes in cups for various ingredients helps ensure your baked goods come out as intended. For most casual baking, 170g can be used in place of 1 cup, but when precision matters, take the time to measure carefully by weight or exact volume.

Equipping your kitchen with both graduated dry measuring cups and an accurate digital scale gives you the tools to easily switch between grams and cups for superior baking and cooking accuracy.

FAQ about 170g vs 1 Cup

Is 170g the same as 1 cup?

No, 170g is not exactly equivalent to 1 cup. However, for several common baking ingredients like flour, brown sugar, oats, and cornmeal, 170g is close enough that the two can be used interchangeably.

What ingredient is equal to 170g per cup?

There is no single common baking ingredient that precisely equals 170g per cup measure. However, 170g comes close to 1 cup for ingredients like flour (120g), brown sugar (220g), oats (80g), and cornmeal (140g).

Can I use 170g in place of 1 cup of flour?

Yes, 170g can generally be used in place of 1 cup of flour in most recipes without issue. Since all-purpose flour weighs about 120g per cup, 170g provides 40g extra which won’t make a major difference for most baked goods.

Is 170g more or less than a cup of sugar?

170g is less than 1 cup of granulated sugar. A cup of sugar weighs 200g, so 170g provides about 3/4 cup rather than a full 1 cup measure. For sugar, it’s best to use the full cup measure called for if possible.

What can I substitute if I don’t have a scale?

If you need 170g of an ingredient but don’t have a scale, use an adjustable dry measuring cup to get close. For most ingredients, the nearest substitute is 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons.

The Final Word

While the grams to cups conversion isn’t always straightforward, having a general sense of how weights and volumes compare for common baking ingredients goes a long way. Getting familiar with your kitchen scale and adjustable measuring cups helps unlock your ability to handle any recipe.

With some knowledge of the relationship between grams and cups for ingredients like flour, sugar, oats, and cornmeal, 170g can work as a usable 1 cup substitute in many recipes. However, for the most precise results, always follow the exact weight or volume measurements specified.

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