What is 1/2 a cup in ounces?

Quick Answer

1/2 cup is equivalent to 4 ounces in volume. So if you need to convert 1/2 cup to ounces for a recipe or measurement, the conversion is:

1/2 cup = 4 ounces

Detailed Answer

When looking at volume measurements in cooking and baking, cups are a commonly used unit of measurement. Specifically, cups as a unit refer to the US customary cup which is equal to 8 fluid ounces.

So a full cup contains 8 fluid ounces. When you divide a cup in half, that equals 1/2 cup which is 4 ounces.

Here is a breakdown of the measurements:

  • 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
  • 1/2 cup = 4 fluid ounces

The conversion stays the same whether you are measuring a liquid or dry solid ingredient. For example:

  • 1/2 cup milk = 4 ounces milk
  • 1/2 cup flour = 4 ounces flour

So if you need 1/2 cup of any ingredient for baking or cooking, you can use a measuring cup marked with 1/2 cup or measure out 4 ounces on a liquid or dry measuring cup. Both will give you the exact same volume.

Converting Between Cups, Ounces, and Milliliters

While cups are commonly used in cooking, you may also see liquid volumes listed in milliliters or fluid ounces in some recipes, on product packaging, or for nutrition information.

Here are some handy conversions to know when converting between cups, ounces, and milliliters:

Unit Fluid Ounces Milliliters
1 cup 8 oz 240 ml
3/4 cup 6 oz 180 ml
2/3 cup 5.3 oz 160 ml
1/2 cup 4 oz 120 ml
1/3 cup 2.7 oz 80 ml
1/4 cup 2 oz 60 ml

As you can see from the conversions, 1/2 cup contains 4 fluid ounces which is equal to 120 ml.

So whether a recipe calls for 1/2 cup, 4 oz, or 120 ml – it’s all the same amount!

Handy Tips for Measuring 1/2 Cup

– Use a liquid measuring cup with cups and ounces marked for the most accuracy. When measuring 1/2 cup, pour up to the 1/2 cup line.

– Use a dry measuring cup set that includes a 1/2 cup measure. Scoop the ingredient until it reaches the top of the 1/2 cup. Level it off with a knife.

– If you don’t have measuring cups, you can still measure 1/2 cup using a regular drinking glass or bowl. Mark the halfway point and pour or scoop the ingredient up to that line.

– When measuring sticky ingredients like honey, peanut butter, or molasses, spray the measuring cup with non-stick spray first. The ingredient will slip right out after measuring.

– When measuring flour or other dry ingredients, spoon it into the cup and level with a knife. Don’t pack or tap the cup as this makes it denser than the recipe intends.

– Be precise in your measurements. Use measuring spoons or cups that are calibrated correctly vs. winging measurements in cooking spoons or cups which vary in size.

Common Uses for 1/2 Cup Measurements

Here are some common ingredients that are called for in 1/2 cup amounts in recipes:

  • Flour – Cakes, cookies, muffins, breads
  • Sugar – Sweets, baked goods
  • Butter or oil – Baked goods, cooking
  • Milk – Mixed into batters and doughs
  • Chopped nuts – Cookies, bars, salads
  • Chocolate chips – Cookies, trail mix
  • Oatmeal – Oatmeal cookies, granola
  • Brown or white rice – Side dishes
  • Beans or lentils – Soups, dips
  • Broth or stock – Sauces, risottos, gravies
  • Yogurt or sour cream – Smoothies, dips
  • Syrup or honey – Pancakes, sweetening drinks

As you can see, 1/2 cup measurements are very common in recipes for baking as well as for cooking sides, main dishes, and more.

Knowing how to accurately measure out 1/2 cup is helpful for recreating recipes, adjusting batch sizes, and cooking in general.

Tips for Scaling Recipes in 1/2 Cup Increments

When cooking for just one or two people, you often want to scale down a recipe that serves 4-6.

Here are some tips for easily dividing recipes into halves and quarters using 1/2 cup measurements:

– To cut a recipe in half, divide all the measurements in half. For example, instead of 2 cups flour use 1 cup. Use 1/2 cup milk instead of 1 cup.

– Pay attention to any baking recipes leavened with yeast, baking powder, or baking soda. You may need to adjust the leavening if you adjust the flour amount.

– For a quarter of the recipe, divide by 4. Use 1/4 cup instead of 1 cup, 2 tablespoons instead of 1/4 cup, and 1 tablespoon instead of 4 tablespoons.

– Adjust cooking times and temperatures down slightly for smaller batches. Check sooner for doneness.

– To measure odd amounts like 1/3 cup or 3/4 cup, first measure the 1/2 cup then top it off to the final needed amount.

– When scaling up a recipe, double all the 1/2 cup measurements to make a double batch.


In summary, 1/2 cup is equivalent to 4 fluid ounces or 120 milliliters in volume. No matter what ingredient you are measuring out, be it liquid or solid, granulated or packed, 1/2 cup = 4 oz = 120 ml.

Knowing this standard conversion allows you to accurately recreate recipes and adjust batch sizes by easily scaling measurement amounts up or down.

With a few simple measuring tools and standard measuring techniques, you can precisely measure out 1/2 cup amounts for baking, cooking, and any recipe you want to make. Accurate measurements are the key to baking and cooking success!

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