What is 1/3 of a cup in tablespoons?

1/3 of a cup is equivalent to 10 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons. This conversion can be useful for halving or dividing recipes that call for fractional cup measurements. Understanding cup to tablespoon conversions allows home cooks to accurately measure ingredients and get consistent baking results.

The Basics of Cups and Tablespoons

In the U.S. customary system of measurement, a cup is a unit of volume equal to 8 fluid ounces or 16 tablespoons. A tablespoon, abbreviated tbsp or T, is a unit of volume equal to 3 teaspoons or 1/2 fluid ounce.

Some key facts about cups and tablespoons:

– 1 cup = 16 tablespoons
– 1/3 cup = 5 1/3 tablespoons
– 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
– 1 fluid ounce = 2 tablespoons

So when a recipe calls for 1/3 cup of an ingredient like flour or sugar, it’s easy to substitute 10 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons using these standard conversions.

Converting 1/3 Cup to Tablespoons Step-By-Step

To convert 1/3 cup to tablespoons:

1. Remember that 1 cup equals 16 tablespoons.
2. Next, divide the cup into thirds, which gives us 3 equal portions of 1/3 cup.
3. Since there are 16 tablespoons in 1 whole cup, and we have divided it into 3 equal parts, there must be 16/3 = 5 1/3 tablespoons in each 1/3 cup.
4. So 5 1/3 tablespoons multiplied by the 3 portions of 1/3 cup gives us a total of 16 tablespoons.
5. Finally, divide the leftover 1/3 tablespoon into teaspoons. Since 3 teaspoons make up 1 tablespoon, 1/3 of a tablespoon is 2 teaspoons.

Therefore, 1/3 cup is equivalent to 10 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (5 1/3 tablespoons x 3 portions = 16 tablespoons = 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons).

To summarize:

1/3 cup = 5 1/3 tablespoons
5 1/3 tablespoons x 3 = 16 tablespoons
16 tablespoons = 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons

So 1/3 cup = 10 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons

Visualizing the Conversion

Here is a visual representation to help understand the 1/3 cup to tablespoons conversion:

1 Cup 16 tablespoons
1/3 Cup 5 1/3 tablespoons
1/3 Cup 5 1/3 tablespoons
1/3 Cup 5 1/3 tablespoons
Total 16 tablespoons

This table shows that when 1 cup is divided into 3 equal 1/3 cup portions, each 1/3 cup contains 5 1/3 tablespoons. Multiplying 5 1/3 tablespoons by the 3 portions totals 16 tablespoons, which equals 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons.

Common Baking Conversions

Here are some other handy cup to tablespoon conversions for common baking ingredients:

– 1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons
– 1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons
– 2/3 cup = 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
– 3/4 cup = 12 tablespoons

Knowing these basic conversions allows you to accurately halve, divide, or multiply baking recipes as needed.

Why Accuracy Matters

Being precise with cup to tablespoon conversions is important for several reasons:

Consistent results – Using exact measurements helps ensure cookies bake up the same way each batch, cakes rise and brown evenly, and breads develop proper texture.

Avoid baking fails – Too much or too little flour, sugar, leavener, or liquid can prevent baked goods from turning out right. For best results, it’s critical to measure ingredients correctly.

Dietary needs – People managing diabetes, celiac disease, or food allergies rely on accurate conversions to calculate carbohydrates and calories.

Cost savings – Wasted ingredients from failed bakes or incorrect substitutions can add up. Accurate measurements reduce food waste and save money.

Overall, understanding standard cup conversions and precisely measuring ingredients is a fundamental skill every baker should master. Taking the time to be precise with your measuring cups and spoons means tastier, more consistent baked goods. No more unevenly baked cakes or dense, fallen cookies from inaccurate measurements.

Tips for Measuring Accurately

Here are some tips for accurately measuring ingredients in cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons:

– Use clear, sturdy glass or plastic measuring cups with easy to read markings. Avoid cups with worn out markings.

– Spoon flour and other dry ingredients directly into a measuring cup, then level off the top using a straight edge like the back of a knife. Scooping compacts the ingredient.

– For sticky ingredients like peanut butter or shortening, spray the measuring cup or spoon with nonstick spray before adding the ingredient. It will slide right out.

– When measuring small amounts of liquid like vanilla or almond extract, carefully pour into a measuring spoon at eye level. Check the meniscus (the curve the liquid makes).

– Measure over a bowl or piece of waxed paper to catch any spills.

– Use proper measuring tools like nested cups and nested spoons to get readings. Don’t use random spoons or cups.

– Double check your measurements, especially with baking powder and baking soda. Too much leavener can cause baked goods to over-rise.

Applying the 1/3 Cup Conversion

Here are some examples of using the 1/3 cup to 10 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons conversion in real baking scenarios:

– A cookie recipe calls for 2/3 cup sugar. You want to halve the recipe. 2/3 cup sugar divided in half is 1/3 cup sugar. So you would use 10 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of sugar for the half batch.

– A muffin recipe calls for 2 cups of flour. You want to make a double batch. 2 cups flour x 2 is 4 cups flour. You only have 3 cups and need 1 more. Since 1 cup is 16 tablespoons, 4 cups is 64 tablespoons. You already have 48 tablespoons with the 3 cups, so you need 16 more tablespoons or 1/3 cup flour (which equals 10 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons flour).

– A cake recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups oil. You want to divide the full recipe into 3 smaller cake layers. Divide 1 1/4 cups by 3 and you get approximately 1/3 cup oil per layer. Measure out 10 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons oil for each of the 3 pans.

Using the 1/3 cup = 10 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons conversion gives you the flexibility to easily double or halve baking recipes for any batch size.

Other Cooking Uses for 1/3 Cup

In addition to baking recipes, the 1/3 cup measurement comes in handy for:

Bulk meals – Doubling or tripling recipes for meal prepping and freezing bulk meals

Leftovers – Repurposing leftovers into new dishes in smaller portions

Sauces – Making pan sauces by deglazing a skillet with 1/3 cup wine or broth

Dressings – Combining oils, vinegars, mustards, and other flavorings by the 1/3 cup for salad dressings

Smoothies – Adding healthy ingredients like Greek yogurt, milk, or fruit to the blender in 1/3 cup increments

Wherever a smaller portion is needed, it’s likely a quick swap to 1/3 cup or 10 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons will work perfectly.

Metric Conversion

For international bakers and cooks, it’s also helpful to know the metric equivalents:

– 1/3 cup = 80 ml
– 1 tablespoon (tbsp) = 15 ml
– 1 teaspoon (tsp) = 5 ml

So in metric units, 1/3 cup equals:

– 80 ml divided by 3 = approx. 27 ml per 1/3 cup
– 27 ml x 3 = 80 ml total

This means 1/3 cup = 27 ml which can be rounded up to 5 tablespoons or 75 ml.

The metric conversion isn’t exact but provides a workable measure for recipes using the metric system.


Knowing how to accurately convert 1/3 cup into tablespoons is an essential kitchen skill for successful baking. With some simple math, it’s easy to determine that 1/3 cup equals 10 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons. This handy conversion allows you to precisely halve, double, or divide baking recipes for perfect results every time. Beyond baking, the versatile 1/3 cup measure works great for meal prepping, repurposing leftovers, mixing dressings, and more. Understand cup to tablespoon conversions, measure precisely, and take your culinary skills to the next level.

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