Half a cup of butter weighs 4 ounces or 113 grams. This is because 1 cup of butter equals 8 ounces or 226 grams. So dividing the weight of 1 cup in half gives us the weight of half a cup. Butter is a solid fat, so it has a definitive weight per volume measurement. Using standard US cup measurements and weights, 4 ounces or 113 grams can reliably be used for the weight of half a cup of butter.
Calculating Half a Cup of Butter
To determine the weight of half a cup of butter, we need to know:
- The weight of 1 cup of butter
- The number of ounces in a cup
- How to divide the weight of 1 cup in half
Butter is typically measured in standard US cups when used for baking, cooking, and spreading. One US cup equals 8 fluid ounces. For reference, 1 tablespoon equals 0.5 ounces, 16 tablespoons make 1 cup.
For butter specifically, 1 cup equals 8 ounces in weight. This information should be included on the packaging by the manufacturer. So a full cup of butter weighs 8 ounces.
To calculate half of 8 ounces, we simply divide by 2:
|1 cup butter||= 8 ounces|
|Half of 8 ounces||= 8 ÷ 2 = 4 ounces|
Therefore, half a cup of butter weighs 4 ounces.
Converting Ounces to Grams
In metric measurements, 4 ounces converts to 113 grams.
To determine the weight in grams:
- 1 ounce equals 28 grams
- 4 ounces x 28 grams per ounce = 112 grams
- Round up to nearest whole number = 113 grams
So half a cup of butter equals 113 grams.
Visualizing Half a Cup of Butter
Here is a simple visual representation of the weights:
|Butter||Weight in Ounces||Weight in Grams|
|1 cup||8 oz||226 g|
|1/2 cup||4 oz||113 g|
As shown, half the weight of 1 cup of butter (8 oz) is 4 oz or 113 grams.
Why Weight Matters
Knowing the exact weight of butter needed is important for baking and cooking when following recipes. Using too little or too much butter can cause a recipe to fail.
Some reasons why the weight of butter matters:
- Butter provides fat and moisture – Fat tenderizes and adds moisture. Too little butter can result in dry baked goods.
- Butter contributes flavor – The rich taste of butter impacts flavor. With too little you may lose buttery taste.
- Butter helps achieve the proper texture – Such as flakiness in pie crust or chewiness in cookies.
- Butter affects leavening – It can coat flour proteins, allowing them to form needed gluten structures.
- Butter helps with browning – The milk solids provide even browning on the surface as baked goods cook.
Using the correct butter weight maintains the moisture, structure, flavor, and appearance of a recipe. Even small weight variations can have a big difference on the end result.
Tips for Measuring Butter Accurately
To end up with the correct amount of butter called for in a recipe, here are some helpful tips:
Use a kitchen scale
A kitchen scale provides the most accurate weight measurements, compared to cup measurements which can vary. You can zero out the scale with the bowl on it, then add butter straight from the package until you reach the weight needed. This takes out any guess work.
Use proper tools
To measure butter by volume:
- Use measuring cups and spoons, not random glasses or utensils
- Level off the butter flush with the rim of the cup for an exact measure
- Avoid overpacking or underpacking the butter into the cup
- Use several pats of butter to fill the cup for even distribution
Soften butter first
If the butter is cold and hard, it can be challenging to level off properly in the cup measure. Letting it sit out to soften makes it easier to pack neatly into the cup.
Understand temperature impacts
Butter is able to expand when brought to room temperature. So the same weight of cold butter takes up less space than warm softened butter. Measuring when softened may look like more.
Weigh in sticks
If measuring in sticks, use the wrapper markings to cut a half or full stick amount needed by weight. No need to dirty extra dishes!
Alternative Ways to Measure Butter
While the preferred methods are by weight or standard cup measurements, you can also determine half a cup of butter using:
- 1 cup butter = 16 tablespoons
- Half of 16 tablespoons = 8 tablespoons
- So half a cup butter equals 8 tablespoons
- 1 cup butter = 2 sticks
- Half of 2 sticks = 1 stick
- Therefore, half a cup of butter is 1 stick
However, these alternative measures won’t be as precise as using a scale or proper butter cups. The tablespoons or sticks could be packed differently each time. But in a pinch, they can provide a close approximate half cup measure when needed.
Common Butter Substitutes by Weight
Some recipes call for replacing butter with margarine, shortening, or oil. Here is an overview of how these common substitutes compare by weight:
Has a similar consistency to butter. 1 cup of margarine also weighs 8 ounces. So half a cup would be 4 ounces or 113 grams, the same as butter.
Is more dense than butter, with 1 cup weighing 10 ounces. Half a cup would be 5 ounces or 140 grams.
In solid form is lighter than butter, with 1 cup equal to 7 ounces. Half a cup would be 3.5 ounces or 98 grams.
Being a liquid, weighs less than butter. Half a cup of olive oil is only around 4 fluid ounces or 118 milliliters.
When substituting for half a cup of butter, margarine is the closest match by weight. The other substitutes, especially oils, should be used in lesser amounts compared to butter to account for differences in moisture, density, and flavor.
Typical Uses for Half a Cup of Butter
Knowing the weight of half a cup of butter helps prepare just the right amount for recipes. Here are some of the most common uses for half a cup of butter:
- Creaming 4 ounces butter with sugars when making cakes, cookies, muffins, quick breads
- Mixing into pie dough for a single 9-inch crust
- Adding with herbs and spices to flavor a dish for 2-4 people
- Basting meat or vegetables halfway through roasting
- Spreading on 4-6 pieces of bread for garlic bread
- Assembling a casserole serving 6-8 people
- Topping a 10-12 inch skillet of cooked vegetables
- Sautéing protein and veggies for a dinner salad
Half a cup of butter can go a long way to adding flavor, moisture, and richness to a variety of savory dishes and baked goods. Following recipe requirements closely will result in ideal outcomes.
Does Salted or Unsalted Butter Weigh Differently?
Salted and unsalted butter have negligible differences in weight per volume:
- 1 cup of unsalted butter weighs 8 ounces
- 1 cup of salted butter weighs 8 ounces
The small amount of added salt, around 1/4 teaspoon per 1/2 cup, does not impact the overall weight.
Therefore, half a cup weighs 4 ounces for both types of butter.
The main differences between salted and unsalted butter are:
- Flavor – salted has a saltier taste
- Preservation – salt helps prolong shelf life
- Price – unsalted is often more expensive
- Performance – unsalted gives more control in baking
But when measuring by weight or volume, you can use the two kinds of butter interchangeably without adjusting the quantity.
How Does Butter’s Weight Change When Melted or Frozen?
Butter’s weight remains nearly the same whether melted, solidified, or frozen, since it is composed almost entirely of fat. However, there are a couple subtle differences:
The small amount of water evaporates when melted, leaving just the fat behind. This causes melted butter to weigh slightly less than solid butter. However, the difference in 4 ounces of butter would only be around 1/2 teaspoon.
The density increases as the fat crystals solidify, so frozen butter may actually weigh a tiny bit more per volume compared to room temperature butter. But again, for half a cup the difference would be minimal.
The milk proteins and water are removed from clarified butter, leaving pure butterfat. So clarified butter weighs about 10% less compared to unclarified. Half a cup of clarified butter would be around 3.6 oz or 100 grams.
For most cooking and baking purposes, melted and frozen butter can be measured by weight or volume interchangeably with solid butter, without issue. Clarified butter is the exception since some of the butter has been removed.
Weight Equivalents for Half a Cup of Butter
To summarize, no matter if you are measuring cold or warm, salted or unsalted, here are some handy weight equivalents for half a cup of butter:
- 4 ounces
- 113 grams
- 110-115 grams
- 1/4 pound or 8 tablespoons or 1 stick (of butter)
This covers the amounts whether your recipe calls for half a cup, 4 ounces, 110 grams, or 1 stick of butter. Using the precise weight needed will ensure your baked goods and dishes turn out perfectly.
Half a cup of butter weighs 4 ounces or 113 grams. This universal weight equivalence accounts for variances due to temperature, salt content, melting, and freezing. Knowing the exact weight of butter called for in recipes and using proper kitchen tools to measure it makes all the difference for achieving ideal results across baking, cooking, and more. Next time your recipe includes butter, confidently use 4 ounces or 113 grams for half a cup.