Accurate measuring is important to the success of baked goods. Buy good-quality cup and spoon measures. They are more accurate and last a lifetime.
For dry ingredients such as flours, grains, and sugars, use metal or plastic measuring cups that come in nested set of 1, 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4 cup. When a recipe calls for 3/4 cup of an ingredient, use a 1/2 cup measure plus a 1/4 cup. Do not use a 1 cup measure and guess at the 3/4 cup mark.
To measure flour (also cocoa and confectioners (powdered) sugar), stir it lightly in the bag, box, or canister. Work over the container or a sheet of wax paper. Spoon it into the cup measure until the cup is overflowing. Do not press the flour down into the cup, scoop the ingredient up in the cup, or tap the measure on the counter. Then draw the back of a knife, or other straight edge, across the top of the overflowing cup, sweeping off the excess.
To measure granulated white sugar and other flaky or granular ingredients such as cornmeal, oats, and oat bran, scoop the ingredient from the bag or canister with the measuring cup, filling it to overflowing. Sweep off the excess with the back of a knife.
To measure a scant cup, measure the ingredient level, then remove two tablespoons of the ingredient.
To measure brown sugar, pack it firmly into the appropriate cup measure(s) with the back side of a spoon, until it is level with the top. Then level it off with the backside of a knife.
To measure teaspoons and tablespoons of dry ingredients such as baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices, dip the exact-size measuring spoons into the can or jar (or if the neck of the jar is too narrow to get the spoon in, fill spoons to overflowing over a small piece of wax paper), then sweep off excess with the back side of a knife.
To measure 1/8 teaspoon, measure 1/4 teaspoon, then cut through the middle with the point of a knife and push off the unneeded 1/8 teaspoon.
Use a glass measuring cup for liquid ingredients. These cups have a handle and some have markings on one side dividing the cup into quarters and on the other into thirds; or you may find one cup in quarters and another in thirds.
To measure, place the cup on the countertop, pour in the liquid. Bend over and check the amount at eye level.
For semi-solid ingredients, such as yogurt or sour cream, use cup measurers designed for either wet or dry ingredients.
to measure teaspoons or tablespoons of semi-solid ingredients such as butter, sour cream, molasses or other sticky substances, do not dip the spoon in, for a portion will cling to the under side of the spoon and when removed and used, you will have more than the correct proportion. With liquids like melted butter, cream, syrups, and molasses, fill by pouring; with softened butter and sour cream, fill by packing it level with a knife.