Conversion Tables

I’ll tend to use grams and kilograms for my recipes, and when I talk about cups and teaspoons and such I mean the Australian kind.  Here are some of the other ways people like to measure things.

Weights

We all know there are 16 ounces in a pound, right?  And the world clearly needs more recipes that come in Pennyweights and Newtons.

Metric Imperial Pennyweight
Newton
50 g 1.8 oz 32.2 0.49 Earth
100 g 3.5 oz 64.3 0.98 Earth
125 g 4.4 oz 80.4 1.22 Earth
250 g 8.8 oz 160.8 2.45 Earth
500 g 17.6 oz 321.5 4.90 Earth
1000g (1 kg) 35.2 oz 643.0 9.81 Earth
28.34 g 1 oz 18.22 dwt 0.28 Earth
1.55 g 0.05 oz 1 dwt 0.02 Earth
101.97 kg 359.7 oz 65.56 1 Earth

Volumes

You’re never going to feel secure about your cup measures ever again.  Are they metric? British Imperial?  US customary?  Japanese?  I have to admit, I’m laughing like an idiot over this, and I didn’t even try to distinguish between Imperial and US customary fluid ounces, because that way lies madness. 

But don’t panic too much. If you stick to any one system of measurement your recipe will work, whichever one you choose.  The only real killer is the tablespoon – any ingredient that only requires 15-20mls is probably quite powerful for its volume…

Measure Metric Fl. oz
1 tsp 5 ml 0.2 oz
1 tbsp (Aust) 20 ml 0.6 oz
1 tbsp (UK / US) 15 ml 0.5 oz
6 tsp 30 ml 1 oz
1 cup (Japanese) 200 ml 6 oz
1 cup (US, customary) 237 ml 8 oz
1 cup (US, legal) 240 ml
8.12 oz
1 cup (Aust) 250 ml 8.5 oz
1 cup (UK) 284 ml 9.6 oz
1 pint (US) 480 ml 16 oz
1 pint (UK) 575 ml 20 oz
1 quart (US) 950 ml 32 oz
1 litre 1000 ml 33 oz
1 stick butter (US) 125 g 4 oz


Temperatures

Note that if your oven is fan-forced, you’ll want to reduce the temperature by 10-20°C, which I believe is 5-10°F.

Description Celsius Fahrenheit Kelvin* Gas Mark
Very Cool 110 225 383 1/4
Cool 120 250 393 1/2
Slow 135 275 408 1
Moderately Slow 150 300 423 2
Warm 165 325 438 3
Moderate 180 350 453 4
Moderately Hot 190 375 463 5
Fairly Hot 200 400 473 6
Hot 220 425 493 7
Very Hot 230 450 503 8

* I admit, I’ve never seen anyone write a recipe in Kelvin, but it’s always good to be prepared.

Sizes

Personally, I prefer to measure all my cake tins in Royal Egyptian Cubits (Sumerian Nippur Cubits are so passé). 

Metric Imperial Royal Egyptian Cubit
1.25 cm 1/2″ 0.02 cubits
2.54 cm 1″ 0.05 cubits
10 cm 4″ 0.19 cubits
12 cm 4.7″ 0.23 cubits
15 cm 6″ 0.29 cubits
20 cm 8″ 0.38 cubits
25 cm 10″ 0.48 cubits
30 cm 12″ (1 foot) 0.57 cubits
52 cm 21″ 1.00

Cake Tin Geometry

I spend a fair bit of time wandering around the kitchen muttering things like “OK, 20cm round means a radius of 10cm, 10 squared is 100, multiply by 3.14ish and I get 314cm squared, what’s the square root of 314? Somewhere between 17 and 18.  That’s no use.  Do any of my loaf tins multiply up to something around 314…?”

Hooray for mathematics!

For those of you who do not enjoy trying to figure out square roots in your head (which is quite understandable), here’s an excellent article about baking tin sizes, with a huge list of equivalent tins.  Though it’s still worth doing a little geometry once the cake is in the oven to work out whether your tin is just a bit bigger or just a bit smaller than the suggested tin – it will make your old maths teacher happy, and the depth of the cake in the tin also affects the cooking time.  Of course, if your oven is old and cranky, you are probably guessing at the cooking time in any case…

Also, did you know that ring tins and round tins are pretty much equivalent in volume for baking purposes?  It’s like magic!  I suspect that it’s because your ring tin, while being slightly smaller (which would give you a slightly higher cake and increased cooking time) has more of the surface of the tin pressed against the cake and conducting heat, so it works out the same.

Oh, and if you feel like turning your cake into cupcakes, you may like to know that the same mix that fills a 20cm cake tin will also fill a standard 12-hole muffin tin.  And of course you know that volume-wise, 1 standard muffin equals 2 patty cakes (cupcakes) and 3-4 mini-muffins, but only 1/2 a giant muffin?  I’m not even going to attempt to write about cooking time differences here, because it depends so heavily on the kind of cake you are making in your muffin or cake tin…



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15 responses to “Conversion Tables

  1. Pingback: Review: Cooking for Kings: the life of Antonin Carême, by Ian Kelly | Cate's Cates

  2. This is genius.

  3. I had a bit of paper pinned up in my kitchen with Imperial/metric conversions due to my high number of US cookbooks (the other side had the cooking times for as many types of dried legumes as I could find). It wasn’t as comprehensive as this, though, and I sadly lost it after moving house about three times.

    • Books for Cooks gives out a very useful bookmark with temperatures and imperial/metric conversions whenever they sell you a book. It’s possibly the best (and most appropriate) promotional bookmark I’ve ever seen.

  4. Loving this blog! Can I mention you in my new blog next week or the week after? And Psssst, little typo at the end of the Imperial column in the first box, I think.

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog – so am I! And I’d be delighted to be mentioned in your blog, thank you. I’m not sure how WordPress tracks things yet, so perhaps you could let me know when you do mention it?

      Also, thanks for pointing out the typo on the conversion chart – it’s fixed now. I may possibly have been more focused on translating things into cool systems like Kelvin or cubits than I was on proof-reading…

      Catherine

  5. Love the conversion charts think I’ll make my next cake in earth measurements.
    My favourite conversion chart is a photocopy of one from a 1970’s Margret Fulton cookbook.

  6. I had a bit of paper pinned up in my kitchen with Imperial/metric conversions due to my high number of US cookbooks (the other side had the cooking times for as many types of dried legumes as I could find). It wasn’t as comprehensive as this, though, and I sadly lost it after moving house about three times.
    +1

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  8. Pingback: Blog Birthday! | Cate's Cates

  9. I have had recipes in Kelvin – of course, they were organic chem lab protocols…

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