How Many Tablespoons in a Cup?

In This Post You’ll Learn:

Use The Calculator to Calculate How Many Tablespoons in a Cup

Tablespoons to Cups Calculator

How Many Tablespoons in a Cup?

When it comes to cooking and baking, accurate measurements are essential for achieving the desired results. Understanding the basic tablespoons conversions between different units of measurement for both imperial and metric conversions may be required if you are converting recipes.

In the United States and a few other countries, the customary system of measurement, known as the imperial system, is used. A cup is commonly used for liquid and dry ingredients. The relationship between tablespoons and cups in the imperial system is as follows:

1 Cup = 16 Tablespoons = 48 teaspoons

This means that there are 16 tablespoons in a cup. This conversion is mostly consistent for both liquid and dry ingredients.

However, some ingredients vary in size and weight. Dry measuring cups and liquid measuring cups are not always equal. For example, some ingredients, e.g. coconut flakes will not occupy the same volume of space in a cup as a liquid.

A close up picture of metric tablespoons.

Cups to Tablespoons Conversion Chart

Cups to Tablespoons Conversion Chart

Cups US Customary Tablespoons Metric Tablespoons
1 cup 16 tbsp 15 tbsp
2 cups 32 tbsp 30 tbsp
3 cups 48 tbsp 45 tbsp

In contrast, the imperial system also known as the metric system, is widely used in most countries across the globe. In the metric system, the primary unit of volume measurement is the litre (L). However, tablespoons and cups are not typically used as primary units in metric cooking. Instead, smaller units such as millilitres (mL) and grams (g) are more commonly employed.

Nevertheless, it is still useful to understand the equivalent metric measurements for tablespoons and cups:

1 Metric Cup = 16 Metric Tablespoons | 1 Metric Tablespoon = 15 Milliliters* (mL)

It should be noted by many of our Australian readers that many Australian tablespoons are 20ml. This is unique to us, with New Zealand, the UK and most other countries using a 15ml tablespoon. As a recipe developer, you will notice I add mls or gram units in our recipes as well to let you know if I am using an Australian tablespoon or metric tablespoon. It is worth checking the tablespoon you are using to measure how many tbsp in a cup too. I am adding more measuring posts to Mad Creations to help you better understand the difference.

By knowing these conversions, you can adapt recipes from the imperial system to metric measurements, or vice versa, to ensure accuracy and consistency in all recipes.

Keto/Low Carb Baking Ingredients Conversion Chart

Keto/Low Carb Baking Ingredients Conversion Chart

Ingredient Cup (c) Tablespoon (tbsp) Grams (g) Ounces (oz)
Almond Flour 0.25 c 4 tbsp 28g 1 oz
Coconut Flour 0.125 c 2 tbsp 16g 0.56 oz
Erythritol 0.66 c 10 tbsp 100g 3.53 oz


What is a Legal Cup?

The terms “legal cup,” “imperial cup,” and “one cup” refer to different measurement systems used to define the volume of a cup. The main differences lie in the specific values and standardization of these measurements.
Legal Cup: is a unit of measurement used in the United States for volume. It is defined as exactly 240 millilitres (ml) or approximately 8.12 fluid ounces (fl oz). This value is standardized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for nutritional labelling purposes. The legal cup is used in official nutrition guidelines and labels in the United States.
Imperial Cup: is a unit of measurement used in the United Kingdom British Imperial System and some other Commonwealth countries for volume. It is defined as 10 imperial fluid ounces, which is equivalent to approximately 284 milliliters (ml). The imperial system is used in these countries for most everyday measurements, including cooking and baking.
One Cup: The term “one cup” is not a standardized measurement unit but is often used colloquially to refer to a standard measuring cup used in cooking and baking. In the United States, the standard measuring cup typically holds 8 fluid ounces, which is equivalent to the legal cup measurement. It is important to note that the size of a measuring cup can vary by region, and other countries might have different standard sizes for their measuring cups.

Do All Cup Measure weigh the same?

No. There is a difference between measuring ingredients in cup for volume and weight. You can use our calculator to convert tablespoons and cups to ounces and grams.

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