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How Many Tablespoons In A Cup?

Knowing your way around a kitchen is one thing, but knowing your precise measurements is another.

You can be the most creative chef in the world, but if you get your measurements wrong, your recipes will rarely turn out how you want them to.

How Many Tablespoons In A Cup?

Understanding kitchen measurements is crucial for achieving accurate and consistent results.

One such measurement conversion that is important to know is how many tablespoons are in a cup. This can be helpful when cooking and baking.

More often than not, a recipe will call for “one or two cups” of an ingredient. But, cups come in different sizes!

Therefore, knowing the general conversion of a tablespoon to a cup can help you figure out the exact amount of the ingredient you need.

Today, we have the answer to how many tablespoons are in a cup, plus a whole lot more.

By the end of this blog post, you will have the knowledge and tools to confidently navigate like a master chef in the kitchen.

So, let’s explore the world of tablespoons and cups and unlock the secrets to precise measurement conversions.

Tablespoon Explained

Just like other measurements, the tablespoon can vary slightly depending on your location.

In the United States, a tablespoon is roughly equivalent to ½ fluid ounce or 14.8 milliliters. However, in the United Kingdom and Canada, it is rounded up to 15 milliliters.

Things take a different turn down under in Australia, where a tablespoon is the equivalent of 20 milliliters.

This inconsistency is important to keep in mind, especially when following online recipes, to avoid any confusion caused by different measurements.

The origin of these variations can be traced back to medieval Europe, when people would carry their spoons with them.

As flatware place settings became more popular in the eighteenth century, spoons for specific purposes, including teaspoons, soup spoons (closest to today’s tablespoons), and dessert spoons, became the norm.

It’s also worth noting that there are three teaspoons in a tablespoon. Check out our other articles on different conversions!

Fortunately, when it comes to measuring wet and dry ingredients, you can use the same set of tablespoons.

Whether you’re measuring spices, oil, flour, or water, simply reach for your trusty tablespoon, and you should be able to achieve accurate measurements without the need for separate sets of measuring cups.

Cups Explained

Okay, we all know what a cup is, but when it comes to measurements, the definition becomes a little hazy.

Many of us have heard stories of learning to cook from our grandmothers or other family members. However, these tales often involve recipes that seem impossible to recreate.

Grandma’s famous family recipe may be filled with vague measurements like a “handful of sugar” or a “generous sprinkle of salt.” It’s no wonder that these cherished recipes become lost to time.

Then, the introduction of standardized measurements was introduced, which included the cup. This revolutionized cooking.

The former Director of the Boston Cooking School, Fannie Farmer, introduced the concept of standardized measures in her book “The Boston Cooking School Cook Book” way back in 1896.

With standardized measures, it was easier to create provide consistent and reliable results with recipes.

So, what is a cup? A cup is a unit of volume and is equivalent to half a pint. In the United States, a cup is equal to 8 fluid ounces. But, if you need to measure solids, the weight can vary significantly, adding a level of complexity to the equation.

How Many Tablespoons In A Cup

The Number of Tablespoons In One Cup

Let’s get down to business. Altogether, there are 16 tablespoons in a single cup. Some folks find it easier to remember that there are four tablespoons to every ¼ cup, however.

Let’s take a look at the conversions for the number of tablespoons for different sized cups.

One cup16 Tablespoons
¾ cup12 tablespoons
½ cup8 tablespoons
⅓ cup5 ⅓ tablespoons
¼ cup4 tablespoons

We understand that remembering all of these precise measurements can be a little challenging, but with a little revision, they’ll soon stick in your head.

Once they are ingrained in your memory, you will be able to follow recipes that switch between cups, tablespoons, and sticks without any problems.

Ultimately, this will help build your confidence in the kitchen and allow you to tackle any and all recipes!


Let’s imagine we have a recipe asking for one and ¾ cups of a certain ingredient. This can immediately throw many people off as they become confused as to how much this really is.

But, by knowing that there are 16 tablespoons in a cup, it is pretty easy to figure out. Just convert the tablespoons (as seen in the table above) first and the process becomes more straightforward.

So, if there are 16 tablespoons in one cup, ¾ of a cup would convert to 12 tablespoons.

It is possible to add these measurements all together to come up with a total of 28 tablespoons (16 + 12 tablespoons = 28 tablespoons), or one and ¾ cups.

If you need to halve this recipe, you can do so easily, too. If you divide the 28 tablespoons by two, you get 14 tablespoons.

Therefore, you can choose to either add 14 tablespoons to your recipe or just convert the tablespoon to cup measurement.

Here’s a table to reference cups to tablespoons:

⅛ cup2 tablespoons
¼ cup4 tablespoons
⅓ cup5 ⅓ tablespoons
½ cup8 tablespoons
⅔ cup10 ⅔ tablespoons
¾ cup12 tablespoons
1 cup16 tablespoons

In Summary

Getting the correct measurements is critical to achieving the best dishes, whether you’re baking or cooking.

As we have discussed, there are 16 tablespoons to one cup, which is easy to convert into halves, quarters, etc.

Now you know how many tablespoons are in a cup, test the conversion with a recipe and let us know the results!

Anna Ingham
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