How Many Cups in a Pound of Flour?

Cyd Converse

Accuracy is important when it comes to baking. Find out how many cups are in a pound of flour, to ensure you get the results you're expecting!

Baking is quite a technical skill, and precise measurements are key to yielding bakes that rise correctly and taste perfect.

Weight and volume differ greatly, so one cup of sugar, for example, will weigh more than a cup of flour. For this reason, most professional bakers tend to work with weight as opposed to volume.

Strawberry Rum Pound Cake Photo

A great example that shows the difference is another flour scenario - assume you use your measuring cup to scoop up a cup of flour, you would get a different amount of flour than you would if you spooned the flour into the measuring cup.

The reason for this is that flour is generally quite dense when packed for transportation and storage purposes; humidity also affects flour's volume.

But even though there are a few variables that can affect the volume of flour, the weight of flour cannot change - 125 grams of flour will remain 125 grams, whether you spooned or scooped the flour.

Due to the precision and correct ratios of ingredients required when baking, you can see how important it is to make sure your measurements are exact.

Raspberry Pound Cake Picture

When baking, grams are actually easier to use than ounces.

Grams are much easier to work with when increasing and decreasing ingredients, as a gram is a smaller unit of measurement. The most important reason, however, is that "ounces" refers to both volume and weight!

Again, as precision is key while baking, the weight of an ingredient is what really matters.

Gluten Free Marble Cake Image

When looking at one cup of flour and one cup of sugar, the volume of the ingredient seems the same. But their weights drastically differ; one cup of flour weight 130 grams, whereas a cup of sugar weighs 200 grams.

Hopefully you are beginning to see the difference between weight and volume, but if this all sounds too confusing, consider a cup of feathers and a cup of rocks.

While they have the same volume, their weight will be massively different. This applies to sugar, flour, and any other ingredient used while baking, as the weight, or density, of an ingredient can vary, ingredient to ingredient. 

Peach Coffee Cake Pic

Now that you have a good understanding of the difference between volume and weight, we can answer the main question of how many cups there are in a pound of flour.

Depending on the type of flour, the cup measure will differ, due to the density of the type of flour:

All purpose flour: 1 pound = 3 1/3 cups

Cake flour: 1 pound = 4 1/2 cups

Pastry flour: 1 pound = 4 1/4 cups

Whole wheat flour: 1 pound = 3 1/3 cups

Peach Coffee Cake Photo

Now we have that sorted out, it's time to try your hand at a few recipes... and pound cake would be ideal!!

This Raspberry Pound Cake is sweet, tart and utterly delicious, whilst this Strawberry Rum Pound Cake is flavored with rum extract. Or you might like to try something  a little different, with these tasty Pound Cake Cookies.

Cyd is a native of Upstate New York, born to a family of women who love to cook and host parties. She shares her love of all things food, home and entertaining on her blog, The Sweetest Occasion and on Instagram.

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