How to Measure Butter

Butter

Am I the only person who curses almost every time a recipe calls for butter and lists the amount in cups? You’d think that I’d have this whole butter thing down pat by now (no pun intended), but I never remember. Ever. And without fail, I turn to Google… “How many cups in one stick of butter?” or some variation of that. I’ve finally remembered that 1 pound of butter is four sticks, so weight I’m good with. Give me a gold star sticker for my refrigerator, thankyouverymuch. But yikes, shouldn’t there be a standard of some sort when it comes to how cookbooks list the amount of butter? I’d be so happy. And I’d prefer that it be listed by weight (if some higher up cookbook authority gave me a vote, that is). I’ve gone on before about how great it is to measure using a kitchen scale, so I won’t go into it again here. I’ve grown weary of Googling, so I finally took the time to make myself a little cheat sheet for butter measuring. Maybe I’m the only person in the world who has this problem, but in case I’m not I figured I’d share my crib notes with you.

Butter Cheat Sheet

And in case you want to print that baby out and stick it on your fridge (or in your recipe binder), here is a pretty printable version.

Happy Baking!

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92 Responses to “How to Measure Butter”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Mariepose on September 10, 2010 at 12:21 am

    THANK YOUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!

    Reply

  2. Sues on September 10, 2010 at 12:30 am

    It seems so simple, but I always forget and get majorly confused too. This is super helpful!! Thanks :)

    Reply

  3. rose on September 10, 2010 at 2:17 am

    I loooove you! Am definitely going to print this out. Thanx!

    Reply

  4. Robyn on September 10, 2010 at 2:19 am

    You…are…AMAZING! I curse EVERY time I read a recipe and the butter is in cups. How am I supposed to shove this block of butter into my measuring cup? Thanks for the chart, :) You’re the best!

    Reply

  5. Isabella on September 10, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Depending on where you live in the country, many brands have the cup, tablespoon, and teaspoon measurements printed on the butter stick’s wrapper. Lucerne definitely does.

    Reply

    • Kelley on September 14th, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      Yeah, I can’t recall ever seeing a butter wrapper that didn’t have those measurements on it! I’m so used to them by now that I could probably measure my butter without any sort of guide.

      Reply

  6. Charli on September 10, 2010 at 4:34 am

    This is brilliant! I live in the UK where we don’t even have ‘sticks’ of butter, we just weigh it, so as much as I love a lot of american cooking blogs, I too spend a LOT of time googling butter conversions!

    Reply

    • Kelley on September 14th, 2010 at 2:45 pm

      So true! In (French) pastry school we weighed everything, so this chart will come in handy for me if I want to use a recipe from school – I can easily convert grams to sticks. Hehe!

      Reply

  7. food.baby on September 10, 2010 at 4:59 am

    This is fantastic!! No sticks of butter here in Australia either and it drives me mad trying to convert from American cups to grams! I’m going to print this and stick it on the fridge.

    Reply

  8. juli on September 10, 2010 at 5:34 am

    I google this ALL THE TIME! neither sticks nor cups of butter here in Europe, so lots of confusion. thank you so much!

    Reply

  9. kat brown on September 10, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Thanks! I also get frustrated with American recipes that measure in ‘sticks’ as butter doesn’t come in sticks in most other places in the world. I often forget the sticks / cups / grams conversions too and end up using Google :)

    Reply

  10. janice on September 10, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Thanx!!!! I am an American living in Canada…the most cost effect way to buy butter is just by the pound!!! I do miss the sticks…this will be a HUGE help.
    Love you site…Thanx so much!

    Reply

  11. Katrina on September 10, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Thanks for the chart! i’m stealing it :)

    Reply

  12. Paula on September 10, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Most of our butter packaging here has the measurements for cups on the label, from 1/4 cup to 1 cup. No where have I seen it measured in equivalents such as you have gone to the trouble to do here. Super cheat sheet! Thank you.

    Reply

  13. Becca on September 10, 2010 at 7:52 am

    YOU, my dear, sweet foodie friend, deserve a HUGE hug and a “pat” on the back (pun intended!) for this post! Now if we could only get cookbook authors and recipe writers (including you…PRETTY PLEASE?) to note whether an oven temperature listed in a recipe is for a CONVENTIONAL or CONVECTION oven (You may already know that convection ovens cook 25 degrees hotter than conventional ovens), my cooking & baking experiences would be a dreamy dream land of wonderfulness! :-)

    Reply

  14. Barbara Bakes on September 10, 2010 at 9:12 am

    This is a great reference. I’m pretty good at remembering 8 T in a stick, but it seems they can never put the wrapper on straight! I may have to start weighing too.

    Reply

  15. michelle on September 10, 2010 at 9:18 am

    My sticks of butter always have the cup markings on them, however I always wonder if I have a tub of butter, do I just pack it into a cup? haha. Also I think the consistency is different too.

    Handy table though!

    Reply

  16. Jen @ project cookie 365 on September 10, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I love your cheat sheet!! I get so frustrated with recipes that list “sticks.” I hadn’t even heard of a “stick” as a proper measurement until last year, and I think my exact words were “What the flip is a ‘stick’?!?” Also, while making Alton’s The Chewy, I used my rusty brain, and ended up using twice as much butter than the recipe called for. (they were really delicious though lol)
    Thanks for the sheet!!

    Reply

  17. annie on September 10, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Thank you Michelle for posting this list. It will make everyone’s baking time easier, especially as butter ususally indicates cups and my recipes inevitably list TBSPS or ounces! A good tool to have and keep.

    Reply

  18. Becky S on September 10, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, so you just saved me tons of time. I’m printing this out and sticking it in my recipe box right now! Since moving to Canada not having sticks is driving me crazy, I’ve been cutting the pound blocks into sticks and trying to judge Tablespoons and such from there. Not so accurate LOL. A scale is next on my to buy list and I can’t wait!

    Reply

  19. Shelly on September 10, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I’m going to get a scale soon and start weighing all of my ingredients for consistent results. We like to buy our butter at Costco. It’s frustrating though that the unsalted butter does not have tbsp marks on it, only fractions of cups and pounds. Ugh indeed! I’m printing this out also.

    Reply

  20. Eileen on September 10, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I love this, printed AND saved! :)

    Reply

  21. Jackie Hale dba Galexi Cupcakes on September 10, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I have added a link from my blog to your blog. This is a fantabolous cheat sheet. One that I will continuously use. Thanks for putting it together.

    Reply

  22. Alex on September 10, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Thank you!!!
    I think the worst idea at all is butte in cups and I live in England so we don’t have sticks of butter as well and every time I have google how much is a stick or a cup, but not any more!!!
    Tks a lot!!!

    Reply

  23. Paula on September 10, 2010 at 11:25 am

    oh, that`s really helpful!

    Reply

  24. Kathy Ehlert on September 10, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Since I am from the states I do understand this concept, but up here in Canada where I now live you buy butter in a 1 lb block. Threw me for a loop at first… BTW; made your blueberry pie a few weeks ago (first pie I ever made). Followed instructions to a T and my husband was SHOCKED. Best he’s ever had… and he is a softy for his mothers cooking!

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 13th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

      Kathy – Woo for trumping mom-in-law’s cooking! So happy you guys enjoyed the blueberry pie – one of my absolute favorites!

      Reply

  25. Maria on September 10, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Very helpful post! Thanks! Have a great weekend!

    Reply

  26. Liz @ LBBakes on September 10, 2010 at 11:54 am

    See, I have it engraved into my mind that 1 stick = 1/2 cup, so I love cup measurements!

    Reply

  27. MacKenzie @ Fighting the Pudge on September 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    This is SO HELPFUL! When certain recipes call for it, I cook with unsalted butter. I also use it for ghee. I’ll definitely be consulting this little cheat sheet. Thank you!

    Reply

  28. Drick on September 10, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    great little ditty …. I always have to refer to my cookbook where I have a similar breakdown on butter….

    Reply

  29. Katy on September 10, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Great cheat sheet! I usually am pretty good at figuring it out quickly in my head, but there have been a couple of occasions where I’ve completely messed it up. This will be nice to double-check myself. :)

    Reply

  30. mra on September 10, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Wow, thanks! It’s very helpful.

    Reply

  31. Jen on September 10, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    What kind of butter is everyone using that doesn’t have the cups indicated on the stick of butter. I suggestion you just buy butter that shows the cups already on it.

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 13th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

      Hi Jen – I buy butter in bulk (4 lbs at a time) and they come in 1 lb blocks wrapped in foil – no measurement markings at all. For the amount of baking that I do it’s like throwing money away to buy it 1 lb at a time at the grocery store – so much cheaper in bulk!

      Reply

      • Deedee on June 8th, 2013 at 3:45 pm

        Everyone outside of the US does not have cup measurements marked on butter. And butter isn’t sold as “sticks” here either! They generally come in 250g pieces which is 2.2045 sticks of butter. The world would be a better place if all solids were just marked by weight in recipes rather than using volumetric measurements.

        Reply

  32. Elle Hyson on September 10, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Michelle, thanks for the cheat sheet – most times I have butter in sticks but there are a few brands that print the Tbs and cups across the width of the full 1/2 lb. loaf which generally throws me for a loop – and as far as the sticks are concerned, I usually find I use a bit more than recipes call for because the paper covers are not on properly – rather a bit too much than too little.

    Enjoy your blog and love your sense of humor.

    Reply

  33. Robyn on September 10, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    whenever i’m doing a big baking project, i always have little doodles with my “butter math” on the side of the recipe!

    americans living in canada – you can usually find packages with sticks of butter inside. i always buy those for baking. they are maybe 20 cents more. lactantia for sure has them.

    Reply

  34. Meagan on September 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Thank you!!!! Now that I only buy unsalted butter (due to my increased baking) I can never remember the conversions!! The butter I used to buy had them all on the wrapper but the unsalted does not :). This is going on the side of my frig :)

    Reply

  35. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on September 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    This will definitely come in handy! Thanks for the helpful measurements and tips, Michelle!

    Reply

  36. Lauren on September 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    mmm that is pretty!!! :)

    Reply

  37. yael on September 10, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    This is great!!! Thank you soooo much!

    Reply

  38. Leah on September 10, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I always have issues with 2/3 cup. For some reason I run into that one a lot. I can never remember what the measurement is so I Google that one all the time.

    Reply

    • Chelsea on September 21st, 2010 at 5:56 pm

      I made a new-to-me recipe last week that called for 1/3 cup of butter, and I’ll admit to a bit of confusion on that one! Since I wanted more of the product (scones, mmmmm) anyway, though, I just tripled it so that I was using one full cup, LOL.

      Reply

  39. Angel on September 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Thank you! I always try to remember by using liquid measure- 8 oz in a cup, so 4 oz are in 1/2 cup, etc. As long as I can divide the ounces I’m usually good:) But this can go up inside my cabinet door.

    Reply

  40. Chris on September 10, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Just realized that American and Australian cups & grams are different – maybe that why recipes don’t come out as expected !

    Reply

  41. jen on September 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    to me, measuring the butter in sticks is the easiest thing because measurements are right on the wrapper and you slice off what you want. It never occurred to me until recently that things might be different elsewhere, when my (english) boyfriend asked me, puzzled, how I managed to cook without a scale. haha!

    Reply

  42. Jeanette on September 11, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Oh wow thats great. I live in New Zealand and have never seen a “stick” of butter before and it gets very confusing when using American recipes. Will print this out.

    Reply

  43. Becs Lake @ Stiletto Studio on September 12, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Hehe, funny that you should say that! I’m in New Zealand too, and find “sticks” of butter very confusing!!!! Not to mention I broke my kitchen scales over the weekend, and was trying to convert all manner of measurements into cups!

    Reply

  44. Lizzie on September 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Oh wow thank you for this! I am always getting confused, but I printed this out and have it with all my other baking material! : )

    Reply

  45. RavieNomNoms on September 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Oh thank you! This is awesome!

    Reply

  46. Jen @ How To: Simplify on September 14, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    This is such a helpful and informative post! Thanks for sharing your info!

    Reply

  47. kateiscooking on September 14, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    You are WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kate

    Reply

  48. Kocinera on September 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I love this chart! I usually find myself squinting at the butter wrapper to find the approximate measurements, but not anymore!

    Reply

  49. sheryl on September 15, 2010 at 11:49 am

    How about a similar chart for Crisco? I hate dirtying up measuring cups and would rather convert my recipes to weight for this ingredient!

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 15th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

      Hi Sheryl, I will put that on the to-do list. For quick reference though, 1 cup of vegetable shortening is 7 ounces.

      Reply

  50. Lora on September 17, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Thanks so much for this great reference. As am American expat living in Germany I am going to pass the link on to my girfriends/fellow expats.

    Reply

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