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Math For Baking

Updated on March 3, 2013
Basic Math Tools
Basic Math Tools

Bakers' Math

The first few months of working at a bakery can be a very educational experience, because if one ingredient is off then one must dump all of the faulty goodies and start all over. A lot of is comes down to knowing measurements and how to correctly divide and multiply them.

In the bakery that I work at we pride ourselves on not being "math people." But, if someone were to really pay attention to our conversations they would see that we do use math, quite a lot, it just might take us a little while to figure it out.

Here are some basic measurements to help other bakers get through multiplying or dividing a recipe without staring off into space hoping the answer will suddenly pop into their head for twenty minutes.

Basic Ounces to Teaspoon Table

Ounces
Cups
Tablespoons
Teaspoons
4
1/2
4
12
8
1
8
24
16
2
16
48
32
4
32
 

Division and Multiplication of Cups

# of Cups
Divided by 2
Multiplied by 1.5
Multiplied by 2
1 Cup
1/2 Cup
1 1/2 Cups
2 Cups
1/2 Cup
1/4 Cup
3/4 Cup
1 Cup
1/3 Cup
2 2/3 Tbs.
1/3 Cup + 2 2/3 Tbs.
2/3 Cup
1/4 Cup
1/8 Cup
3/8 Cup
1/2 Cup
1/8 Cup
A dash
A heaping 1/8 Cup
1/4 Cup
Basic Math Tools
Basic Math Tools

For the More Complex Problems

If a recipe gets more complicated then just a 1 and 1/2 times batch, then the best thing to do is use these basic measurements to add and subtract. Also, keep calm, because anything more complicated than these can get pretty frustrating.

A way to not have to do this math all the time is to write out the measurements for the scenarios you use the most. This will definitely save time in the long run and keep your baking skills on track.


Happy baking and do not fear math! I have a bachelor's in English Literature and with a few extra non-math heads we can figure this stuff out. So, if we can do it, you can do it.

Fancy Measuring Utensils

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