How to convert flour from grams to cups

I was searching high and low for a rye bread recipe one day. Paul and Mary were teaching me some stuff on The Great British Baking Show: Masterclass, and I was inspired by Paul’s 100% rye bread. I figured he had the recipe online, and it was quite simple to find. The only issue, however, was that his recipe was in metric measurements, whereas I am familiar with imperial. Therefore, I had to figure out how to convert flour from grams to cups.

I am not opposed to using grams, as I do have a scale at home. However, I wanted to know how much the recipe was going to make. I couldn’t visualize grams, and didn’t want to make too much on a first attempt. So, I took it upon myself to do some research.

Researching how to convert flour from grams to cups

I did a basic Google search on how many grams are in a cup. The most informative result was this online unit converter. I noticed water and flour weigh different amounts, but this makes sense; water is much denser and therefore would weigh more. This particular conversion chart said 1 cup of flour equals 125g. However, I use mostly spelt flour in baking, and was planning to use a dark rye flour for my 100% rye bread. As it didn’t specify, I assumed it was talking about regular, all purpose flour. I was curious if different flours all weighed the same, so I did a mini experiment.

How many grams of flour are in 1 cup?

Here are the results of my experiment. I simply weighed 1 cup of each type of flour to see how many grams it was. These are approximate, and can be slightly off since I only did the measurements once.

FlourGrams per 1 cup
All purpose115g
White whole wheat115g
Spelt115g
Dark rye125g
Cornmeal125g
Semolina*145g
Farina*165g

*I don’t really use semolina or farina in regular baking. Their measurement is listed because I had them on hand and it helps to show the variety in weights.

This was a one-off experiment just to see how far off the different flours were from the specified 125g. They were all pretty close to the 125g mark, but as you can see there was some variation.

Practical ways to use this conversion

This mini experiment was insightful. Now, I could estimate how many cups of flour will go into a recipe by dividing the amount of flour by 125g. I will likely still weigh out the recipe if it is given in grams, since I do have a scale available to me. If I didn’t have a scale, however, I would probably convert the entire thing to cups and go from there.

In case I do convert the recipe to cups, I wanted to know how much flour would be needed to compensate for the 10g difference. I weighed 1 Tbsp of all purpose flour, and it weighed 12g; that was close enough for me. Therefore, I would use 1 cup + 1 Tbsp for every 125g of flour. Since it is a tiny bit over, I will make sure to check the consistency of what I’m making, and add extra liquid if I find it too dry.

Conclusion

I was pleased that my experiment proved 1 cup of flour = 125g to be mostly true. Also, it was interesting to see just how different each flour weighs. I typically take recipes mostly as suggestions anyway, so getting an approximate conversion was fine for me. Hopefully this helps you in your flour conversion journey!