How to Measure Sugar Without Scales

Just a slight change in portions can ultimately affect the taste and texture of a recipe, so precise measurements are often necessary. Since some recipes list ingredients by weight, it may be difficult to cook or bake with sugar without a scale. An easy alternative is to measure sugar by volume. The conversion from weight to volume depends on the kind of sugar you're using.

Read the recipe for the kind of sugar needed. Notice whether your recipe is written using imperial units (ounces) or metric weights (grams).

Use the weight equivalent of one cup of sugar to calculate the amount you'll need:

  • 1 cup of brown or white sugar is approximately 7 ounces or 200 grams.
  • 1 cup of icing sugar is approximately 4.5 ounces or 125 grams.
  • 1 cup of superfine sugar is approximately 6.5 ounces or 190 grams. 

For example, if the recipe calls for 400 grams of white sugar, you'll need 2 cups. If the recipe calls for 250 grams of icing sugar, you'll need 2 cups.

Fill the measuring cup with the volume of sugar required, and complete the recipe as usual.


If a recipe calls for small amounts of sugar, use this conversion: 1 rounded tablespoon of white sugar is equal to 1 ounce; 2 tablespoons of icing sugar is equal to 1 ounce.

For other ingredients, look up the weight equivalents online and you'll never need a scale.