Converting Grams To Cups Is Not Straightforward

I was recently searching the internet for other online converters, and I bumped into something that literally shocked me. When searching for the phrase “100 grams to cups” (no ingredient included), I found that Google prioritizes websites that will give you an instant, push-the-button-get-the-answer calculator.

Convert grams to cups calculator example

What’s the problem with this?

It is simply misleading. Because there is no such thing as a simple conversion between grams and cups. Continue reading and you’ll understand what I’m referring to and why you’ll never find instant generic grams to cups calculators on our website.

What Are You Converting?

Cups represent a unit of volume (as a quantity of space in an enclosed container) while grams represent a unit of mass. Depending on the density of the substance you want to measure, the actual result of converting grams to cups (or vice versa for that matter) can vary.

As this conversion comes up most frequently for food ingredients, let’s take the densest and the lightest of the common ingredients as an example, cocoa powder and honey.

100 grams of cocoa powder are roughly 1 cup, while the same weight (100 g) of honey is only around 1/3 cup.

You see? The same weight, 3x difference in cup value.

Check out this table below to see how the most common food ingredients vary in density when it comes to converting them from grams to cups before we dive into the main difference between how people in the US measure their ingredient vs how the rest of the world does it.

IngredientGrams To Cups Multiplier
Sugar (white, granulated)0.005
Powdered sugar0.0083
Cocoa powder0.01
Multiply gram values with the corresponding number to get cup values

The US And The Rest Of The World – Two Completely Different Approaches

When it comes to measuring cooking ingredients, there are two completely different approaches. One is how people in the US (and sometimes in other English-speaking countries) measure their ingredients, and two is how the rest of the world does it.

You see, it’s not the metric system. The main difference between how an American measures food ingredients and how most other people do it is not whether they use imperial units or metric units.

The main difference is whether they use weight or volume.

In the US (and sometimes in other English-speaking countries) people use cups, tablespoons and teaspoons. You rarely find and American recipe with weight units (be it grams or ounces), let alone most American households still don’t have a kitchen scale.

On the other hand, most people around the world, and I admit that’s specifically true for Europe, use mostly weight units to measure their ingredients. Grams or kilograms mostly. You can easily measure every ingredient in grams with a simple and cheap kitchen scale, and the results are also consistent.

Both worlds work perfectly by themselves, the problem arises when you want to mix the two systems. In our example, when you try to cook with measuring cups but the recipe gives you gram measurements. How do you convert between those two? How many cups should you measure out when the recipe gives you grams?

A good answer might be searching for the answer online…

Ruining Your Food

And then, when you search let’s say for converting 100 grams to cups, you can find an online converter that will only convert you one specific ingredient, not telling you that you should be careful with this conversion and check what ingredient you are trying to convert.

Convert grams to cups calculator example

100 grams of water is around 0.42 cups indeed. But just check our cocoa powder and honey examples above, the two extremes. 100 grams of cocoa powder is a whole cup, while 100 grams of honey only 1/3 cup.

Just for your reference, the most searched for ingredients for this 100 g conversion are flour (4/5 cup), sugar (1/2 cup), and butter (0.44 cup = 7 tbsp).

And I won’t even touch the question of what type of cups you are trying to convert to, check out our How many grams in a cup article on that topic.

In Defense Of Our Competitor

In defense of our competitor, the very website I was talking about at the beginning of this article, they state that the conversion is for water and US cups.

But as they come up for the phrase ‘convert 100 grams to cups‘, it’s still misleading.

If not from part of the website, than from part of Google.

This is not a straightforward conversion, even if people think it is and therefore they are searching for it in a simple way, without specifying the ingredient. If you want to convert grams to cups, you always have to add the specific ingredient that you want to convert.

This is why you will never find a one button, generic grams to cups calculator on our website. It is this simple: there is no such conversion!