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David Leite: Ever wonder why sometimes you bake cakes or cookies and they just don’t come out, even though you’ve made them a million times? Well, stick around and find out why.

David: Hi, I’m David Leite.

The One: I’m The One.

Annie Musso: And I’m Annie.

The One: Your gorgeous baked goods.

David: Your generous Genoises.

Annie: Your lofty layer cakes.

A 16-layer red-eye devil's food cake--alternating layer of chocolate cake and chocolate frosting
: Marcus Nilsson

David: And your boyish buxom banana breads.

The One: Often flop, and most of the time the reason why is the way you measure flour.

David: People measure flour one or two ways, either the dip-and-sweep method or the spoon and sweep method. But at Leite’s Culinaria, why go with normal nomenclature when we can make up our own terms? So we have dubbed them the–

The One: Bulldozer.

David: Versus.

Annie: The butterfly.

A torn croissant on a plate with more croissants on a rimmed baking sheet in the background.
: Quentin Bacon

David: And at this performance only, the role of the bulldozer will be played with brutish fierceness by The One, and the butterfly will be played with exquisite delicacy by Annie.

David: Now, the bulldozer goes in deep and scoops out a honking amount of flour, while the butterfly gently spoons the flour into her cup.

David: Now we weighed both cups of flour, and even we were shocked at the difference.

Annie: (Very infomercial-like) But what can we do about this, David?

David: (Even more infomercial-like) Why, I’m really glad you asked, Annie.

The One: You can use a scale to measure flour properly.

A stainless steel My Weight kitchen digital scale.
A buy button.

My Weigh KD-8000 Kitchen Scale, $49 on

David: Truly, weighing flour is the only way to get 100% reliable measurements, and that’s the reason why we’re adding weights to all of our baking recipes, as well as our cooking recipes.

The One: And if you don’t have a scale, there’s no need to rush out and buy one.

David: No. If you want to get perfect measurements, use this modified dip-and-sweep or a modified bulldozer technique.

David: First, fully aerate the flour with a spoon. Now, this eliminates any kind of packing. Then gently dip your cup in without touching the sides of the canister or the bag and you’re going to be fine.

The One: And of course, no two cooks every measure flour the same.

David: No.

The One: So please tell us how you measure flour in the comments below.

David: And let the great flour war continue!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. I have been wanting to purchase a food scale for just this reason, however the reviews I read really are not good on every brand I look at. Do y’all have a consensus of the best brand please?

    1. Maureen, that depends on the type of flour. For the recipes on our site, we use 135 grams/cup for all-purpose flour.

    2. Thanks Maureen for asking and thanks Angie for the answer!
      I noticed, while making Applesauce Bread, that the baking recipes don’t have measurements in grams or ounces. Then I found this article. The recipes don’t contain measurements in grams or ounces yet.

      1. Ellen, on the recipes, you can find the metric weight measurements for the ingredients by clicking on the ‘metric’ button on the right side of the ingredients box.