How Many Tablespoons are There in a Cup?

Whenever you need to convert spoons, teaspoons and cups, keep this conversion table with you. Whether you need to split a recipe in half or just want to know the transition (hey, no judgement!), be sure to bookmark this page so any changes you make to the recipe are correct.

All conversions listed here are based on the US standard cup size (usually cup size or one cup size), which is also used throughout the blog. Of course, every recipe posted also has metric conversions to grams and liters, as well as notes that other measurements (like ounces) may apply.

Are cup measurements the same everywhere? Unfortunately, they are not! Depending on your recipe, this may or may not affect the results.

Recipes that use cups to measure ingredients like carrots, celery, onions, or mushrooms won’t affect the overall flavor of the dish by having more or less of one ingredient. Especially baking recipes that require you to measure the flour need to be accurate. Know where the recipe developer is and use a measuring cup of the same unit for best results.

United States Customs System (USCS)

  • 1 US cup = 236.588 ml
  • 1 US cup = 16 US tablespoons (tbsp)
  • 1 US cup = 15.77 metric tablespoons (UK, International)

US Legal Cup (for FDA Nutrition Labeling)

1 US legal cup = 240ml
1 US legal cup = 16.2307 US tablespoons (Tbsp)
1 US legal cup = 16 metric tablespoons (UK, international)

Metric and Imperial Cups

1 metric cup (international) = 250 ml
1 Royal Cup = 284.131 ml
1 metric cup (Australian) = 12 Aussie tablespoons
*Cup size from calculator website.

When baking, it’s best to measure the ingredients with a kitchen scale. Zero the scale and measure your ingredients. If a recipe calls for screening, measure your ingredients before screening.

Even when baking, I usually still use a measuring cup (especially with recipes I’m already familiar with). To use the measuring cup properly, fill the measuring cup and use a knife to scrape off the top and level the ingredients.

How Many Teaspoons in a Tablespoon?

There are three teaspoons in one tablespoon.

Imperial vs Metric

In the United States, the imperial system is still used for measurements. It was originally called the imperial system, but when the US was founded, we kept the imperial system and many other countries switched to the metric system.

Imperial units of measurement include pounds, feet, quarts, inches, and miles. Most countries now use the metric system, using units such as grams, meters, liters, kilograms, and kilometers.

However, when it comes to chef-specific measurements, many places identify cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons as volumetric measurements!

Basic Spoon Conversion

The short answer to how many tablespoons are in a cup is 16 tablespoons. So if you need 4 tablespoons, you can use ¼ cup. For 8 tablespoons, use ½ cup. Or use ¾ cup 12 tablespoons.

The table below shows all of this and more, along with fluid ounces per cup equivalent.

Tablespoon (TBSP) Dry (cup) Liquid (fl. oz.)

  • 16 tablespoons 1 cup 8 fl oz
  • 12 tablespoons ¾ cup 6 fl oz
  • 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons ⅔ cup 4 ⅔ fluid ounces
  • 8 tablespoons ½ cup 4 fl oz
  • 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon ⅓ cup 2 ⅓ fluid ounces
  • 4 tablespoons ¼ cup 2 fl oz
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons ⅙ cup 1 ⅓ fluid ounce
  • 2 tablespoons ⅛ cup 1 fl oz
  • 1 tablespoon (or 3 teaspoons) 1/16 cup ½ fluid ounce

How many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?

For each tablespoon in the recipe, there are 3 teaspoons. or 1 ½ tsp ½ tbsp. For sizes smaller than a teaspoon, you can measure by hand.

  • 1 teaspoon is about the size of a fingertip, from the outermost knuckle to the fingertip.
  • As mentioned above, ½ teaspoon is about half the size of a fingertip.
  • ¼ teaspoon is about a pinch between your thumb and two fingers (index and middle).
  • ⅛ A teaspoon or “pinch” is roughly equivalent to pinching with your thumb and two fingers as described above.
  • 1/32 teaspoon or “dab” about a pinch with just your thumb and forefinger.
  • The liquid ingredient spewed out like a pinch, about ⅛ teaspoon.

Liquid metering (by volume)

When measuring liquids, it is important to use a measuring cup designed for liquids. You should not use the standard measuring cup set for dry ingredients.

The easiest part of measuring liquids is that 8 ounces of water really weighs 8 ounces. Here are some other quick references for converting fluid ounces:

  • 1 fl oz 2 tablespoons
  • 2 fl oz ¼ cup
  • 4 fl oz ½ cup
  • 6 fl oz ¾ cup
  • 8 fl oz 1 cup
  • 12 fl oz 1 ½ cup
  • 16 fl oz 2 cups (or 1 pint)
  • 32 fl oz 4 cups (or 1 quart)
  • 128 fl oz 1 gallon

If you have other conversions you’d like to add, just ask! I’ll be adding more over time, so I hope you’ll check back and let me know if you find these tidbits helpful!