Fats are measured by sticks, by cups, by weight and by tablespoons - so it's no wonder many a baking mistake is made when measuring fats.
For example, a common error is to think that one stick of butter is equal to one cup. Unfortunately, this is not true. One stick of butter is equal to 1/2 cup. Shortening, on the other hand, contains 1 cup in a stick. It is for this reason that Quaker lists fat measurements in recipes by the number of sticks, tablespoons (so that they can be "counted" on the stick of fat) and/or the weight. We believe that this method will be less confusing to the many novice bakers who are just discovering the joys of baking!
To measure stick butter or margarine
If the recipe calls for less than 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons), count the number of tablespoons on the wrapping markings. With a sharp knife, carefully cut on the lines found on the butter/margarine stick wrapper. It is best to cut the butter while it is still at refrigerator temperature, as you will not get an accurate measurement if the butter is too soft. REMEMBER, one stick of butter or margarine is equal to 1/2 cup and not 1 cup!
To measure an unquartered, 1 pound block of butter or margarine
Allow butter to soften just slightly -- DO NOT soften in the microwave, as it typically will become too soft. Pack it into a dry (nested) measuring cup. Then use a metal spatula or the straight edge of a knife blade to level it even with the top of the cup.
To measure butter or margarine in a tub
Trick question. DO NOT use butter or margarine found in tubs, as it is not suitable for baking.
To measure stick solid shortening
Keep in mind that shortening sticks contain one cup of shortening as compared to the 1/2 cup found in a stick of butter or margarine. With a sharp knife, carefully cut on the lines found on the stick wrapper.
To measure solid shortening in a can
Using a spoon or rubber spatula, scoop shortening out of can and pack into a dry (nested) measuring cup. Then use a metal spatula or the straight edge of a knife blade to level it even with the top of the cup.
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