How Many Tablespoons in a Cup


Tablespoons and cups are technically two of the most commonly used unit of measurement for volume and weight because they are practically used in cooking. Cups are often normally used for dry ingredients while tablespoons are used for both dry and liquid ingredients. Because tablespoons are more versatile to use, it is important to know how many tablespoons are there in a cup.

Aside from just knowing how many tablespoons are in a cup, it is also equally important to know if there are other measurements for it just like other standards of measurement. Through this, you will no longer have to worry if you are putting in the right amount of dry and liquid ingredients next time you cook. So here you go, how many tablespoons are there in a cup.


What are the differences between Tablespoons and cups around the world?

Technically, there are four types of measurements across the world; the international metric system, the imperial cup system, the US metric system and the UK metric system. Let us take these following differences of tablespoons and cups around the world as an example.

In the US, two main sizes of cups are available: the legal cup and the customary cup, so it depends on which type you use before you convert it to tablespoons. Now the customary cup is the one used for traditional American recipes like pies and bread and one customary cup is equal to 16 US tablespoons. For the legal cup that is used basically for food and drug authorities and goods manufacturers to label their nutrition facts, one cup is equal to 16.24 tablespoons.

1 customary cup = 16 US tablespoons

1 legal cup = 16.24 tablespoons

Since the US conversion is the basis of the international metric system, we would find slight differences in tablespoon to cup conversions in other countries. Take for example the case of UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

In the UK, they have this thing called imperial tablespoon which is very important because almost all dishes in the UK are based on old British recipes. Instead of the standard one cup is equal to 16 tablespoons, the UK imperial tablespoon is only 13 tablespoons in a cup.

1 UK cup = 13 tablespoons

Canada on the other hand adjusted their conversion from 16.2 tablespoons a cup to the standard 16 of the US because they have a close economic relationship when it comes to the import and export of dry and liquid ingredients since they are neighbors.

1 Canadian cup = 16.2 tablespoons

Australia has a complex case because it is considered as the only country who still uses the old tablespoon measurement of 15mL.

Following this figure, one cup in Australia is 13 tablespoons.

1 Australian cup = 13 tablespoons

The South African conversion is the biggest one since one cup using the metric system is converted to 16.91 tablespoons.

1 South African cup = 16.91 tablespoons

Customary cup
Legal cup
UKCanadaAustraliaSouth African
A cup16 tbsp16.24 tbsp13 tbsp16.2 tbsp13 tbsp16.91 tbsp

How to convert tablespoons to cups

Tablespoon conversions

This easy infographic which could help you easily visualize the basic conversion of tablespoons to cups. In this infographic, we use the international metric system’s standard of measurement which is 16 tablespoons in one cup.

But if you are not satisfied with this and want to convert it yourself, you need to multiply the cup to the value of 16 because as we have already mentioned, it is the internationally recognized measurement for cup. If you are outside the US, just follow the standard measurement for each country.

How many tablespoons in 1/2 cup?

As have been mentioned previously, we need to multiply the cup to 16 being the standard value of cup to tablespoon conversions. So for a ½ cup, you need to multiply 0.5 to 16. That will give you an answer of 8 which means that for every 1/2 cup, you need 8 tablespoons as equivalent.

How many tablespoons in 1/16 cup?

1/16 cup = 1/16*16 = 1 tablespoon

How many tablespoons in 1/8 cup?

1/8 cup = 1/8*16 = 2 tablespoons

How many tablespoons in 1/6 cup?

1/6 cup = 1/6*16 = 2.67 tablespoons = 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (0.67 tablespoons = 2 teaspoons)

How many tablespoons in 1/4 cup?

1/4 cup = 1/4*16 = 4 tablespoons

How many tablespoons in 1/3 cup?

1/3 cup = 1/3*16 = 5.33 tablespoons = 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (0.33 tablespoons = 1 teaspoon)

How many tablespoons in 2/3 cup?

In the same way, if you need to convert 2/3 cup to tablespoon, you need to multiply 0.666875, the decimal conversion of 2/3 to 16. That will give you 10.67 tablespoons. Now, the problem here is that, how will you measure the 0.67 in tablespoons? Almost all recipe sites tell us that the remainder is converted to teaspoons. In the case of the 2/3 cups converted to tablespoons, that would be 10 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons.

For you to be able to get through the remainders, you also need to know the standard conversion of tablespoons to teaspoons.

Using the international metric system, one tablespoon is equal to 3 teaspoons. In events of inexact remainders like 0.67, the common predilection is to just use your instinct about it. After all, it is recognized that 2 tablespoon less or two tablespoon more would not really make a significant change in the taste and texture of a pastry for example. But for dishes that are especially made for people with certain health conditions which need the accurate conversion, it is best to know the exact measurement.

2/3 cup = 2/3*16 = 10.67 tablespoons = 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons

How many tablespoons in 3/8 cup?

3/8 cup = 3/8*16 = 6 tablespoons

That’s easy!

How to measure

Country1 cup1/2 cup1/4 cup1/8 cup2/3 cup3/4 cup
United States, Canada and Germany16 tbsp8 tbsp4 tbsp2 tbsp10.67 tbsp12 tbsp
United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries16.24 tbsp8.12 tbsp4.6 tbsp2.3 tbsp10.83 tbsp12.18 tbsp
Australia and New Zealand13 tbsp6.5 tbsp3.25 tbsp1.625 tbsp8.67 tbsp9.75 tbsp
South Africa16.91 tbsp8.45 tbsp4.22 tbsp2.11 tbsp11.26 tbsp12.68 tbsp


Basically, we have given you the standard computation in how to measure cups through tablespoons which is multiplying the number of cups you have into 16 because it is the standard conversion value of cups to tablespoons.

But since we also said that the conversion may differ depending on the country you are in or where the measuring cups are manufactured, you still need to know the standard cup to tablespoon conversions in other countries in the world. For this, the table below might come in handy for you.

It might seem complicated because of the varying numerical values but once you get the hang of it, you will be a pro at conversion in no time.

For this matter, you also need to check where your measuring cups are manufactured. If you bought it in sets, you will find it written in the box. If you bought it per piece in retail stores, you could find it beneath the cup. Through this, you could follow the exact conversions depending on the place where the cup was made. This might take a bit of your time but better check it for your dishes’ sake.


This is not the only unit conversion that might come in handy for you. When you search the net, the most commonly converted measurement unit when it comes to volume is cup.

That is because it is mainly used in cooking which we all know must have accurate measurements for the recipe to be followed. Nevertheless, this article also aimed to emphasize that even standard measurements are not standardized after all.

Therefore, it is essential for us to be aware of these especially if we embark on jobs and hobbies that need standard conversion. It also kind of tells us of how culturally and geographically bound conversion systems are because tablespoon to cup conversions like all other conversions differ across the globe.

Other conversions


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