Use the right measuring cup.
For dry ingredients (except for sticky ones, like brown sugar), give the contents of the bag or canister a stir, spoon them into the cup until they’re overflowing, and then level the top using a straight edge, such as the back of a knife—never shake or tap the cup to level, as you might pack the contents down and end up with more than you need. Exception: Many recipes call for firmly packed brown sugar. Spoon it into a dry measuring cup or measuring spoon, and pack it down with the back of a spoon until it’s level with the rim.
For liquids, fill up the cup to the marking on the outside, and then bend down to check at eye level. Hint: Measuring liquids in dry measuring cups is OK. But when it comes to accuracy, measuring dry ingredients in liquid measuring cups doesn’t work. Measuring spoons, on the other hand, work fine for both dry and wet ingredients.
Want specifics? Our handy chart helps you measure right every time.