Converting German Measurements to American Measurements

dry measuring cups with spices
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How to Convert German Cooking Measurements to American Measurements

If you live in the United States, it would be incorrect to say you want to convert a German recipe from metric measurements to English measurements. English measurements would imply the use of the Imperial System, which is standard in the United Kingdom and is different from American measurements. So, you would say I want to convert a German recipe from metric measurements to American measurements, commonly called United States Customary Units.

First Things First

Here are a few tips for converting your favorite German recipe so you can use it in an American kitchen. Germans measure solids by weight and liquids with everyday utensils (coffee cup, spoon, etc., or with a liter measure), so:

  • 1 coffee cup (Tasse or T) = approximately 150 ml or .634 American cup
  • 1 large soup spoon (Essloeffel or Eβlöffel or EL) = approximately 1 level tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon (Teelöffel or Teeloeffel or Teel. or T) = approximately 1 level teaspoon
  • 1 knife tip (Messerspitze) = 1/8 teaspoon or 1 pinch

Adjectives used in German Recipes to Modify the Measurements:

  • gehäuft(e) – heaping, as in heaping teaspoon
  • gestrichen(e) – level, as in level teaspoon

Don't Worry

Don't be afraid to experiment with a German recipe. If your measurements are a little off in a savory recipe, it won't be the end of the world. Baking, on the other hand, is a science and requires precise measurements.

That's when I would use the chart below and the link to the handy conversion tool, also provided below.

A chart to help you make some commonly used conversions:

Metric to U.S. Equivalents
100 ml2/5 cup
250 ml1+ cup
1 liter1 quart + a bit
100 g white flour7/8 cup
100 g white sugar1 cup
100 g butter7 tablespoons

Here is a handy conversion tool that will convert just about any measurement proportion from metric to U,S. equivalents and vice-versa just by plugging in the number and the unit desired.