Wondering how many cups in a pint to make that recipe? Everything you need to know to accurately measure out your pints using cups is shared here so that you can quickly and easily make the conversion and get your recipe right the first time!
Cups to pints conversions are easy to do with only a few tips!
Have you ever found yourself wondering how big a pint is? Pints are a common unit of measurement, but it’s one of those units of measurement that people typically don’t spend much time thinking about.
A pint isn’t as common as many of the other standard units of measurement that are used in cooking and baking but is still important for culinary enthusiasts to know.
Whether you need to scale up or scale down a recipe that calls for a pint or you're looking to use a measuring cup to reach 1 pint because that’s the only measuring tool you have on hand. Maybe you just want to know exactly how much ice cream is in that pint of Ben and Jerry’s, this article explains it all!
Understanding the Pint
The exact origin of the word pint can’t be said for certain, but it is widely assumed that the word pint comes from the Old French word pinte, derived from the Latin word pincta, meaning “painting,” after the lines painted onto bottles that marked measurement.
Cups to Pints
Simply said, there are two cups in one U.S. pint. So, every time you measure 1 cup of something, you are measuring ½ pint. We measure out half pints and pints all of the time without even realizing it.
Kind of cool, right?! But depending on what you are measuring, you have to be mindful of the following measuring techniques to ensure your recipe turns out just right.
Imperial Pints vs. American Pints
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a pint is about 20% bigger than a customary U.S. pint because of the way that a gallon was defined in the 1824 British Weights and Measurements Act.
So, a pint in the U.K. is equivalent to 20 fluid ounces, while it is 16 fluid ounces in the United States.
Measuring Liquid Ingredients vs. Dry Ingredients
When it comes to baking, measurements play an important role in how well the final product comes out. Learning how to precisely measure ingredients ensures that no mishaps or mistakes, like the recipe being too moist, too dry, or not rising properly, happen along the way.
You have probably noticed that there are many different styles of measuring cups on the market, from big plastic or glass containers with handles on the sides and markings of measurements to hand-held plastic or metal measuring cups that only measure out one specific size.
But have you ever noticed that when it comes to the single measurement cups that are often used, there are actually two different kinds? The difference in these measuring cups depends on whether you are measuring out liquid ingredients or dry ingredients.
Measuring cups meant for liquids have little pouring spouts on the sides that make it easier to transfer the measured liquid to the larger container. They are also there to ensure that you don’t overfill the cup.
In contrast, measuring cups for dry ingredients have a smooth brim and flat top. Generally, to properly measure dry ingredients, take a butter knife and slide it across the top so that a clean, even amount of dry ingredients remains.
However, certain dry ingredients have special rules. Items like brown sugar are notorious for being packed tightly into the measuring cup, unlike flour, which should not be tightly packed because the recipe will be too dry.
To properly measure flours and powders, take a smaller spoon and scoop it into the measuring cup until there is enough to fill the measuring cup. Use the butter knife technique to then make an even amount. This is the 'scooped and leveled' seen in instructions!
For other items, such as rice, oats, or granulated sugars, fill the measuring cup until it is full, shimmying and shaking it until just right.
For liquid ingredients, either use an exact measuring cup that has a spout (for example, a cup that only holds ¼ cup) or a larger measuring cup with varying amounts. For the latter, set the measuring cup on a flat, level surface, and slowly pour out the liquid ingredient until it reaches the desired amount.
To best do this, bend down so that you are eye level with the measuring cup, which gives the most precise measurement.
When it comes to cups and pints, it’s pretty easy. 1 pint equals two cups, and two cups equal 1 pint. For more extensive conversions, follow the chart below!
Table 1. Conversions: Cups to Pints, etc.
|1 c||½ pt||¼ qt||1/16 gal||8 oz|
|2 c||1 pt||½ qt||⅛ gal||16 oz|
|4 c||2 pt||1 qt||¼ gal||32 oz|
|8 c||4 pt||2 qt||½ gal||64 oz|
|12 c||6 pt||3 qt||¾ gal||96 oz|
|16 c||8 pt||4 qt||1 gal||128 oz|
Do you remember the old math graphic in school? It was called Mr. Gallon, had a big G with C's, P's, and Q's, and basically outlined this quick conversion info:
- 2 cups = 1 pint
- 2 pints = 1 quart
- 4 quarts = 1 gallon
A Special Note About Liquid Pints vs Dry Pints
Usually, when a recipe calls for a pint, it is referring to a liquid pint, but if a recipe does specifically call for a dry pint, 1 U.S. dry pint equals 18.6 US fluid ounces or 2.325 cups.
Pint Sized Items
Now that we know how big a pint really is, it’s fun to think about all of the different items that are commonly sold in a pint, like your favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry’s or Haägen-Dazs or the ½ pint carton of milk reminiscent from your elementary school lunches.
Beer drinkers beware, despite ordering a pint from your local bartender, most pint glasses used in a restaurant or bar aren’t truly 16 ounces and typically fall closer to 14 ounces.
Whether you want to make tangible what a pint-sized measurement really is, learn the history of the pint and whether a US pint is the same as a UK pint, understand how to properly measure wet vs. dry ingredients, scale up or down a recipe, read a conversion chart, or brainstorm all of your favorite pint-sized items, this article has it all!
More Measurement Conversions
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!