how to half and third a recipe with measurements

How to Measure Half & ⅓ of a Recipe

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This is a really great handy guide to print & keep taped inside your cupboard as a quick reference when you’re reducing a recipe.

While it’s easy to know what half of ½ cup is, it takes me longer to figure out ¼ of ⅓ cup when I’m elbows deep in flour!  Just print a copy (or 2) of this quick reference guide and you can tape it inside your cupboard or favorite cookbook!

Print yours here

Here are a few other handy tips to keep in mind when reducing a recipe!

Choosing a recipe:  Not all recipes can be reduced.  Casseroles and most savory dishes can be easily halved.  Items containing yeast (such as breads), whole pie shells etc don’t always work well when halved so they may require a little bit of trial and error or creativity (eg.  you can’t really make ½ a pie.. but you can often make tarts using the same recipe).  If you’re not sure that your recipe can be divided, check if it can be frozen.  Most cakes and pies can be frozen so you can make the whole recipe and freeze a portion for later.

To divide an egg:  Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk until bubbly.  1 large egg is approx. 3 tablespoons.  If you need ½ an egg, use 1 ½ tablespoons.  If you need ⅓ egg, use 1 tablespoon.

Time & Temperature

When reducing the size of a recipe, you will also want to reduce the size of the pan you are using.  With a savory recipe (such as a casserole) you don’t want the ingredients spread out too thin as your dish will dry out.

When dividing a recipe and baking, you will need to make some adjustments from the original directions.  As a general rule, the temperature can stay exactly the same (there will be a few exceptions to the rule).

Time can often be reduced to about ⅔ when reducing a recipe by half, your best bet is to set the timer early and check on your dish.

More great tips here



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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. I was looking at your conversion chart…. I have a misunderstanding with it. It says that 2 Tablespoons and 2 teaspoons are 1/3 of a cup if you are halving the recipe. But when you cut the recipe down to 1/3rds, it ha 2 Tablespoons and 2 teaspoons = 1/2 cup. Please tell me I didn’t forget all I was taught.

    1. The chart refers to the new measurement that you would use if you are making 1/2 of a recipe, or making ⅓ of a recipe. The amounts are not equivalents to the measurements, they are the reduced measurement. Hope that helps, Marsha!

  2. Thank you for all the wonderful tips!!! I don’t feel like the only one that needs a little help every now & then!!