Thought cups were just an American thing? Measuring ingredients by volume instead of weight makes baking super-easy

American "cups" can be a bit confusing to us Brits. What are they on about – a big cup? A teacup? An eggcup? 

 

The truth is you can't just use any old cup. American cups are an actual measure, with one cup equal to 240ml or 16 tablespoons. In fact there are Australian cups too ... but that's another story.

 

If it's the weighing and measuring that puts you off baking, ditch the kitchen scales and buy a set of measuring cups and spoons. It's way, way quicker.

 

 

Victoria sponge cake

Mastering the perfect sponge has perplexed many a baker. But with this awesome cups recipe, it's just a case of whizzing everything in the blender and giving it a bake. Nice to see how generous they are with the buttercream. God bless America.

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Double chocolate muffins

The double chocolate element here being one cup full of cocoa powder and a handful of chocolate chips. Satisfies any known craving.

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Key lime bars

Zesty, creamy, biscuity and with nothing artifical whatsoever, these key lime bars are a taste of the tropics.

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Upside-down blood orange cake

You can use any orange or fruit in this super-simple, super-tasty recipe. There's no denying that blood oranges up the drama though.

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Chocolate marshmallow whoopie pies 

Find whoopie pies a bit sweet? Try these little spaceships of gooey deliciousness. Made with black coffee and unsweetened cocoa powder they're definitely not for the kids.

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Banana bread

Love the decoration. Wouldn't mind that pattern on a shirt, actually.

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Strawberry margarita cupcakes

And if a cupcake went to a party this is what it would look like. Plus, they've got a strawberry-tequilla jam surprise inside. That's pretty jammy.

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Chocolate shortbread

What's better than shortbread? A chocolate shortbread cookie, of course. Just add tea.

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Classic madeleines 

The French like to pretend that baking's tricky. C'est pas vrai! Invest in a madeleine pan and you'll be turning out these scallop-shaped delicacies by the dozen. Heck. We might even open a bakery! *gets carried away*

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The ace of cups:

 

Here are some of our favourite measuring cups – handy for when you need to get your bake on.

 

Heart-shaped measuring cups, £8, sainsburys.co.uk

 

Beehive measuring cups, $9.99, worldmarket.com

 

Russet measuring cups, £24, anthropologie.eu