4 Tablespoons To Cups (4 Tbsp to Cups) (2024)

Home Cooking Basics

Published by Izzy

on May 30, 2023, Updated Nov 21, 2023

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Converting 4 tablespoons to cups seems simple. You may be asking yourself: “4 tablespoons is equal to how many cups” again? We’ve got you covered with tips on how to convert 4 tbsp to cups for every situation!

4 Tablespoons To Cups (4 Tbsp to Cups) (2)

Are you in the middle of whipping up a delicious recipe but can’t remember how many tablespoons are in a cup? With so many different measurement conversions out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed! Never fear – this blog post is here to help answer exactly that question.

Do 4 Tablespoons Equal a 1/4 Cup?

The short answer is yes: 4 tablespoons equals ¼ cup and this applies to liquids and dry ingredients. The only caveat is that both measures must be in the same system:

  • 4 US Customary tablespoons equal ¼ US Customary cup.
  • 4 US Legal tablespoons equal ¼ US Legal cup.
  • 4 UK Imperial tablespoons equal ¼ UK Imperial cup.
  • 4 metric tablespoons equal ¼ metric cup

The relationship does NOT hold if you are mixing measurement systems. For instance, 4 metric tablespoons do not equal ¼ cup in U.S. customary. Confused yet? Let’s explore this further.

4 Tbsp in Cups by Measurement System

There are multiple measurement systems using tablespoons and cups. They are:

  • US Customary: This is the system used for recipes in the US. One US tablespoon is defined as ½ fluid ounce or 3 teaspoons in US Customary (or 14.7868 mL in metric). One US Customary cup is 237 mL.
  • US Legal: This is the system used on nutrition labels and food packaging. One US Legal tablespoon is defined as ½ Legal fluid ounce or 3 Legal teaspoons (or 15 mL in metric) and one US Legal cup is 240 mL. So US Legal measurements are about 1.4% larger than US measurements.
  • Metric: This is the system used in Europe, Canada, Australia and other countries. A metric tablespoon is 15.625 mL and a metric cup is 250 mL, making metric measurements 5.7% larger than their US Customary counterparts.
  • UK Imperial: This is a system previously used in the UK and only found in older recipes. A UK Imperial tablespoon is defined as 17.76 mL and a UK Imperial cup is 284 mL. So UK Imperial measurements are 20% larger than their US counterparts.
  • Old Canadian: Before going metric in 1976, our Canadian friends had a tablespoon defined as 14.2 mL and a cup defined as 227.3 mL. This system is ancient, but some old Canadian kitchens may still have these measures lying around.

Here is how 4 tablespoons convert to cups in each of these four measurement systems:

TablespoonsUS CustomaryUS LegalMetricUK Imperial
4 tablespoons (US Customary), or 2 fl oz, or 59 mL¼ cup0.246 cup¼ cup (approx)0.236 cup0.208 cup

In practice, you won’t have problems with recipes switching between US Customary and US Legal. However, you can have problems following US recipes while taking measurements using metric or Imperial equipment.

4 Tablespoons To Cups (4 Tbsp to Cups) (3)

What is 4 Tablespoons Equal to in Cups?

What happens if you are taking the measurements with metric or Imperial or Legal measuring tools for a US recipe? You can have problems and especially with baked goods that depend on exact proportions.

Here’s how to convert 4 tablespoons from various systems into US Customary cups:

TablespoonsCups (US Customary)
4 Tbsp (US Customary)¼ cup (0.25 cup exactly)
4 Tbsp (US Legal)0.253 cup (¼ cup approx)
4 Tbsp (Metric)0.264 cup
4 Tbsp (UK Imperial)0.30 cup
4 Tbsp (Old Canadian)0.24 cup

Measuring Tips and Guidelines

Here are some handy tips to ensure you are taking accurate measurements:

  • Check your tablespoons to ensure you know what they are measuring. For example, US Customary tablespoons will have a label clearly indicating Tbsp or ½ fl oz. Note that teaspoons and dessert spoons are not the same as Tablespoons (Tbsp).
  • Scoop and level your ingredients – that means you should fill the tablespoon with the ingredient and use a knife to scrape across the top to make it exact, so it’s not heaping in any way.
  • Release sticky substances: Use nonstick cooking spray to thinly coat a tablespoon used for sticky substances like honey or molasses. That way the liquid won’t stick so you get a more accurate measure.
  • When you don’t have a tablespoon handy, you can use 3 teaspoons to make the equivalent or alternatively ½ fluid ounce in a shot glass.
  • For some ingredients like brown sugar, check whether the recipe calls for it to be “packed” when measured. If so, then you’ll need to pack each tablespoon to make ¼ cup packed.
4 Tablespoons To Cups (4 Tbsp to Cups) (4)

FAQ

Is 4 tablespoons Equal to 1/4 cup?

Yes, there are 4 tablespoons in ¼ cup.

Does 4 tablespoons Equal 1/3 of a cup?

No, 4 tablespoons do not equal ⅓ of a cup. They equal ¼ cup.

Do 4 Tablespoons Equal 1/8 cup?

No, 4 tablespoons do not equal ⅛ Cup. They equal ¼ cup.

How much is 4 tbsp of butter in a measuring cup?

4 tbsp of butter makes ¼ cup in a measuring cup.

How much are 4 Tablespoons Dry?

4 dry tablespoons is still equal to ¼ cup or 2 fluid ounces.

What do T, Tb, Tbs, and Tbsp stand for?

It is common to abbreviate tablespoons as T (note: uppercase letter), TB, tbl, tbs, or tbsp.

What Does t, tsp Stand For?

The abbreviations for teaspoons are t and tsp.

4 Tablespoons To Cups (4 Tbsp to Cups) (5)

Converting 4 Tbsp to Cups

By: Izzy

Converting 4 tablespoons to cups seems simple. You may be asking yourself: “4 tablespoons is equal to how many cups” again? We’ve got you covered with tips on how to convert 4 tbsp to cups for every situation!

Total: 5 minutes mins

Servings: 4 tablespoons

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Ingredients

Liquids

  • 4 tablespoons cold water

Dry Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar

Instructions

  • Check the label on your tablespoons. It should read Tbsp and ½ fl oz for US Customary tablespoons.

Liquids

  • Fill one tablespoon until level across the top. Pour into a small measuring cup or ¼ cup measure.

  • Repeat the previous step 3 more times, adding to the same cup. You should have ¼ cup exactly when finished. Use as directed in recipes.

Dry Ingredients

  • Scoop one tablespoon until heaping and scrape a knife across the top to level. Pour into a small measuring cup or ¼ cup measure.

  • Repeat the previous step 3 more times, adding to the same cup. You should have ¼ cup exactly when finished. Use as directed in recipes.

Notes

  • When measuring brown sugar, check whether the recipe calls for it to be “packed” or not. If so, pack each tablespoon full and level to make ¼ cup packed for consistency.

Nutrition information provided is an estimate only and will vary based on ingredient brands and cooking methods used.

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About Izzy

I'm Izzy, a food lover and photographer. Here you’ll find a collection of simple recipes that are perfect for busy people. My blog aims to help you make and enjoy delicious and healthy food at home.

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