How much does a cup of cheese really weigh?

From   |  October 05, 2011
In Kitchen Basics

One of the biggest places of confusion in recipes is volume versus weight measurement. And cheese seems to be the most confusing. So I scanned the Internet for an easy to understand explanation of why 1 cup of cheese equals only 4 ounces in weight, not 8 ounces like we assume it would. 1 cup equals 8 ounces, right? Well not always....
The good folks at Sargento have this very question on their FAQ’s page and I have copied their answer here:

Q. Your package is labeled as containing 8 ounces of cheese and says that's 2 cups. I thought 8 ounces equals 1 cup.
Sargento packages our products by weight, not by volume. A package labeled as 8 ounces weighs 8 ounces. We also give the corresponding cup (volumetric) measurement for ease in recipe use. A package of shredded cheese that weighs 8 ounces fills a 2 cup measuring cup. Although there are 8 ounces in a liquid cup measure, 8 ounces in weight won’t always yield the same cup measure. Eight ounces of shredded cheese equals 2 cups; four ounces of shredded cheese equals 1 cup.
Some other food examples might be even easier to visualize. Eight ounces of corn flakes equals 8 cups. Eight ounces of popped popcorn equals 16 cups. Cup measure will vary based on the density of the food product.

When ever confusion slips in when I am tried or have tested way too many recipes, I remember a riddle my fourth grade teacher asked us one day: Which weighs more a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers? The answer is of course they weigh the same – one pound. But obviously the volume of feathers it would take to weigh a pound is wayyyy more than bricks because of each one’s density.


From michael - December 23, 2012

Thanks for sharing this. Most helpful. As a European living in the US I get confused by the whole cups thing. I'm used to something like 100g of grated cheese which is very clear and very easy to follow. That said, I'm having lots of fun learning a new way of cooking at trying some fabulous American recipes!

From Cody - February 26, 2014

Thank you. Very helpful!

Leave a Response