The Easy Way to Measure Coconut Oil (or any solid type oil you may want to measure)

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I was making some sugar cookies yesterday and got out my coconut oil to measure and thought… hmmmmmm. I wonder if anyone else knows this little secret?

When that whispery voice pops in my head and asks me that, I know I just have to share it with you. Even if my other mind says, Um, yeah. duh.

So, here’s my tip for you today. It’s THE best way to measure Coconut Oil or shortening (if anyone still uses that these days).

Here's a little secret for how to measure coconut oil - or shortening, if anyone still uses that anymore! You'll get a more accurate measurement and have some scientific fun while you bake!

Grab your coconut oil and make sure it’s solid.  Coconut oil has a melting point of 76 °F, so in the summer mine can get a bit liquidy.

Then fill a glass measuring cup with 1 cup of cool water.  Again, if you are measuring coconut oil and your water is warm, you’re going to have a bit of a mess.

measure coconut oil-2

Then just start plopping spoonfuls of oil in the water.  You’ll know you have enough when the water measures what you need plus 1 Cup.

For example, I needed 1/3 Cup of Coconut Oil, so I stopped when my water level reached 1 1/3 cup.  Shazam.

measure coconut oil-3

That’s called displacement.  Remember that from Science class? And you thought you’d never use it.

Now you can go call your high school science teacher and apologize for ever doubting the importance of science education.  (Unless you were like me and loved science.  Then you can sit and smile at how you knew this would come in handy someday.)

measure coconut oil-4

Just lift the coconut oil (or shortening) out of the water with a slotted spoon and get on with your baking.

Now some of you may be asking, Why?  Why do I need to use water to measure out my oil?

First, you get an accurate measurement.

Second, you don’t have to try and scrape out that measuring cup and leave half of it behind stuck to the sides and bottom.

Third?  It’s just so stinkin’ fun.  Way too much fun.

Have you ever used this method before?  Let me know down in the comments below!


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  1. Wow that’s an awesome tip! My coconut oil is completely melted and has been for the entire summer (hello window air units) haha Once cooler temps hit I’ll keep this tip in mind for measuring though!

    1. Thanks so much, Kels! Mine has been goopy, too, but now that it’s cooling down, I totally do this!

      Have a great day!

      1. I learned this in home economics class many years ago. It’s a very useful tip. As for coconut oil getting too soft, just refrigerate in the summer!

  2. Oh my goodness, duh! LOL, thank you soooooo much! This is a million times easier than trying to scoop cold hard coconut oil and squishing it into a measuring cup and then cleaning out said measuring cup. Thanks for this huge time saver! 🙂

    1. Courtney,
      You are so welcome! Glad to make your life a little easier.

  3. I like the water displacement measure too…but easier still is to weigh it…1/2 C coconut oil is 3.8 oz!

  4. I’ve not measured hard oils in this manner for years (maybe since 7th grade Home Economics class), but I’m glad to have found your post about it, as I could NOT remember just how much water to put in the glass measure cup.

  5. i remember this lesson!!! and the cooking class teacher used it time and again with shortening. i recall how i loved the ease and am using it now again. it has been years since i used shortening but today i ran out of my vegetable oil and decided to use that solid coconut oil in the general pantry area, then thought to my self: “hmmm… do you remember how measure this coconut oil precisely?. nope. then let’s go look it up!” glad i did and found your post. thanks!!!

  6. Please be sure to push the coconut oil or whatever you are measuring BENEATH the surface of the water! Otherwise, your measurement is not accurate.. It doesn’t look accurate in the photo above.

    p.s. — yes, everyone’s mother taught them this one, didn’t she?

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