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How Many Teaspoons in a Tablespoon?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Nov 1, 2019 3:00:00 PM

General Education

 

feature_measuring_spoons

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or simply want to learn more about cooking, it’s important to know the basic conversions for dry measurements. This is especially crucial if you find that your one tablespoon is in the dishwasher!

So how many teaspoons in a tablespoon? How many tablespoons in a cup? We answer all these questions and more in this guide to conversions for imperial dry measurements. We also give you a couple of tips for memorizing these need-to-know conversions.

 

How Many Teaspoons in a Tablespoon?

There are 3 teaspoons (tsp) in 1 tablespoon (tbsp, Tbsp, or T).

So if you didn’t have a tablespoon on hand and had a recipe that called for 1 tablespoon of some ingredient, you could use a teaspoon three times to get that same amount.

Here’s a quick teaspoon to tablespoon conversion chart you can use as a reference:

Tablespoon (tbsp)

Teaspoon (tsp)

4 tbsp

12 tsp

3 tbsp

9 tsp

2 tbsp

6 tsp

1 tbsp

3 tsp

1/2 tbsp

1 1/2 tsp

 

The pattern here is simply multiplying the number of tablespoons you’ll need by 3 to get the equivalent number of teaspoons. So if a recipe calls for 3 tbsp of butter, for example, you could substitute that with 9 tsp of butter (because 3 * 3 = 9).

If, on the other hand, you need to convert tsp to tbsp, you would do the opposite and divide the number of tsp by 3. Instead of 6 tsp of cinnamon, for instance, you could use 2 tbsp (because 6 ÷ 3 = 2).

So how many tsp in a tbsp? 3. This also means that 1 tsp = 1/3 tbsp.

Now, what if you need to convert tsp to cups? Or cups to tbsp?

 

body_measuring_cupsjoeyz51/Flickr

 

Imperial Dry Measurements Conversion Chart

Many recipes that call for dry ingredients, such as flour, sugar, baking powder, or specific spices, will require you to use not only teaspoons and tablespoons but also cups, which are even bigger than tablespoons.

But what if you don’t have any cups? Or you need to cut a recipe in half and end up with strange measurements you don’t have measuring cups for, such as 1/6 cup or 3/8 cup?

This is why it’s helpful to know what the conversions are between tsp, tbsp, and cups. You already know there are 3 tsp in a tbsp, so what about cups? There are 16 tbsp in 1 cup; this means that there are 48 tsp in 1 cup.

The following chart shows all the major imperial dry measurement conversions you should know:

Cup (c)

Tablespoon (tbsp)

Teaspoon (tsp)

1 c

16 tbsp

48 tsp

3/4 c

12 tbsp

36 tsp

2/3 c

10 tbsp + 2 tsp

32 tsp

1/2 c

8 tbsp

24 tsp

3/8 c

6 tbsp

18 tsp

1/3 c

5 tbsp + 1 tsp

16 tsp

1/4 c

4 tbsp

12 tsp

1/6 c

2 tbsp + 2 tsp

8 tsp

1/8 c

2 tbsp

6 tsp

1/16 c

1 tbsp

3 tsp

 

Here’s a free PDF version of these measurement conversion charts so you can keep them for future reference (we suggest hanging it up in your kitchen). Simply click the image to download it:

body_imperial_dry_measurements_conversion_charts_thumbnail

 

2 Tips for Remembering Dry Measurement Conversions

To wrap up, here are two useful tips to help you better remember these conversions.

 

#1: For Tablespoons to Teaspoons, Multiply by 3

As we discussed above, 1 tbsp = 3 tsp. By this logic, 1 tsp = 1/3 tbsp.

If you need to convert tbsp to tsp, all you need to do is multiply the number of tbsp needed by 3. Likewise, if you’re doing a teaspoon to tablespoon conversion, you would need to simply divide the number of tsp by 3 to get its equivalent in tbsp.

Still having trouble remembering this? Try using this catchy saying: "One big T equals teaspoons three." (Remember that a tablespoon can be represented by a capital T!)

 

#2: For Cups to Tablespoons, Multiply by 16

Anytime you need to convert cups to tablespoons (or even to teaspoons), just recall that there are 16 tablespoons in 1 cup. Thus, to find out how many tbsp you need, simply multiply the number of cups a recipe calls for by 16.

For example, say a recipe calls for 1 3/4 cups of sugar but you only have a tablespoon on hand. All you'd need to do is multiply 1 3/4 by 16 to get its equivalent in tbsp:

1 3/4 = 7/4
7/4 * 16/1 = 112/4
= 28 tbsp

If you ever want to check your math, just use the chart above as a reference. In this case, you’d add together the number of tablespoons listed for both "1 cup" and "3/4 cup." This gets you the same answer: 28 tbsp.

 

What’s Next?

You now know how many tsp are in a tbsp and how many tbsp are in a cup—but what about how many cups are in a quart? Check out our article on how to convert cups to quarts.

What is the conversion between Fahrenheit and Celsius? Learn this easy and essential trick for converting from one unit of temperature to another.

Maybe you're wondering how to convert fractions to decimals. If so, you should definitely read our expert guide on it!

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Hannah Muniz
About the Author

Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.



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