How Many Cups In A Liter: Handy Guide For Precise Measuring

What volume is in a liter? We will respond to this query and assist you in perfecting the exact measurements so that you never again struggle with a recipe.

Cooking may appear easy, particularly to people who have never done it on their own.

It appears that all you have to do is read the recipe and adhere to a few simple directions. Why do so many people try it and fail?

I’ll reveal a secret to you. It’s not as easy as it first appears. Even if you have the perfect recipe, your kitchen may still be untidy and your supper may wind up in the garbage.

How come?

Although there are many potential problems, I’ll focus on measuring-related difficulties today.

Imagine that you have discovered a fantastic recipe online, read the reviews, and ensured that it would come out well.

Sadly, there is a problem: the recipe uses measures that you are not accustomed to, such as cups rather than milliliters.

In such situations, metric, imperial, and US conversion tables come in handy as they guide you and help you prepare the recipe the right way.

I’ve also created Cooking Measurements and Unit Conversion Table to help you out.

Or you could opt out of other conversion calculator apps.

Quite often, recipes call for cups of water or milk, while some other recipes require you to measure your liquid ingredients in milliliters and liters.

The question arises: How many cups are in a liter?

I will resolve this dilemma for you…:)

Also, check out my special kitchen cheat sheet.

How Many Cups in a Liter?

How Many Cups In A Liter

Let us cut right to the chase!

We all know that recipes require precision and that we have to measure the ingredients accurately if we want to be successful.

Besides a reliable kitchen scale, it would be a good idea to have a set of measuring cups as well.

As we said, recipes often call for cups of milk or water, but there are different kinds of cups, and it is sometimes safer to measure liquid ingredients in millimeters, deciliters, and liters.

In general, and quite roughly, one liter is usually considered equivalent to about four average cups.

However, the measurement differs somewhat depending on which type of cups are used.

There are the following types of cups:

  1. Metric
  2. U.S. customary
  3. U.S. “legal.”
  4. Canadian
  5. Imperial
  6. Japanese
  7. Traditional Japanese cups

For us, it is most important to know the metric, US, and the UK or Imperial system as that is what we encounter in our day-to-day life. So, here we go:

1. The Metric System

  • In the metric system, 1 liter equals 1000 mL. One metric cup equals 250 mL. You can easily calculate how many cups there are in one liter: 1000 / 250 = 4. Therefore, there are four cups in one liter in the metric system.

2. For Imperial System (UK)

  • We often find recipes written for the UK audience – it is logical as we share the same language. Unfortunately, we do not share the same measuring system as well. British people rely on the Imperial system.
  • One imperial cup has a capacity of 284.131 mL or 10 imperial fluid ounces. One liter equals 1000 mL or 35.1951 imperial fluid ounces. That means that math is as follows: 35.1951 / 10 = 3.51951. As you can see, there are 3.51951 imperial cups in one liter in the UK system.

3. The US system

  • In the United States, we rely on the so-called US cup when it comes to measuring liquids. 1 US cup has a capacity of 236.58 mL or 8 US fluid ounces. One liter equals 1000 mL or 33.814 US fluid ounces.
  • The math is the same as in the previous example: 33.814 / 8 = 4.22675. Hence, there are 4.22675 cups in one liter in the US system.

Word of Caution

Nowadays, people in the UK use the metric system rather than the imperial one.

In translation, the modern recipes will deal with metric cups rather than traditional imperial cups.

How can you know whether the person who wrote the recipe meant the imperial cup or the metric one?

You can never be 100% sure, but if you find the recipe in the old recipe book, you can assume that the conversion you need is from the imperial system (3.52 cups in 1 liter).

If you find the recipe online, which is more likely, the answer is probably 4 cups per liter as given in the metric system.

Related article: How Many Ounces There Are In A Shot; How Many Tablespoons Are In One Ounce

What to Do When You Need to Convert More than One Liter into Cups?

Convert More Than One Liter Into Cups

It is quite simple, you will use the same logic and the same math formula and multiply the number of liters with the number of cups – of course, this number will be different depending on the system you are referring to.

Let us label the number of liters with an “x,” the math would then be as follows:

  • The US system: X multiplied by 4.22675
  • The Imperial system: X multiplied by 3.51951
  • The metric system: X multiplied by 4

Here are some examples that will clarify everything even further:

If you are interested in finding out how many US cups there are in a liter and a half, you will simply multiply 1.5 by 4.22675 and find out that you need 6.34 US cups.

Likewise, you can use this volume units conversion tool to convert between imperial, US, and metric cups and liters.

Volume Units in Short + 2 Practical & Easy to Follow Reference Lists

Volume Units In Short

1. Liter

It is a metric system volume unit, and the abbreviation used to label it is “L.”

  • 1L = 1000 mL = 33.814 US fluid ounces = 35.1951 imperial fluid ounces.

2. Cup

Cup is another volume unit used to measure both liquids and dry ingredients (with some differences discussed later). The abbreviation used to mark one cup is “c.”

  • 1 US c = 8 US fluid ounces
  • 1 imperial c = 10 imperial fluid ounces
  • 1 metric cup = 250 mL.

Word of Caution: Dry cups vs. Liquid cups

The US liquid cups are different from US dry cup measurements, and you should acknowledge that before you start converting the measurements provided in your recipe.

If you need to measure dry ingredients such as flour or sugar, you should use a dry measuring cup. In this way, the measurement will be far more precise as it is often too hard to level off the dry ingredients in the liquid measuring cup.

After all, dry cups convert to grams and ounces and cannot directly translate to milliliters and liters, and the same goes the other way around.

Further Reading: How Many Ounces There Are In A Quart


Practical reference list for the metric measurement system:

  • 1/4 cup: 60 mL
  • 1/3 cup: 70 mL
  • 1/2 cup: 125 mL
  • 2/3 cup: 150 mL
  • 3/4 cup: 175 mL
  • 1 cup: 250 mL
  • 1 1/2 cups: 375 mL
  • 2 cups: 500 mL
  • 4 cups: 1 liter

Practical reference list for the Metric to Imperial conversion:

  • 25 ml: 1 fl oz
  • 50 ml: 2 fl oz
  • 75 ml: 2 1/2 fl oz
  • 100 ml: 3 1/2 fl oz
  • 125 ml: 4 fl oz
  • 150 ml: 5 fl oz
  • 175 ml: 6 fl oz
  • 200 ml: 7 fl oz
  • 225 ml: 8 fl oz
  • 250 ml: 9 fl oz
  • 300 ml: 10 fl oz
  • 350 ml: 12 fl oz
  • 400 ml: 14 fl oz
  • 425 ml: 15 fl oz
  • 450 ml: 16 fl oz
  • 500 ml: 18 fl oz
  • 600 ml: 1 pint
  • 700 ml: 1 1/4 pints
  • 850 ml: 1 1/2 pints
  • 1 liter: 1 3/4 pints


Learning how many cups in a liter will make you one step closer to mastering precise measuring and perfecting your cooking skills.

If you have anything to add, feel free to do so. If not, share the knowledge! 🙂

Before you go, you might want to find out How Many Cups in a Pound of Powdered Sugar or get help in choosing a countertop water filter.


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