Cake Flour Substitute

Cake Flour Substitute

By Erin Huffstetler | 04/02/2020 | No Comments

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Cake flour costs more than all-purpose flour, and it usually contains bleached flour. If you’re trying to avoid buying it for either of these reasons, or you just aren’t interested in adding another flour to your pantry, this simple cake flour substitute is the answer. It can be made with or without cornstarch, to suit your preferences and dietary needs.

What is Cake Flour Anyway?

Cake flour is a finely ground flour, made from soft wheat. It’s lower in protein than all-purpose flour — coming in at 5-8% protein, as compared to the 9-12% that all-purpose contains. With less gluten-producing protein in each cup of flour, cakes made from cake flour are softer and have a finer texture.

How to Make a Homemade Cake Flour Substitute

What You’ll Need:

  • All-purpose flour (bleached or unbleached)
  • Cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Cake flour is usually made from bleached flour. Bleaching raises the acidity, which allows the starches in the flour to absorb more moisture. This results in a more tender, moist and uniform cake. But don’t feel like you have to use bleached flour. I’ve been making my cake flour with unbleached flour for years, with great results. King Arthur doesn’t use bleached flour in their cake flour, either.

What You Do:

For every cup of cake flour called for: Measure two Tablespoons of cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) into a one-cup measuring cup. Then, spoon all-purpose flour into the cup, until it’s filled to overflowing. Level the top, to remove any excess flour. Then, dump the mixture into a bowl, and stir, to ensure the cornstarch is well-integrated with the flour. If you own a flour sifter, sifting it is even better.

Use your homemade cake flour in place of the cake flour in your recipe.

Need more than a cup of cake flour?

2 cups = 1/4 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) + 1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour

8 cups (the equivalent of one store-bought box) = 1 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) + 7 cups all-purpose flour

Store your homemade cake flour in an air-tight container to maintain its freshness.

Why This Works:

When you add cornstarch to flour, it softens the protein, so you end up with that soft, tender cake texture that you’re after.

If You Can’t Find Cake Flour in Your Country . . .

This cake flour substitute is a great stand in, but the ingredients may not be familiar to you. That’s because all-purpose flour is called plain flour in the UK, and cornstarch is called corn flour (which is not to be confused with cornmeal).

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Cake Flour Substitute

Cake Flour Substitute

Save money and avoid unwanted ingredients. Here’s how to make a simple cake flour substitute.


  • Author: Erin Huffstetler, MyFrugalHome.com
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Ingredient Substitutions
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: Global

Ingredients:

  • 1 scant cup all-purpose flour (bleached or unbleached)
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Instructions:

Spoon cornstarch or arrowroot into a one-cup measure cup.

Spoon all-purpose flour into the cup, until full. Level off any excess.

Then, pour the mixture into a bowl, and stir to combine the cornstarch and flour. A flour sifter is even better, if you have one.

Use in place of one cup of cake flour.

To Make a Larger Batch:

2 cups = 1/4 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) + 1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour

8 cups (the equivalent of one store-bought box) = 1 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) + 7 cups all-purpose flour

Notes

  • In the UK, all-purpose flour is called plain flour, and cornstarch is called corn flour.
  • Nutrition facts are based on using unbleached flour and cornstarch
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