Pastry Flour Substitute

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Pastry Flour Substitute

Pastry flour costs a lot more than all-purpose flour. Here’s how to make a quick (and affordable) pastry flour substitute that’ll work beautifully in any recipe that calls for it.

What is Pastry Flour?

Pastry flour is a low-protein flour, made from soft wheat. It contains 8-9% protein. By comparison, all-purpose contains 9-12%. That may not sound like a big difference, but less protein, means less gluten, and for bakers, that translates into baked goods that are lighter and more tender. Pastry flour is typically used to make pie crusts, cookies, pastries, biscuits and other baked goods that are leavened with baking soda or baking powder. It’s seldom used in recipes that are leavened with yeast. It just doesn’t contain enough protein to create the elasticity that yeasted baked goods require.

How to Make a Homemade Pastry Flour Substitute

For every cup of cake flour called for: Combine 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup of cake flour. This will give you a flour that falls within the protein range of pastry flour.

If you don’t have cake flour . . . Measure two teaspoons of cornstarch (or arrowrooot powder) into a one-cup measuring cup. Then, fill the rest of the cup with all-purpose flour, and level the top to remove any excess flour. Mix or sift the ingredients together to ensure the cornstarch (or arrowroot) is well incorporated.

If you don’t have the ingredients to make either of these substitutes . . . Just use all-purpose flour in place of the pastry flour that’s called out. Your recipe may not turn out quite as light and tender, but it’ll still taste great. If anyone complains, send them to the store for pastry flour, the next time you run out.

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Pastry Flour

Pastry Flour Substitute

Here are three ways to make a pastry flour substitute. No fancy ingredients required.

  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x


  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cake flour

(see other options below)


Mix or sift the two flours together, until well incorporated. Then, use in place of one cup of pastry flour.

If you don’t have cake flour …

Place two teaspoons of cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) in a one-cup measuring cup. Add enough all-purpose flour to fill the rest of the cup. Level to remove any excess flour. Then, mix or sift ingredients together, and use.

If you don’t have cake flour, cornstarch or arrowroot …

Just use all-purpose flour in place of the pastry flour. There’s only a small difference in protein, so it won’t have a huge impact on your recipe.


  • Both homemade substitutes have protein percentages that are comparable to pastry flour.
  • The nutrition facts are based on using unbleached all-purpose flour and cake flour.

Keywords: pastry flour substitute, homemade pastry four, how to make pastry flour, pastry flour substitute without cornstarch

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