Cake Flour – some baking recipes call for this specific flour which has less protein than all-purpose flour and helps to make cakes light and airy. What follows is an easy way to make cake flour at home when you find you don’t have any on hand.
Do you have that box of cake flour in your pantry?
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Or is it a product that you hardly ever use, yet you come across a recipe every now and again that calls for it?
At any given time, I’ll have one here in the 365 pantry, but on the occasion that there isn’t a back-up box I have to figure out a solution, especially when I’m right in the middle of a recipe.
Did you hear me grumble right there?
SAVE THIS CAKE FLOUR PIN TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
I know that’s never happened to you – you’re in the middle of making something, thinking you have enough of whatever-it-is you need, only to discover that your son has raided your chocolate chip stash or that when holding the box of cake flour that it certainly “felt” like two cups, but really just contained one.
Cake Flour Substitute
Well, I’ve got the solution.
You make it yourself with just two ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry:
- all-purpose flour
- and cornstarch
See, you can use all-purpose flour explicitly in cakes, but they’ll be a bit more dense.
Like some people I know. haha
Ok, I’ll stop. I didn’t mention any names! 😉
The flour that you want to use for cakes on the other hand, has less gluten and will give your cake layers great structure and texture.
And I don’t know about you, but I’m into structure and texture when it comes to my cakes!
How to store cake flour
In regards to storing it, I want to let you know the best way to do that, and if it needs to be refrigerated or frozen since it’s a product you may not use too often.
There are many kinds of cake flour out there and King Arthur Flour (KAF) has a great Unbleached Cake Flour that I’ve used.
So, I went directly to the source (KAF) today and talked to Jonathan. He said (and he gave me permission to quote him. Thanks, Jonathan!
There really isn’t one correct answer to this, Lynne. Cake flour is quite shelf stable, so you don’t have to worry about rancidity. Instead, your biggest issue is bugs. That’s why we suggest storing flour in airtight containers in your pantry. Only whole grains such as rye or whole wheat need to be frozen. However, if your home is relatively pest free, you can store them right in the container they come in.
…Freezing really only helps keep whole grains from going rancid. We never suggest to use products beyond their best by dates, but you have some wiggle room for processed flours.
Recipes that use DIY Cake Flour
- Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Citrus Layer Cake
- Oreo Cake
- Orange Spice Cake with Cran-Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Bean Frosting
- 7Up Pound Cake
- Mississippi Mud Cake
- Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake
So, there you have it.
I also found the post Joy the Baker did on The Best Cake Flour Substitute very informative about why cake flour is so special in baking.
This post I’m sharing with you today is thanks to Miss Amanda’s over at I Am Baker.
How to Make Cake Flour
- sifter or fine mesh sieve
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- Place the one cup of flour into a sifter.
- Remove two tablespoons of the flour, placing it back into the flour container.
- Add the two tablespoons of cornstarch to the sifter and sift together.
- Sift together a second time before using.
- You will do this for each cup of cake flour needed in your recipe.
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This post was originally published in May, 2014. As of May 2021, it has been updated in format and with pictures.
Comments & Reviews
lea anne says
thank you for tips about flour an alsorts c u on f book .
Thank you so much, Lea Anne! Happy to have you following and love sharing with you!! 🙂
Jennifer C. says
Is cake flour the same as bread flour?
No, Jennifer, it isn’t. Here’s a good post from Joy the Baker about the different types of flours. 🙂
Randy Glass says
Only after following recipe of cornstarch& continual sifting at least 5 or 6 times the more the better also soda and baking powder sifted and salt all the same time
Amy Drown says
Do you have any recipes using pastry flour? I have 4 lbs to use up
Believe it or not, I have not used pastry flour in my baking, but Jennie Field, the Online Pastry Chef has and I asked her about some recipes for you. She said to check out her Pound Cake recipe category because any of those cakes would be great with it. You can find those recipes here:
Also, she said that “pastry flour is pretty low in protein and is good for stuff you want to be tender. Scones or biscuits, pie crust come to mind. She can also use it in place of cake flour.”
Thanks for your question and I hope it helps!
Leia @ Eat It & Say Yum says
I have been in that situation! I hate running out of ingredients..s I’m totally going to try this one.
Mary Magee says
As I live in uk some of your ingredients you can’t get here
Sorry about that, Mary. Maybe you can Google some substitutions for those ingredients you can’t find.
Sabrina Carvalho Souza Pires says
I live in Brasil (we write it with an S) and sometimes I have to get creative to do those substitutions! EG: we don’t have sourcream.
How about a recipe for making bread flour.
Great idea, Geraldine! I’ll have to work on that one.
informative. now i wont have totto lug cake flour from antigua to trinidad for my mother lol made my luggage overweight
That’s awesome, Marion! So happy that you’ve found it!! It’ll be lighter on your back, too!
Velma Rickman says
Can cake flour be used in any cake recipe?
I would only use the cake flour when it is called for in a recipe. I’ve seen some that only require all-purpose flour, so the cake flour isn’t needed. 🙂
Thanks for the cake flour recipe
Can you shed some light on “self raising flour” too pls
When can that be used?
Thank you for sharing this. This was explained to me over 50-years ago. I love the results. Blessings.
Betty Rohloff says
Rather than filling the cup with flour and then removing 2 Tablespoons of it, I put 2 Tablespoons of corn starch in the cup and then fill it with the flour, then add it to the sifter.
Is there a way to make pastier flour? I have a difficult time finding it.
Betty, do you mean pastry flour? I’m unsure as to what pastier flour might be.
If it is pastry flour, I don’t have a recipe for it, but I’m sure if you Googled “homemade pastry flour recipe” there might be something unless it’s one that needs to be bought at the store.
Can you use all purpose gluten free flour to make cake flour?
Bambi, as I am unfamiliar with gluten free flour and gluten free recipes, I would suggest you Google “how to make gluten free cake flour”. I’m sure there’s someone out there who’s made it.