Everything You Need to Know About Cake Flour

Jul 09

Today, I’m talking all things cake flour! What is it? Why do we use it? Where can you get it? Is there a substitute?

Everything you need to know about cake flour. What is it? Why do I need to use it? Where can I get it? Is there a substitute? I'm answering all your questions about cake flour on CakeByCourtney.com today.

It’s one of the most frequently asked questions that comes my way. “What is cake flour?” You’ll see it in a lot of my recipes, so let’s make sure you know exactly what it is and why it’s so crucial in certain cakes.

What is cake flour and why do we use it?

What is cake flour?

Cake flour is a light, finely milled (extracted) flour with a lower protein content than other flours. In fact, it has the lowest protein content out of all the baking flours. But why is the protein content important? Well, protein is what becomes the gluten. The low protein content (low gluten), is what helps your cakes become so light, tender and fluffy. Cake flour is also often bleached which means it’s lighter in color and texture than other flours.

Cake flour’s extra fine consistency also means it will absorb more liquid. This extra absorption allows your batter to rise a little taller – so just make sure your recipe has enough liquid in it to account for this extra absorption if you’re testing out your own recipes.

Why do we use cake flour?

Cake flour is great for cakes that we want to have a light and tender texture to (i.e. yellow cake, white cake, angel food cake, etc.). It’s not in every one of my recipes, but when it’s called for, I think it’s important to use it. Cake flour truly makes such a difference in the taste and texture.

Where can you get cake flour?

My favorite brand of cake flour is Softasilk, but there’s also Swan’s Down, Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur – most of which you can find at your local grocery store in the baking aisle, right next to all-purpose flour. You’ll also be able to find it at Walmart, Target and Amazon.

Is there a substitute for cake flour?

You bet! While I prefer the real deal, you can certainly make your own cake flour if you’re in a pinch and can’t find premade cake flour. Here’s what you do:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour – 2 tablespoons
  • +
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • =
  • 1 cup cake flour

For one cup of AP flour, take out two tablespoons and replace with two tablespoons cornstarch. Then sift the mixture at least six times. You need to get the mixture as fine as actual cake flour, so don’t skip this step.

Ok! There you have it! Everything you need to know about cake flour. Hopefully this answers your questions, but if not, feel free to ask questions in the comments.

9 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About Cake Flour

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  1. once prepared this substitution to obtain flour for cakes, how many teaspoons of baking powder should I use? Thank you.

    Another question, if I use flour for cakes what amount of baking powder should I use? the same amount above?

    Thank you.

  2. Hi
    I live in Sydney, Australia. There is no cake flour in the country, however we have plain flour with 8-8.5% protein level. Is this equivalent to cake flour in the UNited States?

    Thank you

  3. Hi Courtney! I’m attempting to try your Peach Crisp Cake recipe, and I can’t easily find Cake Flour where I live. I’m making the substitute with the AP Flour + Corn Starch. The thing is, you call for 3 cups + 3 tbsp of Cake Flour. How can I substitute those 3 tbsp? Should I just add AP Flour or Corn Starch? I look forward to your response,
    Have a nice day ­čÖé

  4. Hi Courtney! I’m looking to make a gluten-free version of the Chocolate chip Butterscotch cake. I will us the Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 Gluten free flour (blue bag)…. do you know if this will work if i use it to make cake flour with the corn starch (1C-2T of flour + 2T cornstarch)?