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?
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?
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.
The 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 it?
Cake flour is great for when 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?
You bet! While I prefer the real deal, you can certainly make your own if you’re in a pinch and can’t find pre-made. 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 two times… a couple more would be great. You need to get the mixture as fine as possible, so don’t skip this step. This also helps to mix in the cornstarch really well.
THEN… measure 1 cup of flour from that sifted mixture.
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.