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« Cinnamon Sugar Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream | Main | Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes »
Tuesday
Jan102012

Tuesday Tip: How to Make Cake Flour

Cake Flour

Cake flour is an ingredient called for in nearly every recipe involving cake (it almost goes without saying, doesn't it?). However, from my own personal experience, cake flour can be expensive and an annoyance to buy. Not only do you have to find cupboard space for the all-purpose and whole wheat flour, but now you have to make space for the cake flour too?

I just don't think that's going to happen.

Luckily, cake flour is a snap to make.

For every 2 cups of cake flour the recipe calls for, add 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) cornstarch.


2 cups cake flour = 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch

or

1 cup cake flour = 7/8 cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons cornstarch


So, you may be wondering, why should I bother using cake flour instead of all purpose? There are scientific reasons for doing so, but it really boils down to two reasons: 1) Cake flour makes cakes much lighter and less dense. 2) Cake flour also lends a more velvety texture to baked goods than all-purpose (the crumb is smaller).

If you don't typically use cake flour, give it a try and you'll notice the difference it will make to your cakes and baked goods. You won't be able to turn back.

* I'm trying out a new mini-series, Tuesday Tips, to give you shortcuts and new tricks to use in the kitchen. Let me know if you're interested in hearing more!

Reader Comments (39)

Thank you so much. Definitely interested. As a beginner, that's a valuable piece of information, and to have more tips from you, it will surely make me look forward to Tuesdays!
01.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPavithra
Yay! I've always wondered about that! Thanks!
01.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMiller Murphy
What a great tip!!!! I'm filing this one away! Thank you so much for sharing!
What great information! I never knew you could make your own. Thank you for the tips! :-)
That's very useful...keep the tips coming!
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren W.
Great tip! Thanks!
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina
Yes I love this idea! Keep it up!
Thanks for this. I have passed on recipes to try because I did not have the cake flour that the recipe called for. Now I know I can make my own. Love your blog and please keep the tips coming. - Robyn
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn
This is some good info... I would much rather use Cake Flour than All Purpose - makes a huge difference. I already buy 4 different kinds of flour (All Purpose, Self Rising, Wheat & Bread) so I usually skip the Cake Flour to save money. Now I don't have to skip it - I can make my own! Keep the tips coming :) AJ@queenofmynest
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ
Love great tips! Do you happen to know how to make gelatin cavier?
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartha
Thanks, this is really useful information! And Tuesday Tips would be very, very welcome.
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly
This post is great! I never use cake flour because I only ever seem to buy when a recipe specifically says to use it. I never knew the great things cake flour could do for my baked goods. I will definitely be giving this a shot. I'd love see more posts like this. Thanks for sharing!
Love the Tuesday tips idea - thanks!
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMollyH
Genious: I have always wondered what to do when I see a recipe for cake flour - I ususally just go on to a recipe that doesn't require it. But now- I can pull out my corn starch and make whatever cake I want. Great tip- and would love to see more of these in the future.
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynn Z
Guessing this could be considered pastry flour as well. We often see cake & pastry flour in the bag. Does this hold true for Canadian flour as well? Love the idea of Tuesday Tips!
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPat
Two thumbs up on the Tuesday Tips! I always like to get tips from other bakers. And thanks for explaining the why of using Cake Flour.
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKara
I've known about the cake flour conversion for a little while now, and it saves my butt always. I don't want to make more space in my alreadt cluttered pantry for another box of another kind of flour. Please keep up with the Tuesday Tips, I think it would be really helpful :)
Great tip! Thanks so much! So we can use this for cookies too? I know that's baking, but i've never seen a cookie recipe asking for cake flour, but if it makes a difference, I will definately try it! And yes, I vote for *Tipsy* Tuesdays! (tee hee!)
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoan
The ever-vigilant home economics teacher returns! (That dates me,too. I know they call it Family/Consumer Science these days.) But you might want to double-check your measurement information. I believe one cup cake flour should be replaced by seven-eighths cup all-purpose flour plus two tablespoons cornstarch. The Tuesday Tip idea is a super one. Topics can be numerous.
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMotherMaier
Another added learning from the master! Thanks! -Sarah-
01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCalendar Printing
Great series, Kristin! I love substitutions for the kitchen, because more often than not, I don't have every ingredient available all the time. I definitely hate making room for more stuff too! I'm thinking of doing a somewhat similar culinary school tip every week, probably on weekends...we'll have to see how that goes.

Keep 'em coming!
This tip is fabulous. I've used cake flower in the past but it was kind of expensive & a pain to locate. I'll definitely be making my own in the future. :)!
01.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMalori
Mother Maier-- Ha! Thanks for the heads up. I've fixed the recipe above. I teach math on a daily basis, but do you think I could find and correct my own mistakes? Oh dear. Thank you once more!
01.12.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Love your tips idea!
01.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeynnell
Love the Tuesday Tip series. And this was awesome info - I've always ignored recipes that call for cake flour, but now I don't have to!
01.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKtP
This is an amazing tip! I always have to use cake flour for my breads and you're right they are really expensive! Thank you for much for this. And I love your Tuesday Tip series too!
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
I'm in love with these tips!!!
Some time ago I bought pastry flour, but I had too much types of flour at home. Corn, cornstarch, whole wheat, buckwheat, bread flour... One more??? So, definitely, I used all purpose when they ask for pastry flour.
Next recipe I will use your tip, withe the proportions you have indicated, I'm sure the result will be good.
Thank you again!!
(And sorry for my wrong english!!)
01.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaula
I'm linking up to your cake flour tutorial on my blog post today. I used your cake flour to make Thin Mint Knock Offs and it worked perfectly! Thanks so much. :)
Thank you for this useful tip! I have used it several cupcake recipes and I find it really makes a difference. My cupcakes went from dense and heavy to nice and fluffy. Looking forward to more tips:)
09.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBri
On numerous occasions I've seen recipes calling for Cake Flour and I've never seen it in the supermarket - Thank You, Thank You, Thank You - for this informational conversion. If I want to make a large batch of cake flour for future use, would this store well and for how long is the storeage life (approximate) or does it have to be used immediately. Thanks
10.2.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRookie Baker
Rookie Baker-- Cake flour will keep as long as regular all-purpose or whole wheat flour. Simply mix up a batch, store it in an airtight container and it'll stay fresh for months!
10.2.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Great tip! I didn't know you could do this and I never want to buy cake flour for the same reasons you listed. Excellent info.

Thanks,

Ellen
12.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllen
Yes! to the Tuesday Tips. I will look forward to this information. Thank you.
01.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy P.
That is an awesome tip! I'm wondering if adding cornstarch to whole wheat flour would make it less dense when baking with it? Any thoughts on baking with whole wheat flour?

Great site btw,

Lisa
04.24.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
These are cute. I like the blueberry ones, too.

I'm confused about the cake flour conversion. The conversion is easy for the 2 cups because it's a round number. But how do I convert my AP flour for the 3/4 cup of cake flour? I don't see a way to evenly break down 3/4 of 7/8 of a cup?
05.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAruna
Aruna-- It'll be about 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch per 3/4 cup of flour. For the future, you don't need to be terribly precise. I usually just eyeball it and it'll come out just fine. As long as you know about how much you need, you can convert it to any amount.
05.12.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Just an additional tip: I used the two tablespoon substitute method and realized that the quantity required was lacking by several grams. This is because of the less dense cornstarch. So handy if you have a scale that does grams and pounds to get accurate measurements or slight variations may follow.
In my example; I was to use 300 grams of plain flour less 2tbs substitution with cornflour. But upon addition, it amounted to 285 grams, fortunately I was able to adjust. The result is an amazing chocolate cake -- soft/moist.
Flour was sifted several times and re-weighed just to maintain consistency.
08.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKP
Thank you. :)
08.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAruna
Thanks for the info! I never knew this, either! I especially like that you can make a large batch and keep on hand!
Keep the tips coming!!
01.15.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSusan the Baker

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