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Cake Flour Substitutions

Cake flour is a low gluten flour used for making cakes and pastries, known as a soft flour. The lack of high gluten content makes the texture of the cakes and pastries lighter. However, there may be times when you’re baking and a recipe calls for cake flour, and you have none. In these cases, there are some substitutes you can use for your recipe.

All-Purpose Flour

Most bakers will have this substitute in their homes. Although all-purpose flour is higher in gluten content than cake flour, it can substitute it in a pinch. However, it will change the texture of whatever you’re baking. Also, all-purpose flour cannot be used on a 1 to 1 basis as a substitute for cake flour. You will need to reduce the measurement size of the all-purpose flour by 2 tbsp per 1 cup of cake flour needed.

  • For ½ cup of cake flour, this would be ½ cup of flour minus 1 tbsp. This is also equal to ⅜ cup of flour.
  • For 1 cup of cake flour, you would use 1 cup minus 2 tbsp. This is equal to ⅞ cup of flour.
  • For 2 cups of cake flour, you would use 2 cups of flour minus ¼ cup. This is equal to 1 ¾ cup of flour.

To help keep your cakes and pastries from becoming too heavy, you should make sure to sift your flour to remove any lumps that may have accumulated. You can also add just a pinch of baking powder.

All-Purpose Flour Sifted 3 Times

If measuring your all-purpose flour in the previous fashion is too complicated for your tastes, here’s a good way to help you estimate the portion you need. Begin with 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Sift it three times. Use your thrice sifted all-purpose flour to substitute cake flour. Sifting in this fashion makes sure that any clumps in the flour have been broken down and usually results in the loss of 1 oz per sifting.

All-Purpose Flour with Cornstarch

Cornstarch is gluten free. Using it in addition to your all-purpose flour can help to offset the extra gluten you’ll find in it when substituting it for cake flour. It can help improve the texture of your cake and pastries more than by using just all-purpose flour alone. To substitute cake flour with all-purpose flour and cornstarch, take ⅞ cup of flour—remember this is 2 tbsp less than 1 cup—and add it to 2 tbsp of cornstarch. Do this for every 1 cup of cake flour asked for in the recipe.

  • If your recipe calls for ½ cup of cake flour, you’ll use ⅜ cup of all-purpose flour and 1 tbsp of cornstarch.
  • If your recipe calls for 1 cup of cake flour, you’ll use ⅞ cup of all-purpose flour and 2 tbsp of corn starch.
  • If your recipe needs 2 cups of cake flour, you’ll use 1 ¾ cup of all-purpose flour and ¼ cup of cornstarch.

The best method of measuring this out is to put 2 tbsp of cornstarch in a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill the remainder with all-purpose flour. Then, do this again for each 1 cup of cake flour needed in the recipe.

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