Once you love baking, you know exactly why cake flour is an essential ingredient. However, many of us barely know how to bake properly, so we may not have this food at home.
Instead of losing time and money looking for an ingredient that you may never need again, use your time to find out what options to include in your recipe for the same results.
What Is Cake Flour?
This is a low protein flour that has been ground until it is very fine. Normally, this flour has around 7 to 9% protein, which makes it to have the lowest protein content when compared to the rest of other flour.
It is used primarily in cakes because it gives an airy and dense consistency.
Cake flour is the one you probably have every time you buy a regular cake, as it produces a light and fluffy feeling that is perfect for traditional cakes. However, it isn’t used as much in other baked goods because of its low protein content, which is why finding it or buying it can be hard at times.
What Can I Replace Cake Flour With?
If you can’t find it or don’t want to buy it, these are the best substitutes for cake flour to use in different recipes:
Best For Baking, Donuts, Banana Bread, and Angel Food Cake
#1. All-Purpose Flour + Cornstarch
To make this choice work, add ¾ cup of all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. We suggest you place the cornstarch at the bottom of a bowl, and then add the all-purpose flour on top. You can then mix everything else on top and carry out the rest of the steps.
You probably already have all-purpose flour, as it is a very common flour in many baked goods and savory dishes.
The cornstarch works well because it inhibits a bit of the gluten in all-purpose flour, making it work like cake flour and resulting in a lighter texture. This choice is great for making cakes, donuts, angel food cake, and banana bread.
See More: The Best Cornstarch Alternatives
#2. Pastry Flour
This flour isn’t very common, but it is similar to cake flour in that it has a lower protein content as well. This flour is used in making more chewy and tender baked goods, so it is a great choice for baking banana bread, making cupcakes, angel food cake, and donuts.
You can buy pastry flour in most grocery stores, but you can also try a specialty store. Replace the cake flour for the same amount of pastry flour, but keep in mind that the final product may have a denser texture.
#3. Oat Flour + Arrowroot
This choice is healthy and gluten-free, which makes it safe to use if you have a gluten allergy. The arrowroot works to make the flour lighter and softer, but you can also use cornstarch instead if that’s easier.
Mix one cup of oat flour with about one tablespoon of arrowroot or cornstarch, for every one cup of cake flour.
You can find oat flour in most organic or health stores, where you will also find arrowroot. These two choices work together very well in baking banana bread, cakes, cookies, and bread. Keep in mind that the flavor will be a bit more nutty and toasted, but the texture will be soft and chewy.
Best For Bread, Pasta, Gravy, and Roux
#4. All-Purpose Flour
This alternative is the easiest choice, but it does change the results. All-purpose flour contains more gluten and is denser, but it is a great substitute when you are baking bread, making pasta, gravy, or a roux.
You can use the same amount of all-purpose flour that your recipe calls for, but be careful with the final texture, so you may want to add more liquids.
Finding all-purpose flour shouldn’t be a problem, and chances are, you already have it! Keep in mind too, that this flour is not self-rising, so you will need a leavening agent in baking.
#5. Cassava Flour
While not the healthiest choice due to its high starch content, it is an incredibly versatile flour that will work wonders if you need a gluten-free choice. Cassava flour is made from the cassava root, also known as yucca, and it is great for making a roux, soft noodles, and even bread.
You can use the same amount as you would cake flour, but cassava absorbs more liquid and is thicker, so you may end up using less. Finding cassava flour is not too hard now that it’s become a popular choice for those avoiding gluten, but you can also try health or organic store any time.
#6. Bread Flour
This is a very high gluten option, which means it is much denser and thicker.
You can use bread flour in any bread, pasta, roux, and gravy, but consider that you may end up needing more liquids too. Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing cake flour, but you may end up using less throughout the cooking process.
Bread flour is popular these days when we’re all at home baking, so you can try your local grocery store, although an organic supermarket can sell it too. In a pinch, you can mix half all-purpose with half bread flour for similar results.
Related: Bread shelf life
Yes, you can use all-purpose flour, which is considered as “plain flour”, instead of cake flour for some recipes. In baking, you should try to add cornstarch or arrowroot flour for a similar texture, but regular all-purpose flour can work on its own too.
No, they are not the same thing. Self-rising flour should only be used in instances that the recipe calls for, as it already contains a leavening agent.
Cake flour doesn’t have any leavening agent, and thus, it is commonly used along with baking soda or baking powder. Also, cake flour is thinner and contains much less protein.
Because a pound cake is soft and buttery, the best flour to use is cake flour. However, when you don’t have any, all-purpose flour and cornstarch work well for a soft and fluffy texture.
Using cake flour has its benefits and it can be an essential ingredient in certain recipes. Yet, you can always replace it for specific cases. Using any of these 6 choices can be a great choice depending on what you want.
Don’t give up on baking or cooking just because you don’t have any cake flour, use one of these instead!
*Photo by annas.stills.gmail.com/depositphotos