Cake Flour Substitute

Cake flour substitute

The Spruce

  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cup (4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
462 Calories
13g Fat
77g Carbs
9g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cup (4 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 462
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1411mg 61%
Total Carbohydrate 77g 28%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Protein 9g
Calcium 187mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cake flour, as the name suggests, is often called for in cakes, cupcakes, and some pastry recipes. Cake flour is a soft wheat, low-protein flour with a fine texture, milled from the endosperm of the wheat kernel. It is lighter and has very little gluten, making for tender and less dense baked items.

Cake flour isn't just for cakes. It is a good alternative for light, fluffy biscuits or scones, or use it in place of all-purpose to make pancakes, waffles, muffins, and quick breads. Because of the low-gluten content, it isn't a good choice for pie crust, yeast breads and rolls, cookies, or pizza crust

If you do a good deal of baking, cake flour is probably on your pantry shelf. But, if you don't bake often, a box or bag of cake flour might turn rancid before you use it all. If you don't have store-bought cake flour, it's extremely easy to make a suitable substitute at home with a combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch. 

Use the formula and instructions below to make as much cake flour as you need for your recipe. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (about 3 3/4 ounces)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cake flour substitute ingredients
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  2. Spoon 2 level tablespoons of cornstarch into a 1-cup measuring cup.

    Tablespoons of cornstarch
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  3. Spoon all-purpose flour into the cup until it is almost overflowing.

    Flour
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  4. Using the flat side of a butter knife, sweep the knife over the top of the cup to level it.

    Sweep the knife over cup
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  5. Sift the flour and cornstarch mixture into a bowl. 

    Sift flour
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  6. Repeat to make as many cups as is needed for the recipe. When you have all of the flour and cornstarch you need in the bowl, blend it thoroughly with a whisk or spoon and then sift it.

    Repeat
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  7. Measure the fine, sifted cake flour, leveling each cup off. Each cup of cake flour will weigh about 4 ounces (all-purpose weighs in at about 4 1/2 ounces).

    Measure cake flour
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  8. Use in your favorite cupcake, cake, or pastry recipe and enjoy!

Tips

  • If your cake or pastry recipe calls for all-purpose flour and you feel cake flour would produce better results, you can substitute cake flour or the homemade cake flour blend for the all-purpose flour. Just use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour (or the homemade blend above) for each cup of all-purpose flour in the recipe.
  • For a brief description of different types of wheat flour, see Types of Wheat Flour.

Variations

  • Self-Rising Cake Flour: You might occasionally come across a recipe for self-rising cake flour. Add 1 3/4 teaspoons of baking powder to each cup of cake flour or cake flour substitute and mix well. Sift and measure.
  • Pastry Flour: Combine 3 parts all-purpose flour with 1 part cake flour.