U.s. Cake Recipes & Uk Flour Don't Mix

Baking By JanH Updated 29 Apr 2008 , 3:49pm by tytyrita

JanH Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 11:41am
post #1 of 7

It seems even properly converting the measurements for Rose's American cake recipes didn't insure baking success because of the differences in U.S. and UK flours:


(Wonder about baking American recipes with the different flours used by the rest of the world.)

Is there a problem using American cake (or cookie) recipes outside of the U.S.?

Would love to hear member comments, either yea or nay.
(And if there were problems, how they were corrected.)

6 replies
banba Posted 5 Apr 2008 , 9:40am
post #2 of 7

There are so many cake recipes that I would love to try but because they are US recipes using US cups and cake flour I just can't make them.

We don't have cake flour and I am really not big on substitues. We get something called cream flour which seems softer than AP flour but not sure if it's the same as cake flour.

The weighing in cups is very hard to change to using a weighing scales. Lots of sites giving rough conversions but again a bit hit and miss as they don't all give the same conversions.

We only weigh liquid ingredients by volume and the dry by weight.

Ingredients differ so much too. We don't have corn syrup although glucose syrup is said to be the same?

I just find it impossible, if you use all the sugguested substitute ingredients you still don't know if what you have baked tastes the way it does if the cake had been made with all the correct ingredients, which leaves you non the wiser and hits you hard in the pocket if the end product doesnt taste good.

It would be really great to see a correct substitution list of ingredients compiled by both US and European bakers. I imagine we probably do have the equivelant ingredients but with completely different names on them?

A lot of the time converting cups to say grams or oz gives you values with a decimal point in them and that is just really hard to weigh out perfectly.
When you weigh using a scales it doesnt matter if you sifted or unsifted as 8oz is 8oz. It doesn't matter how you pack it in the bowl to weigh it either.

I think it's virtually impossible for us to successfully convert recipes from the US because using substitutions is in itself a different recipe!

We also mainly use Centigrade only the older ovens still use F. But that's easy enough to convert!

Charmaine49 Posted 5 Apr 2008 , 10:22am
post #3 of 7

I agree with all that banba has had to say.
Most of the people in the US, from what I can make out, use box cake mixes for their cakes. I prefer to make my cakes from scratch, which calls for flour, eggs etc. Really didn't know you get different sorts of flours!
And, then as you say, they have different baking items, which I don't find in our stores here.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 5 Apr 2008 , 10:45am
post #4 of 7

I use US recipes all the time, in fact I've pretty much ditched all my English ones (except for Madeira). I've never had a problem using the American recipes and people rave about the taste of my cakes! Measuring cups are very easy to find in kitchen shops and even in large UK supermarkets like Asda and Tesco. You must abide with one set of measurements though - either by volume or by weight, don't try to mix the two! As for flour, well we can get cake flour here (cake meel), but I often just substitute self-raising flour and add an extra teaspoon of baking powder for a full recipe. If memory serves, McDougals makes a flour specifically for making cakes, and it's available in supermarkets (well, I saw it in Asda last summer!), I used it and it worked well. For those who are wedded to using weights as their measurements for baking, I find this site excellent for converting volumes to weights for all the ingredients you could imagine (as for decimal points, well I just round up to the nearest 5 grams - not very scientific I know, but it has yet to cause me a problem!):


I'd be glad to answer any other questions from my fellow Europeans/non-Us'ers!

miss_sweetstory Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 9:51pm
post #5 of 7

Thanks for the post. I hadn't realized the RLB had adjusted her recipes in the UK version of the Cake Bible so meticulously! I really appreciate the explanation of why some of my recipes don't convert well. I'll have to get a UK edition ASAP.

I've lived in the UK for 4 1/2 years and would say that I have about a 75 percent success rate with US recipes using UK ingredients. One thing that I have noticed regarding UK flours is that different brands of the same flour type often provide very different results. I'm not enough of a scientist to really understand why, but I can tell you that I have just about every type of flour imaginable in my cupboard!

kaz1979 Posted 24 Apr 2008 , 5:48am
post #6 of 7

You can use golden syrup instead of corn syrup it is actually better. hope this is of use.

tytyrita Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 3:49pm
post #7 of 7

Thank you everyone, i have just posted a request for conversion before seeing this, i am now very tempted to go on a UK site to find a recipe for a carrot cake, this is my very first i would like it to turn out well, especially since i'm making it for a paying customer

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