Jojoscakes1000 Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 9:32pm
post #1 of

The infamous cake flour a MUST HAVE to get a moist and delicious cake. The problem is I live in the UK where it is a lot harder to get a hold of cake flour, to me it is so much easier just to get some self-raising flour down the road.

But I worry my cakes are losing out, they are good but not great is it really necessary for me to have cake flour? Should I make the effort and buy the cake flour online from abroad?

Also if you live in the UK and know a place where to get cake flour that would be much appreciatedicon_smile.gif

59 replies
mena2002 Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 11:48pm
post #2 of

Cake flour is flour that has corn starch added to it. If you want to use cake flour then put 2 tbsp of corn starch into a cup and fill remainder of cup with all purpose then you have cake flour.

gatorcake Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 12:21am
post #3 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by mena2002

Cake flour is flour that has corn starch added to it. If you want to use cake flour then put 2 tbsp of corn starch into a cup and fill remainder of cup with all purpose then you have cake flour.




Cake flour is most definitely not flour with corn startch added to it. While this is a way to make a sustitute for cake flour, it is not cake flour.

Cake flour is milled from soft wheat and has a lower protein count that All Purpose flour (8% protein for cake flour to 10-11% for AP). Cake flour has a finer granulation than AP flour.

The lower protein is significant because it results in less gluten development (the 2% protein is actually a significant difference). Cake flour is also often bleached with cholorine (not something done to AP flour). This is important as it weakens gluten. Less gluten development and a finer grain result in a more even, softer, finer crumb. The cake is more tender.

I have recipes which call for AP flour and ones that call for cake flour. It depends on the texture of the cake I am looking for. If a recipe calls for cake flour and you use AP flour there will be a noticeble difference in texture. The substitute for cake flour still does not produce (in my expereince) the same effect as cake flour as it does nothing change the coarser grain of all purpose flour. But it is servicable alternative if you cannot get cake flour.

Is it necessary? No. Does it produce better cakes? Yes

RedRoxx Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 12:41am
post #4 of

I just recently made a lemon ginger cake with AP flour and corn starch, but I also did the reverse creaming method it it worked out fabulously. If you still don't like the results with AP with corn starch try reverse creaming as well. icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 1:01am
post #5 of

gator cake. I was just getting ready to type something similar. Cake flour absolutely is NOT flour with cornstarch added. How do these things get started? It's all about the protein content which creates the gluten.

gatorcake Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 1:23am
post #6 of

Oh Jojo, I was just revisiting some of my baking books and one mentions that chloroination is no longer allowed in the EU (which as I mentioned above is part of the making of cake flour). This would likely explain why you cannot find cake flour in the UK.

Source of info How Baking Works by Paula Figoni

auzzi Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 6:16am
post #7 of

Cake flour is called "sponge flour" .. McDougalls makes sponge flour, and Sainsburys has an inhouse brand of Sponge Flour .. I think Tesco has an in-house one also ...

handovertheasparagus Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 6:42am
post #8 of

So, if a recipe calls for AP flour but you choose to use cake flour instead...should you change anything else about your recipe? I have heard of substituting one for the other and either adding or subtracting a little flour depending on which you use.

I don't have much experience with cake flour, but I am really interested in experimenting! Some cakes I have made from scratch have tended to be heavier than a cake made from a mix...perhaps cake flour would help?

Jojoscakes1000 Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 9:20pm
post #9 of

Thank you for all the helpful comments they have been much appreciated. I saw that they do have sponge flour in Sainsbury's I'll try that!!!icon_smile.gif

LNW Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 9:40pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

gator cake. I was just getting ready to type something similar. Cake flour absolutely is NOT flour with cornstarch added. How do these things get started? It's all about the protein content which creates the gluten.




I have a couple of cookbooks (new ones, not a million years old, passed down from granny ones icon_wink.gif ) that say adding cornstarch to AP flour is a sub for cake flour. So that's probably why so many people do it. Until this thread I had no idea it wasn't the same thing icon_redface.gif

I can find cake flour everywhere, of course I live in the US. What I can't find is bread flour. I use AP instead but I'm sure I'm not getting as good a texture as I would if I had the right flour.

leah_s Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 9:49pm

Bread flour has a really high protein content, therefore easily creating the gluten. My grocery store carries it. I'm truly surprised that you can't find it in Springfield Missouri.

idontknow Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 9:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by LNW

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

gator cake. I was just getting ready to type something similar. Cake flour absolutely is NOT flour with cornstarch added. How do these things get started? It's all about the protein content which creates the gluten.



I have a couple of cookbooks (new ones, not a million years old, passed down from granny ones icon_wink.gif ) that say adding cornstarch to AP flour is a sub for cake flour. So that's probably why so many people do it. Until this thread I had no idea it wasn't the same thing icon_redface.gif

I can find cake flour everywhere, of course I live in the US. What I can't find is bread flour. I use AP instead but I'm sure I'm not getting as good a texture as I would if I had the right flour.




that's funny, we have truckloads of different bread flours here in the UK, but no cake flour - do you want to swap?? icon_biggrin.gif although we have the sponge flour - mcdougalls, own brands etc - they all contain baking powder mixed, so I'm wary of using it as I prefer to mix my own raising agent as and when i need it. any other alternatives?? cholorinated flour doesn't nice though, to be honest.

ThreeLittleBlackbirds Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 9:54pm

I have to disagree that cake flour makes a "better" cake. I absolutely hate the artificial chemical taste that cake flour imparts into a beautiful scratch cake and you might as well just open up a box mix. This is just my opinion of course, so don't blow a gasket on me now icon_smile.gif

I have found that a combination of unbleached a/p flour and pre-sifted self-rising flour make the best cakes for me. I sift and resift them together and be extra careful not to overmix or overbake. I also use potato starch to help the texture of the cake and soften up the crumb. This way, I don't have to use bleached chemical flours and I can stay true to my "all-natural scratch cake" philosophy

The comments I get on my cakes are that the taste is out of this world but that the soft and fluffy, velvety, buttery crumb is what makes them spectacular.

leah_s Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 9:56pm

Bread flour has a really high protein content, therefore easily creating the gluten. My grocery store carries it. I'm truly surprised that you can't find it in Springfield Missouri.

leah_s Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 9:58pm

If you can use 25 pounds of bread flour your Springfield Sam's Clubs carry it.

King Arthur flours are whitened naturally. ALL flour "bleaches" just by sitting and ageing. We're just too impatient in the US, so we add chemicals to bleach it nice and white quickly.

ConnieJ Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 10:00pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeLittleBlackbirds

I have to disagree that cake flour makes a "better" cake. I absolutely hate the artificial chemical taste that cake flour imparts into a beautiful scratch cake and you might as well just open up a box mix. This is just my opinion of course, so don't blow a gasket on me now icon_smile.gif

I have found that a combination of unbleached a/p flour and pre-sifted self-rising flour make the best cakes for me. I sift and resift them together and be extra careful not to overmix or overbake. I also use potato starch to help the texture of the cake and soften up the crumb. This way, I don't have to use bleached chemical flours and I can stay true to my "all-natural scratch cake" philosophy

The comments I get on my cakes are that the taste is out of this world but that the soft and fluffy, velvety, buttery crumb is what makes them spectacular.



I read somewhere about using potato starch to help with moistness in a cake. Is this true? And how much do you use per cup of flour?

Debcent Posted 8 May 2013 , 11:06pm

I just recently checked out a book from the library, "Cake Love How to Bake Cakes from Scratch" by Warren Brown.  WOW such a great and interesting book.  He is a believer in using potato starch with AP flour. Has anyone ever used any of his recipes or have baked cakes using potato starch with AP flour? Im really curious to know how they turned out.

shannonp31 Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 12:12pm

hello ladies!

 

i know this thread is ages old, but just wanted to let you know cake flour is here in the UK and oddly enough hides in chinese supermarkets. there it is called low gluten wheat flour, and sometimes dumpling flour has the same low gluten content. 

 

i know this because there is a certain type of noodle, that requires a very low gluten content and in the US recipes, it is called cake flour.

 

hope this helps anyone still looking for the elusive cake flour.

 

:)

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