traci_doodle Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 2:15pm
post #1 of

I'm sure this has been covered before, but I've searched with no results. I've been trying out scratch white cake recipes, and I feel like there's a taste in there that I don't quite like. My suspicion is that the cake flour is the culprit. I use the Pillsbury Softasilk brand. Does anyone have experience with this? Do you think the brand of cake flour makes a difference? Have you had problems with Softasilk kind? I'd like to try the King Arthur cake flour, but it's more expensive, so I'm wondering if it's worth it.

26 replies
cakegirl1973 Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 2:33pm
post #2 of

I've only used Swan's Down cake flour, with good results every time, so I've never had a reason to try another brand.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 4:52pm
post #3 of

We just use whatever they carry at the local restaurant supply store, don't remember the brand. A 50# bag of cake flour costs $15 there.

kmstreepey Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 5:02pm
post #4 of

I really like the King Arthur brand. That's what I mostly use and I always bake from scratch. I've also used and like Swan's Down.

BizCoCos Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 8:46pm
post #5 of

I've used regular flour with great results, I have been trying new recipes with both swans down and pillss softas silk, one of them is giving me bad results. Unfortunately, I stacked my cakes in a hurry 7 baked caked total, then torted them and now don't remember which one, is which. I guess I'm going to have to bake more cakes, lol. I just bought a regular flour from a dollar store chain and I had great results., go figure. I will be ordering king Arthur since i have heard such great reviews of this flour online.

traci_doodle Posted 10 Sep 2011 , 12:32pm
post #6 of

Thanks for the replies! That $15 for a 50# bag is sounding really good right now. I hate paying $3.50 for 1.5# (ish) of flour! I'm not sure if I can get that deal in my area, but I'll be looking! I also found Swan's Down on Amazon for a decent deal, so I may be trying that as well.

LindaF144a Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 12:42am
post #7 of

Well KA is not really cake flour. It is a cake flour blend that acts like cake flour.

Cake flour does give cake a different flavor than AP. I am not a fan of cake flour cake either. But what it is it exactly you don't like about the flavor? Are you making a scratch white cake with egg whites only? That will have a different taste.

traci_doodle Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 2:37am
post #8 of

I could be off, but I felt like the batter still had a slight chemical taste, which is what I was what I was trying to get away from with making a scratch cake.

vgray Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 3:16am
post #9 of

traci_doodle, does your recipe have Crisco in it? I have heard if the Crisco is bad it will have a odd taste to it. If you do use Crisco smell it ans see if it smells, Crisco should not have a smell. If you don't use Crisco then I'm not sure why you are getting an odd taste.

jason_kraft Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 3:35am
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

Well KA is not really cake flour. It is a cake flour blend that acts like cake flour.



KA has two different products: one is a cake flour blend and the other is actually cake flour (under the Queen Guinevere label).

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/unbleached-cake-flour-blend
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/king-arthur-queen-guinevere-cake-flour-3-lb

traci_doodle Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 4:03am

No crisco. I did notice the Pillsbury flour had vitamins added to it, and I wondered if that affected the taste.

Mikail Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 4:34am

Cake flour isn't available in our part of the world... I substitute/mix corn flour with all-purpose, bleached. I use the Cake Bible's conversion which is 15% corn flour of the APF.

scp1127 Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 7:00am

I'm a long time scratch baker and I have never tasted chemicals from the flour. I use name brands only, but I use about 5 varieties. I am also an avid gourmet cook. I have tasted a multitude of roux recipes and again, no odd taste. I can taste a chemical in just about anything.

If you post your recipe, we may be able to determine the problem. And check your pans if they are old. We will be happy to help you.

traci_doodle Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 12:59pm

It's just the cook's illustrated recipe:

2 1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool

And my pans are only about 3 years old.

gatorcake Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 1:14pm

What type of baking powder are you using? Some have aluminum in them. Folks have posted here before that they taste something metallic if the cake was made with an aluminum based baking powder.

LindaF144a Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 2:17pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake

What type of baking powder are you using? Some have aluminum in them. Folks have posted here before that they taste something metallic if the cake was made with an aluminum based baking powder.




This was my thought too, epecially when it is twice as much as is normally needed for that amount of flour.

traci_doodle Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 3:24pm

It's Argo brand. The box says "aluminum free".

scp1127 Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 6:06pm

And extracts can have that odd taste, even when they are considered pure. Since I have used premium extracts, that taste is gone. I can really taste it in McCormick's. In some recipes, that taste stands out more than others.

traci_doodle Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 8:45pm

I stopped using McCormick's vanilla since I didn't like the taste, but I think my almond extract is McCormick's. Maybe I can check that out. Thanks everybody for your help!

gatorcake Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 9:00pm

Oh forgot to add I use Softasilk and have made CI's white cake. I have not noticed a chemical taste, however, I do not have the most discernable palate. Calk flours are chlorinated so this may be what you are tasting. At this point, given everything else you have mentioned, it seems like you should just try another brand and see if you notice difference.

traci_doodle Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 9:08pm

I stopped using McCormick's vanilla since I didn't like the taste, but I think my almond extract is McCormick's. Maybe I can check that out. Thanks everybody for your help!

traci_doodle Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 9:09pm

And I will definitely be trying a new brand of cake flour, especially if I can buy it in bulk for cheaper!

vgcea Posted 12 Jan 2012 , 8:49pm

Swan's Down gave my cakes the weirdest chemical flavor. I thought I was doing something wrong until I tried the exact same recipe with the only variable being the cake flour-- I used a store brand the second time. Maybe I got a bad box (it wasn't expired) because I've heard great things about Swan's Down which is why I purchased it in the first place.

steplite Posted 15 Jan 2012 , 7:56pm

I've always used Softassilk cake flour. It's what Toba Garrett uses in her moist yellow cake. There is a difference between softassilk and swans down. But lately I've noticed that the sofassilk cake flour has changed. I don't know if they've changed the recipe or not. It seem very simular to the White lily All purpose flour now. I don't get the same results as i did in the past.

macaroniNcheesecake Posted 20 Jan 2012 , 2:41am

While we are on the subject on flours, has any one ever mixed all purpose & cake flour or all purpose & pastry flour to use in a pineapple USDC? I am having an issue getting the outer edges a nice brown on them and I need a little more density to the cake texture for layering 2 cakes. Just thinking outloud and trying to trouble shoot at the same time....... many thanks.

HoustonMom Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 12:57am

Were you using Softasilk?  I just had a similar experience with Swans Down Cake Flour.  Had all 4 kids helping make a cake from scratch for the first time tonight.  Opened the box & bag then started sifting.  Can't get past the smell.  The little ones don't seem to care, but I'm not about to feed them something that smells strongly of chemicals - even if it will be covered with frosting!  What a disappointment.  Thanks for your original post.  This is what I found when googling "Swans Down Cake Flour smells like chemicals."

Sasa5454 Posted 15 Jun 2014 , 11:44am

Which one is better, KA cake flour blend or KA Queen Guinevere ?

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