Why Do Scratch Recipes Taste Like Flour?

Baking By katwomen1up Updated 19 Sep 2013 , 5:38am by Raven21633

katwomen1up Posted 29 Apr 2012 , 3:35am
post #1 of 21

I made three different scratch recipes today. I can taste flour in all of them, why? I was a Duncan Hines girl but am trying to switch to scratch. Don't have any tried and true recipes just using what I find. Do all scratch recipes have a taste of flour? Please help


20 replies
cupncake1 Posted 29 Apr 2012 , 4:43am
post #2 of 21

I've had that problem too, so far the from scratch recipies I've used are dry or have little taste, I'm sure there has to be some great one's out there, anyone care to share? icon_lol.gif I thought some local bakeries used from scracth recipies (they tasted really good) but after using thier kitchens I found out some buy duncan hines in bulk or other bagged mixes

FromScratchSF Posted 29 Apr 2012 , 4:49am
post #3 of 21

Taste like flour? That's odd. Maybe you need to try another brand of flour?

If your cake is "bland" or "dry" you overbaked it and didn't add any flavorings. icon_biggrin.gif

katwomen1up Posted 29 Apr 2012 , 11:22am
post #4 of 21

fromscratch what brand of flour do you use?

FromScratchSF Posted 29 Apr 2012 , 1:52pm
post #5 of 21

Swans, but I don't have a flour preference.

brenda549 Posted 29 Apr 2012 , 7:18pm
post #6 of 21

When I started scratch baking, I found that many recipes did not state sifting before or after measuring. If I sifted after measuring and the recipe really needed it measured after sifting, the cake would taste like flour.

Also, move to measuring by weight. I use grams. It gives a more accurate measure of the ingredients you need. When we measure with measuring cups, we can get 3 different amounts on 3 different tries.

Also, make sure to use quality flavorings. For example, I find imitation vanilla bakes out. I usually use double the stated vanilla measure, even using real vanilla.

scp1127 Posted 30 Apr 2012 , 5:58am
post #7 of 21

Don't get discouraged because your first cakes aren't the best. They won't be. I'm not sure what happened, but you can't learn scratch baking in a day. At least not good scratch baking. I've read a hundred times on CC how someone states their box mix is preferred by customers over scratch. This is because their scratch cake wasn't as good as a box. So please don't give up. With CC and the web full of information, good skills have never been easier to obtain.

It's too hard just to start throwing out recipes. Maybe you could pick a flavor and we could start you on an easy one with good results for a novice. Be sure to read the posts on scratch baking and, especially if you see a discussion on a particular recipe, join in and get the tips on that recipe.

To become a great scratch baker, you have to keep going and learning through the mistakes. Like any skill, it will come if you practice it. But it's a lot easier if you enjoy the process.

Tails Posted 30 Apr 2012 , 9:03am
post #8 of 21

Try this one, tastes AMAZING and is so easy and moist!!


katwomen1up Posted 30 Apr 2012 , 9:05am
post #9 of 21

thanks everyone for your help. I tried two new different recipes and a different flour and the cake/cupcakes taste great! Not sure which one it was that was the culprit and didn't have time to find out either but I'm guessing the flour. Thanks fromscratch, didn't use swans but did use a better brand. Bulk purchases aren't always a good deal. Lol good for some things but not others. icon_smile.gif

Happy baking!

katwomen1up Posted 30 Apr 2012 , 9:12am
post #10 of 21

tails thanks for the recipe, I will give it a try. Again thanks for all the advice everyone it is appreciated.

James81 Posted 15 May 2012 , 2:39am
post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Swans, but I don't have a flour preference.

Wonder if its the Swans Flour giving that taste. I made some cupcakes scratch and used Swans cake flour, someone mentioned it had a flour type taste to it.

katwomen1up Posted 16 May 2012 , 1:17pm
post #12 of 21

No it wasn't Swans flour, I buy in bulk when possible. As I stated before it's good for something's not others. It may have also been because I had it in my basement for a while and now it has moisture in it. Swans is actually a good flour.

unctoothlady Posted 16 May 2012 , 4:49pm
post #13 of 21
Originally Posted by James81

Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Swans, but I don't have a flour preference.

Wonder if its the Swans Flour giving that taste. I made some cupcakes scratch and used Swans cake flour, someone mentioned it had a flour type taste to it.

The same happened to me....

tigachu Posted 16 May 2012 , 5:56pm
post #14 of 21

I always use Softassilk cake flour but have used Swansdown cake flour with no issues.

ButRCream Posted 16 May 2012 , 6:13pm
post #15 of 21

I always bake from scratch and have never had any issues - I've used many different brands of flour, so I don't think that would be a problem but I do make sure to use real flavorings, brown eggs and butter.

vgcea Posted 17 May 2012 , 4:04am
post #16 of 21
Originally Posted by James81

Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Swans, but I don't have a flour preference.

Wonder if its the Swans Flour giving that taste. I made some cupcakes scratch and used Swans cake flour, someone mentioned it had a flour type taste to it.

Swan's was the first flour I tried when I switched to scratch baking, and it almost turned me off the scratch path. It had this weird chemical-flour taste. I absolutely hated it. Even tried a different box thinking I had a bad batch. Same horrible taste. icon_sad.gif

katwomen1up Posted 5 Dec 2012 , 5:59pm
post #17 of 21

AI wish I could answer you. I have the same problem and it doesn't matter what brand of flour I use.

galdra Posted 14 Sep 2013 , 7:53pm
post #18 of 21

I'm a new from scratch baker and I'm having the same issue.  I've tried several different recipes (including vegan) and there always seems to be a flour taste.  Right now I'm using King Arthur all purpose flour.  I also have Swans.  The cakes come out looking great, are moist, but I can't seem to lose that bit of flour taste.  I am using real flavorings.  Could it be my measuring cups?  Am I adding too much?  

BatterUpCake Posted 14 Sep 2013 , 9:42pm
post #19 of 21

This one comes highly recommended. I use the box version :roll:

IAmPamCakes Posted 14 Sep 2013 , 9:54pm
post #20 of 21

AIt is quite possibly your recipe. I have made many many cakes, and hardly had issues with floury taste. Wilton recipes have been the WORST. Basic recipes from Better Homes & Garden, Betty Crocker, and similar are all tried tested, and usually pretty good. I bake by weight for consistency and accuracy, and am always trying new recipes 'just because.'

Raven21633 Posted 19 Sep 2013 , 5:25am
post #21 of 21

2 questions.


1) Are you sifting your flour before you measure into your bowl?


2) When you scoop your flour, do you use the measuring cup to scoop with? 


Since your a new baker, let me recommend an article called For Great Cakes, Get the Ratios Right by Shirley Corriher .


     Generally that floury taste can be attributed to several things.  Too much flour, bad recipe, improper mixing or underbaking, but the most common culprit is too much flour.


     Too much flour is most usually caused by scooping with the measuring cup and is probably the most common kitchen mistake made today.  I have a daughter and 6 nieces (as well as many of their friends who wanted to learn) whom I have taught to cook and bake over the years, and nearly all of them have done this (worse, they learned it from their moms).


The problem is that scooping compacts the flour, so if you scoop with your measure your getting a compacted amount, which can be as much as twice the amount of flour you need.  


     Another problem is not sifting your flour, or sifting after measuring.  Many people think that today's modern flours don't need sifting, but in fact, it does.  Yes, the flour was sifted prior to bagging at the mill, but sitting around in a warehouse, in trucks and on grocery shelves, often with other bags of flour stacked on top of them tends to compact the flour in the bag.  Sifting aerates the flour and "fluffs it up".  


     So as a rule of thumb, whether baking cakes or breads, "sift first, then measure" either by volume or (my preference) by weight.


     In my experience, the type of flour your using does not effect taste as much as texture.  All Purpose flour is a blend of high-gluten and low-gluten flours and is really only good for frying chicken. (though it can make passable bread).  I only use AP flour for cakes when I absolutely have nothing else and can get nothing else.  The protein (i.e. gluten) content of AP flour is really just too high for cakes and they tend to come out heavy, though AP flour can be a good choice for Chocolate cake if you want it to come out heavy and "fudgey".


As a rule, use your lowest protein flours (Cake Flours) for cakes.

Biscuit flour (i.e. Martha White, White Lilly) for Biscuits, Pancakes, Pie Crusts and Doughnuts.

AP flour for frying batters, dredges and gravies.

Bread flour for Breads and Rolls.

And Semolina (the highest protein content flours) for Pastas and Pizza doughs.


Welcome to the world of baking!  :)

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