Swans Down Vs. Softasilk. In A Pickle And Need Your Thoughts

Baking By stephsweetreats Updated 20 Aug 2015 , 4:34am by littlejewel

stephsweetreats Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 11:39am
post #1 of 16

Hi everyone!  I am someone who hates hates hates switching brands.  Even if something is essentially the same I have this thing in my head that tells me I can't switch brands or it will taste different....even if it won't!  This mostly goes for my sugar, vanilla, and flour.  I have always used Swans Down cake flour in my recipes that call for cake flour but getting for a decent price ($2.68) is becoming harder and harder.  I use to get it from my local Wal-Mart, now my Wal-Mart, and several near by ones have dropped it.  I have been able to talk to the food department and special order it by the case, but for some reason only certain Wal-Marts tell me they can order it.  

I noticed the Wal-Mart in my town (which no longer carries Swans Down) now carries Softasilk ($2.23).  So of course I'm in a panic thinking they are all switching and that I will no longer be able to special order it.  I have around 80 boxes of Swans Down right now but will burn through them in September. So I thought I would ask everyone if they have a preference on brand??  I know cake flour can also be made, but I don't want to do that due to how much I use and because again...I have a sticking to the same brand thing hehe. 

I don't want to switch brands but just in case I have to I wanted to get people's thoughts and opinions.  Thanks!

15 replies
-K8memphis Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 12:18pm
post #2 of 16

my suggestion is buy a box of softasilk and bake yourself a cake now and put your fears to rest -- i've never noticed a difference but i mostly only used it for family --

and please report back on your findings if you do this -- best to you

stephsweetreats Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 12:20pm
post #3 of 16

K8memphis I will definitely do that!  Thanks for sharing your experience and I will report back :)

imagenthatnj Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 2:31pm
post #4 of 16

I've used both and I think the cakes came out the same. I even have mixed them in a big container so that I don't have so many boxes lying around. I think I should come to your house and bring a box of Softasilk and transfer it into a box of Swan (lol). I did that once for my ex-boss, who liked a certain kind of coffee, something like "Folgers or nothing." I replaced it with another kind and he never noticed! Getting serious now, would it be possible to get the info for both brands on how they're milled, what grains are used, etc.?

Cakemom21 Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 2:33pm
post #5 of 16

I actually love Softasilk cake flour. I had to buy Swans Down and didn't want to. (I don't like change) Everyone that tried the cupcakes loved it, and couldn't tell the difference. I tried it and don't "think" it tasted different but I KNOW I used a different flour so I feel a little weird about it, like I can taste a difference. I think it is all in my head though. Sorry, I know, I am no help. :)

stephsweetreats Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 2:48pm
post #6 of 16

Cakemom21 that's exactly how I am!  My husband is usually my guinea pig so I'll have to blind taste test him with the two :)

Rfisher Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 3:15pm
post #7 of 16

That's a lot of boxes. I understand brand loyalty, but do you not wish to look into 50# bag?

stephsweetreats Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 3:17pm
post #8 of 16

Rfisher I have searched and searched and can only get Swans Down brand in individual boxes or by cases of 8.  So I've just been buying by the case from stores.  Online or even directly from the maker can be significantly more expensive.  

Rfisher Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 3:26pm
post #9 of 16

I was not clear, I mean different brand by wholesale supplier. The one bag vs many bags in boxes.

regarding grocery store shopping, look into White Lilly AP...you might find it suits your needs and at a better price.

stephsweetreats Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 3:34pm
post #10 of 16

Thanks for the tip Rfisher. I just really don't want to switch brands.  But I obviously will have to do so if Swans Down becomes unavailable to me or too expensive to order.  Just hoping it doesn't come to that :)  Hopefully, if I have to, something like Softasilk will be the equivalent and when I get through the big rush of weddings I'm currently in I will have to test some other brands or wholesalers.

-K8memphis Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 4:27pm
post #11 of 16

rfisher, and Jeff a, i know you use it too --  i just have never had the best results with white lilly and maybe i should do a test but still in my brain i'm thinking i know it's not as light as cake flour -- i don't specifically remember using it for a cake (vanilla cake) because i never even liked it for cookies & stuff --

next time i do a pound cake maybe i'll try it and i'll report back but i really need to try it with a sylvia weinstock type yellow cake -- when i do i'll post my results --

i just like old all purpose and cake flour that's been all bleached to hades and loaded with (the dreaded) chemicals aka vitamins & barley flour & whatever 


-K8memphis Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 4:29pm
post #12 of 16

i can see it working better with buttermilk in the recipe because it needs more oomph imo

Rfisher Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 4:58pm
post #13 of 16

K8, I don't like anything I have made with WL self rising.  I see little difference between WL AP and swans down/softasilk in finished goods.

I break out the bad girl Queen G when I need to impress. And that's usually just impressing myself........no one else notices.

-K8memphis Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 6:04pm
post #14 of 16

"And that's usually just impressing myself........no one else notices."


that's why we have cc huh -- my daughter says it like this:

'humor my psychosis'  sweat_smile.png

shaloop Posted 20 Aug 2015 , 3:52am
post #15 of 16

I only use White Lily (all purpose). Once sifted, it's very similar to cake flour.  It's bleached and made of soft white wheat. Even smells like cake flour to me. It's not quite as light as it's a few more grams per cup than cake flour,  but i use a scale and not volume measures so that doesnt really matter. The plus for me is that it costs the same for 5 lbs as cake flour does for 2 pounds with no noteworthy difference in taste or texture to me.

littlejewel Posted 20 Aug 2015 , 4:34am
post #16 of 16

Some Wal-Mart s are authorized to carry items that others aren't, so if it is authorized for.a store they can order it.  I have used swans down, soft as silk, and king Arthur, I like the results swan's down and soft as silk gives. I can't tell the difference between swans down and soft as silk. 

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