Do I Have To Use Cake Flour?

Decorating By Callyssa Updated 30 Sep 2008 , 4:30am by keyshia

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Callyssa Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 2:15am
post #1 of 4

I hope I'm not posting this in the wrong forum; if so, I'm sorry!

I'm testing a strawberry cake from scratch recipe I found on here and it says to use cake flour. I'm wondering if I can all purpose in place of (as I don't have any cake flour and I'm hoping to get this baked and taste tested tonight) If so, do I use the same amount?

Sorry for my newbie questions; I try to do as much trial and error as possible on my own, but I'd rather not waste an entire cake if they're not interchangeable because I was too embarrassed to ask. Thank you in advance!

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eatdessert1st Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 3:16am
post #2 of 4

It does make a difference in the final product. I found a good explanation of it on the net:

Melanie Mc.

When baking a cake, most cooks aim to create a light, fluffy cake with a tender crumb. This requires a flour with a low protein content, as protein promotes the production of gluten, which can make baked goods more tough. It also means that the flour must be very finely milled, to keep baked goods from getting heavy. Finally, a flour which is starchy and able to hold large amounts of fat and sugar without collapsing is required.

All of these needs are addressed with cake flour, which is made from the endosperm of soft wheat. The endosperm is the softest part of the wheat kernel, making cake flour the finest flour available. As cake flour is milled, it is heavily bleached, not only to make it white but to break down the protein in the flour. Typically, cake flour is around seven percent protein, much lower than other flours; bread flour, for example, has twice that amount of protein.

The delicate, fine texture of cake flour is accomplished by heavy milling. The fine grain absorbs fat readily, ensuring that butter and other fats in cakes are well distributed throughout the batter. Cake flour can also carry a high volume of sugar when compared to higher protein flours. Since cake flour is a high-starch flour, it is extremely well suited for certain baking tasks. Cake flour is also lighter than conventional flour, which is why the substitution above falls short of a full cup.

Cookie and cake recipes which call for cake flour should be made using cake flour, if possible. In the production of certain other baked goods, cake flour can replace ordinary flour for a lighter end product, using one cup and two tablespoons of cake flour for every cup of flour called for in the recipe. Cake flour should not be used to make breads and other leavened products, as it is not strong enough. Also, as a general rule, a recipe which calls for âsifted flourâ requires the cook to sift the flour before measuring, while âflour, siftedâ is flour which is measured and then sifted.

Here's a sub for cake flour from recipezaar:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1To make two cups of cake-and-pastry flour (cake flour), combine 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup cornstarch; proceed with your recipe.
2The easiest way to do this substitution is to put 2 tbsp of cornstarch in the bottom of a 1-cup measuring cup, then fill the cup as usual with all-purpose flour and level top. Repeat process to get your two cups.
3If you only need 1/2 cup of cake flour, put 1 tbsp cornstarch in bottom of 1/2 cup measuring cup, then fill and level as above.

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Callyssa Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 4:22am
post #3 of 4

Ahhhh! Thank you so much! It makes perfect sense. I just printed off that great information and put it in my "special" CC file! I actually couldn't find cake flour in two different grocery stores that I checked. Now I'm anxious to do a trial run and see if my biggest critics (three teenage sons!) notice a difference!

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keyshia Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 4:30am
post #4 of 4

If that's the same strawberry cake recipe I use from here, I LOVE IT!! It has such a good flavor to it. As for the cake flour, did you look in the boxed stuff by the flour? I used to look for it and could NEVER find it...then I realized that I was looking in the bagged flour when it's in a pink box. Anyway, hope your cake turns out and you all like the flavor! icon_smile.gif

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