Bleached Or Unbleached Flour?

Baking By jeanbeard Updated 12 Jun 2010 , 6:56pm by LindaF144a

jeanbeard Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jeanbeard Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 4:53am
post #1 of 15

If a recipe calls for AP flour does it matter whether I use bleached or unbleached flour?
Does it effect the taste or quality of the cake?
Same question for Cake flour, bleached or unbleached.
Please clear up the mystery for me!

14 replies
tmac670 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
tmac670 Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 5:04am
post #2 of 15

Answer from my culinary student daughter boils down to no difference between the two.

JanH Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
JanH Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 5:06am
post #3 of 15

ALL cake flour is bleached.

Not all AP flour is bleached.

If the recipe advises the use of bleached/unbleached go with that.

For butter cakes, bleached flour is better because it holds the butter in better suspension.
(And I did a comparison test using the same pound cake recipe with unbleached and bleached flour. The results were very enlightening: the unbleached was obviously greasy in the lower section, while the bleached wasn't at all greasy looking. The unbleached also tasted slightly greasy in parts while the bleached wasn't greasy at all just uniformly moist.)

More than you ever wanted to know about flour:


ceshell Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
ceshell Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 6:14am
post #4 of 15

I was just reading an article about "10 foods to avoid" - you know, the usual stuff, like artificial sweeteners, trans fats, etc. It included bleached flour on the list because there is so little nutritional value, and talked about how unbleached flour is the way to go.

Now I know they were talking about things like breads and other ways you might use flour, but I still thought it was funny since I have only used it for cake. Cuz all I could think was: WHO CARES if there is no nutritional value? It's cake!!

BTW there is no nutritional value in a lollipop, either. icon_lol.gif

(p.s. I have to admit, for everyday use, I only use unbleached AP flour...for nutritional purposes!)

jeanbeard Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jeanbeard Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 2:42pm
post #5 of 15

Thank you for the info, especially regarding butter cakes.

My goal is not only to create beautiful & creative cakes but delisous ones.
I feel like I am in a maze, trying to figure out the best products to use so that I end up with a "high" quality product.

Any info on baking powder, aluminum free vs regular?
Also, where to find high quality chocolate...?

I just ran across some cake flour and the box says "unbleached".I had never seen it, so I bought it. So, I wonder what is up with it. I haven't had a chance to read the label yet. Maybe it really isn't unbleached?

Once again, thank you! (I am going to stay away from lolipops!)

7yyrt Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
7yyrt Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 3:23pm
post #6 of 15

Thanks, JanH !
I wondered why my cakes seemed not as good when using unbleached flour. Never noticed much difference in bread or sweet rolls, but the cakes were different.

Rumford baking powder is aluminum free.
If you're asking for differing results, try this link -

bonniebakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
bonniebakes Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 4:30pm
post #7 of 15

JanH - that's really interesting. I exclusively use unbleached flour (for the past few years), and have not noticed a difference in the texture of my cakes, but I do notice a taste (for the better) when using unbleached. I have really sensitive taste buds, I guess (I can also taste the aluminum in baking poweder and can tell when anything's been frozen).

Anyway... just wanted to let you know that King Arthur flour now makes an unbleached cake flour.....

ceshell Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
ceshell Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 5:05pm
post #8 of 15

I love this cocoa powder - I get it from Surfas in the store though, so it is quite cheap for me, not having to pay shipping. I used to buy Callebaut at but the Cacao Barry is just as good, for far less $. Also in comparing prices, is less. Sometimes you can get good deals on

KathysCC Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
KathysCC Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 5:12pm
post #9 of 15
Sagebrush Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Sagebrush Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 7:37pm
post #10 of 15


Thanks for the info on the flour. I've always used the unbleached, seeing no real purpose for the bleaching agent to be added. I got The Cake Bible for Christmas and was surprised to see that it specifically called for bleached flour, and I always wondered why... so thanks for clearing that up, at least in regards to butter cakes.

I'm wondering if there's a way to counteract the difference in the suspending abilities... maybe a little extra flour if you're using unbleached?

JanH Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
JanH Posted 21 Apr 2010 , 12:07am
post #11 of 15

Yes, it seems bleaching changes the shape of the flour particles, and that's what makes the difference in the butter cakes (not being greasy in portions).

And I conducted my experiment with Ceresota unbleached and Gold Medal bleached flours.

And I'll have to check out the info on the King Arthur unbleach cake flour.


terrig007 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
terrig007 Posted 21 Apr 2010 , 12:19am
post #12 of 15

Yes, I am also wondering about the Unbleached King Arthur Cake Flour. I have been hesitant to buy it myself.

JanH Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
JanH Posted 21 Apr 2010 , 1:15am
post #13 of 15

The blurb for King Arthur's unbleached cake flour refers to it as an unbleached cake flour blend

Also included are product reviews.


PDXSweetTreats Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
PDXSweetTreats Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 12:35am
post #14 of 15

Wow! Great information, everyone. I just got Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Rose's Heavenly Cakes," and she expressly calls for bleached AP flour in certain recipes (due to the roughness of the flour grains' surface, allowing them to keep the butter in suspension). I've always used unbleached (don't know why), so this was enlightening. It also explains why a cake recipe I doctored with unbleached AP flour sank in the center. (LOL)

Terrig007, I haven't used KA unbleached cake flour blend, but I have used their unbleached AP flour for cookies, and it's WONDERFUL! Especially, chocolate chip cookies.

LindaF144a Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
LindaF144a Posted 12 Jun 2010 , 6:56pm
post #15 of 15

There is a ton of great info here. I just wanted to add that everywhere I read about cakes, they say to use bleached cake flour. I can't remember the wording or the reason why. JanH has it right if I recall correctly.

I had some KA unbleached cake flour blend. I had it for so long it expired. I can't remember what I used it for the first time. But after reading all the experts say use bleached flour, I did not feel guilty for tossing the expired flour.

Quote by @%username% on %date%