Ap Flour Versus Cake Flour Help

Baking By sweettreat101 Updated 12 Jun 2011 , 4:16pm by LindaF144a

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sweettreat101 Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 3:13am
post #1 of 6

If a cake recipe calls for flour would you get a better result if you used cake flour versus AP flour? I usually just use AP flour but thought maybe I should be using Cake flour.

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Sugarflowers Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 3:30am
post #2 of 6

I prefer cake flour because it makes a softer and tighter crumb. My cakes also rise more than with AP flour. I also like super fine sugar.

Cake flour is made from a softer grain, I think winter wheat.

It's late for me so that's all I can think about the flour.


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macie2011 Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 3:33am
post #3 of 6

Cake flour has been sifted more and it usually helps make a cake more moist.

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jason_kraft Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 3:36am
post #4 of 6

Agreed, we also use cake flour for all non-gluten-free cakes. It's about the same price as AP flour at the local restaurant supply store.

Cake flour is made with soft wheat, bread flour is made with hard wheat (higher gluten content), and AP flour is a mix of both.

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mena2002 Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 3:36am
post #5 of 6

Cake flour will produce a cake that is lighter and a less dense texture than other flours. But the flour itself is lighter than other flours so if you have a recipe that calls for 1 cup flour than you would need to use more than 1 cup of cake flour.

If the recipe just says flour I would use the all purpose.

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LindaF144a Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 4:16pm
post #6 of 6
Originally Posted by macie2011

Cake flour has been sifted more and it usually helps make a cake more moist.

No, this is not true. Cake Flour is made with a softer wheat and therefore has less protein. It is the protein amount in flour that will determine how tough your cake results will be. And a lower protein means that you can potentially mix it longer and not create the tough gluten strands that makes for a tough cake. That is why you have all types of flour. Bread needs those tough gluten strands, cakes do not.

Cake flour also is bleached making it a bit more acidic to help a cake set. You can get the same results with bleached AP flour.

Cake flour is supposed to absorb more sugar and liquid and that is what makes the cake more moist and tender. AP flour cannot absorb as much. Recipes formulated with cake flour (a real true recipe and not one butchered over time from people making substitutions and then posting them on the web) will have more sugar by weight by about 25-40%. This is very true in Shirley Corriher recipes, but not so much in The Cake Bible recipes. Rose, I believe, does not like as sweet a cake as Shirley. I have found I like a sweeter cake, so I prefer a recipe with the sugar higher in weight than the flour.

There are places out there that tell you to take out 2T of AP flour when cake flour is requested. That is to get it to the same weight, not the same properties. I weigh all my ingredients, so this is never an issue.

If you want the same absorption properties as cake flour using AP, then take out 10% in weight of AP flour and add in 10% in weight of corn starch or potato starch. And then sift them together about 5 times. That will give you the same results.

A good place to find recipes like this is Cake Love by Warren Brown. You can also find out more about cake flour from reading Bakewise by Shirley Corriher, How Baking Works by Paula Forgina (I think that is the last name) and I think Alton Brown touches on it too in his books. Also any good culinary school baking book will touch on it too, I hope. But these books are the ones I have found so far.

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