How To Make Cake Flour
Cake flour, commonly used for dessert making, is so easy to make at home. It’s lower in protein, which means if you’re chasing that soft, delicate, light, and airy cake crumb, then cake flour is the answer! Sure, you can use store bought, but at a pinch and on a budget, it’s so easy and much cheaper to make at home. It requires 2 essential ingredients and a couple kitchen tools you already have and you’re on your way to amazing desserts!
What is Cake flour?
In short, it’s a low-protein flour that’s mainly used to make desserts like cakes and cupcakes. It helps give you a light and airy structure. You can also use it to make light and delicate tart crusts, although mine uses all-purpose flour. Speaking of, what is the difference?
Well, they’re all made of wheat. But there are differences in the types of flour used in baking. Things like how they’re milled and the kind of wheat they’re made of. The difference mainly lies in their level of protein. And that protein level develops gluten, giving you a chewy texture in things like bread. The more gluten, the chewier your dough or batter; the less gluten, the more delicate the final crumb.
If you want to try out a recipe that tests the effects of cake flour, give my delicate red velvet cupcake recipe a go! It’s my favorite dessert because of how soft, and delicious it is!
Let’s to a deep dive into the different types of flours
14 – 16% protein content – You know what’s funny about bread flour? It’s got a higher protein ratio than all-purpose flour because of the time of year it’s collected and processed. Spring! This flour is best used for making chewy, crusty Artisan bread, pizza dough, and those iconic chewy bagels! It has a coarse texture and is darker in color compared to other flours.
10% – 12% protein content – This all-around flour, also known as AP flour or ‘plain flour’ in Australia, is the most commonly used in home kitchens. It’s used for a broad range of things like bread, pizza, chocolate cakes, and cupcakes. It’s important to note, though, that if you’re using this for desserts, you want to be careful not to overmix your cake batter. Otherwise, you risk developing too much gluten, which results in a chewy cake and cupcakes that shrink and come away from your cupcake liners.
Cake Flour /Pastry Flour
7% – 9% protein content – Soft, delicate, light, and fluffy desserts, now we’re talking! This is a low-protein flour, which will give you that nice light cake crumb. It’s also great for getting super light tart crusts like my French Fruit Tart!
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
Ingredients You Need To Make Cake Flour
Two basic ingredients are all you need for making home-made cake flour.
All-purpose flour – this is result flour. It’s also known as AP flour or ‘plain flour’. Make sure you measure it properly. More on how to do that below!
Corn starch – sometimes known as corn flour, is the ingredient that lightens up this cake flour and helps make your cake crumb so light!
How to make Cake Flour!
Making cake flour at home is so easy.
- Spoon and level – Simply spoon all-purpose flour into a 1 cup measuring cup. Then use a flat knife or spatula to level it off. You want to avoid packing the flour into your measuring cup as it can lead to using too much flour in your recipe.
- Sift into a bowl – use a fine mesh sieve to sift the flour into a bowl. Then use a tablespoon measure to take out two leveled tablespoons of flour and replace it with two tablespoons of leveled-off corn starch. Sift that into the flour.
- Mix – Use a whisk to mix together.
- Sift x3 times in total – Bring out a second mixing bowl, pour the flour through a sieve, and sift again. Do this a total of three times.
PRO Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!
- Level and spoon! Making sure you measure your flour correctly is so important. This is the correct way to measure most dry ingredients. Packing the flour into your measuring cup can result in using too much flour in your recipe, giving you different results than the publisher intended.
- Sieve! – The most essential part of making cake flour at home is aerating the flour. It lightens it up and adds more air to your cakes, giving them an even lighter crumb! Trust me, it’s worth all the sifting!
- Use regular all-purpose flour for best results, not whole wheat flour.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cake Flour
How do I store this?
Same as every other flour. In an airtight container in a dark, cool spot. In other words, a container in your cupboard.
Is homemade the same as store-bought?
Hmm, yes and no. Store-bought cake flour is finer in consistency because it’s milled that way. But homemade makes up for this by being nice and airy because of how many times it’s sifted.
Can I make it in bulk?
Yep! You don’t have to make it 1 cup at a time. You can make it 6 cups at a time if you need, and then store it away. Natural, 6 cups of flour would mean you’d need to take out 12 tbsp of flour and replace it with 12 tbsp of corn starch. Sift it the same number of times.
What’s the difference between this and all-purpose flour?
Couple differences. The color is slightly different. Cake flour is much lighter. But that doesn’t really make a difference to your cake. It’s all in the protein content in each flour. Cake flour has 7 – 9% protein, while all-purpose flour has 10 – 12%.
Is this the same as pastry flour?
Essentially, yes. Pastry flour can be used as cake flour. It has about 1% less protein in it than cake flour.
Why is cake flour not used in chocolate cakes?
This is an interesting one! Chocolate cake is commonly made with cocoa flour. Besides making your cake nice and chocolatey, Cocoa flour has the same light consistency as corn starch, so it’s already going to give you the same results as cake flour.
Can I use whole-wheat flour?
Generally, no. It can be too coarse and to get that nice fine cake crumb, it’s best to use all-purpose flour.
Can I use it in cakes that have wet ingredients added?
No! Sorry, didn’t mean to yell that, but because of the added moisture that fruits and even carrot provides in carrot cake, the flour is too light and needs something stronger like all-purpose flour.
If, after reading this, I’ve convinced you to try making your own cake flour at home, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Hungry for more? Join me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok for more great recipes!
Looking for recipes to try out your home-made cake flour? Try these!
How To Make Cake Flour
- 1 cup (150g) all-purpose flour (see notes)
- 2 tbsp corn starch (also known as corn flour)
- Spoon the flour into a 1 cup (150g) measuring cup and then use a flat knife or spatula to level off. Sift into a bowl. Use a measuring spoon to take out two tablespoons of flour. Replace with two tablespoons of corn starch, also known as corn flour. Use a whisk to combine. Get out another bowl and pour the flour through a sieve and sift. Repeat this two times for a total of three times.