Part 12 of my Baking Basics series: Don’t have cake flour? You will soon! All you need are all purpose flour, cornstarch, and a few minutes to make your own.
If you’ve ever encountered a recipe that called for cake flour and you’ve panicked because you didn’t have any, stress no more!
We covered the different types of flour and how to use them in this post, but this post is specifically about cake flour with step by step photos and instructions for making your own. You only need two ingredients and a couple minutes.
What is cake flour?
Cake flour has the lowest protein content of all the flours, which lends itself to softer and more delicate baked goods.
It’s very fine, and is generally put through a bleaching process that weakens the gluten proteins – this means it absorbs more liquid and sugar than all-purpose flour, which means you get a more moist cake with a higher rise.
So, long story short: cake flour is soft, which means your baked good will be soft, too.
How to make your own cake flour
It really is quite simple – you just have to make sure you’re properly measuring your ingredients for the best results and the right ratio of flour to cornstarch.
- Measure out 1 cup all purpose flour and place it in a medium bowl. Now remove 2 tablespoons of the flour – just drop it back into your container of all purpose flour.
- Next, measure out 2 tablespoons cornstarch and add it to the bowl of flour.
- Use a mesh sieve to sift the mixture into a separate bowl, and then repeat this process one more time. You want the mixture to be fine.
How to use cake flour
It works best in cakes, especially one like angel food cake since it’s such a light, fluffy and delicate type of cake. It’s also great for sponge cakes, biscuits, muffins and scones.
Because it is softer and finer than all purpose flour, it can’t necessarily be substituted 1:1 for all purpose flour. If your recipe includes a good amount of wet ingredients like banana bread, hummingbird cupcakes or triple chocolate banana bread, you’ll want to stick with all purpose flour.
As for storing your freshly made cake flour, be sure to store it in an airtight container – I use these and love them.
If you’re using the mixture you just made for a recipe immediately, measure out the amount needed as you’ve incorporated more air and it will be more than 1 cup at this point. Just look at the photo below to see what I mean:
I hope this helps! Are there any questions about making your own cake flour that I didn’t answer? Let me know in the comments below!
Other content in the Baking Basics series:
- How to Make Shredded Chicken
- 25+ Holiday Baking Tips
- Introducing the Baking Basics Series
- How to Store Common Baking Ingredients
- Shelf Life of Common Baking Ingredients
- How to Measure Ingredients for Baking
- Baking Pan Conversions Made Easy
- Volume Conversions for Baking Recipe Ingredients
- How to Calibrate Your Oven for Better Baking Results
- How to Clean Your Silicone Mats
- How to Convert Temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius
- What Room Temperature Butter Means (and why it’s important)
- Flour 101: How to Use Different Types of Flour
- How to Make Muffin Liners Out of Parchment Paper
- Why You Mix Dry and Wet Ingredients Separately
- How to Make Cake Flour
- How to Ship Cookies in the Mail
- Sprinkles 101: The different kinds and how to use them
- How to Make Buttermilk
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Measuring cup
- Straight edged utensil
- Medium bowl
- Tablespoon (measuring spoon)
- Mesh sieve
- Measure 1 cup flour and place in a medium bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons (just place it back in with the rest of your flour).
- Add 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
- Use a mesh sieve to sift the mixture into a separate bowl. Repeat this process one more time.
- If you’re using the mixture for a recipe immediately, measure out the amount needed as you’ve incorporated more air and it will be more than 1 cup at this point.
- Store in an airtight container – I use these and love them.
Measuring Flour: To properly measure flour, use a spoon to fluff up the flour in its container, then use a spoon to scoop it into a dry measuring cup. Use a knife or other straight-edged utensil to level the flour across the top of the measuring cup.