Can Cake Flour Be Substituted For All Purpose Flour

Can Cake Flour Be Substituted For All Purpose Flour? (Explained)

Craving for that soft and spongy cake, but do not have any cake flour present in the kitchen.

Have you ever found yourself in this crisis? If yes, you are not alone.

But what to do now? You have all-purpose flour, but can you substitute it for cake flour or with any other flour? Is there any difference between these two?

Let’s find out the answers to these questions in today’s article.

Did you know that different flour is available in the market, each for different baking requirements?

It does not matter whether you are just starting out your baking journey or you have been in this industry for an extended period of time. Every baker should be aware of each type of flour.

You should know the differences between all flours, whether you are baking a pillowy piece of angel food cake or a chewy, stretched loaf of bread.

Keep reading to learn more about cake flour and all-purpose flour, as well as how to decide which is best for your next baking project.

Can Cake Flour Be Substituted For All Purpose Flour?

dough, cake batter, flour

You are mistaken if you believe that all types of flour are alike and there is not much of a difference.

The two flours which are used mainly by bakers to bake are cake flour and all-purpose flour.

If you do not know much about baking and flour, you may think that these are identical because they are both made of wheat. But it’s not true.

The distinction lies in the way they are milled, the kind of wheat used to make the flour, the protein content, and the season in which it was collected.

One of the most crucial points of difference between cake flour and all-purpose flour is their protein content.

All-purpose flour has 10-12 percent protein content, whereas cake flour just has a protein content of 7-8 percent.

Because cake flour has a lower protein amount which results in a lighter consistency, it is often used in baking to produce cakes with an airy texture.

So now the question is, can you substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour? The short and crisp answer is yes. For most baking recipes, you can use any of these flours interchangeably.

If you are confused about choosing between all-purpose flour and cake flour, you can go for anyone because there is not much of a difference.

When you are thinking of baking cake in particular, you can use cake flour to create a sponge cake that is lighter and airier.

But if you do not have cake flour in your hands, you do not have to worry because all-purpose flour will work just as well.

But keep in if that all-purpose flour will result in a denser cake. In the end, it all depends on your choice of which flour you want to use.

Also Read: Why Does My Cake Stick To The Pan? (How To Fix?)

What Is The Difference Between All Purpose Flour And Cake Flour?

Let’s first talk about the primary and significant differences between different types of wheat flour. Any guesses?

The gluten content of the flour is what makes one type of flour different from the other.

Flour is typically manufactured from two different types of wheat, which are

  • High-protein wheat (also known as hard wheat)
  • Low-protein wheat (also known as soft wheat)

The development of gluten in the flour increases with the proportion of protein present in the flour.

The flour’s gluten content is responsible for increasing the strength, volume, and flexibility of the finished baked product.

Let’s understand this with an example – bread flour, known as the most vital kind of flour. It is derived from hard wheat, which gives it the chewier and denser texture that people want in bread.

But you won’t be using the bread flour when you wish to bake soft pastries or spongy cakes. The properties of bread flour won’t be of any use in this case.

On the other hand, cake flour is manufactured from soft wheat and thus has the least amount of protein (only 7–9 percent) of any flour.

Cake flour is often used to create delicate and soft baked products like biscuits, pastries, and spongy cakes because its gluten proteins are pretty weak in nature.

You will be surprised to know that cakes are not soft just because of the weak nature of gluten protein in cake flour.

Another factor that decreases the gluten content in the cake flour is the chlorination process. Because of this, cake flour becomes more delicate in nature.

Now let’s talk about all-purpose flour. How is it made? From hard wheat or soft wheat?

None of the options is correct because all-purpose flour is manufactured from the combination of both hard wheat and soft wheat.

All-purpose flour is able to keep its form and structure without providing the same density or degree of gluten development as bread flour.

You may ask why? The answer is that all-purpose flour has a modest protein concentration (10-13 percent protein), which preserves its structural integrity.

Because it strikes a fair balance between flours that are higher in gluten and those that are lower in gluten, all-purpose flour is primarily used in baking.

Also, keep in mind that if your recipe just calls for flour (nothing in particular), go for all-purpose flour.

Also Read: Can You Use Bread Flour For Cookies? (Guide!!)

How To Convert All-Purpose Flour To Cake Flour?

If you want to bake a soft, spongy cake but do not have cake flour in hand, do not worry.

Now you can convert your all-purpose flour to cake flour. Just follow these simple steps, and you will have your homemade cake flour ready in a few minutes.

Step 1. Calculate the amount of flour you will require for your recipe.

Step 2. Remove two tablespoons of flour and put it back in the flour bin for each cup of flour you take. Place the cup of flour in a sifter placed over a bowl (but leave out the two tablespoons).

Step 3. Now take two spoonfuls of cornstarch and replace it with the two tablespoons of flour you removed in the second step.

Step 4. Combine the cornstarch and flour by sifting them gently. Continue sifting it over and again. The flour must be aerated, and the cornstarch should be well mixed in.


What is the best substitute for all-purpose flour?

If you are fond of reading recipes online or have even baked a single thing in your life, you may know how popular all-purpose flour is in baking.

It’s like potato, you can use it with almost every recipe, and somehow it just works wonderfully!

But what to do if you do not have all-purpose flour in hand and are craving some sweet cake?

You might choose to walk or drive to the nearest supermarket but choosing a substitute sounds like a more manageable plan. Right?

So what substitute can you use in place of all-purpose flour? You can use Chickpea flour, Rice flour, Almond flour, and Buckwheat flour.

What happens if I use cake flour instead of all-purpose?

Try substituting cake flour for all-purpose flour in your recipes if you want your baked products to be lighter and fluffier.

Cake flour contains less protein and gluten than other kinds of flour, resulting in baked products that are less dense than bread or baked pretzels.

What is the best flour for baking cake?

The lowest protein level of any flour is found in cake flour, which ranges from 5 to 8 percent.

This causes cake flour to produce less gluten, resulting in softer baked products that are ideal for cake recipes, muffins, and even biscuits.

Also, cake flour absorbs more moisture and sugar than all-purpose flour, which ultimately results in very moist cakes.

Final Thoughts

If you thought cake flour and all-purpose flour have no difference at all, you are kind of wrong.

The level of protein that each kind of wheat flour has is what distinguishes them from one another.

You can think of all-purpose flour as an all-rounder flour that you can utilize each time you are preparing pancake batter or baking loaves of bread, muffins, and cakes.

All-purpose flour constitutes 10–13 percent protein levels and unfailingly delivers terrific results. However, if you want to bake with super soft layers, you should use cake flour.

Cake flour, the least protein-rich flour on the market, bakes up into layers of cake that are so soft they almost melt in your mouth.

I hope this article helps you to choose between cake flour or all-purpose flour as per your needs the next time you bake.

Happy baking!

Leave a Reply