Flour Power - Cake (part 2)



Cake Flour

Cake flour is a high-starch flour that is slightly acidic, and has a low percentage of protein, averaging 7%-9%. Cake flour is used in recipes that call for high sugar to flour ratios, where the desire is a light and fluffy outcome. The higher ratio of sugar aids in the structural integrity of the batter, reducing the likelihood of the batter collapsing as it bakes.

Substitution options:

Option 1- Full substitution using Bleached All Purpose Flour:

The bleaching process makes the flour slightly acidic, which is necessary for an all-purpose substitution. To substitute, add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the bottom of a 1 cup measuring cup, then fill the remaining space with all purpose flour for every cup of cake flour. Whisk the flour and cornstarch together, then sift the blend ensuring it is thoroughly mixed.

Note - While this option will work without cornstarch in a pinch (using a cup of all-purpose flour minus two tablespoons), using all purpose flour combined cornstarch will produce a better result.

Option 2- Full substitution using Self-Rising Flour:

Self-rising flour contains the necessary leavening ingredients, which results in a higher pH. When substituting self-rising for cake, the weight measurement should be used instead of volume measurements. Weigh out 110 grams of self rising flour for every cup of cake flour in the recipe, and exclude the leavening agents (baking soda and/or baking powder).

Note - Cake flour sifted and then measured will be roughly 100 grams for 1 cup, while cake flour that has been fluffed (scooped and shaken into the measuring cup) will be roughly 110 grams for 1 cup. Since the self-rising flour will be replacing both the cake flour and the leavening ingredients, the 110 gram weight should be used.

Option 3- Full substitution using Pastry Flour:

Pastry flour is slightly higher in protein than cake flour, but can be used as a substitution for cake flour, but will be a more coarse flour, and may result in a slightly less tender crumb. To substitute, add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the bottom of a 1 cup measuring cup, then fill the remaining space with pastry flour for every cup of cake flour. Whisk the flour and cornstarch together, then sift the blend ensuring it is thoroughly mixed.

Note - While this option will work cup for cup without cornstarch in a pinch, using pastry flour combined cornstarch will produce a better texture, as a cup for cup replacement will result in a denser and more gummy texture than that of cake flour



This is the second part of the Flour Power series, where we are examining the differences between flours and establishing multiple substitution options that can be used in a baking crisis. Once the selected parts are released, the complete course will be posted in our MGM online cooking school, complete with consolidated information, additional flour analysis, tips, substitutions and printable quick reference sheets.


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