Homemade cake flour substitute recipe! This easy cake flour substitute teaches you how to make cake flour from 2 pantry staple ingredients - all-purpose flour and cornstarch.
It's always good to know how to make some DIY kitchen substitutes!
Whether it's because you've run out of an ingredient right when you needed it or because it isn't something you keep on-hand, this easy homemade cake flour recipe will let you whip up a batch whenever you need it.
Luckily, it only takes 2 ingredients and less than 5 minutes to make this easy stand-in.
Why use cake flour?
Different types of flour have different roles in baking. Cake flour is a low protein flour, all-purpose flour is a medium protein flour, and bread flour is a high protein flour.
The protein content varies from brand to brand, but cake flours fall from 6-9% protein versus 10-12% protein in all-purpose flour and 11-13% in bread flour.
The lower protein content forms less gluten in baked goods. Gluten helps to give baked goods like bread their chewiness, and lower amounts of gluten make lighter and more tender cakes and cupcakes.
Cake flour is also more finely ground than all-purpose flour. So it has a softer feel than all-purpose flour.
Cake flour's finer texture also helps to give baked goods a soft, fine crumb and helps to make for a lighter, airier finished product.
How to make
It's really easy to make your own cake flour substitute, and you only need two pantry staples to make it. This substitute isn't an exact match, but it makes a great stand-in in a pinch.
For every cup of cake flour that you need, begin with 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
Remove 2 tablespoons of flour from the cup, and place the remaining flour in a bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into the flour in the bowl.
Sift or whisk the flour and cornstarch together 4-5 times until the flour and cornstarch are well-combined.
How to scale
If you need more than 1 cup of flour, just scale the formula as needed.
For instance, for 2 cups of cake flour, use 2 cups of all-purpose flour and remove ¼ cup. Add ¼ cup cornstarch to the flour.
Store this flour mixture in an airtight container as you would with any other flour.
Recipes that use cake flour
Homemade Cake Flour
- Sifter or whisk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Remove 2 tablespoons flour from the cup of flour. This will leave you with 14 tablespoons or ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons or 105 grams of flour.
- Add 2 tablespoons cornstarch to the flour.
- Sift or whisk flour and cornstarch together 4-5 times, or until flour and cornstarch are well-combined.
- Use in place of 1 cup of cake flour.
Originally published 2/1/18. Updated with photos and tips 3/20/21.