Cake Flour vs All Purpose Flour


Can cake flour be substituted 1:1 for all purpose flour? If not, what is the conversion rate?

badge posted by: cheryl285 on September 05, 2011 at 2:48 pm in Q & A
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reply by: swirth on September 05, 2011 at 3:01 pm

This info is from

cake flour (Don't use this in bread. It also doesn't work well in cookies, quick breads, muffins, and biscuits--it makes them very crumbly. In a pinch, substitute one cup of all-purpose flour with one cup plus two tablespoons of cake flour.)

reply by: swirth on September 05, 2011 at 3:24 pm

And, if you need to go the other way, you can make a cake flour substitute using all purpose flour...use 2 Tbsp. cornstarch in the bottom of a measuring cup and fill remainder of cup with all purpose flour (or 7/8 cup all-purpose flour).

Some say they just omit the cornstarch and use the 7/8 cup all-purpose flour for the one cup of cake flour when in a bind.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 05, 2011 at 3:45 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

I've had poor luck substituting for cake flour. If you want to go the AP+cornstarch method, it isn't 1c PLUS 2 T of cornstarch (which is what I was doing the first few times I tried this), it's 7/8c of AP plus 2 T of cornstarch. Basically, put 2 T of cornstarch in the bottom of your cup measure before filling up the rest of the way with your AP.

I've gotten better results weighing - cake flour weighs less than AP. KA assumes 4 oz per cup for cake flour, and 4.25 oz per cup for AP.

You can still substitute a small amount of cornstarch for some of the AP BY WEIGHT if you do this - the addition of the cornstarch reduces the overall gluten content. So for one cup of cake flour required, you could put 1.5 T to 2 T of cornstarch in a bowl, then add AP flour until it weighs 4 oz altogether (per cup called for in the recipe).

This is a leetle bit chancy because everybody's one cup of flour doesn't weigh the same (meaning whoever originally wrote the recipe may have used more or less than 4 oz of cake flour per cup), but I don't see how it could be any worse overall than going by straight volume measures.

reply by: swirth on September 05, 2011 at 3:53 pm

As the website says, you do use 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. of cake flour to make a substitute for 1 cup of all purpose flour. It takes more than one cup of cake flour to equal the needed one cup of all-purpose flour.

That is why I made two posts of it so as not to confuse the poster.

The 2-Tbsp. cornstarch and 7/8 cup of all-purpose is making a cake flour substitute by using all-purpose flour and cornstarch.

They are not the same thing so the substitutions are different. Cake flour is weaker so it takes more cake flour to equal one cup of all purpose flour if you only have cake flour on hand and need all-purpose flour.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 05, 2011 at 4:03 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

I must have been typing my response at the same time as you were typing yours. I wasn't responding to you.

What I said was:

"isn't 1c PLUS 2 T of cornstarch (which is what I was doing the first few times I tried this)"

Because that's what I used to do. You will find places on the internet that still recommend this. It doesn't work.

As to substituting cake flour FOR AP flour, I wouldn't suggest doing that, if for no other reason than that cake flour costs a LOT more than AP.

The purpose of adding more cake flour if you were to try to use cake flour instead of AP is to make up for the WEIGHT difference. Cake flour is a finer grind than AP flour, so it is "fluffier" and takes up more room when measured by volume. It does nothing to increase gluten. The only way to modify that would be to add some vital wheat gluten.

reply by: KIDPIZZA on September 05, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Good afternoon. Cheryl, as you probably have read YES!!! you can subst. cake flour for A/P flour. But & however, do not expect the same will vary. Instead of speculating why don't you post the recipe & tell us why you plan to subst one flour for another. We then can be more efficient....we are anxious to help you.

Till then good luck & enjoy the rest of the day young lady.


reply by: cheryl285 on September 06, 2011 at 11:01 am

Thanks everyone for all your help!