I have come across many recipes that states ‘cake flour’. Many maybe confused, so is it similar to plain flour or is it self-raising flour? Help!
Cake flour is more commonly used in American cake recipes. It is low protein flour with about 8% protein content compared to plain flour (all purpose flour) which has around 10-12%. Cake flour is usually bleached, and it makes the cake rise more and also have a more fluffy, and tender texture. However, you will not be able to find cake flour in Europe or Australia as bleached flour is banned there.
So how does the content level of protein affect the result of the cake?
Protein gives structure to baked goods, but the thing is, not every baked good requires the same level of protein. The higher the level of protein, the more tough or chewy the texture will be. So, cakes with lower protein content, will have that more light, soft and fluffy texture.
So what’s the substitute?
You can use plain flour / all purpose flour and add cornflour / cornstarch to reduce the protein content. Cornflour will inhibit the formation of gluten while also giving structure and sponginess to your cake.
So.. for 1 cup of plain flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace it with two tablespoons of cornflour. Give it a good mix, then sift them together before using, i suggest sifting it at least 5-8 times to make sure it is thoroughly combined.
Remember this formula:
(1 cup plain flour – 2 tablespoons) + (2 tablespoons cornflour) = 1 cup cake flour
If the recipe states, ‘cake flour’ use plain flour. If it states ‘raising cake flour’ use self raising flour.
Note. Potato starch can also be used but it will cook quicker and will be more moist than if you used cornflour.
Happy baking! :)
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