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Mar 2, 2005 12:39 PM

Cake Flour?

  • s

I feel like this is a dumb question. . . Is "cake flour" called something else. I am making an angel food cake that calls for cake flour and I can't seem to find it in the supermarket (in Brooklyn - Met Food & Key Food), the health food store, or "gourmet" store (Grace's Marketplace.) Is it imperative or will all purpose do fine? Thanks.

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  1. Cake flour is sometimes sold as "soft flour". It is not a gourmet item, but a store with a good baking section should have it.

    You can use all-purpose flour, but then for 1 cup of cake flour substitute 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour (cake flour has lower gluten and higher starch content relative to all-purpose) plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. You cake may still be tougher than it would be with the cake flour, but it would taste fine.

    1. j
      Jim Washburn

      Substitute only as a last resort. I get cake flour in bulk, but any large supermarket should have it in a box (not a bag) on the baking shelves. Swan's Down is a famous old brand that should be available just about everywhere. Good luck.


      1. j
        Jeremy Newel

        I'm sure the cake flour was there at your market. You might have been looking for a bag, but cake flour in the markets usually comes in a box. In my area the only brand that is everywhere is Swansdown. It comes in a box like Bisquik.

        1. I'm sure your stores carry it. If you can't find it just ask an employee.

          1. I don't know where in Brooklyn you are, but the big Key Food on 5th Avenue in Park Slope used to carry Swan's Down _and_ Softasilk.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Chorus Girl

              I finally found Cake Flour. I was not really surprised that I didn't notice it because, as many of you said, it is in a box, is not near the rest of the flours, and in addition to that it has a picture of a chocolate cake on it that looks just like any Dunkin Hines or Betty Crocker cake! Thanks. I hope my cake comes out delicious.

              1. re: Sammy

                How did your angel food cake come out?

                On his Food Network show "Good Eats", Alton Brown explains the science behind why you cannot substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour. (cake flour = low starch, less starch makes a less dense, fluffier cake)

                Also one of the things he says is vital is that you DO NOT use a non-stick tube pan. The cake is **supposed to stick** to the tube so it has the strength to "climb" the pole in the middle, thus making a lighter, airier cake. Remember, this cake batter is so light and delicate that it does not have the strength to stand on its own for very long. Those egg bubbles don't last forever!

                Also, you must cool the cake upside down, otherwise it will collapse under its own weight, even with the non-stick tube.

                Lastly, the pan should also be breakaway (i.e. the bottom/tube part should release from the sides of the pan). Since the pan is nonstick, this will be the only clean way to get the cake out of the pan.

                Mr. Taster


                1. re: Sammy

                  My sister had the same problem when I sent her to the market for ingredients. She didn't know it was going to be in a box with a photo of a chocolate cake on it.