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Cake Flour vs. All Purpose Flour

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I apologize for my redundant posts, but I was wondering if cake flour is better than all purpose flour for pound cakes, or any cake for that matter.

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  1. Yes, it should be better. Compare the nutritional listing on all-purpose flour, cake flour, and bread flour and you'll notice, among other things, a difference in the amount of protein in each.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Howard-2

      I've got a bag of Price Rite AP flour and a box of Softasilk. Protein content is identical.

      I want to contact Smuckers about this.

    2. Cake flour has a lower amount of gluten and protein and will produce a more tender cake. Not sure whether you could tell the difference in a pound cake, but you would in a less dense cake.

      1. Be sure to note that cake flour is more fine and therefore more mass can fit in the same space, so you'll need to use less. The flour box should tell you how to substitute it for all-purpose.

        Of course, if you're measuring by weight, this doesn't apply.

        I like my pound cakes substantial, so I haven't really tried using cake flour for them.

        1. Cake flour has less gluten than regular (more correctly called All Purpose) flour; it also tends to be lighter in color and weight. Cake flour will look very white next to AP flour, which looks almost creamy in color. I use cake flour when the recipe calls for it, but I would definitely say NOT to use cake flour for a pound cake, which you want to be dense. I prefer Swan's Down to Softasilk (two brands of cake flour commonly available in supermarkets), because Softasilk contains a leavening agent. For ordinary baking of cookies, brownies, etc., I prefer to use unbleached all purpose flour, my favorite being Ceresota (also sold under the brand name Hecker's). Bleaching shortens the protein strands of the flour and I find it can affect my results. Gold Medal is a good all-around flour if that's all you can find. You need to remember that flour can be affected by the weather and how it is stored, one bag of flour can vary from another, even in the same store. Humidity levels make a difference in how the flour handles, especially if you are making pie dough. Be sure to measure consistently, too; obviously, don't pack the flour down in the cup as you measure. Use a dry measuring cup and spoon the flour in, then level off. By the way, I apologize if these are basic things you already know - hope this helps.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Diane Berg

            Are you sure Softasilk has a leavening agent? Do you mean to say it is self rising, because it is not. I use it a lot and never noticed any difference vs. Swans Down.

            1. re: rjka
              t
              TrishUntrapped

              Softasilk has both plain and self-rising versions I believe.

            2. re: Diane Berg

              Thank you this really helps, I never used cake flour before so I need to know the difference between cake floor and AP.I have a cheese cake recipe that calls for cake flour. Now I know what to use for my recipe to come out perfect!

              1. re: Fabea

                You can substitute 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for every cup of flour, too, for cake flour. Cheesecake is pretty forgiving and it uses so little, if any flour, so you could probably get away w/ just using regular ap flour. It might not be as light but the different would be pretty small.

            3. Cake flour has less gluten than regular (more correctly called All Purpose) flour; it also tends to be lighter in color and weight. Cake flour will look very white next to AP flour, which looks almost creamy in color. I use cake flour when the recipe calls for it, but I would definitely say NOT to use cake flour for a pound cake, which you want to be dense. I prefer Swan's Down to Softasilk (two brands of cake flour commonly available in supermarkets), because Softasilk contains a leavening agent. For ordinary baking of cookies, brownies, etc., I prefer to use unbleached all purpose flour, my favorite being Ceresota (also sold under the brand name Hecker's). Bleaching shortens the protein strands of the flour and I find it can affect my results. Gold Medal is a good all-around flour if that's all you can find. You need to remember that flour can be affected by the weather and how it is stored, one bag of flour can vary from another, even in the same store. Humidity levels make a difference in how the flour handles, especially if you are making pie dough. Be sure to measure consistently, too; obviously, don't pack the flour down in the cup as you measure. Use a dry measuring cup and spoon the flour in, then level off. By the way, I apologize if these are basic things you already know - hope this helps.