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Help!!! Cake needs potato starch, can I substitute something?

Want to bake the chocolate pound cake from this month's Cuisine. It calls for 1 tablespoon potato starch. I don't have any and can't find any within about 10 miles. Can I use corn starch? or add more flour? Cake flour maybe? (Rec calls for AP flour).

Mel posted results from the pumpkin pound cake from the same article and prompted me to try the chocolate one. (With all of the other pumpkin and sweet potato dishes this week, the wife threatened me if I made one more orange dish...)


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  1. Found this on foodsubs.com....

    potato starch = potato flour = potato starch flour = katakuriko Notes: This gluten-free starch is used to thicken soups and gravies. Its main advantage over other starch thickeners is that it's a permitted ingredient for Passover, unlike cornstarch and other grain-based foods. Liquids thickened with potato starch should never be boiled. Supermarkets often stock it among the Kosher products. Substitutes: cornstarch (This is very similar, but not permitted for Passover.) OR arrowroot OR tapioca starch OR ground Passover matzo (This is also permitted for Passover.)

    Let us know how it turns out!

    3 Replies
    1. re: SundanceKC

      Thanks, I could not find potato flour either though, I thought about that. Do you think I could use corn starch instead? or just leave it out?

      1. re: birddogfoodie

        We use potato and corn starch interchangeably. I would definitely NOT omit it from the recipe.

        1. re: birddogfoodie

          Potato starch can be found in the Jewish food section of the grocery store. That's if they have a Jewish food section.

      2. I just made a cake from Pierre Herme. It used potato starch. I found it at Central Market in Texas. However, I doubt that will help you. I would just sub corn starch.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Becca Porter

          Becca- Central Market in Dallas is my usual stop, however, I live about 30 miles south of town and didn't want to drive in to town. I am picking up a Turkey there on Tuesday so I'll pick some up then for future use. Oh yeah, how did the cake come out?

          1. re: Becca Porter

            Hi Becca, I know it has been some time since the discusion of potato starch was had but, I am really hoping to get the recipe you were using ..Caramel cake? Looking forward to trying it myself if you can share would really really love it. Thank You greatly!

          2. Well, I just got it put together. I haven't ate any yet. It looks beautiful. It is a 7 by 3 chocolate loaf cake, split into three layers. Then is soaked in a caramel syrup, layered with caramel ganache and dried apricots that had been poached, diced, and tossed with lemon juice and black pepper. Then the whole thing is covered with the caramel ganache. I can't wait to taste it.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Becca Porter

              Yummmm. Well, I went ahead with the cake with corn starch instead of potato starch. It looks good. I have not tried it yet. It is actually going to my wife's office in the morning for a retirement/birthday lunch. I may not get to try it. I did try the the italian meringue/chocolate butter-cream frosting though. I could have eaten the whole batch....

              1. re: Becca Porter

                is that the Fauburg Pave from his chocolate book? I made it a few years ago as my birthday cake and it was fabulous. I especially loved the caramel ganache.

                1. re: Becca Porter

                  Best Regards, Becca,
                  May we please have this recipe? My grandson asks for a caramel cake especially around Christmas time; and I think he will really enjoy this one now.

                  1. re: zeripah

                    Hi Zeripah,
                    I am hoping you got the recipe for the Caramel Cake, from Becca, that was being discussed due to potato starch. If so can you please share with me ? Really excited to try it myself~ Thank you<CaliKat

                2. bird dog,
                  you sound like a very valuable husband to me! just FYI, all info on the internet is not TRUTH- and i looked into this potato starch question a month ago. after a while of research,i found out that potato starch and potato FLOUR are 2 entirely different things. potato flour actually TASTES like potatoes and is used in biscuits, for example, as a small part of the flour needs of a recipe.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    "you sound like a very valuable husband to me!"

                    -it's called job security!

                    I'm glad I did not find any potato flour then. I looked in Both Shirley Corrier's and Harold McGee's books and did not find anything regarding potato starch in baking. I'll let you all know if I made anybody sick....

                  2. What I bought was called potato starch flour. I do think just potato flour is something different. Like cornmeal versus cornstarch.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Becca Porter

                      becca, amazing how confusing these food producers can be- isn't it?(and when the producers are asian- and the product names translated- look out!!!)

                      everytime i send loveofmylife to store, i try to second guess confusion like this.oh my, some funny stories there...

                    2. Oh I know. Occasionally I'll make a grocery list for myself to take to the store, then my husband will decide to go instead. I will have to completely rewrite my list, with as much description as possible, lol.

                      1. I think that the reason for the potato starch is to slightly lower the gluten level of the flour in which case cornstarch would do the exact same thing. It is such a small amount anyway and it just another case of baking is more forgivable that we are often lead to believe. (Yes some subs and variations won't work, but many do and pastry chefs don't come up with new ideas unless they experiment)
                        I recently checked into whether there is any difference between potato starch and potato flour and they seemed to be the same thing. Possilbly it's a Passover conected marketing thing.

                        1. I know this is an old thread but I just tried something from this months cooking light that called for it. i could not find it and didn't want to sub cornstarch because they were going on and on about the potato starch and how critical it was to the lightness and how not to use potato flour which is heavier so I just took dried instant potatoes---the flake kind and buzzed them in the coffee/spice grinder. Worked like a charm.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Sally599

                            I was going to suggest that as well. Also any Asian market should carry the real thing, usually in plastic bags, stored with the other "exoitic" flours tapioca starch water chestnut starch mung bean flour etc.

                            1. re: Sally599

                              I was just about to try that CL recipe, Coconut Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream, but can't find Potato Starch for love or money in Tampa, FL. I was going to try Corn Starch, but your potato flake use intrigues me. How did yours turn out use potato flakes? Light and Fluffy?

                              1. re: kcorner

                                Potato starch has no gluten so like other flours of its type it makes things more tender - although in small quantity the impact is fairly minimal.

                            2. The recipe I have calls for a cup of potato starch. Can I still use corn starch as a substitute when it is this large a quantity?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: hsmom55

                                I wouldn't. If you are near a large market check the kosher foods section, Manischewitz brand is widely available.

                              2. Potato starch is very fine, silky white powder with no real odor; potato flour is coarser, yellowish, with a definite potato smell. It gets confusing when a lot of companies label 'potato starch flour', but if you go by color & odor, you'll be safe. Typically, I see potato starch with the longer 'potato starch flour', just as they label tapioca starch 'tapioca starch flour'.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: anniemax

                                  I understand the difference between potato starch and potato flour. The problem is that I am allergic to pototoes. The recipe I have calls for potato starch and I am looking for an alternative. I heard that corn starch can be substituted but can it be substitued in large amounts? The recipe I have calls for 1 cup of potato starch and I need to find a substitute.

                                  1. re: hsmom55

                                    Did you ever try the corn starch? Curious to know if that worked out. From what I have read, potato starch tolerates a bit more heat than corn starch and the effect might be slightly different. The recipe might not be exactly the same but I'm wondering if it worked for you since potato starch isn't all that common where I live.

                                2. Potato starch tolerates higher cooking temperatures than corn starch. That would be an advantage for stove-top cooking, but I don't see how it would matter when using it in baking.

                                  1. Just in case you haven't found a solution for substituting potato starch, my sister and I found that Amaranth Flour is a good substitute. We found the Amaranth Flour from our local Farmer's Market Health Food section or Bob's Red Mill label in your local grocers. If you can't find the Amaranth Flour, rice flour can be substituted.