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What Can Replace Spelt Flour?

jessinEC May 28, 2011 05:05 PM

I'm in the mood to make an olive oil cake and found this recipe on Martha Stewart that looks good, but it calls for spelt flour:


Can I replace it with AP flour? White whole wheat?

Or does someone else have an olive oil cake recipe they like, preferably with some chocolate in it...


  1. Caitlin McGrath May 28, 2011 09:22 PM

    I have made this cake a few times (and I recommend it!). I have the cookbook it is in, Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce, and the author says the spelt gives it a fine crumb.

    My thoughts: The recipe calls for a 1:2 ration of spelt to all-purpose flour. I have made it each time using Arrowhead Mills whole-grain spelt flour and a) I cannot say that I notice a distinctive flavor from the spelt; b) the crumb is nice, but not necessarily finer than that of a cake made with all AP flour; c) I have thought each time I made the cake that it would work just fine made with all AP flour. In other words, I think you could make and enjoy this cake with only AP flour, or with AP and white whole wheat if you want to retain some whole grain, though the higher gluten content of the latter would not give you as soft a crumb as the original recipe or making it with all AP.

    BTW, I recommend using 2 T. fresh rosemary (it's not too much). I have also reversed the oil and milk quantities (3/4 cup oil and 1 cup milk) and it is still plenty moist and delicious, as long as you do not overbake.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
      jessinEC May 30, 2011 08:05 PM

      Thanks to everyone for your feedback. I made it with white whole wheat and it's really good. I'll try the spelt flour next time, just to see what it's like.

    2. saltwater May 28, 2011 08:30 PM

      Spelt has a nice flavor, rather sweet, and is worth trying. I've only ever tried whole grain spelt. It is less springy than wheat (less strong gluten). In a yeasted bread, spelt uses less water than wheat, but that probably would not carry over to a quickbread, since those aren't kneaded. I bet the spelt might be excellent in a muffin, especially since it is less springy. I think I'll try that soon...

      1. paulj May 28, 2011 06:03 PM

        This cake uses the 'muffin method' - mix dry, mix wet, combine. This type of batter is quite tolerant of variations in flour, whether you use all AP, or a mix of AP and whole grains. It does not specify whether the spelt flour is white or whole grain. I think your AP or WWW would equally well.

        The comments mention various substitutions.

        1. The Professor May 28, 2011 05:32 PM

          The White WHole Wheat would probably work...but why do you want to replace the Spelt flour??? These days every grocery store seems to carry it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: The Professor
            jessinEC May 28, 2011 05:57 PM

            I was going to bake tonight -- it's raining and seemed like it would make the house smell wonderful. I've never worked with spelt flour -- if the flavor is that different, I'll hold out until I have a chance to go to the store.

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