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How to Make Cake Flour (Bold Baking Basics)

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Hi Bold Bakers! 

Cake Flour is used in cake making to yield you lovely soft cakes. I actually had never heard of Cake Flour until I moved to the U.S. I didn’t know it was a type of flour, and I sure didn’t know you could make your own.  In this Bold Baking Basic, I’m going to show you how to make cake flour. You will get the same result as store bought, and you can make just as you need it. All you need is some all purpose flour and corn flour, that’s it!

Working as a professional chef I have learned a lot of tip and tricks over the years. Now I’m going to show you some Bold Baking Basics that will equip you with the tools and skills to be able to tackle any baking question in the kitchen.

How to make your own flour is important because every country sells different products. Did you know you can also make your own Buttermilk and Homemade Extracts?

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This Cake Flour can be used in many of my Big & Bold recipes like my Vanilla Birthday Cake and much more.

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For more Bold Baking Basics like DIY Condensed Milk, the Best-Ever Buttercream Frosting, and much much more click here.

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4.8 from 4 reviews
How to Make Cake Flour
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup / 5oz / 150g all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of corn flour (corn starch)
Instructions
  1. Remove 2 tablespoons from one level cup of all-purpose flour, then add 2 tablespoons of corn flour back in.
  2. Sift well together before using.
  3. Label an airtight container with the name and date so you remember what it is and when you made it. Use within 8 weeks.
Notes
Substituting cake flour with a mix of all-purpose flour and cornstarch works because the cornstarch helps inhibit the formation of some of the gluten in the all-purpose flour. The result? A cake that's just as tender as it would be if you used store-bought cake flour. Just be sure to sift your pseudo-cake flour well: you want the cornstarch to be thoroughly combined with the flour and the mix to be light and airy.

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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76 Comments

  1. Shruthi Achut on September 7, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I have a question. If all purpose flour is unavailable then could I pass the whole wheat flour through a very very fine mesh sieve to remove all the bran and then add cornstarch to make it into cake flour ?
    Will it work just the same ?
    -Shruthi

    • Gemma Stafford on September 8, 2017 at 2:55 am

      Hi Shruthi,
      Yes! it will not be as fine as the processed variety, but it will work for you. do not waste the bran though, you can add that back to the flour used in breads recipes,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Paws on April 30, 2017 at 1:45 am

    Hi Gemma.

    Is All Purpose flour the same as plain flour?
    In Australia, you tend to only see plain or self raising flour. I have seen bread/pizza flour in the supermarkets here
    but not cake flour?
    So next question is, what is cake flour equivalent to?

    Cheers 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on April 30, 2017 at 2:05 am

      Hi there,
      This is interesting! Flour in different places has different characteristics, depending on where it is grown, when it is harvested (late or early) and where, when and even how it is milled. The protein level in flour is determined by these factors. A rough guide is that Bread flour is usually around 13.5% protein (gluten). Plain flour/all purpose flour will be about 9-12% protein, and cake flour will be the lowest protein, generally a little below 9%. Cake flour is helped to be lower in protein by the addition of cornflour/cornstarch. This works really well for very delicate baking, but plain flour works really well too, if it is not over-worked. It is over-working a mix which causes a batter to become tough, because you have developed the gluten in the flour. This is desirable of course in bread, which is why we knead that!
      Self raising flour is flour to which a raising agent has been added, in a balanced way. Most chefs choose to add their own raising agent according to the recipe!
      So, there you have it, a quick trot through the science of baking with flour.
      There is a recipe here on the website to make your own cake flour,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Paws on April 30, 2017 at 2:15 am

        Thank you Gemma for such a informed response.
        Truly appreciated.
        I have cut and pasted your reply for future reference to my cooking notes.
        Paws 🙂

        • Gemma Stafford on April 30, 2017 at 3:15 am

          Ah! Thank you, I am happy to hear that,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Shruthi Achut on July 21, 2017 at 10:33 pm

            Hi Gemma. What’s the difference between whole wheat flour and all purpose flour ? I use whole wheat flour for all my cakes.



          • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2017 at 4:39 am

            Hi there Shruthi,
            Whole wheat flour has the bran remaining in the flour, AP flour is pure white, or cream in color.
            AP flour will be best for cakes, wholewheat for muffins/breads/scones etc!
            Gemma 🙂



          • Shruthi Achut on July 22, 2017 at 7:12 am

            Thanks Gemma 😀
            I have one more question. Sometimes it so happens that when I bake my cakes they are crisp, brown and perfect on the top , bottom and the sides. When i section them however, I find that the centre is wet and sticky…. Definitely undercooked . This happened a lot of times. Could you reckon what can have possibly gone wrong ?
            Thanks
            Shruthi 🙂



          • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2017 at 10:34 am

            hi there Shruthi,
            It sounds like your oven is too hot! check out the thermostat. something not right here!
            Gemma 🙂



          • Shruthi Achut on July 22, 2017 at 7:04 pm

            Thank you for the reply Gemma 🙂
            I thought I was doing something wrong. I’ll get my oven checked 🙂



  3. Asia on April 28, 2017 at 4:39 am

    Ik must to remove 2 tablespoons from one level cup of all-purpose flour, then add 2 tablespoons of corn flour back in. But how many grams is those 2 tablespoons of corn starch?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 29, 2017 at 2:46 am

      Hi there,
      A tablespoon of cornflour/cornstarch will be about 9 grams in weight. This depends on how you load the tablespoon too. What matters is that the proportion stays right, that you replace the flour with the correct volume of cornflour. So, 18 – 20g out, 18 – 20g in!
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Lian Arguin-Laverdière on April 2, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Hi, thank you very much for this flour, because I don’t have it in my country. Sometimes, in recipes, they ask bread flour. Can we make it at home?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 3, 2017 at 1:54 am

      Hi there Lian,
      Strong flour has extra gluten. you can add this but it generally is not necessary. The difference between all purpose flour and bread flour is about 2% extra gluten. it makes a difference for some recipes, but not for all. Vital wheat is the addition to change it up, but is not always available everywhere.
      I am happy that your cookies worked out well for you. It is easy enough to make cookies by hand, this is how they were made in the past. If you are worried about the egg beat it up before you add it to the remaining ingredients, all will be well,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. asma waheed on April 1, 2017 at 12:17 am

    HI GEMMA !
    can you show us how to make all purpose plain flour at home

    • Gemma Stafford on April 1, 2017 at 2:13 am

      Hi Asma,
      NO! this is milled in a flour mill. It is wheat flour which has been refined, I could not make this at home!
      Gemma 🙂

  6. joanne on February 17, 2017 at 1:06 am

    hi gemma wondering uf i cn use this cake to bake a chocolater cake or eed velvet cake.if yes hiw cn i ?tnx

    • Gemma Stafford on February 17, 2017 at 7:43 am

      Hi Joanne,
      yes, just replace one tablespoon of flour with two tablespoons of cocoa powder, and add your spice. the color will go in with the liquids,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Audrey on February 4, 2017 at 3:49 am

    Hi Gemma,

    This is a life-saver for me 🙂 I never seem to have cake flour around when I need it.
    If I need a smaller quantity of cake flour, can I reduce the recipe for example by adding 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch to 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour?

    Thank you so much 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on February 5, 2017 at 3:09 am

      Hi Audrey,
      Yes, just make as much as you need. Get this into your head, so that you do not even have to measure it,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Pris on December 12, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    YAY! Now I don’t need to go to the store anymore in the middle of a cake recipe!!
    Thanks a bunch

    • Gemma Stafford on December 13, 2016 at 3:48 am

      That is what I am here for!
      gemma 🙂

  9. ayisha on November 24, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Hey gemma,
    How many tbsp of cornfliur shall I put for 2 2/3 cups of flour??

    • Gemma Stafford on November 24, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Hi Ayisha, I would make this 3 cups of flour and add 6 tablespoons of cornflour, it will be more accurate that way, and you can use up the exrta another time, Gemma 🙂

  10. Jacqueline Leung on November 12, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Where do you get those cute chalkboard labels?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 13, 2016 at 7:39 am

      Hi there, it is under BASICS, and here it is! Amazon (http://amzn.to/2fPjjKk), they are cute, Gemma 😉

  11. Abdullah on October 11, 2016 at 7:05 am

    hi gemma
    your recipes are amazing.so helpful.

  12. nirosha on September 8, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Finally ! Thanks a lot for the recipe for making cake flour. Learn so much from you?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 9, 2016 at 1:01 am

      Thank you for being with us Nirosha 🙂

  13. OreoChipz on August 24, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Haha… Thanks for this! I don’t need to keep browsing the shelves of the shops for cake flour. Love it’s soooo easy!

  14. kunal kapur on August 22, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Hello Gemma!
    Love ur recipes and tips.

    Can I use this cake flour in every cake recipe such as simple vanilla or chocolate cake or is it just used in some specific cake recipes?

    Also can I use this cake flour to make muffins and cupcakes?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 23, 2016 at 2:10 am

      Hi there,
      these are great questions!
      The idea is to use cake flour in recipes which do not rely on gluten. The cornstarch reduces the gluten in the flour. Therefore any soft cake type batter should benefit from this, as will pastry,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Anne_ on August 21, 2016 at 2:13 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Thanks for the info. It’s very helpful especially to a beginner like me.

    Regards,
    Anne_

    • Gemma Stafford on August 21, 2016 at 2:15 am

      Hi Anne,
      That is good to hear, thank you,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Cinthya on August 10, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    What about bread flour? Can I substitute with just regular flour?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 11, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Hi Cinthya,
      Not sure what you mean!
      It really depends on what you are baking. the difference is in the gluten content for yeast baking. There are also differences in the way flours are manufactured, which we are not privy to. You try to use flour as indicated by a recipe!
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Alice on August 10, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Thank you for this recipe. There is none chance to get cake flour in the Czech Republic, so it helps a lot.
    Unfortunately my daughter prefers another types of flour. Do you think the same recipe can be used for buckwheat or spelt flour?

    Many thanks for your help.

    Take care!
    Alice

    • Gemma Stafford on August 10, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Alice,
      The idea here is to reduce the gluten, this will work for spelt, but buckwheat does not have gluten so it is pointless,
      Gemma 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on August 10, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Alice,
      Yes for spelt as it contains gluten, no for buckwheat as it does not,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Alice on August 11, 2016 at 11:44 am

        Hi Gemma,

        Thank you for your information. It helps a lot.
        Take care!
        Alice 🙂

  18. Colleena on August 6, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Gemma! I love your recipes, and I was wondering if you had anything in that magic hat of yours for a gluten-free all purpose flour? Gluten-free flour is so expensive at the grocery store, and I have a friend who has Celiac. I’m sure she’d love to be able to use it in her recipes!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 10, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Colleena,
      I am not an expert in this area, and I worry I will say the wrong thing. Check out this website (http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/FlourTypes.htm) for loads of information about all sorts of flours, and explanations on their uses,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Catherine on July 29, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Finally I found a homemade cake flour recipe! Thank u Gemma! My dad always gets mad at me for buying expensive cake ingredients and i finally have a money saving recipe! I love your youtube channel!

  20. Claire71uk on July 29, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Hi, new here so getting thru as many of these shortcuts and great alternatives… Love the fluff recipe, saved me so much money, as ordering from USA online stores.

    Sorry back to comment…. If cake flour is so easy, can you make Bread flour improver?

    If so what’s different, I think in USA Heavy Flour Improver… For making breads, dough etc or use in bread makers.

    Thanks in advance

    • Gemma Stafford on July 31, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Claire,
      good question. This is an additive called vital wheat, which adds to the gluten content of the flour. You can get this in some supermarkets/speciality baking stores, but not everywhere. I have never seen it in Ireland for instance. Also if you ca get strong/bread flour, it will be better value.
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Bilasan on July 29, 2016 at 5:06 am

    You are a LIFESAVER Gemma! Thank you for this recipe! It’s hard finding cake flour in my country and so many recipes call for it that I haven’t been able to make!
    I’m making the white velvet cake with the chocolate butterflies today! Wish me luck!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 1, 2016 at 2:38 am

      Hi Bilisan,
      that is great, well done you. I wish you lots of success with your baking. Read the recipe carefully before you start, assemble your ingredients, and have your oven preheated. Then work nice and fast!
      Gemma 🙂

  22. Oleander Heart on July 28, 2016 at 3:05 am

    Thanks Gemma

  23. Dina on July 24, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Hello, if you ever come to Chicago you can come visit me n family I work third shift and you will always find me in kitchen thanks for lovely baking tips I would like recipie for healthy breakfast spinach quiche

    • Dina on July 24, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Thanks for all you do very helpful and money saving tips

    • Gemma Stafford on July 25, 2016 at 3:29 am

      Hi Dina,
      Thank you for your kind comments. Thank you also for your kind invitation, and for your suggestion re quiche. This is going on my list!
      Gemma 🙂

  24. Federica on July 24, 2016 at 3:30 am

    Also LOVE the butterflies . I am making them on Saturday for my daughter’s Netball stall X

  25. Federica on July 24, 2016 at 3:28 am

    Hi Gemma , I love everything you do , I am so glad I’ve found you on YouTube.
    I was wondering if you could do a video regarding food gifts . This year I want to give my friends something homemade for their birthday, Christmas or just as a thank you .
    I am going to make all the Extracts , I’ve already ordered the vanilla beans but I would like some inspiration for something special .
    Hope you can do this one day
    Thanks
    Federica

    • Gemma Stafford on July 24, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Hi Frederica,
      That is a great idea! I will be adding this to my list. Do also check out the cookie recipes here, sometimes I give these as gifts, and include a copy of the recipe in the pack! the chocolate bars may be a good idea too, and you could make your own label. Jars of cookie butters also make a great gift, so there are a number of recipes here already for you to try!
      Gemma 🙂

  26. tmpruner on July 23, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Hey Gemma, love your web page, I am learning so much from you! I tried the cinnamon roll oatmeal in mug and it did not turn out! I think it is because I used artificial brown sugar though. Also, does it matter what kind of container you use to microwave it in? Do you think the small confined space makes a difference in how it cooks?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 24, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      Hi there,
      This is a really good question. The shape and size of the container does matter. I use a 6 – 8 oz mug/cup.
      This is a wide at the mouth cup, which allows the heat to distribute. Microwaves heat in a different way to a conventional oven, really like ‘spot’ cooking, then the heat is distributed from the ‘spot’ so to speak. So, the shape of the food matters, it allows the heat to be distributed in a more efficient manner.
      Gemma 🙂

  27. Angela De Guzman on July 23, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Thank you so much for this! This is so helpful for many of us. 🙂

  28. MKK on July 22, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    is this the same ratio one can use to make cake flour (apf+corn glour). It the recipe calls for 3 cups of apf…can we replace 6 tbsp of that woth corn flour to make cake flour?

    thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 23, 2016 at 2:16 am

      Hi there,
      1 Cup / 5oz / 150g all purpose flour
      2 tablespoons of corn flour (corn starch) so you use this as guide for ratio, it will be proportionate to the number of cups you use. You are right then, 3 cups, 6 tablespoons.
      Gemma 🙂

      • MKK on July 23, 2016 at 4:28 am

        Thank you for such a quick reply. im hooked to your website..such easy and quick tips. have a good day!

        • Gemma Stafford on July 24, 2016 at 1:02 pm

          That is great! I am happy that you are ‘hooked’, I hope you stay with us for lots more,
          Gemma 🙂

  29. angelkiss405 on July 22, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Love this recipe. I use cake flour a lot but am always running out. I usually buy AP flour in bulk and keep in the freezer. So most generally I have on hand. Now I can always have my needed cake flour on hand too. I have spent hours just going through your recipes and printing off the ones I will use a lot. Thank You for making my kitchen time so fun and easy. Much Love

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      I’m glad this recipe was helpful. Thanks for visiting my website 🙂

  30. Michelle Randall on July 21, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    HI, where do you get the cute jars that you’re storing the flour in?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 23, 2016 at 3:06 am

      Hi Michelle,
      I have a huge collection of jars, bowls etc. as you can imagine. You will find similar on Amazon.com, or in your local kitchen/baking/supermarket. kilner is a big name in this type of storage jar, but there are many others.
      Gemma 🙂

  31. Z on July 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you so much Gemma for telling us about this! I always ended up buying cake flour and now I won’t! I’m enjoying the bigger bolder baking basics!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      I’m glad you found this helpful. Thanks for visiting my website 🙂

  32. AroojMalik1327 on July 21, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Wow this will definitely be a big help!! Thank so much! 🙂 Love your videos and tips!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      That’s great to hear. I’m glad you liked this recipe 🙂

      • Elida Riojas on April 8, 2017 at 8:35 am

        I wanted to know if cornstarch is corn flour please

        • Gemma Stafford on April 9, 2017 at 4:28 am

          hi there,
          Yes, it is!
          Gemma 🙂

  33. Sowmya on July 20, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Omg ! This is such a yoohoo thing. Thanks a bunch

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2016 at 12:57 am

      Hi there,
      Thank you, I am happy that you are happy!
      Gemma 🙂

      • logan on July 25, 2016 at 6:31 pm

        Gemma Stafford how long do you bake the cake using this flour

        • Gemma Stafford on July 26, 2016 at 7:54 am

          Hi Logan,
          the idea is that this flour has reduced gluten/protein. This makes for a really tender cake, with a fine crumb. Other than that you just use it in the same way as any all purpose flour, add raising agent if required,
          Gemma 🙂

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