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This Homemade Cake Flour recipe needs only two ingredients! You must add it to your arsenal of baking necessities.

Flour, cornstarch, and measuring cup.

Quite a few cakes and cupcakes on my blog call for cake flour. It’s the best flour to use for a delicate, tender cake with a fine crumb.

My basic vanilla cake calls for this flour and if you try to use all-purpose flour, it will give you a denser cake. In fact, the texture will be so dry and dense it will resemble cornbread.

But, if you’re anything like me, you don’t always have cake flour on hand. That shouldn’t be a problem though. You make it at home with 2 simple ingredients you already have in the pantry.

While the results won’t be exactly the same as using real cake flour, it’s a pretty close comparison. But with any recipe, it’s always best to use the exact ingredients called for.


What is Cake Flour?

There are three common types of flour. And they all have different protein content. Let’s take a look.

Bread flour is a high protein flour. It has approximately 14-16% protein. This flour is mostly used for making homemade bread and offers the chewiness we all love in rustic crusty bread.

All-purpose flour has approximately 10-12% protein. This flour is called for in most baked goods like cookies, brownies, and muffins. It offers a slightly less chewy texture than bread flour.

Cake flour has approximately 7-8% protein. The lower protein percentage is crucial for cakes. It’s what gives the cake layers structure along with a light, tender texture. It is vital for delicate cakes like chiffon cakes.


How to Make Cake Flour Substitute

It’s very easy to make your own cake flour by combining all-purpose flour and cornstarch. It takes just 10 minutes to prep a whole bunch to store away in the pantry.

  1. Gather your supplies. You need cornstarch, all-purpose flour, a sifter, measuring spoon and cup.
  2. Measure out 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and place it in the measuring cup.
  3. Gently spoon all-purpose flour into the cup over the cornstarch. Don’t pack the flour down in the cup.
  4. Just lightly spoon it in until the cup will hold no more flour then use the back of a knife to level off the cup. Do this for every cup of cake flour you need for a recipe.
  5. Once you’ve measured out the cornstarch and flour, sift it together 4 to 6 times. Sifting it this many times ensures it’s thoroughly combined and properly aerated.

The cornstarch works by inhibiting gluten development to create a soft cake texture.

Make several cups of homemade cake flour and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. This way you’ll always have it on hand.

Read more about Flour Basics and How to Measure Flour in the Baking Basics category.

Homemade cake flour in glass bowl.

Some Great Recipes Using Cake Flour:


Tips for Success

  • If you are in the UK, cornstarch is referred to as corn flour. Be sure you are not using cornmeal. They are two completely different things.
  • Sift, sift, sift! The flour and cornstarch need to be sifted together well for this homemade recipe to work properly. Sift at least four times but more is better!
  • This recipe is for one cup of cake flour. Multiply the recipe for however many cups of flour you need.

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Homemade cake flour in glass bowl.

Homemade Cake Flour

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This Homemade Cake Flour recipe needs only two ingredients! You must add it to your arsenal of baking necessities.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (14 g) cornstarch
  • 1 scant cup (116 g) all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Measure out 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and place it in a 1-cup measuring cup. 
  2. Gently spoon all-purpose flour into the cup over the cornstarch. Don’t pack the flour down in the cup. Just lightly spoon it in until the cup will hold no more flour then use the back of a knife to level off the cup. 
  3. Sift the mixture 4-6 times to thoroughly combine and aerate the flour. Repeat for every cup of cake flour called for in a recipe.

Notes

Make a large batch of homemade cake flour to store in your pantry so you always have it on hand!

Important!

  • Corn flour is not a substitute for cornstarch. They are two completely different things here in the US.
  • Cornstarch is obtained from the endosperm portion of the kernel and is used as a thickening agent. Corn flour is finely ground cornmeal and it's used for making bread, tortillas, etc. 

*If you live in the UK, I believe cornstarch is called corn flour.  

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 479Sodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 102gFiber: 3gProtein: 11g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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27 Comments

  1. Valerie Bulger says:

    Hello Jen,
    Can you place the flour in the refrigarator for a longer life.

    1. Yes. Be sure to place it in an airtight container to prevent moisture from getting in.

  2. Hi I now understand the technique of baking and I will be starting to practice. Will share after trying
    Thank you

  3. Hi every cup of flour i have to put in 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch?

    1. You’d use 1 scant cup of all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to “replicate” cake flour if you don’t have it on hand and need it in a pinch. I do always recommend using real cake flour, though.