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

homemade  cake flour in a glass jar

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 cake flour 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 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 as 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.

Cake flour is vital for delicate cakes like chiffon cakes.

a jar of cornstarch, container of flour, measuring spoon, measuring cup, and sifter on a counter

How to make cake flour at home

It’s very easy to make your own cake flour. It takes just 10 minutes to prep a whole bunch to store away in the pantry.

Gather your supplies. You need cornstarch, all-purpose flour, a sifter, measuring spoon and cup.

Measure out 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and place it in the measuring cup.

cornstarch being spooned into a measuring cup.

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.

flour being spooned into a measuring cup
flour being leveled in a measuring cup

Do this for every cup of cake flour you need for a recipe.

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.


How is cake flour different than all-purpose flour?

As mentioned above, the primary difference between cake flour and all-purpose flour is the protein content which turns into gluten.

Cake flour contains significantly less protein which yields a fine crumb that’s incredibly tender and rises great.


Some great recipes using cake flour:

Strawberry Shortcake Cake – This single layer cake recipe is so simple to make and tastes like a classic strawberry shortcake.

Apple Cake – This delicate cake is so light and fluffy with bits of chopped apple throughout! It’s perfect for fall.

Basic Sour Cream Pound Cake – Tastes just like the one grandma used to make!

Lemon Raspberry Cake – Tender lemon cake with fresh raspberry filling and luscious raspberry frosting. SO GOOD!

Angel Food Cake – Super easy to make and incredibly delicious.

White Cake – Made completely from scratch, this cake must be added to your favorites.


Tips for making homemade cake flour

  • 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 cake flour you need.

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homemade cake flour spooned into a measuring cup

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 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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25 Comments

  1. Jonathan Stockmal says:

    Which is better to use? Bleached or unbleached flour

    1. That’s really going to depend on what you plan on making. But for the recipes on my site, bleached flour works just fine.

  2. I was planning to make a red velvet cupcake..and i was wondering where can i get the cake flour.since its not available here in my place.but good to know that There is a recipe on how to make your own cake flour…Big thanks to you …can’t wait to make it.???

  3. I will be trying your recipe for cake flour substitute to make an angel food cake. I had gotten into the habit of spinning flours in my food processor as a means of power sifting. Your thoughts on how you might expect this to turn out? I have bookmarked your blog, so I will be sure to share my results. Thank you for a wonderful blog!

    1. I’ve never used a food processor for sifting flour so I’m unsure how it will turn out.

  4. SifatMahabub says:

    Thank you for a well explained beautiful recipe?

  5. Jennifer Lynn Earp says:

    Is the calorie count supposed to read 479?? just on the flour?

    1. Yep. 1/4 cup is roughly 120 calories. The count here is for 1 scant cup plus 1 tablespoons of cornstarch.

  6. Please can you tell me the ingredients in UK grams, for cake flour thankyou karen

    1. There’s a tab under the ingredient heading for you to switch between US cups and Metric measurements.

  7. If I don’t have corn flour at home can I use baking powder or baking soda? And what’s the required quantity for a cup

    1. You should be using baking powder and/or baking soda for your cake already but those are leavening agents which make the cake rise. Corn flour is an anticaking agent which when added to regular all-purpose flour mimics cake flour by giving the cake a tighter crumb. If you want a true substitute for low-protein cake flour, you must use the corn flour.

  8. What happens if i use self rising flour

    1. Then your flour will already have the rising agent in it and you can omit the leaver from the recipe you are using.

  9. kemala hayati says:

    how much is tablespoon for cornstach in gram?

  10. Hi,

    Would this same method apply to all-purpose gluten-free flour? Or since the gluten is not an issue should it work for your “cake flour” recipes?

    Thank you!

    1. Unfortunately, I’m not experienced in gluten-free baking. I’m sorry, I wish I could be more helpful with your question.

      1. I think I’m going to try to experiment with it anyway, see what happens 😀

    2. Hi! Just curious if you tried the gluten free version and how it turned out? Thanks!

      1. I’m not a gluten-free baker so it’s not something I’ve experimented with.

      2. I did but my gluten free flour was probably not the best choice as I think it may have been spoiled. I will try again with a different flour!