You might be wondering why there are so many different types of flour and which one you should use for what recipe. All-purpose flour, cake flour, bread flour, almond flour - they are all essential in creating delicious baked goods that we love. But does it really matter which one you use? The answer to this question is yes, each type of flour serves a different purpose. The type of flour you use will affect the structure of what you are baking.
Today, we are going to discuss a common question in the baking world. Cake flour vs. all-purpose flour - which one should you use and how can you know when to use it?
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What’s the difference between Cake Flour and All Purpose Flour?
The main difference between different types of flour is their gluten content. There are high-protein wheat varieties (10-14% of protein), also known as “hard wheat”. These types of flour are used to make baked goods firm and more elastic. Meanwhile, low-protein varieties (5 to 10%), also called “soft wheat,” help make baked goods soft and tender.
So, where do cake flour and all-purpose flour fall in this classification?
All-purpose flour (10-12% protein) is the most widely used type of flour because it’s made with a combination of hard and soft wheat and is considered to be the middle ground of all types of flour. Because it’s so versatile, it is an all-around great flour for baking bread, muffins, cakes, and even making pancake batter. All-purpose flour is most commonly used in default whenever a recipe calls simply for “flour.”
Cake flour has the lowest protein content of all flours (7-9%) making it the perfect flour for tender and delicate baked goods. It is mostly used when you are looking to have an extra light and extra fluffy texture for your baked goods.
When to Use Cake Flour and All-Purpose Flour
The number one rule when it comes to choosing a flour to use depends on the recipe. Always follow what the recipe instructs first before trying to alter anything. Replacing all-purpose flour with cake flour might work for some recipes, but it will not work for all types of sweets because of the low protein or gluten content that some types of baked goods need.
You can use all-purpose flour to make bread, flaky pies, cookies, and pancakes unless the recipe calls for a different flour. Cake flour is often used to make soft and delicate desserts and pastries such as cakes, cupcakes, pastries, and biscuits. When you want your cake layers to be really soft, using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour does the trick. People also sometimes use a combination of both flours when the recipe calls for it.
Common Questions About Using Different Types of Flour
I ran out of all-purpose flour, can I use cake flour instead?
Depending on what you are baking, you can use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. The exception to this is when making bread and other baked goods that need hard wheat and high protein content. The results will not be the same when you use cake flour, but for cookies and brownies, there should be no problem.
Can I make homemade cake flour?
How much cake flour should I use to replace all-purpose flour in a recipe?
If you want to replace all-purpose flour with cake flour, you’ll need to add an extra two tablespoons per cup of cake flour to make it equivalent to each cup of all-purpose flour that’s in the recipe.
How much all-purpose flour should I use to replace cake flour?
Meanwhile, if you want to replace cake flour with all-purpose flour, you’ll need to lessen the quantity of your all-purpose flour by two tablespoons per cup of cake flour required in the recipe while adding two tablespoons of cornstarch per cup as well.