Ask the Chef: Does Cake Flour Really Make a Difference In a Baking Recipe?

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Ask the Chef: Does Cake Flour Really Make a Difference In a Baking Recipe?

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Ask the Chef: Does Cake Flour Really Make a Difference In a Baking Recipe?

Ask The Chef

The following question came into The Food Channel:

Does cake flour really make a difference in a baking recipe? I found a recipe I want to try, but it calls for cake flour instead of regular all-purpose flour. Is it worth a trip to the store to purchase this specialty flour?

Answer:
Cake flour used to be more of a specialty ingredient, which meant it was hard to find. Now, with more people understanding the finer points of cooking and baking, we’re seeing it in the mainstream stores more often. Our answer to your question is in two parts.

Yes, using cake flour when it’s called for makes a difference in baking. People generally refer to it as producing a “lighter” cake, meaning it’s less dense. However, do you need to make a special trip to the store? No. All-purpose flour in the same quantity will work just fine.

If you want to try for the lighter cake, you can replicate cake flour pretty closely. Just take a cup of all-purpose flour, remove two tablespoons, and then carefully stir in two tablespoons of cornstarch. You’ll want to do that with each cup of flour required in the recipe you are using.

And now we want to bake a cake! Below are a few recipes to try if you’re feeling inspired.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

This recipe uses mayo in place of the eggs and oil and results in a cake that is marvelously moist and delicious. Click here to get the recipe for Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake.

Harvest Spice Cake

An old family recipe serving the best of old world flavors, updated by The Food Channel Chefs. Click here for the Harvest Spice Cake recipe.

Missouri Chocolate Sheetcake

Buttermilk and cocoa powder turn what looks like an average chocolate cake into an unbelievably tender and moist cake with buttery chocolate icing and toasted pecans. Click here for the Missouri Chocolate Sheetcake recipe.

Grandma Hannah’s Plum Spice Cake

The traditional and comforting flavors of plum and clove have a familiar quality that really tastes like home. Click here for the Plum Spice Cake recipe.

For more of our Ask the Chef series, just click and enjoy.

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