Homemade Cake Flour
Learn how to make your own cake flour substitute with just two simple ingredients. This easy substitute is perfect for cakes, cupcakes, and so much more!
What is Cake Flour?
Let’s be honest, there’s nothing more frustrating than realizing you’re missing an ingredient in the middle of baking. I recently shared an easy homemade buttermilk substitute with you, so today I want to share another substitute — homemade cake flour.
Cake flour vs. regular flour. Cake flour is made from soft wheat and is much finer than all-purpose flour. The main difference between the two is the protein content, cake flour usually has about 7-9% and all-purpose flour can have anywhere from 10-12%.
The lower protein content means that it forms less gluten as you’re mixing everything together, which results in a softer and lighter texture. This makes it perfect for recipes where you want a lighter texture, like with cakes and cupcakes.
So today, I’m showing you how to make your own with just two ingredients. And I bet you probably have both ingredients on hand right now!
To make your own cake flour substitute you’ll need two ingredients: all-purpose flour and cornstarch. If you live outside of the US, then you’ll probably need to look for cornflour, which is the same thing as cornstarch.
Also, this cake flour recipe and tutorial will make about 1 cup. If you need more or less, just scale the recipe up or down as needed.
How to Make Cake Flour
To start, you’ll measure out one cup of all-purpose flour. One important thing to remember for this step is that you need to spoon your all-purpose flour into the measuring cup then level it off with the back of a knife.
If you scoop your flour from the container, it can become packed inside the cup and you can end up with WAY too much flour.
Then, remove two tablespoons of the flour and add it back to your flour bag or container. Next, replace the two tablespoons of flour with two tablespoons of cornstarch (or cornflour).
Why cornstarch? The cornstarch inhibits some of the gluten formation, which results in a softer baked good.
Once you’ve added the cornstarch, whisk it into the flour until well combined and sift the mixture 4-5 times. This will help aerate the flour and incorporate the two together really well.
Then, measure out the amount of cake flour needed in your recipe by spooning the sifted flour into your measuring cup and leveling it off with the back of a knife.
How to Substitute Cake Flour for All-Purpose Flour
You can use this DIY substitute for any recipe that calls for cake flour. You can use it as a 1:1 substitute. If the recipe calls for all-purpose flour, you’ll want to use 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour in place of 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
Can I Prep a Big Batch in Advance?
Yes! You can multiply this recipe as needed to make a big batch. Store it in an airtight container and use whenever a recipe calls for cake flour.
Different Ways To Use It
Here are a few ways that you can use this cake flour substitute.
Homemade Cake Flour
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (110 grams) all-purpose flour , spooned & leveled
- 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch (or cornflour)
- Place the flour and cornstarch in a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Sift the mixture together 4-5 times, then measure out the amount of cake flour called for in your recipe by spooning it into a measuring cup and leveling it off with the back of a knife.
Amazing! Thank you for sharing Danielle <3
I live in UK.
What is All Purpose Flour?
Is it the same as our Plain Flour or our Self Raising Flour, please?
It’s the same as plain flour.
Hi Danielle I’m gluten intolerant can I substitute your cake flour with gluten free all purpose flour. Or do you have a recipe for gluten free cake flour.
Hi, Avril! Are you asking about a specific recipe? I don’t have a recipe for gluten-free cake flour, but there are several online that you could probably use in my recipes.
Seemed way to simple – and then came the results. Amazing. I made two batches of cupcakes one using this flour and the other using my normal all purpose. The results spoke for themselves. This made lighter, fluffier cupcakes with a beautiful dome. Thank you a million for this tip.
So glad it worked great for you, Sandra!
Thanks for informing new bakers of this neat substitution. I’ve used this in a tight many times–I’m old, lol so I’m a rather seasoned baker. I just scoop a cup of AP flour, remove 2 tablespoons then add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Thanks for all you share.
Thank you, Mary Louise! I love sharing easy substitutions like this, it makes baking much easier!
Will using this substitution work for angel food cakes?? I made a lemon cake using your recipe and it was lighter. However, I bake angel food cakes for sale and I haven’t been brave enough to try the substitution. What do you think?
Yes, absolutely! I’ve used it in my angel food cake recipe and I can’t tell a difference between this and regular cake flour.
Hi please can you tell me to make cake flour is it 15gram of cornflour for every 110grams of plain flour thankyou Karen
Hi, Karen. You’ll want to combine 15 grams of cornflour with 110 grams of plain flour, sift it, then measure out 1 cup. 1 cup of this sifted cake flour mixture is about 115 grams, so you’ll have a little leftover.
Does it matter if it’s bleached or unbleached AP flour?
Either should be fine.
I will truly enjoy using your recipes. Thank you so much.
hello, can i use this for plain cakes, chocolate cakes and fruit cakes? Thank you
Yes, if the recipe calls for cake flour you can use it as a 1:1 substitute. If the recipe calls for all-purpose flour, you’ll want to use 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour in place of 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
Thank you! I can hardly wait to do this! Your comment about less gluten formation is interesting. Can this be used for a “lighter” basic yeast bread loaf? Would it make bread less heavy? Thanks in advance!
For yeast bread, it may be better to stick with flour with a higher protein content, like all-purpose or bread flour. If you use cake flour for yeast bread, it may not rise quite as high.
Hello from Australia ? just confirming that if I weigh ingredients then the scooping & levelling is not relevant? Think that US cup measures are different to Aust cup measures do thank you for always including weight measures!
That’s correct! If you’re weighing the ingredients, you don’t have to worry about that.
How long does it stay fresh after mixing together?
What would be the best substitute if you need to be corn-free? Arrowroot powder? Tapioca?
My stores are out of cake flour, so I thought I would just “cheat” and make my own but I need to keep this cake corn-free!
Looking forward to making this cake!
Hi, Emily! I think arrowroot powder would be a good substitute for the cornstarch. I hope that helps!
Can this cake flour be made and stored in advance !
Yes, that would be fine! It should keep for a few months in an airtight container.
I live in Brazil and we don’t have flour cake.
I was reading your flour cake recipe and in the Cream Cheese Pound cake recipe, we have 335 grams of cake flour.
In the pound cake above I have to put 335 grams of all purpose flour plus 6 tablespoons of cornstarch ? Is that correct?
I look forward to your reply
Hi, Maria! If you are making the homemade cake flour, you would want to sift together 330 grams of flour plus 6 tablespoons of cornstarch several times, then measure out 3 cups. You will have a little bit leftover. I hope that helps!
Just found your website, such a quick and useful tip, thank you.
So glad you found it helpful!
On the lemon cake could I use a gluten free all purpose 1 to 1 baking flour and add cornstarch as you have stipulated in your notes. I’m from Canada. Sure sounds and looks great!
Hi, Karen! I haven’t tried it with gluten-free flour yet. There are a lot of gluten-free cake flour substitutes online, you could try one of those. Or you could use the gluten-free flour and just weigh it out to the same amount of cake flour called for in that recipe (345 grams). Hope that helps!
Hi! I have a bit of a silly question, but if a recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of cake flour, could I just combine 165 g of all purpose flour with about 22 g of cornstarch? I multiplied your grams by 1.5.
Or should I just double your recipe and take what I need from that larger batch?
Thank you in advance!
You can combine 165 grams of flour and 22 grams of cornstarch, but I would be sure to sift it well then measure out 1 and 1/2 cups from that. You will probably have a little bit leftover.
Want to know if I can use a 9×13 pan for this lemon cake?
How long to bake if yes?
Do you mean for this lemon cake recipe? If so, you can bake it in a 9×13 pan for 35 to 40 minutes.
Hi!, am Abby from Nigeria, if a recipe calls for 250g flour, how many grams of corn flour will I add to it. Thanks, looking forward to your reply.
To make it easy, I would probably remove 1/4 cup (32 grams) of flour and replace it with the same amount of cornstarch. Or you can increase this recipe by 2 and 1/2, then measure out 250 grams, and save any leftover flour.
“To make this recipe easier, you can measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour and remove two tablespoons.”
Actually, easier would be to add the 2Tbl cornstarch to the bottom of the measuring cup FIRST. Then fill the remainder of the cup with AP and level off.
Also would be nice to give weight instructions instead of volume. Then it doesn’t matter how much you compacted the flour because the weight is what matters.
The weight measurements are in the recipe card – 110 grams of flour and 15 grams of cornstarch, in case you missed it.
Hi, thank you for sharing. I need 1 cup of cake flour for what I am going to bake. Could you let me know how much plain flour and cornstarch I would need for this please? Thank you!
Hi, Jessica! Did you read through the post and recipe card? I explain how to make 1 cup of cake flour. You’ll need 110 grams of flour and 15 grams of cornstarch.
I wish I would get a whole cook book.
I love the recipes.
Thank you, Lea! I do have a cookie cookbook, I shared more about it here 🙂
This looks really good. Was reading how to make cake flour from ap flour. My husband is gluten intolerant. Could I just sub gluten-free flour for the cake flour as there is no gluten to worry about. Thanks for your input.
I honestly haven’t tried it, so I’m not sure. There are quite a few gluten-free cake flour substitutes online though. One of those may be a better option.
Can I use fresh milled soft white wheat berries in place of cake flour?
I haven’t personally tried it, but it may be okay.