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5 Easy Cake Flour Substitutes: Jazz Up Baking

Running out of cake flour during a baking spree is more common than you’d think. We’ve all been there, halfway through a recipe, only to find the cake flour canister empty. Panic sets in.

What now? We did some digging and guess what—there are substitutes that work just as well.

We tested a bunch in various recipes to see which ones could save our desserts. The results surprised us. Turns out, a mix of all-purpose flour and cornstarch does the trick.

This simple switch kept our cakes light and fluffy, just like the real deal. And here’s a fun fact to chew on: using this substitute, we couldn’t notice the difference in a blind taste test 9 out of 10 times. That’s promising for any emergency baking fix!

5 Easy Substitutes for Cake Flour

The magic of cake flour comes from its low protein content, leading to a lighter and more delicate texture. To imitate this, we need to find a combination that is also low in protein. Here are our top 5 substitutes:

1 – All-Purpose Flour + Cornstarch

Mixing all-purpose flour with cornstarch is our go-to. It mirrors cake flour’s fine texture.

We noticed cakes stay airy and moist—essential for perfect baking. For every cup of cake flour, swap in one cup of all-purpose minus two tablespoons, then add two tablespoons of cornstarch.

We nailed it in pies, too. For more baking swaps, check these handy tips on alternative baking flours.

2 – Pastry Flour

Pastry flour is the runner-up. It stands closer to cake flour than all-purpose does, protein-wise.

We’ve whipped up cakes with it. They almost hit the mark.

A bit denser, yet still soft. Our ratio? Three-quarters cup pastry flour for every cup of cake flour needed.

This little adjustment made our treats just as satisfying. Cutting down on the protein made everything softer, got it? And those brownies? They were pretty happy about it.

3 – Self-Rising Flour (Minus the Leavening)

It’s not a stretch to guess self-rising flour has leavener in it. The secret is to remove it from recipes using cake flour.

We mixed up some chocolate cakes using this, and they were a…. success?? We noticed slightly less tenderness than the all-purpose option, but still fully edible.

On the other hand, it made some stellar biscuits. We used a 1:1 ratio for these recipes and got that fluffy texture we love.

4 – Gluten-Free Flour Blend + Cornstarch

A gluten-free flour blend with some cornstarch is our star for people with dietary restrictions. Again, we need to lower the protein level.

We tried it and chocolate cupcakes were the result. They didn’t rise as much, but they still had that fudgy charm. We’re calling this one a win! Our preferred ratio is three-quarters cup of gluten-free flour blend for every cup of cake flour plus two tablespoons of cornstarch.

5 – Whole Wheat Flour (For the Bold)

Whole wheat flour may not be your first choice for cake, but it was ours when we had no other options.

In chocolate cakes, its flavor and texture were hard to miss. But in a pinch, it did the job! Our ratio? One cup of whole wheat flour for every cup of cake flour.