Cake flour is a finely milled, low-protein flour specially formulated to yield light, tender, and delicate baked goods. Its soft texture and low protein content, which ranges between 6% to 8%, make it an ideal choice for airy, low-gluten creations such as cakes, cupcakes, and pastries.
When baking with cake flour, expect to achieve a fine crumb and a soft, fluffy texture in your final product. It allows for even and consistent rising, resulting in beautiful and delicate desserts. However, it is not recommended for bread or pizza dough, as its low gluten content cannot give the desired chewy, elastic structure.
There's a lot to love about cake flour. It's sought after by bakers due to the delicacy it can bring to baking, making cakes and pastries light and fluffy. Nonetheless, using it in recipes not meant for a low-gluten flour can prove disappointing. Therefore, it's crucial to understand when to and when not to use it.
Many home bakers have asked if they can simply substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour. Although this is possible, it can result in a denser product due to the higher protein content. If you're out of cake flour, a common hack is to make your own at home with all-purpose flour and a bit of cornstarch.
Sifting is another key point often overlooked when using cake flour. Skipping this step can result in a tight, compact crumb rather than the airy, light texture you're aiming for. Sift your cake flour, even if it's pre-sifted, to ensure the best results.
Hence, to get the most out of cake flour, remember that it's specifically designed to give your baking goods a light, delicate texture. Use it primarily for cakes and pastries, sift it before usage, and avoid using it as a complete substitute for bread flour or all-purpose flour.
Why should I sift cake flour?
What makes cake flour different?
Can I make my own cake flour at home?
Is cake flour bleached?
Can I substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour?
Why does my cake with cake flour come out tough?
Can I use cake flour for cookies?
Can I use cake flour to make bread?
Can I use cake flour in a recipe calling for self-rising flour?
Does cake flour make a difference in baking?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does cake flour expire?
Cake flour, when unopened, can last up to a year past the printed date on its package. It should be used within seven to ten months after opening for the best results. Individuals who bake frequently might find it beneficial to store bulk, opened packages in the freezer - where it can last for two years.
How do you tell if cake flour is bad?
To spot spoiled cake flour, there are several signs to look for. It might have a stale or musty smell, or you might see discoloration. Another hint flour has gone bad is if it has a lumpy texture once sifted. In the worst case, you'll see bugs or larvae. Any of these signs mean it's time to toss the flour.
Tips for storing cake flour to extend shelf life
To extend the shelf life of cake flour, here are some storage tips:
• Always store your cake flour in a cool, dry place. The pantry is a good choice, but avoid storing near any sources of heat, like the stove, or in direct sunlight.
• Always tightly seal the bag or container after each use to prevent the flour from absorbing odors, moisture, or insects.
• It can be useful to store your cake flour in a sturdy, airtight container to protect it from pests. Make sure to label the container with the date of purchase for reference purposes.
• If you don't plan to use the flour for a long time, freezing the cake flour might be a good option. Be sure the container is well-sealed to prevent moisture or freezer burn.
• Before using frozen cake flour, allow it to reach room temperature before measuring it out. This ensures accuracy in your recipes while avoiding condensation inside the storage container.