Cooking with Alison

How to Make Bread Flour and Cake Flour Substitutions

In How-To on February 5, 2011 at am

I have containers upon containers (upon containers) of different dry ingredients overcrowding my pantry, cupboards, and counter top.  I’m embarrassed to admit that they’ve overflowed into closets and random corners of the rest of my apartment too.  Just to name the different types of flour that I have:  all purpose, bread, cake, whole wheat, stone ground whole wheat, organic whole wheat, semolina, rice, glutinous rice, potato, tapioca, corn (as well as corn meal), corn starch, wheat starch, and vital wheat gluten.  I actually have a post card that says “I dream of storage space” on my fridge (photo above).  🙂  So when I discovered simple substitutions for bread flour and cake flour, I was overly excited! haha  I love decluttering and now I’ll never have to buy cake or bread flour again.  Recipes below.

Note:  If you’re deciding on whether or not it’s worth it to buy vital wheat gluten, it’s also what I use when substituting whole wheat flour for all purpose flour.

Bread Flour Substitution

all purpose flour

vital wheat gluten

For every 1 cup of bread flour that you need:  Place 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten into a 1 cup measuring cup.  Then top it up to 1 cup with all purpose flour.  Dump this out into a bowl and whisk together until well combined.

Cake Flour Substitution

all purpose flour

corn starch

For every 1 cup of cake flour that you need:  Place 2 tablespoons of corn starch into a 1 cup measuring cup.  Then top it up to 1 cup with all purpose flour.  Then sift this into a bowl 4 or 5 times.  Measure out the amount called for from the sifted flour.

  1. Hi
    thanks for sharing this substitution recipe, it will be a great to many when they run out of required flour at home. Wishing you n love ones a blessed chinese new year, cheers

  2. Great tips — especially for all us food bloggers out there — I think we all have too many dry goods. In fact, my resolution this year was not to buy another grain, seed or legume until my ENTIRE stock was used up. So far it’s working. I gained a whole shelf’s worth of space in January alone!

    Happy New Year to you…Theresa

    • Hey Theresa! That’s an awesome resolution! 🙂 I would love to hear your long list of grains, seeds, and legumes 🙂 haha

      I wish you and your family all the best in the year of the rabbit 🙂

  3. Wow, I cannot believe I can now make my own cake flour! You just can’t find it in the UK.
    Thank you ever so much for sharing the secret!


  4. Awesome! Thank you. Here in Ecuador I cannot find either bread flour or cake flour. I was just searching for a bread flour substitution and got cake flour as a bonus! Thanks again for sharing!

  5. while doing a research one of the site says to add 2 tablespoon of gluten to 1 cup of flour but you do it differently , i have a recipie for pizza dough that calls for 2 cups of bread flour .i am confused whose method is accurate to make bread flour at home ,please guide me on this.
    hope for the earliest reply.

    • Hi there I’ve noticed the difference too. Quite frankly I think both ratios will work. I personally like having a slightly higher amount of gluten in mine and I’ve used this ratio successfully before so I hope it works for you too. Thank you for your question

  6. thanks a lot for replying

  7. I made a cake using bread flour n cornstarch n I must say it was fluffly n moist so is that a bad thing

    • Hi Davetta, Thank you for your comment! I’ve never tried baking using a mix of bread flour and cornstarch, but it sounds like you had success! Fluffy and moist cake sounds good to me! 🙂

  8. I want to substitute a flour for bread flour for 1 recipe. I read your recipe on your website but I do not keep the gluten On hand. Is there another way to do this?

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