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Ask a Foodie: Can I Substitute All-Purpose Flour for Cake Flour?

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The baking season is upon us.

Q. I’ve got a recipe that calls for cake flour. Do I have to go out and buy that or can I just use all-purpose flour?

A. The holiday baking season is on us, and if we don’t set up all our ingredients beforehand, we can find ourselves in the middle of a recipe without a necessary ingredient. So, it’s good to know a few substitutions beforehand.

When it comes to flour, you can use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour, but you can’t use them in equal amounts. If you are substituting all-purpose flour for cake flour, take away one tablespoon per cup. So, if your recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of cake flour, use 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour minus 1 1/2 tablespoons. Likewise, if you are using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour, add 1 tablespoon to each cup. So, a recipe that calls for 2 cups of all-purpose flour could be made with 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour.

You cannot substitute self-rising flour for all-purpose flour or cake flour, except in certain situations. That’s because self-rising flour has baking powder and salt added to it. So, only if your recipe has baking powder and salt in it, you can use self-rising flour BUT without adding the baking powder and salt.

Also, you can use some nut flours to cut back on some gluten, but you can’t go entirely gluten free in an old-fashioned recipe, because it won’t stick together. that’s what the gluten does. So, read the label on any nut flours before making substitutions.

Happy baking.

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