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Homemade Cake Flour

Learning how to make cake flour is so easy! Here’s how to make homemade cake flour, plus my favorite ways to use it.

bowl of cake flour

Homemade Cake Flour Recipe

When I got ready to bake up Madeline’s Birthday Cake Cupcakes last week for our family party night, I noticed that I was out of cake flour.

I didn’t want to head out for another errand just to pick up a box of flour after spending the morning at various craft and party stores picking up the remaining items on my party list.

I was also out of buttermilk, but I already knew a good homemade buttermilk substitute. A quick message to my friend Shaina on Skype was returned with the answer I needed.

“Okie dokie, then,” I said and proceeded to bake up some scrumptious cupcakes for my birthday girl using this easy DIY cake flour substitute. I wouldn’t use this all the time, but it is nice when you’re in a pinch.

Since I didn’t know about this handy substitution, I am guessing that a few of you probably did not know about it either. Thanks again, Shaina, for sharing this!

sifting flour in a glass bowl

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What is Cake Flour?

Unless you’re an avid baker like me, you might be looking for a cake flour substitute because you have no clue what it even is. In a nutshell, cake flour is a finely milled flour that contains less protein.

It’s typically blanched and is most often used in cakes that need to be light and airy (think: angel food cake).

Cake Flour vs All-Purpose Flour

The main difference between cake flour and all-purpose flour is the protein content. According to The Kitchn, cake flour contains around 8% protein, and all-purpose has a little more than that.

Why does the protein content matter? Because the proteins become gluten when the flour is added to cake batter. The less gluten in the flour, the airier your cake will be.

bowl of flour on rustic background

What’s in Homemade Cake Flour?

To make a DIY cake flour substitute, you’ll need all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Seriously, that’s it! Yes, the all-purpose flour isn’t as finely milled as store-bought cake flour, but in a pinch this combo will work.

How to Make Cake Flour

To make a cup of homemade cake flour, add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a 1-cup measuring cup. Fill the remaining space with all-purpose flour. Pour mixture into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Proceed with the recipe as instructed.

I’ve given instructions on how to scale this basic recipe up as needed. If you need to make a cake flour substitute and aren’t sure what ratios to use, please leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to respond ASAP!

Can I Make Homemade Cake Flour in Bulk?

Yes, you can make a lot of this DIY cake flour substitute and store it in your pantry to have on hand at all times. Just note that you’ll need to sift the cake flour substitute before adding it to any recipe since you won’t be measuring out the cornstarch each time.

metal measuring cup with flour

Is There a Cornstarch Substitute I Can Use?

Unfortunately, no. If you have a corn allergy or don’t have any cornstarch on hand, you can’t make this homemade cake flour.

Ways to Use Cake Flour

There are any number of cake flour uses to try, but a few of my favorite things to make with this special kind of flour are:

Are you drooling yet? There are so many ways to use cake flour.

Play around with using homemade cake flour in your favorite baked goods and see if you can taste the difference. The added cornstarch makes cookies extra soft and chewy, and cakes turn out fluffier and better somehow!

bowl of flour on rustic background with rolling pin

More Kitchen DIYs:

No matter what you’re baking, it’s so important that you know How to Separate Eggs. Sometimes that little bit of yolk left in the whites can ruin a recipe, so definitely make sure you’re doing it right!

Made a batch of cookie dough with your cake flour substitute but aren’t ready to bake them all right now? Here’s How to Freeze Cookie Dough for later.

Whether you love to bake or simply like fun oatmeal and smoothie toppings, you need to know How to Toast Coconut so you can have it on hand whenever the craving hits.

Skip the store-bought version and make Homemade Croutons instead. This is a great way to use up stale bread, plus you’ll avoid all those preservatives found in the pre-made variety.

Did you know crystallized honey is still safe to eat? Don’t toss it out! Instead, read up on How to Decrystallize Honey so nothing goes to waste.

What are your favorite DIY Kitchen Substitutes?

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How to Make Cake Flour

How to Make Cake Flour

Yield: 1/2 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Learning how to make cake flour is so easy! Here's how to make homemade cake flour, plus my favorite ways to use it.


  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornstarch


For 1/2 cup Cake Flour:

Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Fill the remaining space with all-purpose flour. Pour mixture into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Proceed with the recipe as instructed.

For 1 cup Cake Flour:

Add 2 tablespoons cornstarch to a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill the remaining space with all-purpose flour. Pour mixture into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Proceed with the recipe as instructed.

For 2 cups Cake Flour:

Combine 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour in a bowl. Whisk gently to sift the mixture together. Proceed with the recipe as instructed.


Homemade cake flour can be prepared in bulk and stored in an airtight container in your pantry. Make sure to sift the flour each time you use it since you won't be measuring out the cornstarch each time.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 236Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 4mgCarbohydrates 53gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 3g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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Saturday 17th of October 2015

So, I am wondering if I can make up some for storage and future use? or do I need to mix up cake flour each time I bake?

Katie Goodman

Monday 19th of October 2015

Yes, you can make it in advance and store for future use. Just be sure to sift really well to ensure appropriate distribution since you won't be measuring the cornstarch each time.

Aya B.

Thursday 23rd of August 2012

Great Post, Thank You I used To substitute cake flour with all purpose flour all the time if I didn't have it in hand Does it make a huge difference if I used cake flour instead!!!!

Renee B

Wednesday 28th of December 2011

Thank you! I have bypassed so many recipes because I did not have cake flour on hand!

Kim @ Eat What You've Got

Wednesday 12th of October 2011

Great post! Thanks so much for sharing this tip!


Friday 23rd of September 2011

Katie, I love this...I'll definitely need this in the future.

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