hand scooping homemade cake flour from jar

What Is Cake Flour?

In the grocery store, you’ll likely find an aisle of flour varieties like all-purpose, cake flour, bread flour, pastry flour, and many more. These flours are defined by the amount of protein they contain, which in turn affects the amount of gluten in your baked good. More protein typically means more gluten.

Flours with higher protein content (like bread flour) are used for recipes that produce baked goods with a hearty and strechy crumbs like bread and pizza. Flours with lower protein—like cake flour—are used to make baked goods with light and tender crumbs (like cake!).

To see what kind of baked goods you can make with cake flour, check out Hummingbird High‘s cake recipe collection!

Cake Flour Versus All Purpose Flour

Cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour. Cake flour typically contains 5 to 8% protein, whereas all-purpose flour contains 10 to 12% and bread flour contains 12 to 16%.

Other differences? In the past, cake flour was more finely ground, with a silky texture similar to confectioners’ sugar. However, these days, most commercial flours are ground to the same consistency and texture.

photo of michelle from hummingbird high making homemade cake flour in a glass bowl with a red whisk

How To Make Cake Flour

You can make cake flour at home with just two ingredients: all-purpose flour and cornstarch!

To do so, measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour into a bowl. Then, scoop out 2 Tablespoons of the flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch.

@hummingbirdhigh this is my apology for developing all the cake recipes in my cookbook with cake flour instead of AP 😳😬 #bakingtutorial #bakingrecipe #bakingtips ♬ Caramel Latte – Prod. By Rose

You can also scale the recipe up and down accordingly. For instance—to make 2 cups of cake flour, measure out 2 cups of all-purpose flour. Then, scoop out 4 Tablespoons (or ¼ cup) of the flour and replace it with the same amount of cornstarch.

Although it’s easy enough to do with measuring cups, I prefer to do it by weight. That way, you can scale the recipe up or down easily. Check out the recipe card below for further instructions with weight measurements!

Best Store Bought Cake Flour

Okay, you read the above and thought “too much work, I’ll just go to the store”. I get it! If you decide to go the store bought route, my favorite cake flour is Swans Down Cake Flour. This is the only company that makes cake flour EXCLUSIVELY.

Recipes With Cake Flour

Momofuku Milk Bar Chocolate Chip Layer Cake Recipe

(4.91 stars) 22 reviews
This Momofuku Milk Bar chocolate chip cake is one of the most popular cakes from famed pastry chef Christina Tosi and her bakery, Milk Bar! The cake is made with layers of chocolate chip yellow cake, passion fruit curd, coffee frosting, and chocolate crumbs.
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6 Inch German Chocolate Cake Recipe

(4.78 stars) 18 reviews
This 6 inch German chocolate cake is a small batch version of a beloved classic! The cake is made with three layers of chocolate sour cream cake and coconut pecan butterscotch custard. The cake is then covered in dark chocolate ganache to balance out the sweetness of the filling!
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Best Potluck Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe

(5 stars) 2 reviews
Potluck chocolate sheet cake is an easy potluck dessert to feed a crowd; made with an incredibly moist and (almost!) one bowl chocolate cake recipe, the cake is then topped off with a tasty chocolate cream cheese frosting that doesn't melt in warm weather.
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photo of pink sheet cake with hand holding up a slice of cake

Guava Chiffon Cake with Guava Cream Cheese Frosting

(4.92 stars) 12 reviews
This guava cake recipe makes a vibrant pink sheet chiffon cake with lots of Hawaiian flavor thanks to guava in the cake and whipped frosting!
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My Best Yellow Cake With Chocolate Frosting Recipe

(4.58 stars) 14 reviews
My best yellow cake with chocolate frosting recipe has three layer of moist buttermilk yellow cake, covered in an easy chocolate fudge frosting.
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Small Batch Funfetti Cake Recipe

(4.88 stars) 25 reviews
This small batch funfetti cake is baked in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. It's the perfect serving size for 2 to 4 people! Despite its small size, it's still the funfetti cake we all know and love: a super moist white cake studded with rainbow sprinkles and topped with vanilla buttercream frosting.
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My Best Chocolate Birthday Cake Recipe

(5 stars) 39 reviews
This chocolate birthday cake is made with three layers of the moistest, lightest chocolate cake you will ever taste. The recipe is almost one bowl, and only requires two bowls and a whisk to bring the batter together. The cake is then covered with a creamy, luscious, and fudgy chocolate cream cheese frosting that will be a hit at any birthday!
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6 Inch Japanese Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

(5 stars) 3 reviews
Unlike American strawberry shortcake (which is made with biscuits), Japanese strawberry shortcake is made with light and airy white sponge cake layered with whipped cream and strawberries. It is incredibly light, creamy, and refreshing. 
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kentucky bourbon butter cake

Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake Recipe

(5 stars) 52 reviews
This Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe makes an incredibly buttery and moist buttermilk bundt cake. The cake is drenched in a boozy, sugary, Kentucky bourbon whiskey glaze.
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strawberry yellow sheet cake

Strawberry Yellow Sheet Cake Recipe

(4.80 stars) 5 reviews
A moist, buttermilk yellow sheet cake topped with an easy strawberry buttercream frosting recipe.
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A photo of hands holding a slice of white chocolate pistachio babka on a white plate.

White Chocolate Pistachio Babka Recipe

(5 stars) 5 reviews
This babka recipe will teach you how to make white chocolate pistachio babka, with a detailed guide full of tips, tricks, and FAQs on making babka.
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photo of milk bar birthday cake on white plate against white brick backdrop

Milk Bar Birthday Cake Recipe

(5 stars) 12 reviews
This Milk Bar Birthday Cake Recipe is a homemade version of the most popular cake from famed New York City bakery, Milk Bar! The birthday cake is made with layers of white cake studded with rainbow sprinkles, cream cheese frosting, and a crunchy streusel made from birthday cake crumbs.
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eggnog cake

Eggnog Cake Recipe

(5 stars) 14 reviews
Eggnog cake is the perfect, easy holiday cake recipe to feed a crowd! The cake is made with an eggnog flavored sheet cake topped with eggnog frosting.
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chocolate strawberry cake

Chocolate Strawberry Snack Cake Recipe

(5 stars) 5 reviews
This chocolate strawberry snack cake is made with a light and fluffy chocolate cake topped off with tangy strawberry cream cheese frosting. The frosting is made with freeze-dried strawberries for extra flavor and color!
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Get the Recipe: Homemade Cake Flour Recipe

This homemade cake flour recipe uses just two ingredients (all-purpose flour and cornstarch) and comes together in just 5 minutes with a bowl, a whisk, and a sieve!
(5 stars) 3 reviews
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Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cup (7.85 ounces or 223 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce or 28 grams) cornstarch

Instructions
 

  • Whisk the flour and cornstarch. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and cornstarch. Whisk to combine, then sift through a fine-mesh sieve.
  • Serve and store. Use as instructed in the recipe of your choice.
    The flour will keep, in an airtight container stored in a cool, dark place, for up to 1 year.
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Michelle holding Weeknight Baking cookbook covering her face.

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Weeknight Baking:
Recipes to Fit your Schedule

Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.