The Best Substitutes for Cake Flour

Cake flour is a substitute for all-purpose flour. It’s typically used in cake batters and other recipes that require a […]

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Cake flour is a substitute for all-purpose flour. It’s typically used in cake batters and other recipes that require a delicate texture. If you don’t have cake flour available, there are several substitutes you can use to make your recipe turn out just as well!

The first substitute is pastry flour. Pastry flour typically has a lower protein content than regular all-purpose or bread flours and will give your baked good the same tender texture without altering the flavor too much. Another substitute for cake flour is cornstarch which behaves very similarly to cake flour when mixed with liquids; it absorbs liquid like crazy! The last substitute we’ll mention is soybean oil – this substitute will make your cakes taste more like they were made with butter than any substitute.



Though all flour is made from wheat, there are a number of alternative options available. People who have an allergy or those looking to switch up their diet might opt for cooking and baking with almonds, corn, quinoa flours, etc. These types of flours can be just as good—in some cases, they can even be better! The solution to using these flour substitutes is understanding that each one has a different texture, resulting in slightly different results. For this reason, it’s always best to use recipes explicitly made for the type of substitute you’re using. If you are looking for a healthfuller replacement or a shortage at your local store has resulted in an empty white flour section, these substitute options will get you through.

The substitute for cake flour is pastry flour, cornstarch, or soybean oil. Dairy-free and vegan alternatives include almonds, quinoa flours, etc. The replacement depends on what the recipe calls for and the desired results from using them in your baked goods!

Cake or Pastry Flour


A substitute for cake flour is pastry or all-purpose flour. Pastry and all-purpose flours have a lower protein content than regular all-purpose or bread flours, so they will give your baked goods the same delicate texture without altering the flavour too much.

When you need wheat-based flour with lower protein content, cake or pastry flour is perfect. Cake flour makes baked goods lighter and softer, but it also increases the amount of liquid needed for the recipe. You can substitute ½ cup all-purpose flour plus 3 tablespoons cornstarch to make your own cake or pastry flour if you’re out of cake flour.

Bread Flour


Bread flour is another substitute for cake flour. A replacement can be made by mixing ½ a cup of bread or all-purpose flour with ¼ teaspoon baking powder and ¾ teaspoon salt.

Instead of using all-purpose flour to make a cake, substitute half the amount with bread flour. This will create a denser and more chewy texture that you might like if you prefer your cakes thick instead of fluffy.



Bread flour is a fine flour because it has considerably more gluten than other types of flour, which results in an airy texture and chewy taste.

Self-Rising Flour

For a 1-to-1 substitute for cake flour, use fine white wheat flour and omit the salt from the recipe. This can be done successfully because using self-rising flour in place of all-purpose is not recommended. It contains baking powder and a leavening agent that would need to be adjusted by adding more or a different amount. Self-rising flour is used mainly in quick loaves of bread and biscuits, but all-purpose can also do this job if made with wheat, butter, eggs, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract instead. If the recipe calls for self-rising* flour and all you have is AP, a quick fix is to combine 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder with ¼ teaspoon of salt per cup (about 120 ml) of flour.

Whole Wheat Flour

If you’re looking for a substitute with the same type of protein as cake flour, try whole wheat or pastry flour. Whole wheat is higher in protein than white, and it will be present in your baked goods but not so much that they will turn out pasty. Pastry flour also works well because its lower gluten content makes it perfect to use when baking delicate desserts like cakes.

Almond Flour

Almond flour is made from almonds that get ground into a fine powder and then finely ground to a light, floury texture. (Unblanched almond flour is made entirely of almonds with their skin on.) An Almond meal is simply a little more coarsely ground than almond flour. Both are easy to make at home with whole almonds but appear more common in specialty stores.

Oat Flour


Oat flour is made from oatmeal that has been ground into a fine, powder-like texture. It has more fiber and protein than ordinary wheat flour but will not substitute well for cake flour in recipes unless the other ingredients are adjusted to compensate for its lack of gluten.

Oats are gluten-free flour. They have a slightly nutty flavor that is great for pancakes, waffles, and granola bars. If you can’t find any other type of flour at the store, try buying some rolled oats and blitz in a blender or food processor until the texture resembles flour. The fiber from oats makes this a healthy option for swapping with AP flour.

Millet Flour

Millet flour is a substitute for cake flour that can be used in gluten-free and regular baked goods. Its low protein content makes it perfect for delicate, light cakes that are also vegan or dairy-free. The tiny grain contains high levels of fiber and magnesium, among many other nutrients. It works well as an addition to All Purpose Flour, but not on its own.

Rice Flour

This particular flour comes in both white and brown rice varieties. This type of flour makes a great substitute, but it can be gritty so pay attention to whether or not the product is finely ground. Brown rice flour works well when you’re cooking with seafood like fried calamari or tempura because of its slightly nutty flavor.

The downside of substituting rice or any type of grain for wheat is the higher levels of carbs and fat found naturally in these alternatives. Rice contains a fair amount of sugar, making it perfect for desserts like cakes with sugary frosting but less so when baking pieces of bread or cookies without icing or cream cheese frosting. The healthiest substitute would be oat flour because it’s lower in carbs than all the others listed here this far down the list.

Coconut Flour


Coconut flour can be made by drying and defatting coconut meat and has a sweet flavor. It makes for an excellent substitute in recipes that call for cake or wheat flour because it really works well as both of these ingredients. In most cases, you’ll need to substitute half the amount of other types of flour with coconut flour when baking cakes, but do not exceed one-third due to its high fiber content.

Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat flour has a lovely, rich flavor that is best suited for hearty bread and kinds of pasta. It can substitute nicely for cake or wheat flour in recipes but will change the texture entirely from light to heavy and savory instead of sweet.

The downside of buckwheat flour is its high gluten content which could make baked goods challenging if you substitute too much of it for AP Flour. Buckwheats also have more carbs than other types on this list so beware when adjusting your diet with these swaps if going gluten-free.

Spelt Flour

A substitute for cake flour that is sometimes available in stores but not as expected. It has a higher protein content than wheat and almond flour, so it’s best to substitute spelled with these other types of flour if you’re looking for light, delicate cakes without too much body or flavor.

Spelt flour was traditionally used in Germany to make pastries and cookies, but it’s now available for purchase. Spelt is grainier than all-purpose and thus great for more decadent chocolate chip cookies with a crunchy nutty flavor.



Spelt flour is also suitable for making bread and pizza crusts because of its high protein content that helps the dough rise nicely. It does not substitute well with AP Flour in cakes, so only use spelt or other types like oat flour in recipes calling for cake or wheat flour if covering.

Chickpea Flour

This versatile flour is high in protein and fiber, making it pretty filling. Chickpea flour can be used as a substitute for plain cake flour to add texture or mixed with gritty whole-wheat pastry flour to help bread rise without gluten.

Some people who are gluten intolerant say that they have no reaction to this type of substitute based on their experimentation with it so far. The only warning I would give before using it as a substitute is that the flavor may not always work well in your recipe, even when adjusting ingredients like sugar content, milk quantity, baking time, etcetera. Chick peas are a little more versatile substitute than other types listed here, but be careful not to substitute too much of it for AP Flour.

Amaranth Flour

It is rich in protein and widely used by the Aztec and Inca civilizations of pre-Columbian America. Amaranth seeds are ground to a fine powder then mixed with other ingredients like tapioca, rice, or corn starch for use as a replacement for cake flour, which often contains gluten.

Amaranth flour is a unique ingredient because it’s not technically a grain. Amaranth has been called nutty, earthy, and grassy in taste. Amaranth flour is also high quality due to its amino acid content rich in lysine and methionine.

Potato Flour

One way to act like cake flour is to use potato starch because it’s made from potatoes dried and finely ground. This substitute for cake or wheat flour can be used in cakes to add a starchy texture that would otherwise not exist without the use of ingredients like butter, eggs, or milk.

Rye Flour

Rye flour can be light to dark in color and has a slightly sour flavor, like rye sandwich bread from your local deli. Rye is made up of some gluten, not a lot, though. It needs to be combined with another flour in order for it to rise. The more rye you use, the denser the loaf will be.

Rye flour can be used to substitute for cake or wheat flour, but it also has a distinct flavor from traditional white bread, so it’s not the best substitute if you’re looking for something similar in taste to recipes calling for cake or wheat flour.

Quinoa Flour

Quinoa flour, made by grinding quinoa into a fine consistency, looks and feels like wheat flour which can be adapted to a broad range of recipes, including desserts, muffins, and bread. Quinoa flour can also be added to soups and stews in order to thicken the mixture or used as a protein powder in smoothies and shakes.

Important Notes:

When you substitute one type of flour for another, there are a few things to remember. First, make sure the new substitute is gluten-free or has lower protein content than what was basically called for in your recipe; this will prevent any alterations with the texture and flavor due to different types of proteins present. Second, be aware that some substitutes are healthier than others. Using wheat-based substitute flours like almond meal or oat flour over all-purpose baking flour or bread, their higher fiber content may contribute additional nutrition benefits to your baked goods. Even when no other changes have been made !!!

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