Ingredient Function Friday - Substituting Cake Flour - the results are in.

 

 

Hello Bakers, 

 The real cake flour cake is on the right and the all purpose/cornstarch blend is on the left.

The real cake flour cake is on the right and the all purpose/cornstarch blend is on the left.

As noted in the episode the normal substitution for cake flour is to remove 2 Tablespoons of cake flour from each cup and then add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. So if a cup if all purpose flour weighs 4 1/4 ounces and 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch weighs 1 ounce, after removing the 2 Tablespoons of flour and replacing them with cornstarch - I was back to 4 1/4 ounces.

The directions then say to sift this mixture together 5 or 6 times.

 Not one Internet source or cookbook source (I checked the classics too) mentioned anything about measuring by weight. That was interesting. I used 312g of cake flour and for the test, 253g of all purpose and 59g of cornstarch, that I sifted 5-6 times. Remember we weigh before sifting. As sifting lightens and throws your measurement off. It doesn't matter if you are measuring by volume or by weight.

Here is the recipe I used for both. This is a high ratio cake, as it has more sugar then flour.

I hope you enjoy this experiment and learning about ingredient function.

Happy Baking!

Colette

 

Equipment:

  • Stand Mixer fitted with paddle attachment or handheld mixer fitted with standard beaters.
  • Sifter
  • Spatula
  • 2 8" cake pans, greased and lined with a parchment paper circle or a 12 cup muffin tin, lined with muffin papers - batter will make 10-12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

 Mise en Place for both cakes

Mise en Place for both cakes

  • 11 ounces (312g) cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (15g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4g) fine sea salt 
  • 12 ounces (340g) sugar
  • 4 ounces (113g) butter, softened
  • 3 ounces (85g) vegetable shortening
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) almond extract
  • 2 ounces (57g) milk5 ounces (142g) egg whites
  • 6 ounces (170g) milk
  1. Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Place in mixer bowl.
  2. Add butter, vegetable shortening, extracts and the 2 ounces of milk.
  3. Mix on low speed for 2 timed minutes.
  4. Turn off mixer and scrape down. Mix on medium speed for 2 timed minutes.
  5.  Combine the egg whites and 6 ounces of milk. 
  6.  Add half the liquid to the batter. Mix on low speed for 1 minute and then on medium speed for 1 minute. Turn off mixer and scrape down.
  7.  Add the remaining liquid and repeat mixing sequence - low for 1 minute. Scrape down and mix on medium speed for I more minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer and mix briefly with a spatula - make sure to scrape the bottom of the mixer too. 
  8.  Divide batter between prepared pans. (using cake flour I had 1222g of batter and with the homemade cake flour I had 1192g of batter) Fascinating!
  9.  Bake the cakes at 350 for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325 and set the timer for 12 minutes - the cake will probably need an additional 5-7 minutes. But since everyone’s oven is different it is best to check at 12 minutes.

Let the cakes sit in the pan for 10 minutes and un mold onto a wire rack to cool completely before using.

 Dry ingredients, butter, shortening, 2 ounces of milk and extracts...

Dry ingredients, butter, shortening, 2 ounces of milk and extracts...

 Batter mixed - ready for the wet ingredients to be added

Batter mixed - ready for the wet ingredients to be added

 Cake Flour on the right - all purpose and cornstarch blend on the left.

Cake Flour on the right - all purpose and cornstarch blend on the left.