It’s no secret that getting your flour right when baking goes a long way to determine if what you end up with matches the intended result. With all the options available, knowing the perfect flour to use makes the process so much easier, which is why you need to know the best cake flour brands if you want your cakes to be just right.
From the wheat variant it is produced from to the protein content, how finely ground it is and even the time of year when the wheat used was harvested, many factors affect the way flour turns out and these factors determine what the flour is best used for.
The best types of flour for cakes are those with low protein and low gluten levels, with cake flour usually having protein levels between 7% – 8%. This factor is important for good cake flour and is what makes your favorite cakes so light and airy. Let’s take a look at some of the best cake flour brands you should have in your pantry; in no particular order.
Best Cake Flour Brands
- Swans Down Cake Flour
- King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour
- Bob’s Red Mill White Pastry Flour
- General Mills Purasnow
- Presto Self-Rising Cake Flour with Baking Powder & Salt
- Pillsbury Softasilk
- Simple Mills Almond Flour Baking Mix
Swans Down Cake Flour
This is a bleached flour made from soft winter wheat and boasts to be 27 times finer than all-purpose flour. It is easily a favorite among many as it can be used easily by both professional bakers and beginners. Another major pro is that it makes cakes that have a high rise with very light, moist, and fluffy textures that melt in one’s mouth. Swans Down cake flow doesn’t contain leavening or salt, so you are in total control of the amount used in your recipes.
King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour
One of the best cake flour brands there is; it is best for making fruit cakes and brownies. It is an enriched cake flour that is bromate-free, contains added nutrients, and as the name suggests, it is never bleached. A downside to using the King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour is that like all unbleached flour, it can increase the hardness of the cake.
Bob’s Red Mill White Pastry Flour
Considered by most to be the best choice for those who love white pastry, this is one cake flour brand that is amazing with different light baking recipes. It is also free of preservatives and any artificial additives. An ounce costs about $0.16 and you can get a good number of uses from the 3lb or 5lb bags; just be sure to seal it properly or transfer it to another container, as the packaging is not usually re-sealable.
General Mills Purasnow
Purasnow is a bleached and enriched cake flour made from a blend of soft wheat with a protein level of 8.2%. It has excellent moisture retention and good tolerance to liquids, shortening and large quantities of sugar, which makes cakes moist and gives them a smooth, silky texture. This particular cake flour is great if you’re baking on a large scale as it comes in a 50lb bag that can serve for long.
The only self-rising flour brand on this list of best cake flour brands, it contains in itself the perfect quantity of baking powder and salt well suited to its flour type. It is suitable for making all kinds of cakes, and cakes made with it are sure to have even textures. One thing to note though is that the flour has to be stored at 0°F in the freezer and be brought to room temperature before it is used.
A huge selling point of this cake flour is that it is suitable for kosher diets and it doesn’t contain any fat or sodium. It has also been enhanced and comes in a bleached option, making it perfect for those who like white cakes.
Simple Mills Almond Flour Baking Mix
A gold standard among paleo-friendly recipes, the Simple Mills Almond Flour Baking Mix is enriched with almond nutrients, gluten-free, and a great way to make vanilla-flavored cakes. The downside is that it is not very suitable to use for other flavors.
Read also: 10 Best Vodkas for Vodka Sauce
Is Cake Flour More Expensive?
It depends. Cake flour prices vary from brand to brand. You can get a particular quantity of King Arthur’s for about $4 while Pillsbury for the same quantity might be cheaper than that. To get more flour at lesser prices you can buy in large quantities from supply stores, but proper storage and exhausting it before it expires is necessary to prevent wastage.
Can I Replace All-Purpose Flour with Cake Flour?
Depends on the recipe. Only use cake flour if the recipe calls for it because the low gluten levels make it useless for some recipes, such as pizza dough. Cake flour is best for light and fluffy products, while all-purpose flour is best for products that do not emphasize high rise or fluffiness.
What Happens If I Use All-Purpose Flour Instead of Cake Flour?
The recipe may not work or turn out as intended if you use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour due to the difference in their protein and gluten levels. All-purpose flour has higher protein levels, which will end up giving a denser texture, while also reducing the rise. The table below shows the different types of flour and their protein content levels.
|TYPE OF WHEAT FLOUR
|PROTEIN CONTENT LEVEL
|11 – 15%
|00 (Doppio Zero)
|11.5 – 13%
|9 – 12%
|9.5 – 11%
|8 – 9%
|7 – 8%
The journey to a perfect or disastrous bake begins with your choice of flour, be sure that along with your awesome recipe you have picked the right flour for your cake. If there’s more you want to know about other types of flour, you’ll find an all-round guide here.