Homemade Cake Flour Substitute Recipe

Learn how to make cake flour with this easy homemade cake flour substitute. Combine two ingredients – all purpose flour and cornstarch – to make a cake flour substitute in less than 2 minutes! Use this recipe when you don’t have cake flour.

Jar of homemade cake flour

Cake flour is a must for many baking recipes. It helps to create a light and airy texture in cakes and cupcakes. If you can’t locate cake flour at your local grocery store or if you run out while in the middle of baking, don’t worry. You can make this homemade cake flour substitute!

two ingredient cake flour

What is Cake Flour made of?

Cake flour is made from soft winter wheat that is finely milled. It contains about 8% protein (as opposed to the 10-12% protein content in all-purpose flour.)

What is the difference between all purpose flour and cake flour?

The main difference between cake flour vs all purpose flour is the amount of protein. Cake flour contains less protein than all-purpose flour. Due to the lower protein content, it creates less gluten than all purpose flour.  It’s also finer and softer than all purpose flour.

Cake flour is preferred in many recipes because it creates cakes that are light and tender.

All purpose flour in a bowl with cornstarch

How to make cake flour

  • First, measure 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour. Add this to a bowl.
  • Next, measure 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Add it to the bowl with the flour.
  • Use a mesh sieve to sift the flour into another bowl. Sift one to two more times to aerate. Sifting ensures that the two ingredients are well combined and adds air to the mixture to create a light and velvety texture.

Sifting cake flour with a mesh sieve.

Cake flour substitute

This recipe for homemade cake flour can be used as a cake flour substitute. Combine the two ingredients, all purpose flour and cornstarch, to create an easy homemade cake flour substitute.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When using this mixture for a recipe, you will need to measure out the amount you need from this mixture. Aerating adds air to the mixture and may produce more than 1 cup of flour.

Can you use plain flour instead of cake flour?

Plain flour and cake flour are not the same. Generally, you do not want to substitute plain all purpose flour for cake flour. If you use plain all purpose flour instead of cake flour, you will need to add the cornstarch as specified in this cake flour recipe to achieve a similar result as cake flour.

cake flour substitute in a jar

Cake flour works best to create light and fluffy cakes, cupcakes and other baked goods. For example, we use cake flour in these strawberry cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes to ensure a light and fluffy texture. We also use a combination of cake flour and all purpose flour in these apple pie cupcakes to create a lighter cupcake.

Jar of homemade cake flour

Homemade Cake Flour Substitute

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Learn how to make cake flour with this easy homemade cake flour substitute. Combine two ingredients - all purpose flour and cornstarch - and use this recipe when you don't have cake flour.
5 from 4 votes


  • 14 tablespoons all-purpose flour, (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) (109g)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, (16g)


  • Add all purpose flour and cornstarch to a bowl. Sift the flour into another mixing bowl. Sift another 1 to 2 times. Sifting aerates the flour and ensures the mixture is fully combined.


  • We use a mesh sieve to sift the flour.
  • Sifting introduces air into the mixture. Therefore, this recipe may produce more than one cup of cake flour. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of cake flour, you will need to measure 1 cup from the mixture. 
  • Do not use cornmeal in this recipe. It is NOT the same as cornstarch. In some countries, like the UK, cornstarch is called corn flour. 


Calories: 443kcal, Carbohydrates: 95g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 4mg, Potassium: 112mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 5mg
Course: Spices, Sauces, and Seasonings
Cuisine: American
Author: Ashley C.
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

6 comments on “Homemade Cake Flour Substitute Recipe”

  1. Ashley how can I change regular flour for cake flour. Can it be done. If you know please can you let me know. I love your site. Tank you.

  2. This is life changing! I can’t think of all of the recipes I have passed over because I didn’t have cake flour! Using this!

  3. I love using this recipe…it makes cakes so light and fluffy!

  4. This is awesome, Ashley! I have never thought of this, thank you for sharing!

  5. This was awesome! So easy and just perfect when I don’t have cake flour!

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