5 Great Substitutes for Cake Flour

Out of cake flour? No problem! If you’re in a pinch or looking for a gluten free option, there’s still a solution for you.

You can substitute cake flour with all-purpose flour, all-purpose flour plus cornstarch, almond flour, coconut flour, or quinoa flour.

What is cake flour?

Cake flour is flour that is low in protein. It’s also very finely milled. Both qualities give it the light and fluffy texture that is perfect for cakes. 

Why cake flour?

Protein is related to gluten formation. Since cake flour has less protein, there is less gluten formed when you’re mixing it into your recipe. This helps it create that light and fluffy cake texture.

1. All-purpose flour and cornstarch mixture

This substitute is a great trick. It uses things you most likely have in your pantry already. It’s also going to be the closest substitute for actual cake flour.

To substitute 1 cup of cake flour simply…

  • use 1 cup of all-purpose flour. 
  • Then remove 2 tablespoons out of this
  • Add in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • Sift together 3 times to reach the desired consistency.

2. All-purpose flour 

All-purpose flour has a higher protein content than cake flour. Because of this, it will produce a thicker and denser end-product. It’s still possible to use this if you do not have cake flour though.

Simple just substitute 1 cup of cake flour with 1 cup of all-purpose flour. If you have cornstarch sitting around your kitchen, use the mixture above for an even better match!

3. Almond Flour

Almond flour Is a great gluten-free alternative. Because of its higher fat content, it will help produce a moist and delicious dessert!

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To substitute use a quarter less almond flour than the recipe calls for.

4. Coconut Flour

Coconut flour can also be used instead of cake flour. It can be a little trickier to work with for beginner bakers or cooks. It will add a nice, subtle coconut flavor to your recipe too!

To substitute this, use a quarter less coconut flour. It can be beneficial to add extra liquid as well since coconut flour is very absorbent.

5. Quinoa Flour

Quinoa flour is another great and healthy option that is gluten-free. It can have a bitter aftertaste to some people, so try toasting it first!

To substitute for cake flour, you can use a 1:1 ratio in your recipe!


Now that we’ve looked at some options to replace cake flour, have some fun! Branch out and try a recipe using quinoa or create your own cake flour mixture using cornstarch. Whether you are in a pinch because you ran out of cake flour, or are looking for healthier alternatives, there are many substitutions available to use!