Can You Use Bread Flour For Cake? ANSWERED

Published Categorized as Baking, Ingredients, Journal

If you have searched for alternative flours to use, the guess is that you are halfway through a baking recipe. You likely have realized you do not have the appropriate flour. Bread flour and cake flour are very different from each other. Even though cakes and bread are both baked, they are very different from each other and a change in the ingredients may result in a change in the bake. The question is, can you use bread flour for cake?

In this article we will explore if you can alternate bread flour and cake flour for each other. What will happen if you use bread flour in your cake recipe?

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Can You Use Cake Flour For Bread

The quick answer is that using cake flour for your bread loaf recipe is not recommended. Cake flour will not produce the yeasty, dense bread you are most likely expecting and can play a large part in how your bread turns out. Cake flour will not change the taste of your bread load but the texture will be massively affected. 

Although we do not recommend using cake flour in your bread loaf recipe, that does not mean that it is not possible. Cake flour is not the worst substitute you can use for bread flour. We would recommend using the exact same amount of cake flour as you would have used bread flour in your original recipe. Your bread loaf may turn out not to be as chewy but you will still end up with an impressive loaf.

Can You Use Bread Flour For Cake? ANSWERED

Can You Use Bread Flour For Cake Recipe

If you do decide to switch up your recipe with a cake flour substitute then we have the best tips and tricks for making it work.

Using bread flour in any kind of cake recipe will change your cake. Your cake will most likely be affected in texture and will be much denser. This density can work for some cakes and be an asset but for some cakes, like light sponges, you will lose the fluffy texture. Creating a denser cake may not be a bad thing as it really depends on the cake you want to create and what kind of texture and taste you prefer.

Here is a step by step simple method to make a classic victoria sponge cake using bread flour:

You will need:

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 200g bread flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk

Method:

  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius or gas mark 5.
  • Step 2: Prepare your two cake tins by melting butter in the microwave. Once the butter is melted, take a cooking brush and brush the melted butter around the tins. Take a handful of bread flour and dust around the buttered cake tins. This will stop the spongy sticking to the cake tins when it is cooking. 
  • Step 3: Use a large bowl to combine the sugar, butter, eggs, bread flour, baking powder and milk. The aim is to not over develop the gluten in the mixture therefore combining the ingredients lightly is key. Mix the ingredients very lightly until they start to fully combine and then stop. Do not leave your cake mixture out at room temperature for long as the bread flour in the mixture could start producing more gluten in the cake mixture. 
  • Step 4: Divide the mixture equally between the two cake tins. Using a spatula to smooth the top of the cake mixture in both of the cake tins to make sure they are even,
  • Step 5: Place the two cake tins into the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until both cakes are golden brown. 
  • Step 6: Once both of the sponges are cooked, remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling tray. Allow both the clingy to cool fully before adding your filling.

Can You Use Unbleached Bread Flour For Cake

Unbleached bread flour is slightly different to normal bread flour as it has aged naturally after being milled. Unbleached bread flour has a denser texture than normal bread flour. This denser quality to unbleached bread flour can be very beneficial when baking breads. This is because it can provide more structure to the bake. Unbleached bread flour is ideal when making large bread loads but not recommended when making cakes. Normal bread flour can make your cakes heavy and stodgy. So a denser flour like unbleached bread flour will make your cakes very dense.

Can You Use Bread Flour For Cake Flour

Interchanging these two flour for themselves could be a challenge as they are very different from one another. After doing a lot of research, we would recommend keeping these two flours in the recipes they have been designed for.

Bread flour is naturally a heavier flour and can create too much gluten when baking cakes. This large amount of gluten that bread flour can create is caused by the protein level in bread flour being 15%. This increased gluten will make spongy cakes heavy, solid and chewy to eat.  

Cake flour is an easier replacement to use for bread flour. It is lighter and will give a light texture to its bake. Nevertheless, when you use cake flour in a bread recipe, your bread may turn out slightly different from what you have imagined. This again is due to the protein content. Cake flour contains 8% protein meaning it creates less gluten, far less than bread flour. If you use cake flour in your bread recipe, your bread loaf may be very light in texture.

Can You Use Bread Flour For Cake? ANSWERED

Can You Use Bread Flour For Pound Cake

Bread flour is not the best choice when making a pound cake. A pound cake is cake loaf that naturally has a lightweight texture and spongy taste. Bread flour may make your pound cake stodgy and heavy. If you are wanting to make a pound cake, we would recommend using cake flour. Cake flour is a lot lighter than bread flour and will allow your spongy to turn out light and fluffy. 

FAQs

Can You Use Cake Flour For Banana Bread?

Cake flour is very versatile and can be used when making sweet treats like banana bread. As cake flour has 8% protein content it will make your bakes tender and have a delicate texture. If you are replacing flour with cake flour we recommend that you use 1 cup of cake flour for every recommended cup of normal flour.

Can You Use Cake Flour For Making Bread?

Cake flour can be used when making bread as it is a great substitute flour for most baked goods. Cake flour will give your bread a lighter texture. If you are using cake flour as a substitute for bread flour when making bread, it may be best to make smaller bread loafs or bread buns. These kinds of breads are lighter in design and may take to cake flour as a substitute for bread flour better.

Using Bread Flour As A Replacement Can Be Tricky

Bread flour is not the most versatile flour. It has a high protein content meaning it produces more gluten. This quality makes bread flour a heavier flour which will create denser bread loafs and denser cakes. This may not be a disadvantage to some. It could work for cakes that are made to be sturdy and heavy, like bread pudding. If you are making lighter cakes like pound cake, you may want to use a different substitute of flour other than bread flour. 

Do you use bread flour when you bake cakes? 

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By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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