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Old 11-26-2008, 06:08 PM   #1
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Can I substitute "Cake Flour" for "All-Purpose" flour?

Can I substitute "Cake Flour" for "All-Purpose" flour even if the recipe says to use "All-Purpose" flour(for cookies)? I was told that "Cake Flour" makes a really good cookie, but I've never seen a cookie recipe using Cake Flour. So what is your suggestion? Thanks for the help.
Nick

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Old 11-26-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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Nick, check out this link Cook's Thesaurus: Wheat Flours

It should answer your question.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laser View Post
Can I substitute "Cake Flour" for "All-Purpose" flour even if the recipe says to use "All-Purpose" flour(for cookies)? I was told that "Cake Flour" makes a really good cookie, but I've never seen a cookie recipe using Cake Flour. So what is your suggestion? Thanks for the help.
Nick
I think most people use "all-purpose flour" and that is why recipes call for it. Personally I do not like to use "all-purpose flour", nor all-purpose potatoes. All purpose flour is a blend of cake and bread flour. I use bread flour for bread and cake flour for cookies, brownies, pie crusts, corn breads....or any product that uses baking powder or soda for leavening. If it leavens with yeast, use bread flour, if it leavens with baking powder, use cake flour. cake flour goes by many names; cake, soft, pastry flour.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Can I substitute "Cake Flour" for "All-Purpose" flour even if the recipe says to use "All-Purpose" flour(for cookies)? I was told that "Cake Flour" makes a really good cookie, but I've never seen a cookie recipe using Cake Flour. So what is your suggestion? Thanks for the help.
Nick
If you are using volume measurements, and you use cake flour in place of AP flour without adjusting your measurements, it will be a disaster.

If you are using mass measurements, it will probably still work, but depending on the recipe, the end product will change significantly.

In general, you do not want to be using cake flour unless a recipe specifically calls for it. It really isn't the same product as AP flour.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:39 PM   #5
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I use cake flour in several cookies..
mostly flaky cookies also including cornstarch, like russian teacakes and a lemon-nutmeg cookie I've loved since I was little....
but anyway I doubt you could go wrong with it, as opposed to using bread flour for cookies....
:)
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:51 PM   #6
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Actually, if you want a chewy cookie you might want to use bread flour. See e.g. The Chewy Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network

Although if made as is, you will have a far too salty cookie although they will be chewy. I never use kosher salt in baking--it is too coarse and does not melt.

In other words, it depends upon what properties you want your cookies to have. If you have a cakelike or puffy cookie, you can use cake flour.

I wish I could remember the science site that I had read years ago that explained this better. If I come across it, I shall post it.

Edited to add:
http://www.kswheat.com/upload/Substi...%20Cookies.pdf
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:18 PM   #7
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but anyway I doubt you could go wrong with it, as opposed to using bread flour for cookies....
You can definitely go wrong with it. If you are using volume measurements, then substituting cake flour on a 1:1 basis will be a disaster. I remember many years ago I tried making cookies using cake flour, not knowing the difference. To be honest, I can't remember precisely what went wrong in terms of taste / texture, but it was bad enough that I learned my lesson.

That said, if you did it by mass, it's possible that you'd get a decent product, in spite of the substitution. So if the recipe calls for 100g of AP flour, and you put in 100g of cake flour, that is a major improvement versus 1 cup of cake flour for 1 cup of AP flour.

But why would you want to? Cake flour is a specialized product, useful in only certain applications like an angel food cake or a genoise.

If you have to ask if it's ok to substitute cake flour, then it means that you don't have a good reason to use it, which means that you shouldn't be using it. Why risk ruining whatever it is you're baking? Just use what the recipe tells you to use.
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Old 11-27-2008, 05:22 AM   #8
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let me try to give a more direct answer to the OP's question, than my first response

yes you can substitute cake flour for all purpose flour in a cookie recipe. In fact, cake flour is a more appropriate flour to use than all purpose in baking cookies

when i substitute cake flour for all purpose flour in a recipe for cookies, or any recipe calling for all purpose flour, i use 1 cup and 1 T. cake flour for each cup of all purpose called for.

I agree with suzie, you can't go wrong with using cake flour for cookies, just add 1 T. extra flour per cup of flour in the recipe.

I have had no disasters in the 35 years I have been baking with cake flour, whole wheat cake flour at that.
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