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Old 02-13-2006, 07:18 PM   #1
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Question Substitute for Swans Down cake flour?

I have found a 1970's chinese dim sum steamed cake recipe that calls for Swans Down cake flour (author says "no substitutions"). I cannot find Swans Down on any local grocery shelves, yet. Our local chinatown used to carry this product but I can't find it now. I have searched and found it online, mainly in the southern states. Is there something equivalent you think I might be able to use in its place (combination of ingredients to make) without compromise? Does Softasilk cake flour give the same results in cakes? Thanks!

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Old 02-13-2006, 08:30 PM   #2
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Hi honeyb!

Swan's Down is a great cake flour, and I use it all the time (I'm in Southern California), but I'd assume that anything listed as a "cake flour" would certainly do just fine! Best of luck and if your recipe is yummy, please post it!
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:00 PM   #3
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Swan's Down is cake flour. Use it or add 1TBS corn starch/cup to AP flour.
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:55 AM   #4
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Some cake flours (perhaps Softasilk) are self rising.

Make sure you are not subbing a self-rising flour for one that is not, or vice versa.
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:03 AM   #5
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Softasilk is cake flour. I personally have never seen a self rising cake flour. Perhaps what may be meant is be sure NOT to use self rising flour to make cake flour.
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Old 02-14-2006, 03:41 PM   #6
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No there is self rising cake flour in a box at the store. I just can't remember the brand name. There are 3 brands on the shelf, if I recall.

You can make any flour self-rising by adding salt and leavener. Though not sure why you'd want to but some manufacturer did.

But I yet another baking "adventure" the day I used that and didn't notice ....

Now I order from King Arthur.


edited to add that Google revealed that Swans Down discontinued self-rising cake flour a few years ago. That may be what I used.
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Old 02-14-2006, 05:38 PM   #7
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While Lily flour is a less dense flour than flours commonly found up in the north.

http://www.whitelily.com/
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:50 PM   #8
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Cake flour is very finely milled low protein (6-8%) low gluten soft wheat. I honestly don't know if Swans Down was self rising back in the 1970's - but I'm going to bet it wasn't. I also don't know how many cake flours were on the market back in the '70's. Not having read exactly what the author said - it could be the the admonition to make no substitutions may be referring to either don't use a self rising cake flour or don't substitute something like all purpose flour for the cake flour.

Other considerations are the source of the recipe (was it from Swans Down) and sometimes a recipe author will specify a specific brand of flour because that is the brand used to develop the recipe.

Generally, unless a recipe specifies self-rising flour, then it is not. One thing that might help figure this out is to check the recipe. Does it call for salt and baking powder, baking soda, and/or cream of tartar? If so - it was not self-rising flour. For example (not self-rising cake flour):

1 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract

The only self-rising cake flour that I know of is Presto (a Luzianne brand product); Swans Down (another Luzianne product) and Softasilk (Pillsbury) are not. King Arthur has a cake flour, and I'm sure others do, too. Just look at the label and read the ingredients panel - they will tell you if they are self-rising. If the ingredients contain salt and something carbonate and/or bicarbonate - it's self rising.
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeyb
I have found a 1970's chinese dim sum steamed cake recipe that calls for Swans Down cake flour (author says "no substitutions"). I cannot find Swans Down on any local grocery shelves, yet. Our local chinatown used to carry this product but I can't find it now. I have searched and found it online, mainly in the southern states. Is there something equivalent you think I might be able to use in its place (combination of ingredients to make) without compromise? Does Softasilk cake flour give the same results in cakes? Thanks!
Hi, I hope I can be of some help, I have found my Softasilk flour at the Wal Mart stores. I have always used the Softasilk and every cake I have baked with it turns out great and the taste is awsome!!!! I have tried both and I liked the Swans Down but I like the Softasilk better and with Softasilk U do not have to sift it.Hope this is some help
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:38 AM   #10
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CAKE FLOUR NAME................SOURCE
Swans Down........................Dover Flour Mills, Canadia
Softasilk..............................Pillsbury
Sno-King.............................Honeyville Grain
Queen Guinevere...................King Arthur
Presto Self Rising Cake Flour....Reily Foods Company
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