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All-purpose Flour Vs. Cake Flour

All-purpose Flour Vs. Cake Flour: Have You Picked the Better One?

Here's a worthwhile contribution to the all-purpose flour vs. cake flour debate, along with some nutritional facts about the former. Hopefully, the differences between both mentioned in this article will make things a little simpler for you to take your pick.
Gagan Dhillon
Last Updated: Mar 5, 2018
All you culinary enthusiasts have sometime or the other, been a part of the legendary all-purpose vs. cake flour discussion. Some support the former while others the latter, and on the other hand we have people who wonder what is the difference between both. We are going to add our bit to this discussion and also help the first timers understand the difference.
Let's start with all-purpose flour. It is also known as plain flour, and is the main ingredient in breads.On the other hand, cake flour is mainly used to make cakes, muffins, and pastries. One can get bleached flour as well; it is nothing different, but it is whiter than other flour types. For a clearer picture about which one is the winner, we'll first take a look at the difference between the two and then at some nutrition facts about them.
Difference Between the Two
Hopefully, the difference between them will help us tilt the balance towards one of them, in the famous all-purpose flour vs. cake flour debate. Although it is very difficult to pick the winner, as their goodness and value varies according to how one intends to use them. For example, if all-purpose flour is used for baking a cake, the result will be very different from a cake baked from cake flour, and to know why read on ...
All-purpose Flour Cake Flour
Uses Like the name suggests, all-purpose flour can be used for making a variety of baked goods, like cakes, cookies, biscuits, pie crusts, muffins, pasta, quick breads, etc. You dont have to keep any other type of flour in stock when you have this one. It is enough to make a variety of baked goods, and it is also helpful in thickening gravies and sauces and for coating and frying purposes. Cake flour is specifically made to bake cakes and pastries. This flour ensures that the cakes and pastries are softer and have the right texture.
Texture All-purpose flour is hard flour, as it is not as finely ground as cake flour. It also has a combination of other flour milled into it, for instance, barn and wheat, which makes it coarser compared to cake flour. On the other hand, for cake flour, bran and germ are removed and special wheat, like Rosella is used. This gives it a smooth texture, which ensures the same for the dishes made out of it.
Protein Content Bread is tougher compared to cakes. This happens because of the amount of gluten, which is produced according to the protein content. Gluten contributes to the stickiness in the dough, and this makes the bread or cake soft or hard. So, high protein means, more gluten which means that the bread will be harder. The first difference that comes into mind is the variation in the texture of the products made from the two. Cake flour has less protein therefore less gluten, which means products baked in cake flour will be softer.
All-purpose Flour or Cake Flour
It is difficult to say which one is better because this depends on how one intends to use the flour. People often ask whether they can substitute one for the other while making desserts. The thing is that cake flour is chlorinated and also bleached at times, as a result of which, you get softer cakes. On the other hand, a sponge cake baked with all-purpose flour will not be as soft as it is meant to be. So, if you want good results, use one that the recipe asks for. If you look at the nutrition facts, all-purpose flour is high in protein, low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fats. Cake flour is a good source of thiamine and iron, and it also has less calories compared to all-purpose flour. So, if you are on a diet and really want to eat a cake, you should use cake flour.
So, now you see why this debate is a tricky situation! Some all-purpose flour and cake flour nutrition facts are almost similar, but the difference lies in the calories and the protein content.
Soft Bread
Hard Bread
Flour in Bowl
White Flour in Wooden Bowl
Sponge Cake
Lots of Cakes