Q: What’s the difference between plain flour and cake flour?
A: It’s all about the protein! Cake flour has a lower amount of protein than all purpose
flour, which affects vital aspects of the cake and pastry making process.
Gluten network formation
If you’ve read our piece on bread flour, then you might remember that more protein
means greater gluten network formation. This is exactly the opposite of what you
want in a cake. Gluten makes things chewier and that is the exact opposite of lighter
and fluffier cake. The lower amounts of protein and gluten will also make pastry
tender and flakier.
In addition, as cake flours are generally made from soft wheat, the soft flour particles
are smaller in size and thus results in softer and tender cakes with a finer grain in
comparison to high-protein flour with its higher gluten- forming ability.
We all want fluffier cakes, and flakier pastry. The easiest way to help get there is to
switch from baking with All Purpose flour to baking with cake flour.
You can find more on our Lighthouse Biscuit, Pastry & Cake flour here.