Is Cake Flour The Same As Self-Rising Flour?

Baking can be a relaxing and rewarding activity, but it can also be overwhelming when it comes to selecting the right ingredients. Flour is a key ingredient in many baked goods, and there are several types to choose from. 

Cake flour and self-rising flour are two options that may seem interchangeable at first glance, but are they really the same thing?

Cake flour, finely ground from wheat, boasts reduced protein and gluten levels, and it undergoes bleaching for health considerations.

Conversely, self-raising flour is coarser in texture, featuring higher protein and gluten content, in addition to components such as salt and baking powder.

As a baking enthusiast, it’s important to understand the differences between these two flours and when to use them. So, let us dive into the world of flour and answer the question: is cake flour the same as self-rising flour?

Before we step further into the discussion, let us make this clear; cake flour is not the same as self-rising flour or sponge flour. The closest thing is plain flour sifted with cornstarch.

It’s important to note that cake flour is different from self-rising flour or sponge flour. The closest equivalent to cake flour would be plain flour that has been sifted with a small amount of cornstarch.

What Is Self-Rising Flour?

Self-rising flour contains both salt and baking powder. Combining these two ingredients reduces the need to add baking powder to food items during preparation, making self-rising flour easier to use.

You can use this flour to make cakes, doughnuts, bread, rotis, naan rotis, and pastries. A slight increase in protein content is also found in self-rising flour, which is more than 10 percent.

It is recommended that you store this flour in an airtight container that stays dry. Over time, baking powder tends to lose its strength, resulting in baked goods not rising properly. If the flour is stored too long, it may lose its strength.

The recipe for self-rising flour is simple. Add one and a half teaspoons of baking powder to a cup of all-purpose flour and add half a teaspoon of salt for every cup.

What Is Cake Flour?

The flour used in cake recipes is finely ground wheat flour. Cake flour generally contains little protein. The protein content of cake flour may range from 7-10 percent. Furthermore, it contains a low level of gluten.

It is because of this low gluten content that cakes become more tender and lighter. Cake flour also lends a fine-textured texture to cakes because of its smooth and silky texture.

Due to its fine milling, cake flour can absorb more water because it has more surface area.

Sugar can be added to the cake more easily if more water is added. By increasing the sugar content, the cake becomes moister and more long-lasting and finer and dense.

It is believed that cake flour increases the rise of a cake by distributing fat evenly. The cake flour is usually bleached, so it has a pale color; it keeps the cake moist, rising, and preventing it from becoming overly brown.

It is also possible to make biscuits, pancakes, waffles, muffins, quick bread, and scones with this flour.

Substitutes For Cake Flour

For those who are still skeptical, or in areas where cake flour is not available, you can use cornstarch to make a reasonable facsimile by replacing 2 tablespoons (for every cup) of plain flour.

Plain flour will be lightened by cornstarch, which has very little protein. The powdery white substance may also be called corn flour in some parts of the world. It is commonly used for baking. Unlike yellow and gritty corn meal, it is not yellow.

Measuring either by weight or by spooning flour and cornstarch into a measuring cup and leveling off is possible after sifting them both together. In no case should flour be packed into a measuring cup!

However, it is important to remember that even though this substitution works well, it isn’t identical to cake flour.

Here’s a shortened version if you don’t have cake flour at hand:

  1. Simply take one level cup of plain flour and take out two tablespoons.
  2. Put two tablespoons of cornstarch in the mixture.
  3. Make sure the ingredients are well mixed by sifting them together.

What Is The Difference Between Cake Flour And Self-Rising Flour?

The difference between cake flour and self-rising flour is that cake flour is finely ground from soft wheat, whereas self-rising flour is a mixture of salt and baking powder.

Protein content is the main difference between cake flour and self-rising flour; cake flour has little protein, while self-rising flour has more.

To compare cake flour and self-rising flour side by side, the following table summarizes the differences.

Cake FlourSelf-Rising Flour
ProteinLow (7-10%)High (>10%)
Gluten ContentLowModerate
Leavening AgentsNoneBaking Powder and Salt
UsesCakes, biscuits, pancakes, waffles, muffins, quick bread, sconesCakes, doughnuts, bread, pastries, roti, naan roti

Can I Just Use All-Purpose Flour Instead Of Cake Flour?

Yes, all-purpose flour can be used as a substitute for cake flour, but it’s important to remember that the final baked good’s texture and consistency may differ.

When you use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour, you may end up with a cake or cupcake that has a denser, chewier texture with larger air pockets.

However, if you want to achieve the best possible results in your baking, it’s recommended to use cake flour as it is specifically designed for delicate and light baked goods.

Cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, which results in a finer texture and a more tender crumb.

Overall, if you’re looking to achieve a light and delicate texture in your baked goods, it’s best to stick with cake flour. But if you’re in a pinch and don’t have any on hand, all-purpose flour can still be used as a substitute.


While cake flour and self-rising flour may seem similar, they are actually two distinct types of flour with unique characteristics and uses in baking.

Cake flour is low in protein and produces delicate, tender baked goods, while self-rising flour contains leavening agents and salt, making it perfect for quick breads and biscuits. 

Knowing the differences between these flours can make all the difference in achieving the perfect texture and flavor in your baked goods.

So, next time you’re in the kitchen whipping up a sweet treat, remember to reach for the right type of flour for the job. With this newfound knowledge, your baking skills are sure to rise to the occasion!

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