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Difference Between All Purpose Flour and Cake Flour

flourAll Purpose Flour vs. Cake Flour

People who are not experts in the kitchen, or who are not exposed to the baking arena, often fall ignorant to the differences between the many types of flours. Out of annoyance, they even claim that these flours are interchangeable, and that using another kind of flour in recipe will not matter, as opposed to using the prescribed flour type. Nevertheless, this misnomer must be corrected to avoid any baking, and or, cooking issues, in the future.

In a sample situation: One person bakes a cake using a cake flour, and another person uses the all purpose flour; truly the resulting cake of both parties will be different. Here are the reasons why:

All purpose flour, as the name implies, is really for all purposes. It can be used for baking a cake, making bread, and even cooking biscuits. This flour is sometimes referred to by many as the plain flour. Conversely, with cake flour, this type of flour is obviously meant for baking cakes, as well as pastries. Cake flour is the usual ingredient for such recipes, because it helps make cakes or pastries softer, and gives the ideal texture.

Talking about texture, all purpose flour is not as finely grounded as the cake flour. That’s the reason why it is regarded as hard flour. To make a coarser texture, other kinds of flours are also incorporated, or mixed, with the plain flour. Bread flours and wheat flours are common mixes. On the contrary, with cake flour, the bran and germ have been taken away. Instead, a special kind of wheat is added to the product ‘“ the Rosella. No wonder cake flours are a lot finer and smoother in texture.

In terms of protein content, the all purpose flour has relatively more protein or gluten than cake flours. It comes as no surprise that breads and cookies with this flour as an ingredient, seem to be harder or tougher, because of more gluten that adds to the cohesiveness of the dough. Cake flours are said to contain less gluten, which is best for cakes, because one would not want his or her cake to be hard, or tough.

All in all, it is still not final to claim which is the better product, because it all depends on how you use the flour, and for which kind of recipe you are going to use. Nevertheless, here is a summary of their differences:

1. All purpose flour can be used in more recipes, like cakes, breads and cookies, whereas cake flour is used preferably for cakes and pastries only.

2. All purpose flour is a lot harder and coarser compared to the softer, finer and smoother cake flour.

3. All purpose flour has more protein or gluten compared to cake flour.


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