I heard from someone that you can use all purpose flour as cake flour by altering it's protein content by addition of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

Is this really true? If yes, can someone provide me with a ratio to do so.

  • 1
    I don't think that's true. You can approximate cake flour by using all-purpose flour and cornstarch. See: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/39593/…
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 12:59
  • There was a question a couple of years ago about acidity and gluten (cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/43884/…). So it's possible that it could work. Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 15:56
  • Will at most change the protein texture, not much the content! Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 16:10
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    Did that person mean that you can use plain flour + baking powder in a recipe that calls for self-rising flour?
    – rumtscho
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 17:31
  • Jolenealaska and rumtscho are sending you in the right direction I think. Cornstarch + AP is your substitute. Not exactly the same, but should behave and task fairly close. AP + baking powder + bit of salt is self-rising.
    – dlb
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


Sodium bicarbonate on its own is not baking powder but baking soda. A mixture of such with all purpose flour will not change the content of gluten-producing proteins beyond very slightly lowering their content per equal (to AP flour) weight of mixture.

The way the gluten forms in a dough/batter, and the way the whole product will brown/caramelize while baking, will actually be somewhat altered due to alkalinity, but this would still not mean equivalent behaviour to cake flour. Also, potential extra leavener (if an acid is present) will be there in addition to what the recipe describes.

What such a mixture, if using actual baking powder instead of baking soda, could be intended to substitute for would be self raising flour.

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    Also, potential extra leavener (if an acid is present) will be there And if you don't have sufficient acid to react with the baking soda, you'll probably get to taste the baking soda. Blech! Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 19:08
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    so to the wording and the point of the question, this does not "change" the protein content of the flour, it alters how the protein behaves.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 12:42
  • Excess baking soda is sometimes intentionally added to cookies (even such that you very much do not want leavened)... but in most other applications, "blech" (German for "sheet metal", and that's how it will taste :) ) Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 8:20

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