If I have some unlabelled flour in the cupboard, is there a way I can determine if it is self-raising flour or plain flour, before cooking with it and just checking if the cake rises? :)

3 Answers 3


Put your flour in water. It should be slightly fizzy due to the presence of baking powder if it is active self raising flour. If it is plain it should react like normal flour.

  • 4
    I was going to say "Rub some on your gums" but I like your method better. Dec 1, 2010 at 14:55
  • 2
    and what, detect for a numbing effect in the white powder? haha
    – zanlok
    Dec 2, 2010 at 23:53

Mix equal parts of the flour & white distiled vinegar (dont need much, maybe a tablespoon each). If its self rising flour, it'll bubble/foam slightly, whereas plain flour will not.

  • This sounds like a more reliable method than water, depending on what baking powder formula is used. Jul 21, 2017 at 8:44

Self-rising flour is usually salted. Regular flour isn't. You can taste a tiny bit.

  • 2
    The self raising flour in my cupboard doesn't have any added salt. It does taste a little bit different to the plain flour though.
    – Tamlyn
    Feb 1, 2015 at 21:54
  • Self rising flour is US & does contain salt. Self raising flour is UK & does not.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 20, 2020 at 15:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.