Can You Use Cake Flour For Cookies?

If you find yourself without any all-purpose flour, cake flour is a great alternative. Not only will they make delicious cookies, but they will be more delicate and softer than regular cookies. While not many recipes require cake flour in their ingredient list, you can simply tweak existing recipes to include it.

This article will explore the science behind cake flour, as well as some helpful tips and tricks when baking and cooking using cake flour. 

If you’re seeking ways to improve or experiment with your cookies, then you’re in the right place. You may be wondering how you can use cake flour for cookies when they are seemingly two different recipes. While few recipes call for cake flour, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it.

Don’t be alarmed; we promise your cookies will come out of the oven better than ever! Below, you will find everything you need to know about using cake flour in your cookies.  

Using Cake Flour For Cookies

If you’re looking for a way to use that whole bag of cake flour you have just invested in for making Chiffon Cake, Classic Shortcakes, Pumpkin Spice Cake, or any other family favorite recipe, then you don’t have to worry about it going to waste.

While your family may be fed up with more cake, why not put your cake flour to delicious use by making cookies. 

Like any flour, when the protein found inside is hydrated, it provides the necessary structures to give cookies their crumb and foundation. The texture of the cookie is all dependent on the type and amount of flour making them either soft, chewy, crispy, or cakey. 

Compared to regular all-purpose flour which contains 10% to 12% of protein, cake flour contains a lower-protein content of 7% to 9%. Therefore, if you choose to use cake flour in your cookies, less gluten will form when mixing the cookie dough.

After baking, the result of using cake flour presents a softer, delicate, fluffier, and more cake-like texture to your batch of cookies. Consequently, the middle of the cookie may appear paler, while the edges are less crispier.

However, the positive of using cake flour is that the flavor will be enhanced. If you like soft batch cookies or the tender frosted sugar cookers, then you are bound to enjoy cake flour cookies!

Other Types Of Flour

The purpose of gluten is to act as a spring.

What we mean by this is that when mixed with liquid, it can expand and stretch to add to the shape and structure (for instance, when creating layers in flaky biscuits), trap gasses (seen in focaccia bread with its signature bubbles), and provides chewiness (such as homemade pasta al dente style).

The gluten formation levels vary depending on what type of flour you use and how much you mix in. The general rule of thumb is that the more protein found in the flour, the more gluten there will be in the final product, creating more chewiness. 

Below, you will find other common types of flour for baking; ranked from highest to lowest levels of gluten:

  • Whole Wheat Flour – This flour uses the whole kernel of wheat, making it denser and heavier than all-purpose flour, which contains the germ (a segment of the internal seed) and the bran (a wheat kernel’s exterior) taken away, which leaves only the endosperm section of the grain leftover. Containing approximately 13.5 % protein, whole wheat flour is delivered in white whole wheat and whole wheat pastry assortments, as well. It is generally used in recipes for bread dough, pasta, and pancake batter. Typically, this is mixed half-and-half with all-purpose flour. 
  • Bread Flour – Since this type of flour contains more protein than all-purpose flour, approximately 12% to 14%, bread flour suppresses more gluten, as well as chews. It is often used in recipes for pastries, yeast bread, and pizza dough. 
  • All-Purpose Flour – Generally, the rule of thumb is when a recipe specifies the need for ‘flour’ this is typically all-purpose flour. This is obtainable in both bleached and unbleached variations and contains 10% to 12% of protein. 
  • Cake Flour – If you’re looking for tender cakes, then this 7%- to 9%-protein cake flour would be the perfect voice. It’s used in recipes for sponge cakes, angel food cakes, cupcakes, scones, and some muffins. 

How To Make Cake Flour Cookies

If you have some leftover cake flour to use up or you’re craving cake-like, soft cookies, then we have the perfect solution for you: cake flour cookies. Simple swap in 75% of cake flour (with 25% all-purpose) instead of the all-purpose flour stated in whatever recipe you’re following.

For example, 1 ½ cups of cake flour and ½ cup of all-purpose flour in recipes that call for 2 cups of flour. 

Likewise, you could even use 100% of cake flour for a softer, cakier cookie. This is perfect for those who love soft cookies. Then, when the cookies are baked, use some frosting to cover the paleness of the cookie.

If you are curious about experimenting with cake flour but don’t have any available to you at the moment, then try following this recipe here: Measure 1 cup of all-purpose flour and place it in a large bowl.

Using a tablespoon, remove 2 tablespoons worth of flour and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Then sift the bowl to blend and voila; your very own cake flour to use in cookies. 

Final Thoughts

As opposed to popular opinion, cake flour doesn’t have to be used in just cakes, but in cookies, as well! These make for a soft, cake-like texture to your cookies, perfect for those who enjoy soft cookies.

Hopefully, this article has provided you with everything you need to know about using cake flour in cookies.

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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