At any given time, I have several variations of flour at my disposal: whole wheat, all purpose, bread, cake, almond, whole wheat pastry…
With that many varieties, it stands to reason that I sometimes run out of one or more. The kind I run out of most often? Cake. I tend to buy it when I need it but don’t really pay attention when I use it up, because I generally use it for one recipe: vanilla cupcakes.
When I decided to make some Valentine’s cupcakes, I realized I had no cake flour. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. As long as you have all purpose flour and some cornstarch in your pantry, you have everything you need.
To achieve a similar-textured flour, for every one cup of cake flour called for in a recipe, subtract 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and replace with cornstarch, then sift the flour/cornstarch combination a minimum of 3 times (more wouldn’t hurt).
A helpful hint here is to remember that there are 4 tablespoons in 1/4 cup. And if you happen to have a kid who doesn’t think they’ll ever need to know how to add and subtract fractions in the real world, have them help you make cake flour for a recipe sometime.