There are several ingredients in the baking world which I refuse to buy.
No, I promise I don’t stuff them under my shirt and steal them, but when their price point makes me feel like I’m the one being robbed, I know it’s time to find my own solution.
Among the list of baking items I continually make myself are vanilla extract*, buttermilk, and cake flour.
*However, with the price of vanilla beans on the rise, I don’t know what I’m going to do!
A 2-lb box of cake flour is priced around $3.89, making it over half the price I pay for a 10-lb bag of AP King Arthur flour. It doesn’t take a math wiz to know each cup of cake flour is digging much deeper into your pocket that each cup of AP flour.
But thank goodness there is an easy, inexpensive solution yielding a result pretty darn close to the real thing.
And all you need is flour, cornstarch, and a sifter.
I buy a 35 oz container of cornstarch at BJ’s for $2.99, and it lasts forever.*
*I feel like I need to clarify that I don’t really mean forever forever, but for what feels like forever. You get it, right?
Lay out two large pieces of wax paper*.
*You can use bowls for the process, but I find the wax paper leaves less of a mess.
For our example I’m going to work with 3 cups of flour. I find it is best to make more cake flour than needed. It keeps for several months, so the next time you need cake flour you won’t have to repeat this process.
Place your sifter on top of the first wax paper piece and fill it with three cups of flour.
Return 6 tablespoons of flour to your flour container.
Add six tablespoons of corn starch.
Sift the flour and corn starch onto the wax paper.
Place the sifter onto the second piece of wax paper. Lift the wax paper the sifted flour is on and pour into the sifter.
Sift the mixture again.
Repeat this process until you have sifted everything five times. You should end up back on the first piece of wax paper.
The flour should now look much lighter and softer than before.
On this particular occasion, I needed three cups of cake flour for a birthday cake I was making. However, the sifting process actually increases the amount of flour you end up with.
Which means if you need three cups of cake flour, as I did, at the end of the process, you will need to measure out three cups of cake flour.
Because there will be leftover.
Which you can store and save for another recipe calling for cake flour!*
*I also fold up my wax paper and save it to use the next time I make cake flour.
Red velvet cake with homemade cake flour–and no one knew the difference!
- 1 cup AP flour
- 2 T cornstarch
- wax paper
- Lay out two pieces of wax paper. Place sifter on top of the first piece.
- Put flour into the sifter. Return 2 T of flour back to flour container.
- Add 2 T cornstarch to the flour. Sift.
- Place sifter on second piece of wax paper. Lift first piece of wax paper and pour mixture into the sifter. Sift.
- Repeat this process until the mixture has been sifted five times. You should end up back on the first piece of wax paper.
Note: For every additional cup of flour, repeat the same amount of flour removal and cornstarch addition. Keep in mind final results will yield more than a cup.