Gluten-Free Cake Flour Blend
A gluten-free cake flour blend that works flawlessly to make cakes and quick bread recipes perfectly airy, fluffy and light!
Since being diagnosed with Celiac disease I’ve had to adapt many family cake-based recipes to eliminate the gluten in the wheat-based flour. My first trials of just switching out cup-for-cup gluten-free flour replacements ended up with a compost bin full of unacceptable baked batches. The baked goods textures ranging from gooey messes to being grainy with an almost sand like feel left in my mouth. They were nothing I cared to eat myself or to share for that matter.
I searched forever for a manufactured gluten-free cake flour substitute to the traditional wheat-based cake flour that grandma used. Along the way, I learned that cake flour is a fine-milled, delicate flour with low protein content. The low protein content of the flour results in cakes that have a fine crumb, a good rise, and a super-tender texture. The texture is achieved because of the way it is milled, that makes it finer, lighter, and softer so that baked goods made with it, when baked, become light and airy.
For a gluten-free cake flour substitute, I knew there had to be a way to find the right balance between gluten-free flours and gluten-free starches that would produce a lower protein blend that would mimic a traditional cake flour. So, I began to experiment. I experimented again, and again, until I finally found success with this excellent cake flour blend!
To come up with this gluten-free cake flour blend, I looked at the properties of traditional wheat-based cake flours how they are milled and made. Wheat-based cake flour is milled from soft wheat, and it contains the lowest amount of protein (5 to 8-percent) when compared to other all-purpose wheat-based flour blends (10 to 13-percent). There are two major soft wheat varieties: soft red winter has a low protein content and is used as a blend in multipurpose flours, and for cakes, cookies, donuts, fine pastries, crackers, and flatbreads. Soft white is low-protein wheat that offers high yields. Soft white produces a lighter flour for cakes, cookies, crackers, and pastries. It is also used in many Middle-Eastern style flatbreads.
After several trials and fussing around with many gluten-free flours and starches to construct the recipe, I decided to blend sweet white rice flour and brown rice flour. Combining these in equal amounts with low protein gluten-free potato and tapioca starches for their (the starches) gelling properties which significantly contributes to how air bubbles are entrapped in the starch during the baking process. Those starches also are known to work well with gum stabilizers to improve the batter consistency during mixing, enhance the softness of the crumb and control the way the starch gels during the baking process.
Additionally, I found that sifting the gluten-free cake flour blend three times before adding it to the wet ingredients helps to assure that the cake bakes light and fluffy.
The higher starch content in this blend helps to prevent gluten-free baked cakes and quick bread from having that grainy texture found in some recipes that you may come across. While the low protein flour and the high starch combination of this blend make gluten-free cakes, coffee cakes, muffins, quick bread and cookies perfectly airy, fluffy and light with a fine crumb and soft, tender texture.
The result is a gluten-free flour and starch blend that I’ve successfully been able to use as a suitable cake flour replacement. And, it works flawlessly to make many cakes and quick bread recipes very similar in taste and texture to favorite recipes that I remember from my childhood.
Gluten-Free Cake Flour Blend
- Large bowl
- 12 cup airtight storage container
- 1 Part Sweet White Rice Flour
- 1 Part Brown Rice Flour
- 1 Part Potato Starch NOT Potato Flour
- 1 Part Tapioca Starch also called tapioca flour, they are the same
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Whisk until combined.
- Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dry cupboard until needed.
A good rule of thumb I follow is, to begin with, 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan gum for each 1 Cup of Gluten-Free Cake Flour Blend, record your notes, then adjust your recipe as necessary when you make it the next time.
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(Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.)