What Is Cupcake Flour? (What Is It Made Of, What’s It For + More) 

Cupcakes are a fantastic treat made around the world, and one of the most crucial ingredients used to make cupcakes is flour.

Some people say that they use cupcake flour to create cupcakes, but what is cupcake flour anyway? I looked up the facts, and here is what I learned!

What Is Cupcake Flour?

There is no such thing as cupcake flour since cupcake flour is a term used to refer to flour for cupcakes. Generally, cupcakes are made out of cake flour since cake flour offers the best texture and volume for most cupcake recipes. However, other types of flour like all-purpose flour may be used for cupcakes.

Do you want to learn what cake flour for cupcakes is made of, what type of flour is best for cupcakes, and more? Keep reading!

What Is Cupcake Flour Made Of?

Technically, cupcake flour does not exist because cupcake flour is a term for flour used to create cupcakes, which is usually cake flour.

Cake flour is light and finely milled flour created from soft wheat to create soft and airy textures for cupcakes.

What Type Of Flour Is Best For Cupcakes?

Generally, it is agreed that cake flour is the best type of flour to make cupcakes with because cupcakes are meant to be “small cakes,” which is why cake flour works best.

Cake flour is very low in gluten since cake flour only contains around 6-8% gluten, which is ideal for cupcakes.

Lower gluten contents create softer and lighter textures, hence why you should pick low gluten flour like cake flour for cupcakes.

Additionally, cake flour is often extremely refined, and highly refined flour like cake flour aids in the softer and slightly crumbly texture you want in a cupcake.

Moreover, it is ideal to opt for bleached cake flour to bake cupcakes because the treatment bleached cake flour undergoes creates a slower rise time with fluffier and lighter textures.

Is Cake Flour Better For Cupcakes?

Cake flour is almost always better for cupcakes because cake flour provides the best texture and rise for almost every cupcake recipe.

Can I Use Plain Flour Instead Of Cake Flour?

You can use plain flour or all-purpose flour instead of cake flour to create cupcakes because plain flour is regarded as a versatile flour.

However, plain flour tends to have more gluten than cake flour since plain flour usually has 8-11% gluten whereas cake flour only has 6-8% gluten.

It is possible to use plain flour by itself to create cupcakes since the cupcakes will still be somewhat tender, but you may opt to tweak the all-purpose flour to create softer cupcakes.

To do so, take a leveled cup of all-purpose flour and remove two tablespoons from it then add two tablespoons of cornstarch.

Before you use the all-purpose flour and cornstarch in your cupcake batter, be sure to sift the flour and cornstarch well to remove any large clumps and to mix them well.

Is Plain Flour Better For Cupcakes?

Technically, plain flour is not better for cupcakes because cake flour will always be the best flour for cupcakes.

However, you may like plain flour for your cupcakes if you want a denser cupcake and an open crumb, which means there will be bigger air pockets in your cupcake.

Can I Use Self-Rising Flour To Make Cupcakes?

Can I Use Self-Rising Flour To Make Cupcakes?

It is possible to create cupcakes with self-rising flour but if the cupcake recipe has a leavening agent like baking powder, you should omit the leavening agent.

Self-rising flour already contains baking powder, so you need to remove any extra leavening agents to keep your cupcakes from rising too much.

Can I Use Pastry Flour Instead Of Cake Flour?

You may use pastry flour in place of cake flour, but pastry flour usually has 11% gluten while cake flour has 6-8%.

Pastry flour will still make your cupcakes fairly soft, but you will notice a slightly firmer texture.

Moreover, pastry flour contains less starch than cake flour, so your cupcakes may have a slightly gummy texture instead of a crumbly texture.

Is Bread Flour The Same As Cake Flour?

Bread flour is not the same as cake flour because bread flour has more protein than cake flour, which means bread flour will produce more gluten than cake flour.

Since bread flour has more gluten, if you were to make cupcakes out of bread flour, you will likely have a very dense, tough, and chewy cupcake, which is not ideal for cupcakes.

Moreover, cake flour tends to be milled more than bread flour because cake flour requires a finer texture.

Can I Use Bread Flour To Make Cupcakes?

It is not ideal to use bread flour to create cupcakes because you will wind up with chewy and dense cupcakes.

However, it is possible to use bread flour to make cupcakes if you also have cornstarch because the cornstarch can “dilute” the gluten content of bread flour.

Cornstarch dilutes the gluten in the bread flour, which will inhibit the development of gluten when you use bread flour to create lighter cupcakes.

If you were to replace one cup of all-purpose flour to create cupcakes, you can use three tablespoons of cornstarch with one cup of bread flour.

Keep in mind that even if you add cornstarch, you mustn’t overmix your cupcake batter because overmixing cupcake batter will encourage gluten to form, which will make your cupcakes dense and chewy.

Take a look at our related articles to find out what bread flour is, what cake flour is, and what cassava flour is.


Technically, there is no such thing as cupcake flour because cupcake flour merely refers to any kind of flour used for cupcakes.

However, most people would agree that the best type of flour for cupcakes is cake flour because cupcakes are meant to have a similar texture to moist and soft cakes.

Leave a Comment