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The Power of Flour, Part One of Two

Mar 6, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose

For years I have been saying how important it is to use bleached flour in cake baking and I still prefer it, but after making the fortuitous mistake of using unbleached flour in a cake baked in a tube pan, and discovering that the pan's center tube kept it from falling, I have revisited the subject and made some very interesting and ground breaking discoveries.

Woody and I have conducted numerous tests using bleached cake flour, bleached all-purpose flour, and unbleached all-purpose flour in a solid (unmelted) butter layer cake using my one bowl mixing method and the All-Occasion Downy Yellow Cake from the Cake Bible. (We used two-thirds the recipe, first using two-thirds the baking powder (2-5/8 teaspoons). Then we decreased the baking powder to 2-1/2 teaspoons because we were using a 2" high pan instead of the 1-1/2" high pans in the Cake Bible (and higher pans need proportionately less baking powder). We found that when using bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour instead of cake flour, we got more tenderness (and in the case of unbleached flour improved flavor) by replacing 15% of the flour with potato starch which comes closer to cake flour than cornstarch.The overall appearance, however, with the bleached all-purpose flour is slightly lower either in height or in the center.

Our Conclusions
1. bleached cake flour is suitable for cakes where a very tender texture is desired.
2. bleached all-purpose flour and 15% potato starch to simulate cake flour results in a more even cake with smoother crust and better taste than cornstarch, but is not quite as tender.
3. bleached all-purpose flour is preferable for cakes that benefit from more structure.
4. bleached flour results in the best flavor.
5. bleached flour results in the best volume.
6. bleached flour results in the most tender and velvety texture.
7. unbleached flour results in less volume.
8. unbleached flour results in a coarser, chewier texture.
9. unbleached flour results in a cornbread-like flavor.
10. cornstarch substitution for part of the flour for bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour is less effective to improve structure than decreasing leavening, and alters the flavor.
11. potato starch substitution for part of the flour for bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour is even more effective than cornstarch as it softens the crumb. For the unbleached flour it also improves the flavor by lessening the cornbread-like quality.

At first I thought it was an inherent contradiction that unbleached flour, which is higher in protein, would result in less volume, which usually is an indicator of structural weakness, and yet be chewier, which usually is an indicator of greater structural strength. As I was going to sleep one night I was so disturbed by this thought that I pretended I was inside the structure of a cake and started picturing a mesh of wires like a metal fence. Then the thought hit me like lightening: If one were to snip those wires, the fence would collapse but if one tried to chew on those wires they would still be wires--hard and unyielding even though not strong enough to hold up as a fence structure! And then it seemed obvious that a cake made with the higher protein of unbleached flour would have a tougher but not necessarily stronger structure! (A good metaphor for defining how strength comes in different forms!) I then remembered what I had learned about the different types of gluten-forming protein contained in flour when I was working on recipes for The Bread Bible. One type of gluten is elastic and results in a more chewy texture. The other type of gluten is extensible (stretchy) and enables a bread or cake to rise higher without collapsing. Bleached flour also has a lower PH, which means it will gelatinize (set) more quickly and thus maintain its structure.

For bakers who either have no access to the bleached flour or prefer to use unbleached flour, Kate Coldrick's method of heat-treating flour in a microwave (Kate Flour) enables the flour to gelatinize more effectively and the addition of xanthan gum also strengthens the structure. But we wanted to see if there was a way to improve the performance of unbleached flour without heat-treating it. Our goal was to achieve the best volume, texture, and flavor, with no dipping in the center. [Note: the cake structure on the sides is slightly lower because the batter closer to the metal pan sets sooner than does the center. For a two-layer cake it is best to have level layers but for a single layer a slight dome is more attractive.]

Solutions & Options if Replacing Bleached Flour with Unbleached Flour
The customary technique to approximate cake flour when using bleached all-purpose flour is to replace 15% of the flour with cornstarch or potato starch. These starches gelatinize at lower temperatures (potato starch much lower than corn starch) than does the starch in flour, thereby improving the structure of the cake. We found that the cornstarch mixed with the bleached all-purpose flour resulted in a cake that was almost as tender as cake flour, and eliminated the slight dipping in the center. In the cake using UNbleached all-purpose flour the cornstarch decreased the over-all dipping by 1/8 inch but did not eliminate it. On the negative side however, in both cases the cornstarch resulted in a denser crumb, bubbly top crust and an off-flavor.
The potato starch totally eliminated the dipping! The crumb is slighty coarser than the bleached all-purpose flour, but the flavor is not compromised!

Photos of Cakes Using 2-5/8 Teaspoons Baking Powder

2. cake flour vs unbleached all-purpose, whole cake.jpg

Cake Flour Versus Unbleached All Purpose Flour

4. cake flour.jpg

Cake Flour

5. bleached all-purpose.jpg

Bleached All-purpose Flour

7. bleached all-purpose with cornstarch.jpg

Bleached All-purpose Flour & Cornstarch


Bleached All-purpose Flour & Potato Starch

6. unbleached all-purpose.jpg

Unbleached All-purpose Flour

8. unbleached all-purpose with cornstarch.jpg

Unbleached All-purpose Flour & Cornstarch

9. unbleached all-purpose with potato flour.jpg

Unbleached All-purpose Flour & Potato Starch

In our next series of tests, instead of cutting the bleached and unbleached all-purpose flour with cornstarch or potato starch, we lowered the baking power by 1/8 teaspoon (to 2-1/2 teaspoons per 200 grams/7ounces flour). Baking powder reacts with the liquid in the batter and the heat of the oven to produce bubbles that enlarge and ultimately disrupt the network structure of the batter. Flour that has greater elasticity allows the network to expand more before breaking, giving more time for the heat penetration to set the structure, preventing collapsing or dipping.

Decreasing the baking powder is less disruptive to the structure and thus completely prevented the cakes made with the all-purpose bleached and unbleached flour from dipping. It also resulted in better flavor than the cakes made with the addition of cornstarch. The texture of the cakes was slightly less tender but also less dense. To see if we could achieve the same tenderness of cake flour using all-purpose bleached flour with the correct lower amount of baking powder we tried one with the added cornstarch (see the third photo down) but it caused it to dip 1/4 inch.

Photos of Cakes Using 2-1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

E10 F SLICE SHOT cake flour 2.5 tsp powder 2 21 10.jpg

Cake Flour

E10 E SLICE SHOT bleached 2.5 tsp 2 21 10.jpg

Bleached All-purpose Flour

E10 G SLICE SHOT bleached and w cornstarch 2.5 tsp powder 2 21 10.jpg

Bleached All-purpose Flour & Cornstarch

When the baking powder is correct the cornstarch causes rather than prevents dipping.

E10 D SLICE SHOT UNbleached 2.5 powder 2 21 10.jpg

Unbleached All-purpose Flour

E10 D E and F 2.50 tsp powder 2 21 10_2.jpg

Cake Flour, Bleached All-purpose Flour, Unbleached All-purpose Flour

Note how the unbleached has the darkest crumb.

Coming up Soon, Part Two: The Power of Leavening (Eggs versus Baking Powder)


Tony Bridges
Tony Bridges in reply to comment from Woody
11/ 6/2016 08:59 PM

Thank you Woody. I think I have if figured out but like all recipes, I'll keep tweaking it until I achieve my desired results.


Hi Tony,
We have not experimented with coconut flour to give you an answer, and considering all of the adjustments to the recipe that you are trying.
Enjoy experimenting and testing to come up with results you favor. You may want to post your findings on the Forums.
Rose & Woody


Tony Bridges
Tony Bridges
11/ 6/2016 02:32 PM

Hello Rose and all,

I am creating my version of my Mother's Coconut Sour Cream Cake. I want to substitute coconut flour for my mother's recipe which calls for 1 3/4 cup cake flour. Previously, I did my research and found that Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour has 2g of Protein which is the same as Swan's Cake Flour. HOWEVER, I purchased The Fresh Market Coconut Flour when shopping yesterday and the protein percent is double at 4g.

My research indicates that 1/4 cup of coconut flour is equal to 26 g using the lightly spooned method of measurement.

My conversion then tells me that for the 14 oz needed of cake flour, i would need 182 grams of coconut flour.

MY QUESTION: How would the additional 2 g of protein effect the texture of the cake? I am using both coconut milk and coconut oil to offset the dry effects of coconut flour, as I am using a dry sweetener. For structure, I have calculated my egg ratio.

Would any other ingredient need to be adjusted because of the additional protein?


Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Fred Howard
11/11/2015 04:45 PM

good question Fred. cake flour is and should be bleached but pastry flour is not. that is why bleached all purpose is the best substitute for cake flour.


Fred Howard
Fred Howard
11/11/2015 02:40 PM

Hello. I don't know if this has ever been addressed before, but why is all-purpose flour always substituted for cake flour, instead of pastry flour. I don't ever remember seeing a cake calling for unbleached pastry flour. Isn't the gluten content almost the same between cake and pastry flour. Isn't bleached cake flour made from unbleached pastry flour anyway?

Please advise. Thanks!


joseph berry
joseph berry
10/19/2012 06:47 PM

im new to this baking things but i find it super interesting . thx for all the info guys hope to see more of your idea and good luck god bless


Hey Rose and Woody! So i thought i would report back with the result of my experiments! Firstly i have Bleached all purpose flour by Gold medal and according to the info printed it has about 10% protein. All this time i had been using Cake flour which i had automatically assumed was Bleached and only now discovered was unbleached!! on the failure of my white chocolate whisper cake. Julie opened my eyes to this ! Anyhow i searched around and short of orderin from the US and paying gastronomical amounts for shipping there is no bleached cake flour around these parts. So i decided to experiment with KATE flour. But by starting off with my cake flour instead ! So my cake flour has 8.4 percent protein which i still thought could be reduced?
Firstly i microwaved the unbleached cakeflour as instructed , however it took me wayyyyyyyyyy more than 10 minutes , im guessing i stood there for like atleast 25 minutes to get the flout to be at the 130 degree mark- opening and stirring every 10 seconds...I was so close to giving up considerng i was doing this at 2 in the night and i have a 10 month old at my feet.. lol ! But i just needed to know if there would be a difference!!
I then proceeded to rehydrate the flour and then substituted cornflour for about 15 gms per 100gms of the kateflour.
I did not want to go the white chocolate whisper route again cause incase i failed did not want to waste my precious white chocolate stash!!! so decided to try the white velvet.
MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!! i felt like a fake the moment that cake came out of the oven!! Not only did it not feel different , look different and smell different it tasted different and just i have not the words!! I felt like a fake for giving people cakes that i said were roses recipe and havign them rave about it when the texture was so not what rose intended to be! If they had had THIS texture i dont know what they would have done!! So magnificent!! I was so thrilled i finally figued out what the problem was that i was calling people overseas to tell them abt my eureka moment. =/ do i sound crazy? Anyway umm , the ony downside was that there was a dome not a very large one that cracked but a dome nonetheless that needed trimming but even after the trimming i had enough heigh to slice into 2 . However i now cannot shake off the feelign that that hump should nonetheless not have been there... According to rose the hump is due to too much protein. But since i had 8.4 to begin with and i then added some cornstarch in place , shouldnt it have been low enough? Or should i b playign around with the baking powder levels next? T
ps - so sorry abt the huge post!!


Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from elnino
08/ 8/2012 10:21 AM

Hi Elnino,
Our posting was to show ways of adjusting either the amount of baking powder or adding cornstarch or potato starch to beable to get somewhat similar results for unbleached or bleached all-purpose flour to match bleached cake flour. For testing for the article, we made single layer batches of batter and adjusted in 1/4 teaspoon increments until we were close to a flat top and then tried adjusting with 1/8 teaspoon increments.
We suggest that you either try heat treating your flour after checking Kate Coldrick's website "A Merrier World" as she engineered the technique OR experiment on your own with adjusting the baking powder or adding cornstarch.
Rose & Woody


I read thru all the Power of Flour posts but im still flummoxed =/ You see i have been bakign with Roses books for a year now and i ve had disaster with the white chocolate whisper cake thrice already . i ve posted elsewhere in the forums abt this. Julie has opened my eyes up to the fact that my flour might not be bleached. All this time i had been using Snowflake Cake Flour. On googling i found out its not bleached!!!! And now i have a feeling all my cakes might not have had the texture they were intended to have and that that is probably why my white chocolate whisper cake was such a disaster.. Now rose talks abt how to work with all purpose bleached and unbleached flour..But im still wondering how work with my unbleached CAKE flour. Wont the protein content be different? And if so wont using extra cornstarch affect it? or even heat treating? I am so flummoxed!


For chocolate butter cakes, in addition to the possibility of overbaking that Bill cites, or the wrong flour that Woody cites, it is also worth checking how much cocoa butter your cocoa powder contains. Rose's recipes have been developed with high quality dutched cocoas that naturally contain more than 20% cocoa butter by weight. But there are some cocoas that only contain 10% cocoa butter, which can contribute to a drier, crumbly cake.


honeyb wrote:

extremely crumbly

I don't suppose you have one of those beater blades that has silicon extensions on it, do you?


I've experienced "crumbly" many, many times; the last yellow cake I made practically crumbled away as it was sliced. I suspect this is an effect of the mixing technique.

I've seen posts on the forum of a couple of people complaining about this. I've been assuming that most people found the crumbling as a necessary complement to the tenderness and thought it was a worthy trade-off, but if everyone isn't experiencing the crumbliness, then there must be some variation in technique or ingredients among us. I'm about to give up on the yellow downy cake over this issue.


I'm going to put in my two cents; could be over baked...also did you keep the cocoa/boiling water mixture covered while it cooled...there has been problems with the water evaporating.


Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from honeyb
05/31/2011 05:49 PM

Hi Honeyb,
May we ask, did you use bleached cake flour or bleached all-purpose flour?


I made Rose's "all American perfect chocolate butter cake" and found that it was extremely crumbly. I am a scientist and could not have been more precise in measuring, mixing, timing, temperature,etc than I am in my daily work, yet the cake, although delicious, was disappointing re: texture. I've not found the information on the blogs to address this problem but would be grateful for any help that I can get.


Great post. As for decreasing the leavening when baking in a higher pan, I wonder if it'd apply to baking the SAME amount of batter in the same size of pan but a higher one? In the post above, you baked 2/3 of the original batter, which was for two pans, in one higher pan and therefore had to decrease the leavening. But I still baked in to pans but each of the pan was 3-inch high, would there still be a need in adjusting leavening?


as a biology major and beginning to pick up more baking, your Cake Bible is just incredible! So glad my husband bought it for me, everything just makes so much sense!

Thanks again!


Hi Sandra - I am a novice baker who bought several silicone pans.

Other than muffins - it is great to just flip muffins out - I find the results thus far fairly disappointing. Non-browning as you mention seems to be a common issue. Maybe I need more time to experiment.

I am wondering if a pizza stone would help you?


sandra, pls do a search for silicone on this blog. i only use the small silicone pans or muffin pans, the bundt ones never brown evenly except for a specific chocolate cake i have in my new book.


Sandra Hassell
Sandra Hassell
06/ 9/2010 05:02 PM

I recently try using a silcone bundt pan for my pound cake,The cake brown perfectly on top but did not brown on the bottom. I've used a regular bundt pan for the same cake and cake brown evenly on all sides, Help what can I do to get it to brown in the silicone bundt pan. I love the idea that this pan never sticks


vani, the answer is right above in the posting.

melissa, king arthur unbleached cake flour is their unbleached all-purpose flour combined with cornstarch. if the protein content is higher than cake flour you might want to try adding some potato starch to lower the protein as suggested in the posting above.the overall weight needs to be the same or you will end up drying out the cake further with extra starch. you'll have to experiment but why use unbleached cake flour when bleached flour is readily available?!


I would like to know the modifications if any that need to be made if you use King Arthur's new Unbleached CAKE flour. I used this flour for the downy all-ocassion yellow cake for my son's birthday cake and it had a drier, heavier texture than what I have made in the past with regular bleached cake flour. Would blending bleached and unbleached cake flour together help this? The protein level in the unbleached CAKE flour is higher than regular cake flour.




Hi, Rose!
I have a question. I guess I've seen on your blog how to switch cake flour for all purpuse flour but I can't find this information anymore. Could you help me, please? I know the best thing to do is to have CF, if the recipe asks for, but I'd love to know how to proceed if I don't have it.
Thanks a lot!!


lynn, if deviating from recipes either by the equipment size or type or ingredients you will get varying results. some may even be desirable. there is a range of acceptability. fresh ingredients may vary slightly as well. but generally speaking things work within a reasonable range.

as for the weights vs volume of other people's recipes i can't speak to that as i have no way of knowing how they are measuring but most respected authors give their method of measuring in the front or back of the book. if you've been making these volume based recipes with success, all you have to do is to weigh the ingredients after measuring them the next time you make one of the cakes and then you'll know how close they are to my volume/weights.


You have convinced me with your arguments about why it is better to weigh ingredients than to measure by volume. Now I am thinking I'd like to use this method with some of my traditional recipes that measure by volume. Can I assume the same weight/volume ratios you use in your recipes in Heavenly Cakes?

I've also been thinking about the relationship of flour to liquids in the recipes. When I make a favorite apricot/walnut quick bread, for instance, the recipe calls for adding a cup of boiling water to the cut up dried fruit, draining it and later adding it back in. But wouldn't it make a difference if the dried apricots were especially juicy to begin with? That would yield a bit more liquid in proportion to the flour.
This recipe calls for baking an hour at 300 degrees (which seems pretty low, now that you've got me questioning everything) and the quick bread comes out quite moist, not doming much at all. Pan size called for is 9x5, and I have realized my 9x5 is actually larger than that; it comes out better in a smaller 8x4! I used an instant read thermometer to check temp. at the end; it took a while to climb to 190, left a hole in the middle, and still seemed too moist, so I gave it an extra few minutes.
There are a lot of new factors for me to work with here, but you really have me thinking. Any comments?


So one should assume that if they don't use the baking strips and if using unbleached AP, the cake's dipping will be even more pronounced than the ones in these tests, or with any of the situations where the cake dipped, it would be more pronounced without them.


Rose, apologize if I missed it, but these cakes were made with your baking strips around the pan, correct? I assume so....



Yes, Kate's experiment is very interesting to read.


There are some intriguing results on potato starch and also other starches here, http://amerrierworld.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/a-tale-of-two-amies/


thanks bill! i may have said this already but comparing flour to cornstarch in fruit pies i find that cornstarch actually enhances the flavor of the fruit. but that could be partially because i concentrate the juices before baking and therefore need far less thickener than usual

i haven't tried potato starch yet in fruit pies. just because i don't like it in cakes doesn't mean it wouldn't be good in pies from the point of view of flavor. texture-wise it would be an advantage as sometimes the crust over-browns by the time a deep filling has cooked through and the cornstarch has to come to a full boil to thicken unlike the potato starch so it requires longer baking especially for deeper pie fillings.

bottom line: america's test kitchen and the rose/woody test kitchens are offering our collective opinions but the only way you can know what you prefer is to do a side-by-side comparison for yourself!


Bill, thanks so much, I find it very helpful and interesting.


Good morning. Regarding potato starch as a thickener for pies: I went through my books and found some information. The following information is from Cook's Illustrated (they seem to really test things extensively)...I hope this is helpful:

For Apple Pie "...we prefer to thicken our the filling for our apple pie very lightly with just 2 tablespoons of flour."

For Blueberry Pie " Blueberry pies traditionally rely on flour or cornstarch to thicken the fresh fruit filling. We sometimes find these thickeners problematic...if you use enough cornstarch, it will thicken a blueberry pie quite well. But in our tests, such a large amount of cornstarch dulled the fuit flavor... Using flour resulted in fruit filling that was similarly unsatisfying in appearance and taste...2 table spoons was not enough...using 4 tablespoons...the fruit was gummy and almost inedible. Given our experience with peach pie we expected tapioca and potato starch to perform much better and they did. Tasters slightly preferred the potato starch....We found that the amount of potato starch or tapioca should be adjusted depending ont he juciness of the berries. If you like a jucier pie, 3 tablespoons of potato starch or tapioca is an adequate amount for 6 cups of fresh blueberries. If you like a really firm pie with no juices, 4 tablespoons is the correct amount (note...they pulverize the tapioca in a food processor).

For Peach pie: ...early tests demonstrated that flour and cornstarch were both too noticeable. We conducted side by side tests with flour, cornstarch, Minute tapioca (pulverized) and potato starch. ....the potato starch scored big: Its clarity outshone flour but was less cosmetically glossy than cornstarch; its neutrality; and, still better, there was no need for pulverizing. (They use 3-5 tablespoons for 7 cups sliced peaches depending on the juciness of the fruit).

For Cherry pie: (Open latice top) ...we used either potato starch or pulverized tapioca, but tasters dislied both thickeners when paired with the cherries...we moved on to flour and cornstarch and the latter won the tasting. The cornstarch added the minor binding required and gave a glossy coat to the cherries (four tablespoons for about 6 cups of cherries).

Sorry for this long winded posting. Hope it is helpful.


Rose at her best! It is this sort of info which makes this site so authoritative.

Thanks Rose - lets have more like this!


vickie, it's only fair--our heads near exploded putting it all together!!!


I think my head just exploded! So much amazing information.


I'm not sure that this is exactly the right blog for the information you are looking for. This website is used to discuss the books written by Rose Levy Beranbaum (The books are amazing). Rose's publisher allows only a limited number of the recipes to be posted. If you have her books on cake (The cake Bible and Rose's heavenly cakes) There are countless delicious and amazing recipes...if you don't have them...I highly recommend them. What sort of flavors are you looking for? Chocolate? Vanilla? Lemon? Will the cake be served mostly to children...adults...etc. As far as the decorating goes, Fondant is easier to decorate with something like smily faces than a ganache or buttercream...but I agree with your friend...it doesn't taste good. Rose's books will definitely have a recipe that you will love.

If you are looking for recipes on a website/and information on decorating you might want to try cakecentral.com


Does anyone have any suggestions for a 4 year old birthday party cake? I am pretty much a novice baker. But I cant seem to find a recipe i like. And I wanted to decorate it but I am not sure I wanna try fondant since my friend who referred me to this website says it often doesnt taste good. I wanted to make a cake with smiley faces all over it and curly hair just like my daughter draws herself.


Somewhere in one of the baking books I have, they talk about potato starch in pies. I'm not sure which book it is...but I will search it out. If I'm not mistaken, I think that the author recommends different types of thickeners for different types of pies...potato starch being one of them. When I get home I will check it out. I probably may not get to post the info until after Friday, but will keep you posted.
I always seem to have potato starch in the house. I buy it once in a while for a recipe, use a little, and the rest seems to hang around, refusing to leave. Then I'm in the store shopping and can't remember if I've saved it, or thrown it out...and invariably buy another.


mariannamom, you need to reread this posting! at least reread the conclusions.

susie, woody just brought me these to taste. prior to that i was viewing them from the digital camera. and i always test the final version of anything i create before putting it into print.


julie, i wrote in the cake bible that cake flour lends a sweeter taste but not sugary sweet--floral sweet.

in europe bakers use potato starch rather than cornstarch and now i know why! of course corn is less available. i do like the flavor cornstarch gives to fruit pies but now i wonder what potato starch would be like. i'm not sure if the liquid would be as clear. this certainly calls for future tests--any volunteers to get the ball rolling?


rachel, my friend the blogger of "joe pastry' asked me for a recommendation for his young daughter's birthday and i chose the canadian crown from "rose's heavenly cakes" as it is sort of a lemon ice cream but without needing an icecream maker topped with meringue that is like a marshmallow--lightly browned under the broiler.


Rose and Woody, thanks so much for posting these results. The photos convey the differences in crumb texture and color so well, I'm thrilled that you posted them!

The flavor results are intriguing- cornbread flavor from the unbleached flour, yikes! Did you notice any flavor differences between the two bleached flours?

The lower volume of the unbleached flour- what a surprise! Very counter-intuitive, until you read the explanation. Genius, Rose.

And it's so helpful to know that potato starch has a better flavor and structure than cornstarch for improving the unbleached cake. I wonder if the same might hold true for other uses of cornstarch...

Thanks again, I thoroughly enjoyed it!


Thanks for the info...amazing as always.


This rocks. I was just asking a friend of mine about this. And she didn't know but recommended this website for recipes. And boom, this article was there to answer my questions. I am looking for a good recipe for my daughter's 4 year birthday party and am fairly new at this. So any suggestions would be appreciated.


If Woody makes all of these cakes for you then how do you know what they taste like or are the comments on taste Woody's opinion only?


03/ 7/2010 03:23 PM

So does this mean that unbleached cake flour is the way to go with all cakes?



You are a cake genius. Yesterday I happen to see your new book from Barnes and noble and very soon I'm going to be a proud owner.

I'm an amature baker and I always wondered why do the grocery stores carry so many varieties of flours and I baked few cakes with all purpose flour(not sure bleached or unbleached). From now on I will be following your cakes recipes religiously.

Thank you very much for the details and it was a pleasure writing to you.


Thanks for the great research and lesson, Rose! I prefer to use unbleached AP flour most of the time, but would like to maintain the best cake flavor, texture, and height where possible.


Just finished baking a batch of Chocolate Butter Cupcakes from the Rose's Heavenly book. Something interesting happened: from the oven, the cupcakes had a sunken center. Cooling on rack, they start to crack in the middle revealing the hollow interior with cake settled as a small mount in the bottom center within (almost resembles the appearance of those flourless souffle cake) Must confess that they are really delectable with the crunchy top & moist center! Weighed all ingredients & follow each step studiously...please tell me where I went wrong?


The potato starch with the the unbleached flour is an interesting find.
Have you tried the unbleached flour heat treated and then with the potato starch?
I find it very curious that no one else in the food industry has not done this kind of research. Just goes to show you!


Excellent post! I can only get unbleached all-purpose flour and this is a very good guide to start experimenting myself! Thank you Rose.


You guys are awesome! Thank you for taking the time to do this and report - what a fantastic summary.

By the way, is Woody eating all of these leftovers? ;)



I feel like I'm in chemistry class !
(But chem class never had such tasty projects…)
I love it. Thanks Professor Rose !



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