What's the difference between cake flour and all-purpose flour? —V.K., Algonquin, Illinois
Cake flour is used in recipes where a fine, tender crumb is desired, such as in a layer cake. For many cakes, where the batter is stirred, all-purpose flour is suitable. These cakes won't be as fine-textured, but they will still be tender and moist. Made from soft wheat, cake flour contains about 8 to 10% protein. All-purpose flour is made from hard wheat and contains about 10 to 12% protein. Flour with a lower percentage of protein results in a cake that has a delicate tender crumb. Cake flour is also more finely ground and has undergone a bleaching process so it will produce a cake with a finer crumb than all-purpose flour.