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Unbleached Cake Flour

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2010

Can unbleached cake flour be used interchangeably with bleached cake flour?

King Arthur introduced unbleached cake flour to the market in September 2009. Until then, all cake flours were bleached and bromated with chemicals. According to our science editor, the process damages the starch molecules and allows for greater absorption of moisture and fat by the flour, which in turn results in moister, more tender baked goods. King Arthur’s proprietary blend of unbleached cake flour is said to mimic the moisture-grabbing ability of bleached cake flour yet involves no peroxide or bleach in its manufacture.

We put the new flour to the test in our kitchen, using it in yellow and New York-style crumb cakes and comparing them with cakes made with bleached cake flour. The results? King Arthur’s unbleached cake flour performed just as well as the bleached—and without that product’s slightly chemical taste—earning it a spot on our pantry shelf.

CHEMICAL-FREE FLOUR

King Arthur unbleached cake flour yields results virtually identical to those of bleached cake flour.