Organic cake flour is unbleached and presents a challenge to organic bakers wishing for a traditional cake texture. It may also be difficult to find, as many manufacturers do not produce it.
Organic Vs. Non-Organic
Most non-organic cake flours are bleached in order to create the higher acid level necessary to achieve the texture and consistency found in cakes. However, all organic flours are unbleached; this lack of bleaching will mean a denser and heavier cake than a bleached flour one.
Purchasing Organic Cake Flour
If you're struggling with where to buy organic cake flour and need to find other alternatives, try any of these products. Local health-food stores, cake-decorating stores, online resources and even some large supermarkets stock organic cake flour, unbleached flour or organic pastry flour, all of which may work for your recipes.
Grain Brain makes an organic Whole Cake Flour that is readily available, contains the whole grain and is Kosher. This product is available at Amazon and other retailers.
Kialla Pure Foods is an organic milling company based in Australia. They do produce organic cake flour, but they mainly sell in bulk and do not have any distributors in the U.S. If you have access to products in Australia, New Zealand, or Asian countries, you may be able to find Kialla organic cake flour.
Bob's Red Mill
Bob's Red Mill offers a variety of organic grains, flours and baking mixes, including several that are gluten free. Bob's Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour has a lower gluten content than all-purpose flour and is suitable for making cakes, cookies, quick breads, scones or other baked goods. The flour produces pastries with a lighter texture than all-purpose flour. The final products made with organic pastry flour still might be a bit denser than those made with bleached cake flour, but pastry flour is a solid alternative to using cake flour. There are also a great variety of organic pastry flours available, from white to whole wheat to white wheat, which has the nutrition of whole-wheat flour but a texture similar to white flour.
Bob's Organic Spelt Flour is a good alternative to organic wheat flours for cake baking. This ancient wheat is much lighter than unbleached traditional flour and will result in a less dense cake.
King Arthur Flour
King Arthur Flour recently released an unbleached cake flour blend that is free of any added chemicals. The blend aims to produce cakes that are medium-fine with a moist crumb, and King Arthur claims that the final cakes will be lighter, less greasy and less dense than those made with all-purpose flour. The unbleached blend is not organic, but it is made without chemical bleaching.
Using Organic Cake Flour
It's a proven fact that when you bake with unbleached flour you'll get a heavier cake than if you'd made if from bleached flour. To remedy this inconsistency in organic unbleached flour, you'll need to take a few extra steps to ensure your cake doesn't turn out too dense and heavy.
Unbleached Organic Flour: Making Lighter Texture
You can make organic unbleached flour lighter in texture and more suitable for baking cakes by using a simple technique. Just add one tablespoon of cornstarch to each measured cup of flour your recipe calls for. Make sure that the cornstarch is organic, however, because conventional cornstarch generally contains GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).
You'll want to place the organic cornstarch into the measuring cup before adding the flour. This will displace a little of the overall flour content by replacing it with the much needed starch content required to bind the sugar better to the flour. Blend carefully with a fork and spoon into the batter.
This technique will give your cake the kind of texture typically found in a cake made with bleached flour. What is often considered a drawback to organic flour is easily remedied with the simple addition of starch.
Warning About Over-Mixing Cake Batter
When you use an organic unbleached flour in a cake batter, you must be careful not to over-mix the batter. Over-mixing will tend to activate the flour gluten and create an undesirable bread-like texture in your cake.
Making Organic Baking Work
You may need to take a few additional steps to make organic cake flour a reality for your baking needs, but the healthy result and great taste will be worth your effort. Take the time to find and work with organic cake flours to improve ensure your cake's content contains only what you want it to.