Making a homemade cake mix is easier than you might think! Growing up I was so lucky to have everything made from scratch from my mom. I continue to live an all-natural lifestyle, avoiding artificial flavoring and chemicals, so when baking I only use all-natural ingredients. If I can’t find the ingredients in their natural form, I even make the ingredients from scratch too!
Make up this recipe for when you are making one cake or for when a boxed cake mix is called for in a recipe. This also makes the perfect gift when included with a handwritten recipe for a tasty vintage cake.
Baker’s tips for Homemade Cake Mix:
Not all flour is created equal:
Since flour is the main ingredient in a cake mix, be sure to use one that is good quality.
Cake flour has 6-8% protein and yields a tender crumb. It is good for cakes like sponge cake or pound cake. Not all brands of cake flour contain the same ingredients. Most use bleached flour and produce an aftertaste, so be sure to look for one that is unbleached such as King Arthur. If you don’t have cake flour on hand, make your own: measure out 1 c. of all-purpose flour and remove 2 Tablespoons.
Pastry flour contains 7-9% protein and bakes up similar to cake flour in a cake recipe, however, it is not as readily available in grocery stores.
All-purpose flour contains between 10-12% protein. I like to use King Arthur or Sir Galahad Artisan Flour (its name when purchased in bulk) which contains 11.7% protein. It is good for dense cakes like chocolate, carrot or bundt cake.
Be sure not to use self-rising flour as it is made with leavening agents and salt and may throw off the balance of leavening in your cake. Also be sure not to use bread flour as it contains 11-14% protein and produces tough baked goods.
Use superfine sugar:
Use superfine sugar like C&H brand when making a homemade cake mix. Superfine sugar will yield a tender cake and incorporates quickly when you add in the eggs and butter to the cake mix.
Use a combination of leaveners for a good rise:
Leaveners in baking such as baking powder and baking soda are very important ingredients in baked goods. Leaveners cause a chemical reaction of forming carbon dioxide which make your batters rise. Baking soda requires and acid to make it react during the baking process. Common acids are lemon juice, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, or cream of tarter. So if your recipe doesn’t include an acid in the recipe, you should use baking powder or a combination of baking powder and baking soda.
Baking powder already contains an acid (i.e. cream of tarter and baking soda). Baking powder makes your baked goods light texture and helps them rise. Be sure to use a brand of baking powder that is aluminum free. Brands that contain aluminum can give your baked goods an aftertaste. Another way to avoid metallic taste of commercial brands is to make baking powder by mixing together 1 part baking soda+1 part cornstarch+2 parts cream of tarter. The cornstarch is used to keep the powder’s components from reacting with each other before use.
Both baking soda and baking powder must be fresh in order to make your baked goods rise properly. In addition to being used within the expiration date, to be considered fresh they must be used 6 months from when they have been opened. Although the baking powder does most the leavening, I like to use a combination of both baking powder and soda in cake, this is really just to ensure that I have covered the balance of leavening to the amount of acid that is called for in the recipe. Also, only baking powder may make your baked goods taste too acidic and using only baking soda without the right amount of acid may leave a metallic taste.
Looking for recipes to use this Homemade Cake Mix? Try my Old-Fashioned Banana Cake or Vintage Payday Cookie Bars
Homemade Cake Mix
- 2 1/3 c. unbleached flour
- 1 2/3 c. superfine sugar
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt fine
- Combine ingredients and store in seal container, vacuum sealed bag for up to 6 months.