Cake flour is processed so that it contains less protein. This characteristic gives cakes their light, fluffy, airy crumb. Self-rising cake flour, like self-rising all-purpose flour, contains additives for leavening baked goods. Like cake flour, self-rising cake flour has less protein than all-purpose flour. The flour can be purchased in grocery stores, specialty baking supply stores and can also be made -- or at least approximated -- at home.
The higher the protein content of a flour, the more gluten is formed when the flour is wetted and kneaded. Gluten is stretchy and sticky, and it is this protein that gives foods their structure. The more gluten a flour has, the denser, stronger, and chewier the foods will be.
Self-rising flour is flour that has added baking powder in a set ratio. In general, around 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder are added to every 1 cup of flour. The baking powder "rises" when the flour is wetted and baked, thus leavening non-yeast raised baked goods, like biscuits, cakes or muffins. In some cases, salt is also added to self-rising flour.
Self-rising cake flour is cake flour that has baking powder and a small amount of salt added to bleached cake flour.
Self-rising cake flour can be made at home, saving you the trouble and expense of purchasing a box of flour for a specific recipe.
To make self-rising cake flour from cake flour, simply add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of cake flour. Stir well. This produces 1 cup of self-rising cake flour.
To make self-rising cake flour from all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour, then add 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Add a 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder.
To make self-rising cake flour from all-purpose flour, there are a few more steps involved:
Measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour, then remove 2 tablespoons of the flour. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Stir well. This makes 1 cup of self-rising cake flour.