For Deliciously Dense Carrot Cake, Always Skip Out On Cake Flour

Apart from the fragrant aromas of carrot cake, we're subliminally seeking that textural genius that makes us want to take another bite. A rich, moist, and dense carrot cake delivers just that. Such a recipe comes with the use of an appropriate ingredient for making cake, and it's not cake flour.

Don't get us wrong, cake flour is just fine for achieving a lighter, fluffier carrot cake. But a denser, decadent version requires a bit more. Consider that what makes cake flour ideal for baking cakes is its low protein content of 7-10%. At this percentage, cake flour is less likely to form gluten. That simply means it won't get chewy like bread, but will rather end up with a fluffy texture.

To achieve a dense carrot cake, swap out cake flour for an alternative that's higher in protein content. Not too high, however, like that of bread flour at 12% protein and above. (It's why bread has a resistance to its chew and a divinely firm texture.) Go for one that's moderately high-protein such as all-purpose flour, which has an 11.7% protein content.

The best flour for making carrot cake

All-purpose flour's protein content is dead center between that of bread and cake flour. It's a combination of high and low protein flours to give a compromised texture. This means that all-purpose flour forms a dough that's slightly tougher than cake flour, but not as spongy as bread's. Thus a delightfully dense dough ensues.

Another reason you may prefer all-purpose to cake flour is that it holds its structure well. Its sturdier form means it won't easily give in or collapse, and all those bits of shredded carrots can thrive better in such an environment. Cake flour, however, produces a crumb that's too fluffy to hold up to carrots well.

If, however, you're out of all-purpose flour, you can always combine low and high-protein flours to achieve all-purpose flour's protein content. For example, mix cake and bread flour to give rise to a perfectly dense crumb that stands upright. And apart from flour, you can still choose from these 15 ingredients to elevate your carrot cake.