Stores out of flour? Don’t fret! Pastry chef and Master Chef Junior judge Christina Tosi has the solution so you can keep baking.
Living life in quarantine has many of us spending more time in our kitchens than ever before. Instead of whipping up the occasional batch of cookies, we’re baking up bread, desserts and breakfasts almost daily. The unintended consequence is that grocery shops often run short of flour. This is every baker’s nightmare! But don’t panic, you can keep baking.
You may wonder how. Baker extraordinaire and Master Chef Junior judge Christina Tosi says grab those boxed cake and brownie mixes and get into the kitchen!
Why Box Mixes Are the Perfect Flour Substitute
“If you don’t have flour, have your cake and brownie mixes ready!” Christina makes a suggestion. These mixes are full of the basic ingredients needed in most baking recipes, plus most grocery stores still have plenty of these mixes in stock, even if the flour supply is running low.
How to Use Box Mixes in From-Scratch Baking
Many fundamental components used in our favorite baking recipes may be found in boxed cake, brownie, and even pancake mixes. They contain flour, sugar, a bit of baking soda or powder and extra flavors like cocoa or even just some mood-boosting sprinkles ( confetti cake , anyone?).
“I can rely on a blend to provide taste and direction,” Christina explains. And that’s why she always keeps a few packages in the back of the pantry—just in case.
Use premade mixes as a foundation in your bakes and layer on more flavors and additions. You may begin simply by incorporating more chocolate chunks and almonds into a prepackaged brownie mix or use the mix as an ingredient like with this caramel fudge cheesecake .
Christina’s Go-To Quarantine Treat (Starring Brownie Mix!)
While the possibilities for utilizing baking mixes in the kitchen are practically unlimited, Christina says that she’s been preparing one super-versatile recipe while staying home: her Little Motivators cookies.
These cookies, which start with a box of Duncan Hines brownie mix , are a great quarantine bake, according to Christina, because “you can’t do them wrong!” While she has proposed nut mix-ins, instant coffee You may use whichever chocolate chips you have in your cupboard.
To make these cookies at home, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1 box (18.2 ounces) Duncan Hines brownie mix
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso powder
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Step 1: Mix Everything with the Mix
This dish requires no special equipment! Just grab a large mixing bowl and spatula and mix the brownie mix, egg, vanilla and melted butter until smooth. After that, stir in the instant coffee, chocolate chips, and almonds. Our Test Kitchen suggests toasting the nuts first to release more flavor.
Step 2: Scoop and Bake
All that remains is to divide out the cookie dough after it has been made. Christina recommends generous, one-third-cup scoops. This may be done using a measuring cup or a scoop like this .
Pop the cookies on a lined or greased cooking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 350ºF. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving. Consume them within three days and stash any extras in the freezer .
How to Customize Your Cookies
While Christina’s recipe asks for pecans, walnuts, and chocolate chips, she recommends improvising and playing in the kitchen, particularly when it comes to the cookie mix-ins.
“You can’t screw them up,” she says. “You don’t like pecans? Pistachios, anyone? What about chocolate and peanuts? Nobody is upset about it! You’re free to riff.”
And it is precisely this customisation that quarantine baking is all about. What, no walnuts? It’s not a huge deal! Add extra chocolate if desired. Is there no flour? It’s fine—just pick up a decent cake mix and you’re ready to return to the kitchen.
Can cake flour be substituted for all-purpose flour for cakes?
I stick to cake flour when making vanilla cake, white cake, pineapple upside-down cake, red velvet cake, and other cakes where a fluffy texture is favorable. To make a softer funfetti cake, I’ve successfully substituted cake flour for all-purpose flour. Make a 1:1 replacement and leave the rest of the recipe alone.
What can you substitute for flour in baking?
Four All-Purpose Flour Alternatives
- Flour made from chickpeas. Relatively new to American households, chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour or besan in Indian kitchens) is arguably one of my favorite ingredients.
- Rice Flour.
- Almond Flour.
- Buckwheat Flour.
Can I substitute cake flour for regular flour?
To replace all-purpose flour with cake flour, use 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour for every cup of all-purpose flour. Make your own – one cup sifted cake flour (100 grams) can be substituted with 3/4 cup (85 grams) sifted bleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch.
What is the difference between cake mix and flour?
Most flour is made from wheat and processed to make cake flour, bread flour, whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour is used to make the baking mix. Because flour does not contain added ingredients it has broader applications than baking mix, such as cookies, yeast breads, cakes and pastries.
What will happen if I use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour?
All-purpose flour has a protein concentration of 10-12%, whereas cake flour has a protein content of 7-8%. The lighter protein content creates a lighter consistency, which is why cake flour is typically used in cakes to create that airy texture. For the most part, these flours may be used interchangeably.