Can I Substitute Whole-wheat Flour In Cake Recipes?

Thursday, 8-Oct-2020 |

Can I Substitute Whole-wheat Flour In Cake Recipes_

During this COVID-19 situation, a lot of people have turned into cooks and bakers. They have learned a lot of recipes and that too with limited raw materials available with them. They have tried everything from baking the four-ingredient cake to Italian food during these months. And as it was a lockdown and many people couldn’t go out to buy certain ingredients, they have started finding the substitutes for the given ingredient. And this has raised a lot of questions like if they can use wheat flour in cake recipes or if they can use tomato puree instead of pasta sauce? 

So, to answer the question asked about if the bakers can use whole-wheat flour in cake recipes, I would say that, yes you can use whole-wheat flour in the cake recipes. But it’s not that simple. You have to take care of certain things. By changing the ingredients, the color, odor, taste, and the process of cooking or baking gets affected. They are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind.

Cake baking is a simple process. It has a lot of recipes. We can bake a cake using like four ingredients or to build a professional cake, we need like ten to fifteen items. We require some of them for the spongy base, some of them for the outer cream, some of them for the decorations. We need a microwave oven or we can simply make it on gas using a cooker or a pan. There are a lot of substitutions possible.

A simple cake recipe requires a few raw materials like:

  1. Flour: This flour can be of any type, depending upon what you are baking. Generally, we use all-purpose flour for baking cakes, biscuits, muffins, and mug cakes. This flour can be replaced by ordinary flour or what we call whole-wheat flour.
  2. Sugar/sugar powder: We need the cake to be sweet. For that, we can use whole grain sugar or powdered sugar. People who are very health conscious can use sugar-free or jaggery according to their needs.
  3. Eggs (optional): We need eggs to make the cake soft and spongy. It is not compulsory to use eggs. We can ignore it or skip it if we are vegetarians.
  4. Butter: We need butter for making the batter for the cake. If we do not have butter, we can use ghee also.
  5. Milk: We need milk for making the cake. We can use milk or milk powder if fresh milk is not available to us.
  6. Essence (optional): We can use different types of essences like vanilla or chocolate essence in our cake. It is also optional. But the cake tastes and smells good if we add the essences. One can skip it if not available.

The benefits of replacing or substituting whole-wheat flour are:

  • Whole-wheat flour is comparatively healthier than all-purpose flour. That is why sometimes we use brown bread instead of normal white bread.
  • It is easy to digest and will not cause any digestion problem after consuming it.
  • Consuming whole-wheat flour in your diet would be healthier as it contains more carbohydrates and less fat as compared to all-purpose flour.

The disadvantages of using whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour are:

  • The taste might be different from normal cakes.
  • The texture of the cake after baking may be abnormal.
  • It might not be so tasty as compared to the all-purpose flour cake. The flavor might become off-putting.
  • The baked item may not be airy and light.

You can always substitute all-purpose flour with wheat flour if you don’t have one at home. If you are concerned a lot about your health, you should use whole-wheat flour for any kind of baking, be it cake, biscuits, cookies, muffins, or cupcakes. But if you are more concerned about the taste of a certain item, then you should use all-purpose flour instead of whole-wheat flour. One more option you can explore is that you can substitute some amounts of all-purpose flour with some amount of whole-wheat flour. By doing this, you will be able to retain the same taste and texture of the baked item and it will be easy to digest too. And it will also provide you with the necessary proteins and carbohydrates your body requires from it.


In conclusion, we can say that yes we can substitute whole-wheat flour for all-purpose flour in cake recipes or any other baking recipes when we need to bake biscuits, cookies, mug cakes, muffins, or cupcakes. Whole-wheat flour is very healthy as compared to all-purpose flour. It is rich in carbohydrates and has less fat. But on the other hand, it can sometimes spoil the texture and taste of the cake. But we can always substitute some amount of all-purpose flour with some amount of whole-wheat flour.