Cake Flour vs All-Purpose Flour, Swedish Pearl Sugar & Heart Cakes For Valentine’s Day

Many years ago I made these cute heart cakes, filling them with raspberry filling. They were super easy to make and I really loved how they looked for Valentine’s Day.

Make Heart Shaped Cakes for Valentine's Day


To make these, I used a Wilton Heart Cake Pan. (A printable recipe for these heart cakes is available here: Heart Cakes Recipe.)

Heart Cakes for Valentine's Day_wm


I made them once again a few years later, that time filling them with homemade pink icing. I searched online to see if the heart cake pan I used is still available and the only place I found one is here: Wilton Heart Cake Pan. It must have been discontinued which is a shame since it worked great and I found it easy to remove the cakes from the pan once they were done.

Valentine's Day Table With Individual Heart Cakes


If these cakes are something you would like to make for Valentine’s Day this year, check out this cake pan that’s very similar: Heart Cake Pan.

Heart Pan to make small individual heart cakes


Have you ever used “Cake” flour when baking a cake? A recipe that I hope to make sometime soon calls specifically for cake flour. Using my phone, I briefly looked up the difference between all-purpose flour and cake flour while standing in the baking aisle at Publix yesterday. The information I found said that cake flour is made from softer wheat and contains less protein than all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour has around 10-12 percent protein content, whereas cake flour has 7-9 percent. Apparently, a higher-protein flour will absorb more water than a lower-protein flour, thus making the dough a bit stiffer.

King Arthur Cake Flour


It will be interesting to see what it’s like to bake with cake flour since I’ve never done that before. I didn’t even realize it existed until a few years back when I think someone mentioned it in a comment. When you bake cakes, do you normally use regular flour or do you bake with cake flour? Any tips or anything special I should know when mixing and baking with cake flour?

King Arthur Cake Flour


While I was perusing the Publix baking aisle yesterday, trying to locate “cake” flour, I spotted this super fancy Swedish Pearl Sugar. The expiration date was pretty far out so I picked up a package thinking it would be fun to find a way to use it in the future. I haven’t opened it yet, so not sure if it’s crunchy or relatively soft. I love how it looks on the cinnamon rolls pictured on the package! Have you ever used this decorative sugar as a finishing touch when baking? I could have spent an hour in the baking aisle, so many cool things to check out!

Lars Swedish Pearl Sugar


I just came across one more heart cake pan that makes individual cakes–you’ll find this one available here: Heart Cake Pan.

Heart Cake Pan, Individual Cakes


I really like these for making a multi-layered heart cake. I would love to try that sometime! (Cake pans are available here: Heart Cake Pans.


Heart Cake Pans for a Tiered Cake


Love how this one looks, especially with icing drizzled down over the cake or a filling in the center. Pretty! This pan is available here: Heart Cake Pan. These would all be so nice for Valentine’s Day! I think they would even be pretty as part of the centerpiece for a Valentine’s Day table♥


Heart Shaped Cake Pan


See you tomorrow for Tablescape Thursday!

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  1. Hi Susan, using cake flour makes a cake more tender and delicate. It handles the same when mixing the cake and is well worth the minimal extra cost. You can also make your own cake flour using a mixture of all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Looking forward to hearing more from others about pearl sugar. I’ve never tried it. Turbinado sugar is another one to try. You have likely had it already. It is the crunchy topping on muffins. I love it.

    • That sounds great! It’s been so long since I did any baking, I purchased all-new baking powder and baking soda, too. I am familiar with turbinado sugar–I used to have that out/available for sweetening coffee when I entertained a lot. Oh, I didn’t realize that’s what they use on top of muffins–interesting!

  2. SharonFromMichigan says

    I’m happy to see you picked up King Arthur. I’m a true blue King Arthur girl. I love to bake & have learned that there can be a difference in using store brand vs. name brand flours. Name brands are more consistent with what type of wheat they use. I have substituted regular AP flour with bread flour for making chocolate chip cookies and it gives them a more chewy texture. Sometimes the differences are subtle and may not be noticeable between the different types of flour as in not everyone can notice it in the final product. White Lily flour is another good brand. They use a softer wheat that can only be grown in the south. It is hard to find here in the midwest. I’m sure you’re cakes will turn out delicious & beautiful!

    • I picked up a bag White Lily yesterday, before I realized I needed cake flour. I wish I had gotten it, too…realized after I got home that I am our of regular flour. So I’ll get that next time I’m back. Glad to know it’s a good one! I’m sure I’ll continue to buy King Arthur…thanks for that info, Sharon! I’ll have to use it when making the two cakes/recipes my MIL shared with me so many years ago…a coconut cake and a chocolate cake.

  3. Franceil Parde says

    JUST pulling out my “heart shaped” Wilton cake pan as your “visit” appeared! It’s a rum cake, for a friend who is upholstering antique footstool for me. Buuuttt, it is being “accompanied w/100 proof (or greater) spiced (or not) rum. Poke holes w/skewer, sprinkle “warmed” rum over…light in “fireproof” area & “voila”..flambe’…plus it kinda caramelizes…”Happy!” franki. ps s-i-l from SWEDEN, pearlized sugar a staple xxx

    • That sounds amazing, Franki! I wish I could be a mouse in your pocket and see how you do all these awesome things!
      Good to know! I’m looking forward to using the Swedish Pearl Sugar on something soon.

  4. I really need to upgrade my Valentine cake decorating! Yours are wonderful. I did enjoy this post! I have heart pan that was my mom’s Sadly, it is the only pan left from the set but still works great. I also have the Nordic one that I use too.

    • Thanks, Linda! I am completely winging it—have no idea what I’m doing half the time. Ha!
      I realized today that I have a growing collection of these specialty baking pans and I wish I had a good cabinet to store them in. It takes me forever to find the one I need right now and I have some I’ve never used because I forgot I had them. I definitely need to find a better storage system!

  5. Oh Susan, I’m so surprised that you didn’t know about cake flour! LOL Southern pound cake is usually make with cake flour. I usually have cake flour on hand in my pantry, but seldom bake anymore. I do have recipes that call for it though, so that is why I try and keep it on hand. Can’t wait to see what you make with you cake flour. Now I’ve not heard or used that fancy sugar before. LOL But it looks like it would be fun to use on some baked goods!! Hugs, Brenda

    • I used to make a pound cake that was really good but pretty intensive to make. I wish I had known about cake flour back then! Brenda, do you find that your cake batter is super big/fluffy with cake flour? I had so much batter left over today, not sure that I’ve ever had that much left over before.

  6. I ♥ the printable recipe with photo – thank you!!

    • Sure, glad that came in handy! Liz, one thing I added to the recipe today was to be sure to grease the pan with shortening and flour it. I only used shortening today because I couldn’t remember if I usually floured the heart cake pan in the past, and the little cakes stuck terribly in the pan. I should have known better since I always grease and flour regular cake pans when I bake in those.

  7. Susan, I have baked with cake flour before but will use the AP flour with cornstarch if I need it. My fudge cake does not turn out well with cake flour for whatever reason. I use the Swedish pearl for Cardamom bread that I bake for friends as gifts at Christmas. I don’t think it affects the flavor but it’s fun and adds crunch. It looks beautiful on a large shiny braided bread. Have fun baking.

    • I read something about that…about that being a good substitute. Glad to know that works in case I ever need it. I’m not sure I’m going to use cake flour in the future for these. The cakes are incredibly fluffy though! I do want to use cake flour when I bake a normal 2 or 3-layer cake, would love the fluffyness for that. The cake flour definitely changed the texture of the little hearts cakes that I made today.
      Oh, good to know that the Swedish Pearl is great for those types of breads. My curiosity got the better of me today and I finally opened the package to see how it looked and it is very crunchy-like. lol

  8. Love to bake muffins and quick bread to give to neighbors. Usually sprinkle that Demera sugar on top, but this looks so much better. Will have to look for this and try it soon !

    • Let me know how you like it, Ann! I want to use it sometime in the future. It’s kinda crunchy–not soft, so will add some interesting crunch to whatever you use it on.

  9. As mentioned earlier, White Lily flour uses a soft wheat, making it perfect for biscuits and such. All purpose flour usually uses hard winter wheat, perfect for yeast breads and pie crust. All has to do with gluten and protein…surprisingly it really does make a difference in the finished product. It’s very interesting science involved in cooking! Love those heart cakes!

    • I need to write down what things work best with cake flour, and which brands, and what things work best for all-purpose flour—and which brands are best for that type of flour. Baking doesn’t come naturally to me and I don’t do enough of it to remember, so I’ll make a little reference sheet to refer to in the future. Thanks for those tips, Jae!

  10. I use cake flour for almost all my cakes and the only brand I use is Swan’s Down. Once, my store was out of that brand so I tried the King Arthur brand. I made my go-to Devil’s food cake recipe that I’ve used for years and it was a disaster! The cake layers wouldn’t hold together and started to crack when I put them on a rack to cook. After cooling, they fell apart completely. I found out later that King Arthur cake flour has about twice the protein of Swan’s Down. There was a “fix” online that involved measuring the KA flour and then removing some, to give results more like traditional cake flour. I tried that, but it didn’t really work, so I ended up throwing it out.

    The cake pieces still tasted good – I put some icing and filling on the pieces and it looked like a mess, but I took it to the office and people still ate it.

    All this just to say if you have a recipe you’re used to baking with, it may not produce the same result when you use the KA cake flour.

    • You know, my cakes were really fluffy today, but they did hold together. They were much fluffier/looser than when I’ve used AP flour. I looked online and it appears Publix does carry Swans Down so I will have to try it sometime. Thanks for mentioning it, Ann! Glad you were able to still enjoy it!

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