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How to Make Self-Rising Flour

Have a recipe that calls for self-rising flour but can’t find it at the store? No problem! Learn how to make self-rising flour with all-purpose flour and two more simple ingredients.

Hand holding a brass measuring cup over a bowl of flour while a knife smooths out the top

I love having a well-stocked pantry, fridge and baking cabinet.

But no matter how well stocked I keep my kitchen, there are simply times when I need to dig into my bag of tricks and make homemade versions of some ingredients.

I can’t tell you how many times I have needed to whip up some buttermilk substitute or a batch of pumpkin pie spice in the middle of a baking project.

Today I’m back with another helpful baking tip: How to make self-rising flour at home!

Maybe you didn’t realize you were out of self-rising flour until you were halfway through making Beer Bread. Maybe you can’t find self-rising flour at your store. Or maybe you live outside of the United States and self-rising flour isn’t readily available to you.

Whichever the case, use this method to mix up as much self-rising flour as you need!

Gold measuring cup full of unleveled flour on a white surface

WHAT IS SELF-RISING FLOUR?

The simplest description of self-rising flour is flour that has baking powder and salt added to it.

Recipes that call for self-rising flour usually don’t list additional baking powder or salt in the ingredients. In this way, self-rising flour is a 3-in-1 ingredient.

Typically, self-rising flour is also made using a slightly lower-protein flour than all-purpose flour. This means that baked goods made with self-rising flour are usually a little more tender than recipes that use all-purpose flour.

Silver spoon spooning flour into a brass measuring cup over a bowl of flour

WHAT IS SELF-RISING FLOUR USED FOR?

Due to its lower protein content, self-rising flour is often used in recipes such as biscuits that benefit from being lighter and more tender.

It is also sometimes used in cake mixes and recipes like pancakes and quick breads.

Self-rising flour should NOT be used in yeast breads. You should also be careful about using self-rising flour in place of all-purpose flour unless you are prepared to adjust the original recipe to compensate for the additional leavening and salt in the self-rising flour.

Two gold measuring cups filled with flour on a marble countertop

HOW TO SUBSTITUTE ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR FOR SELF-RISING FLOUR

So you have a recipe that calls for self-rising flour and all you can find is all-purpose flour. What do you do?

You can easily make a self-rising flour substitute with three simple ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt

For each cup of all-purpose flour, you will need 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Whisk the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt together until combined, then use as directed in the recipe in place of the self-rising flour.

(Learn how to measure flour to make sure your baking recipes always turn out correctly!)

You can use this method to make the exact amount of homemade self-rising flour that you need for a specific recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 cups of self-rising flour, you would mix together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt.

You can also scale the recipe up to make a larger batch of DIY self-rising flour and store it for later use.

Hand using a spoon to fluff and stir the flour in a bowl

HOW TO STORE SELF-RISING FLOUR

If you want to make a larger batch of homemade self-rising flour for later, store it in an airtight container, label and date it, and keep it with your other baking ingredients in a cool, dry place.

Because the baking powder loses some of its power after a while once exposed to the other ingredients, plan to use your self-rising flour substitute within a year of making it.

The recipe card below includes ingredients for just 1 cup of self-rising flour and for making a 4-cup batch.

Use this self-rising flour substitute in any recipe that calls for self-rising flour and save yourself an extra trip to the store!

Hand holding a level measuring cup of flour over a bowl of flour


Hand holding a brass measuring cup over a bowl of flour while a knife smooths out the top

Self-Rising Flour Substitute

Yield: 1 cup or 4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Have a recipe that calls for self-rising flour but can’t find it at the store? No problem! Learn how to make self-rising flour with all-purpose flour and two more simple ingredients.

Ingredients

For a small batch:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For a large batch:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients for desired batch size to a large bowl. Whisk until combined and use as directed in the recipe in place of self-rising flour.

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Barbra

Thursday 3rd of September 2020

This article were extremely helpful especially in showing granddaughter there is work-arounds. Also, I did not know why self raising flour made my biscuits so light S opposed to all purpose flour

Jamie

Sunday 13th of September 2020

Thanks so much for stopping by, Barbra! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Happy Baking! -Jamie

Lesley Calabria Brown

Thursday 30th of July 2020

Hi Jamie! So would it be even better to use cake flour for this, if I have it. Since it also has less protein and will give me those more tender baked goods?

Jamie

Thursday 30th of July 2020

Hello! I haven't attempted this substitute with cake flour, so I am not sure of the result. The general consensus is that AP flour is the way to go, even with a slightly higher protein content. Cake flour is SO tender that it may not have enough protein to hold together certain recipes, but if you happen to give it a try, I'd love to know how it turned out. Thanks so much for stopping by. -Jamie

Cathy

Thursday 2nd of July 2020

Hi there- Will this substitution work with Bob’s unbleached all-purpose organic flour? The ingredients list only: Organic Hard Red Wheat, as opposed to other flour brands that include ingredient items that might make the baked goods lighter. I have allergies and try to keep the ingredient list simple- yet some exciting recipes call for self-rising flour and this could be a great work around! Thank you- Cathy

Jamie

Wednesday 8th of July 2020

Hello! Yes, it should work just fine with that brand of unbleached organic AP flour. I use that flour often myself without any issues. Hope this helps! Jamie

Reshmi

Sunday 21st of June 2020

Hi, I live in Bangalore and have got self rising flour at times and loved it. Thanks for the recipe making this. So if we use this recipe rising flour,we don't need to add any additional baking powder or soda to our cake ?

Jamie

Saturday 27th of June 2020

Hello! Depending on the recipe, you may still need some additional baking powder/soda. I don't recommend substituting self-rising flour for all-purpose flour unless you really know what you're doing or are prepared to have a few small fails along the way. Hope this helps. Jamie

Larryn Griffith

Thursday 28th of May 2020

Hi Jamie!

Thank you for this tip. I don't usually have self-rising flour in the house, because it isn't used that much. But then a recipe comes along that calls for it, and I don't have it! I appreciate your advice, so that I can still make and enjoy those occasional recipes.

Jamie

Friday 29th of May 2020

Thanks so much for stopping by, Larryn!

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