What is the equivalent of All Purpose Flour in Australia? You may have come across this ingredient in a recipe and aren’t exactly sure what it means. Here’s all you need to know.

All-purpose flour is basically the same as plain flour in Australia. Generally American recipes would use all-purpose flour in a number of recipes for baked goods – including cakes, pies and even bread. So if you encounter this ingredient, all you need to do is use plain flour.

All purpose flour was given its name because of its versatility. However, in Australia, we haven’t adopted that same naming convention and this kind of flour is commonly known as plain flour.

All purpose flour is really a combination of hard flour (which has a high gluten content) and softer flour. The protein content of all-purpose or plain flour is around 8-11%.

Because all purpose or plain flour has a medium level of protein, it can be used for most recipes. It may not give you the optimal results, if the recipe calls for cake or bread flour, but it will still do a pretty good job.

Other Types Of Flour

Other types of flour that you may encounter are self-raising flour, which is all purpose or plain flour with added baking powder.

Cake flour has a protein content of around 6-8% and is made from softer wheat flour. Cake flour tends to absorb more moisture and sugar than all-purpose flour, which then helps to create a softer texture in cakes.

Bread or bakers flour is used when making bread, rolls or buns. This kind of flour has a higher protein content and is made from ‘hard’ wheat that has more gluten. This results in a chewier bread.

Then there’s also 00 flour. The number refers to how finely ground the flour is. 00 flour is ground down to very small particles. This variant of flour is often used to make homemade pasta. It is still possible to use all-purpose flour or plain flour to make pasta – but the dough can be a bit more difficult to work with.

These days, there are also a growing variety of gluten-free flours – including almond flour, coconut flour,
brown rice flour, chickpea flour and quinoa flour.

Create Your Own All-Purpose Flour

To create your own all purpose flour at home, you can combine cake flour and bread flour. You may need to experiment on which ratio works best for your recipe. But ultimately it may be easier just to buy a bag of plain flour from the shops.

What flour do you usually have in your grocery cupboard? Tell us in the comments below.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

  • This is very, helpful we always try to use 00 flour for our home made bread and pasta.


  • The wonderful world of flour. I have to google them every time I use an American recipe hahaha


  • Very informative. All flour bakes differently and it’s hard to know what ratios to sub in


  • I use wholemeal plain flour in my household as it’s pretty versatile. Thanks for all the information on the different types of flours.


  • Wow that’s complex


  • Great read, breaks it down easily
    U have SRF & plain in my pantry


  • So good to know. Oftentimes I read recipes and have no idea what the ingredients are. And with so many new flours, this is really helpful.


  • very interesting.l I didnt know about the plain flour being called another name


  • Makes sense. Thank you for sharing.


  • I use plain flour most often.


  • I tried coconut flour once but couldn’t get the ratio right.


  • I just use plain and self raising as the rest are way to expensive


  • When would you use spelt flour? And is the ratio different because it’s an older grain?
    Last time I tried to use it, it was a very heavy dough, not light at all, so what do you have to use to make it like a light plain flour?


  • It can be so confusing when reading recipes that use terminology from other countries and you have to work out what they’re talking about


  • Good info, I prefer gluten free, also there is many more flours these days, like banana flour, sweet potato flour, pea flour, just to name a few more.


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