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Self-rising Flour

I am out of all-purpose flour however I do have self-rising flour.  I am making Chocolate Chip cookies.  Can I use the self-rising flour instead of the all-purpose flour?

--Jo Ann

Self-rising flour is regular flour that has baking powder and and salt added.  Exact formulas, including the type of baking powder used, vary by manufacturer.

While the amount of baking powder is usually pretty close to 1 ½ teaspoons per cup of flour, the amount of salt can vary widely depending on brand.  According to the nutritional analysis provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, their numbers would indicate that the amount of salt may be as high as ½ teaspoon of salt per cup of flour.

Because self-rising flour is most often used to make cakes and biscuits, it may also have significantly lower protein than all-purpose.

In a practical sense, what this means for your question is that if your recipe uses baking powder in a large enough quantity, you can try substituting self-rising flour for all-purpose flour.  You will need to decrease the amount of baking powder in your recipe by 1 ½ teaspoons per cup of flour in the recipe.  If there is less than that amount of baking powder in total, or if the cookies do not contain any baking powder, then you can try the substitution, but the final product may not be appealing.  You may find that your cookies rise too high, or that they rise and then fall flat.  They also might not brown as well.

You will also need to reduce the amount of salt.  Start by reducing it by ½ teaspoon per cup of flour in the recipe.  If you find the cookies are bland, then for the next batch add back in some of the salt until you get a result you like.

If your self-rising flour has a noticeably lower protein content, you might also find that the cookies are paler in color, softer, puffier and more crumbly.  Depending on your tastes, you may or may not prefer the result.


I used self rising flour and did not alter my recipe with the salt or baking powder and am extremely worried. It's in the oven now. These post made me feel much better so I hope mine turns out ok. My boyfriend is telling me I have ruined my cobbler which is usually the best the he has eaten and is mad about how it's gonna turn out. Jeez. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thought it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot. I was right.

I have just made cookies using self raising flower without taking out the extra salt or soda and they turned out fine. My hubby loves them!! I always say if in doubt try it out, what's the worst that can happen? xx

i just used self rising flour in my lemon loaf bread. It somewhat seemed a slight salty, cause yesterday I had flour and it wasn't salty. I'm waiting for the loaf to be done to find out if it's good. I hope so cause the family is waiting for it to be done too. I just hope they don't know the difference.

I saw a recipe I wanted to try and had never heard of self rising flour. I called TJ's and they had not heard of it we went to the grainery and they had not heard of it so I went on the internet and got a recipe for it 1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

our biscuits turned out just fine Looking forward to trying it with cookies

Very helpful :)

A few years ago I had also accidentally used self rising flour and was very concerned my cookies would not turn out. Much to my surprise when I made white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies with self rising flour it was the best tasting cookie ever. Since this mistake with self rising flour I use it for all my cookie recipes and they taste GREAT. Also, I do not alter the salt or baking powder. I use the self rising flour and what ever the recipe calls for.

wow awesome post! I too just accidentally baked cookies with self-rising flour. I was afraid of what may happen but to my delight they did turn out pretty nice. It really does prevent it from spreading out into a thin crispy cookie and rather becomes fluffier in consistency.

I accidentally used the self raising flour on a recent batch of chocolate chip / M&M cookies; they turned out to be the best batch I have ever made. I tried to repeat it tonight (because I bragged so much about them at work I ended up promising to bring a batch in) but I didn't get the same results - as far as looks (I haven't tasted them yet). The "accident" batch were perfect in color, spread and texture: they were not oily, didn't spread out to paper thin slices and had a melt-in-your-mouth texture like what you get from a powdered sugar and cream of tartar cookie recipe. When I did the "on-purpose" batch tonight, I used regular flour because I had read the comments about not using self-rising flour....but the cookies ended up spreading more than I would like (I use a half butter / have shortening mix to limit spread too). Do you think that the self rising flour is responsible for the nice looks? or is it just the typical baking experience of never getting the same results twice? The accident batch had other irregularities too (I accidentally increased the butter / shortening mix and had to even it out with an extra 1/2 cup of flour) so I am not sure if the result can all be attributed to the flour. I am hoping that someone with experience with this flour can clue me in: was the flour responsible for the nicely shaped, melt-in-your-mouth texture, best-ever chocolate chip / M&M cookies or was it a combination of all my mistakes? I sure would like to have a chance of repeating my mistake recipe, but deliberately this time!thanks!

I just noticed that I bought self-rising flour to make banana breads. The first three loaves went to Texas, Colorado and Georgia for New Year's eve. Everyone commented on how good the bread was. I was about to make two more loaves when I noticed the flour was self-rising. I don't know if the other recipients were just being nice or if there really wasn't a difference. I had not altered the recipe in any way. I’ve sent e-mails but they have not responded. Since the next two loaves are going to my husband's boss and co-workers, I may just wait until I can get to the store for real flour before making them.BTW, it's an awesome recipe I found in Sara Leah Chase's "Cold Weather Cooking." It calls for plumping up the raisins with rum. Always a hit!

Thank you so much for this article. I have made one chocolate chip cookie recipe since I was eight years old (I am 26 now though I digress) and it has always turned out perfect except for batch one, and two, and three today. I kept changing things then I came across this article and checked my flour and its self-rising. I must have been in a hurry at the store. You have saved me from altering every other ingredient since I never would have checked the bag.

Thanks sooooo very much for this info on the difference in self rising flour and all was extremely helpful as I am snowed in and need to make some things for the Christmas eve gathering at church...

Hopefully, we can get plowed out by then but I will now have delicious goodies on hand thanks to your article..

May you all be blessed beyond measure...

I thought this was so helpful! Katie

I love using self-rising in my cookies. It gives them a different quality and I really enjoy it.

thanks for the info

this really helped with my science project

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