The type of flour you use determines several of the most critical qualities of a pound cake. Cake flour, all-purpose flour and self-rising flour are all suitable choices for baking cakes, and but the three products differ in three key ways: Particle size, protein content and additional ingredients. Those differences will affect the texture and rise of your pound cake.
Cake flour is manufactured specifically for baking cakes. It is milled more than other flours to create extra-fine particles, which yield baked goods with a finer, smoother texture. Its protein content is comparatively low, creating a more tender, less chewy consistency. Cake flour is your best choice if you want a light pound cake that rises a lot.
All-Purpose and Self-Rising Flours
All-purpose flour is not milled as much as cake flour and contains an average amount of protein -- more protein than cake flour. It is a better choice if you prefer a denser pound cake. Self-rising flour is essentially the same as all-purpose flour in terms of texture and protein content. It may have been milled a little more for a slightly softer texture, but it is never milled as much as cake flour. Self-rising flour stands apart because it contains additional ingredients: salt and baking powder. If you choose this product, eliminate the salt and baking powder from your recipe.