uses of potato starch, wheat starch and corn starch

Joined Aug 13, 2006
While generally scarce on the variety of baking products here, there are three starches sold in every supermarket baking section - cornstarch, wheat starch and potato starch, all of which are in floury form.  Cornstarch is the only one i knew of in the states, and the only one that figures in recipes in english language cookbooks.   (Used in puddings but also as part of a cake flour substitute - all purpose flour minus 2 tbsp flour plus 2 tbsp cornstarch per cup, i believe).

I wondered what is the effect on a cake of using potato starch and of wheat starch.  I presume the former has no gluten at all, and the latter probably has little if any.  Are they different from each other and in what way do they affect the final product. 

They say potato and wheat  starches make very tender cakes, but italian cakes are made very differently and generally are dry and not very appealing.  But i wonder if anyone has experience using these and what kind of cakes they make. 



Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I've seen potato starch and wheat starch used in Chinese dumpling wrappers, wheat starch in a Chinese frying batter. Potato starch is sometimes used in fruit pies in the US, but not very common.

But I'm not much of a baker.
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Yeah, phatch, i imagine, like with cornstarch, there are thickening uses for them, and that frying batter might make sense since i guess not having gluten they might not stick, but i was curious about cakes mainly. My guess is that it would give a melt-in-your-mouth kind of texture, but dry. 
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