Most bakers only use one type of flour: all-purpose. It’s used for cookies, cakes, pastries, pie crusts… pretty much anything that doesn’t require a special kind of dough or super strong structure. With an easy protein content and mild flavor, it is most often our default choice when baking. And it should be!
For tender cake layers that rise evenly, make sure to use soft-wheat (or bread) flour. King Arthur makes a popular brand; it has a 12.5 percent protein content and is specifically designed for cakes. By comparison, General Mills’ all-purpose flour is about 10 percent protein; bleached versions have even less.