Fresh cake yeast is only sold in a limited number of stores in the Upper Midwest and Northeastern US in that choose to stock it based on demand for the product. Even in those regions the availability is ‘spotty’ and the stores will generally only stock it during the holiday baking season. Since cake yeast is so perishable and requires constant refrigeration, we only sell it through supermarkets and it is not available through online sources.
Due to the limited availability of the cake yeast, many bakers do successfully substitute dry yeast in place of cake yeast, even in their traditional family recipes. Since dry yeast is essentially cake yeast that has been dried, using the proper conversion and given a little extra time to fully activate, dry yeast will yield the same results. Keep in mind that cake yeast has been sold in many different sizes over the years; therefore, if a recipe doesn’t specify the weight of the yeast cake, it is best to determine the amount of dry yeast you’ll need based on the amount of flour in your recipe.
Using the chart below, determine your yeast requirements based on the total amount of flour in your recipe.
* One pound of flour is approximately equal to 4 cups of flour.
* We sell the cake yeast in only one size (2 oz.) at this time. If you divide the 2 oz. cake into three equal sections (thirds), each section (one-third of a 2 oz. cake yeast) is equivalent to 0.6 oz. cake yeast, or one 1/4 oz. packet dry yeast, or 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast. Each section will raise up to 4 cups of flour.
If the ratio of sugar to flour is more than 1/2 cup sugar to 4 cups flour, an additional packet of yeast (2+1/4 tsp) per recipe is needed. An excessive amount of sugar slows down yeast fermentation.
When changing your bread recipe from cake yeast to dry yeast, any of the Dry yeast types (Active Dry Yeast, Instant Yeast or Bread Machine Yeast) may be substituted. Dry yeast requires different water/liquid temperatures than cake yeast.
If your recipe does not contain milk or water in the ingredients to hydrate the dry yeast, you can hydrate the dry yeast in a small amount of warm water to re-constitute it into cake yeast. Work it into a paste-like consistency with your fingers using about 1 tablespoon or less of warm water. Once it becomes like a paste, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then you can crumble it into your other ingredients like you would the cake yeast.