If you’re looking for grain-free flour replacements that still yield great results, you have options! Flour alternatives are now easier to find than ever. You’re no longer limited to specialty stores that carry obscure ingredients. Even basic supermarkets carry all sorts of gluten-free alternatives now
Flour alternatives can be used in classic recipes like cakes and cookies, but you can also use them in breads, pancakes, muffins, and more. But, there are a lot of options on the market and it can be difficult knowing which is right for your recipe. So, I’m here to help you navigate all of the options.
Baking without flour can be a challenge, but it really doesn’t have to be. With so many replacements available, you can enjoy all your favorite recipes while still avoiding gluten.
From natural flours like almond or coconut to store-bought alternatives made with grains and starches, there’s a variety of options when it comes to crafting an allergy-friendly treat.
Every flour replacement brings a unique texture and flavor to the table. While some flours are a 1:1 substitution, others may require adjusting the ratios. Be sure to check your recipes carefully when you bake with flour alternatives.
1. Almond flour
Almond flour is a popular gluten-free choice and can be used to make everything from cookies to breads. It’s made by grinding blanched almonds into a fine meal. Almond flour has a nutty flavor, and it creates a product that’s denser than traditional wheat flours. If you’re using almond flour as a wheat flour substitute, you may need to adjust the amount of liquids in your recipe to account for its higher moisture content. Almond flour is also high in protein and healthy fats, making it a great option for those looking for healthier baking options. Overall, almond flour can be a delicious replacement when baking gluten-free.
Tips for baking with almond flour:
- Almond flour makes a good substitute for bread crumbs, you can swap out bread crumbs at a 1:1 ratio.
- If using almond flour for cakes, you may notice a gritty texture. I prefer to use almond flour in cookies over cakes or cupcakes.
- Almond flour is higher in calories and fat, so keep this in mind when considering the nutrition of your baked goods.
2. Coconut flour
Coconut flour is made from dried, ground coconut meat and it has a strong coconut flavor. It’s lower in calories than wheat flour, and it’s also high in fiber, so it provides a nutritious alternative to traditional baking. Coconut flour absorbs more liquid than almond or other flours, so recipes with this type of flour often require more eggs and added liquid. Coconut flour is best for baking classic treats, like cakes, muffins, and scones.
- Coconut flour absorbs more liquid, so you will use less of it if swapping out regular flour. A general rule of thumb is a 1:4 ratio.
- Coconut flour can affect the taste of baked goods, adding a different level of sweetness.
3. Oat flour
Oat flour is made by grinding oats into a fine powder. It’s an excellent option for those looking for a nut-free alternative to almond and coconut flour. Oat flour has more of a neutral flavor than other flours, so it won’t overpower the flavors in your recipes. It’s also high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, so it’s a great option if you’re looking for a healthier flour alternative. Oat flour is perfect for cookies, muffins, and cakes.
- Similar to oatmeal, oat flour will give your baked goods a more crumby/chewy texture.
- Oat flour will not rise the same way that regular flour does, so you may need to add more baking soda or baking powder when using it in baked goods.
4. Cassava Flour
Cassava flour is becoming increasingly popular as a gluten-free replacement because of its neutral flavor and ability to closely mimic wheat flour in recipes. It’s made from the root of the cassava plant, which is a starchy vegetable. While it doesn’t have any added nutrients like almond or oat flour, it still has more fiber and minerals than wheat flour. Cassava flour works well in breads, cakes, cookies, and other baked goods.
- Cassava flour is more dense than regular flour, so you will use less of it in baked goods as a replacement.
- Try mixing cassava flour with another gluten-free flour for better texture.
5. Rice flour
Rice flour is a great option for those looking for a gluten-free alternative to wheat. It’s made by grinding rice into a fine powder, and it has an even more neutral flavor than oat or cassava flour. Rice flour works well in all sorts of baked goods, from cookies to cakes to breads. It also helps create a light and fluffy texture in your baking.
- Rice flour will make your cookies brown and crisp more easily.
- Rice flour may also add a chewier texture to various baked goods.
6. Buckwheat flour
Buckwheat flour is made from buckwheat groats, which are the hulled seeds of a plant related to rhubarb. It has a distinct nutty flavor and its dark color makes it perfect for adding visual interest to baked goods. Buckwheat flour works well in pancakes, muffins, and breads. It’s high in fiber, protein, and minerals, making it a great option for those looking for healthier baking alternatives.
- Use buckwheat flour in your breads, pancakes, and noodle recipes.
- Use a mix of buckwheat flour with another gluten-free flour for a less strong taste.
How to store your gluten-free flour
When purchasing gluten-free flour, always check the expiration dates and make sure the packages are sealed. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how often I run into expired ingredients at the store. People don’t purchase these flour alternatives as frequently, so they tend to stay on the shelves longer.
Transfer your flour alternatives to an airtight container so they don’t absorb any moisture or odors.
Flour alternatives are a great way to enjoy baked goods without using traditional flour. It’s so much fun playing with the different textures of flour alternatives. Experiment with different options and brands to find your favorite replacements.