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From gluten-free products to higher fiber wheat products, there’s a bunch of all-purpose flour alternatives to choose from.
Let’s be real, all-purpose flour makes some delish baked goods. But some peeps may want to avoid it. Maybe you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, or you simply want a more nutritious flour option.
Here are 12 of the best flour substitutes to suit every preference and dietary need. Just note that most of these substitutes won’t be a 1-to-1 replacement.
1. Coconut flour
If you’re into that low-waste lifestyle, coconut flour may be your new fave flour. It’s made from coconut meat, which is a byproduct of coconut milk and coconut oil production.
This fine, white, naturally gluten-free flour is packed with fiber, which is essential for digestive health and can help support healthy blood sugar levels.
Plus, it’s higher in protein than all-purpose flour and provides minerals like iron and potassium.
How to sub: Swap 1/4 cup (28 grams) of coconut flour for 1 cup (120 grams) of all-purpose flour. You’ll also need to increase the amount of liquid in your recipe since coconut flour absorbs more water.
2. Almond flour
Almond flour is a favorite among those following gluten-free and grain-free diets. It’s super nutritious and can be used in a number of ways in the kitchen, including as an all-purpose flour substitute.
Almond flour is high in healthy fats and much lower in carbs than all-purpose flour. Plus, it’s a great source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E and magnesium.
How to sub: Swap 3/4 cup (84 grams) of almond flour for 1 cup (120 grams) of all-purpose flour. It’s also recommended that you use a binding agent like xanthan gum in your almond flour recipes in order to improve the texture of your baked goods.
3. Chickpea flour
Chickpeas are a fan-fave when it comes to legumes, but did you know that chickpeas can actually be turned into a super-nutritious flour?!
Chickpea flour — also known as gram flour or garbanzo bean flour — has a nutty taste and is a staple in Indian and Caribbean cuisine. This bean-based flour is also high in plant-based protein and minerals like iron and folate. Plus, it’s naturally gluten-free.
How to sub: Swap 3/4 cup chickpea flour (84 grams) for 1 cup (120 grams) of all-purpose flour. Try it in recipes like fritters to act as a gluten-free binding agent. You can also mix it with other gluten-free flours for a 1:1 ratio swap.
4. Gluten-free flour blends
The easiest gluten-free sub for all-purpose flour is a gluten-free flour blend. That’s because these are usually created to be 1-to-1 replacements.
Gluten-free flour blends often contain a blend of gluten-free flours like brown rice flour, sorghum flour, and tapioca flour. They also can have ingredients like xanthan gum in order to mimic the texture of all-purpose flour.
How to sub: Swap gluten-free flour blends for all-purpose flour at a 1:1 ratio.
5. Whole-wheat flour
If you’re looking for an all-purpose sub that’s a bit higher in certain nutrients, like fiber, whole-wheat flour is a good alternative.
Whole-wheat flour is also higher in protein. Together, these nutrients help keep you feeling full, so baked goods made with whole-wheat flour may be a bit more filling than those made with all-purpose.
How to sub: King Arthur Flour recommends swapping 113 g whole-wheat flour for every 1 cup (120g) of all-purpose flour.
6. Rice flour
Rice flour is a popular gluten-free flour that can be used in place of all-purpose flour when combined with other flours.
You can buy brown rice flour or white rice flour. But, brown rice flour has a nutty flavor that’s delicious in baked goods.
How to sub: Swapping rice flour can take some trial and error. It’s usually best combined with other gluten-free flours and binding agents like xanthan gum or cornstarch.
7. Buckwheat flour
Buckwheat flour is actually made from grain-like seeds, making it another gluten-free option. It’s quite nutritious, providing a good source of fiber and minerals like iron and potassium.
Buckwheat flour has a distinct slightly bitter taste that may change the flavor of your recipe. Plus, it doesn’t contain gluten, so it won’t give you the springy result that all-purpose will.
How to sub: Mix buckwheat with more neutral-tasting flours and other ingredients that will lighten its texture when subbing for all-purpose flour.
8. Spelt flour
Spelt flour is an ancient grain that’s related to wheat, so it still contains gluten. If you’re cool with gluten, many bakers say it’s the closest swap for all-purpose flour.
Spelt is a good source of dietary fiber and has more protein than all-purpose flour. It also higher in antioxidants compared to regular wheat.
How to sub: Swap spelt flour for all-purpose flour at a 1:1 ratio.
9. Amaranth flour
Amaranth flour is another flour made from ancient grains, but it’s gluten-free since it’s technically a seed. It has an earthy taste and dense texture, so it should not be used on its own when replacing all-purpose flour.
Nutritionally, it’s a good source of fiber and also contains quite a bit of non-heme (plant-based) iron.
How to sub: Blend amaranth flour with other flours to make a 1:1 ratio swap for all-purpose flour.
10. Quinoa flour
You’re probably familiar with quinoa, but chances are you haven’t baked with quinoa flour. Another seed-turned-flour, quinoa is gluten-free and has nutty, earthy flavor.
Quinoa flour is a good source of vitamins and minerals like folate, magnesium, iron, and zinc. It’s also rich in protein and fiber.
How to sub: Swap in quinoa flour for half the amount of all-purpose flour in most recipes. You may need to combine quinoa flour with other flours and binding agents to get the desired texture of baked goods.
11. Cassava flour
Cassava flour is made from cassava, a tuberous veggie that’s native to South America. Because it’s made from a tuber, cassava flour is gluten-free.
The flour has a neutral taste and is basically just carbs, providing no fat or protein. So, it’s not a good swap if you want a high protein option.
How to sub: Recipe experts suggest you can use cassava flour as a 1:1 replacement (by weight) for all-purpose, though the results may not be perfect every time.
12. Rye flour
Rye flour is an excellent sub for all-purpose flour and has similar amounts of fiber and protein. But it has some major differences.
It contains less gluten than all-purpose, retains more moisture, and has an earthy taste. Because of these characteristics, it’s ideal for making breads and more savory baked goods.
How to sub: According to King Arthur Flour, you can swap 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (136 grams) of medium rye flour for 1 cup (120 grams) of all-purpose flour. Just note you may need to adjust this amount depending on your recipe and other ingredients used.
OK, so you’re out of all-purpose flour, but you have some other baking-specific flours in your pantry. Can you use those instead?
Here’s some info on how to use cake flour, bread flour, and self-rising flour:
- Cake flour. Cake flour basically just has added cornstarch. To use cake flour in place of all-purpose flour in a baking recipe, use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (136 grams) cake flour for every cup (120 grams) of all-purpose flour.
- Bread flour. Bread flour is higher in protein, so it’s not a recommended swap for recipes like cakes and cookies. But if you just need a small amount for a recipe like gravy, you’re good to go.
- Self-rising flour. According to King Arthur Flour, you can sub self-rising flour for all-purpose in recipes, just add 1 teaspoon of baking powder per cup of flour.
If you’re not into all-purpose flour or have to avoid it for health reasons, there are plenty of flour products you can use in its place.
Just make sure to follow specific directions regarding flour swapping to ensure your recipe works out.