How to Substitute Cornstarch and Flour for Each Other

Cornstarch is a fine, white powderize not unlike flour. By definition, flour is technically any gunpowder made from grains, seeds, or nuts. however, in the United States, flour normally denotes flour made from wheat. In this article, the flour will constantly refer to wheat flour .

Like flour, cornstarch can be used in thickening sauces, french-fry, and bake. however, how much to use, how to use it, and its effects can differ greatly. Flour is the main ingredient in adust goods, for model, while cornstarch is rarely on the ingredient list for cookies and cakes, except in certain shortbread recipes. This is because cornstarch is composed only of starch, while general-purpose flour contains starch, fiber, and protein. One of these proteins is gluten, which helps give boodle its elasticity and chew. Because cornstarch does n’t contain gluten, it is gluten loose and condom for people with celiac disease.

( eminence that in the U.K., cornstarch is called cornflour, not to be confused with corn flour—finely ground cornmeal—that is used to make corn tortillas and normally found in the Southern United States. )

Best Cornstarch Substitutes

Sauce Thickener : general-purpose flour, rice flour french-fry : Rice flour, potato starch Pudding : tapioca starch Fruit Pie Filling : Tapioca starch, arrowroot Baked Goods : Rice flour
The best cornstarch substitutions
The Spruce / Ellen Lindner

Thickening Sauces With Cornstarch vs. Flour

All starches, including cornstarch and flour, have thickening properties. They act like a sponge, absorbing fluid and expanding. They then gelatinize, firming up when they cool down. Because cornstarch is pure starch, it has doubly the thickening exponent of flour, which is only part starch. therefore, doubly a much flour is needed to achieve the lapp thickening as cornstarch .

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To thicken sauces, cornstarch is combined with cold water system first, which is called a slurry. Flour, on the early hand, is cooked with fatten and made into a roux. A roux is made at the begin of a recipe while a slurry is added toward the end. This is because the flour needs to be cooked longer to remove the floury taste ; cornstarch needs a short cook fourth dimension and a higher estrus to activate the thickening properties. Cornstarch should not be cooked into a roux .

Using flour as a thickening will make the sauce opaque and cloudy while cornstarch leaves a bright, more translucent eat up. This is a desirable feature for yield pie fillings and certain sauces, particularly in chinese stir-fries .

If a sauce is quite acidic, cornstarch wo n’t thicken it quite adenine well. This goes for sauces with tomatoes, citrus, or vinegar, or one made with testis yolks or butter. If you use excessively much, a recipe including cornstarch becomes spongy when refrigerated or frozen .

Frying With Cornstarch vs. Flour

Both flour and cornstarch are used to coat chicken, fish, and vegetables before french-fry. Cornstarch typically makes for a crispier finish than flour .

Cornstarch absorb moisture from the food and expands, giving french-fry foods a crisp coat. When the food is fried, the moisture cooks out of the cornstarch, leaving a crackly, gusty coat on the external. ( This is why most asian fry recipes call for using cornstarch rather of flour. ) Flour will achieve this to some extent, but since more flour is needed to achieve the lapp effect, the coat will be compact and chewy. Recipes touting the crispiest chicken will much call for a 50/50 mix of flour and cornstarch to create the perfect balance and a beautiful brown exterior .

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Baking With Cornstarch vs. Flour

baking is where a complete barter wo n’t work. A patty recipe, for exemplar, will not turn out if cornstarch is used in the put of flour. Baked goods trust on the proteins in the flour ( gluten ) to help create its body and texture. There are many excellent gluten-free baking recipes ; good note that cornstarch is n’t the only flour or starch in most of them .

Adding cornstarch to a cookie or cake recipe, however, will help to make the finished product more tender. In fact, this homemade recipe for patty flour replaces 2 tablespoons of general-purpose flour with cornstarch .

other Cornstarch Substitutes

Flour is the most common substitute for cornstarch. however, arrowroot, potato starch, tapioca starch, and rice flour can work just vitamin a well, if not better at times. additionally, all of these cornstarch substitutes are gluten free .


This powdered white thicken agent acts similarly to cornstarch with a few exceptions. It is not good to use in dairy-based recipes as it will cause the dish to become slimed, but it is a good stand-in for cook dishes that plan to be frigid. Take note that recipes using achira may need to be cooked a little longer to reach the desire thickness. Use the lapp total of arrowroot as cornstarch called for in the recipe .

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Potato Starch

A democratic ingredient in Passover recipes, potato starch is besides an excellent substitution for cornstarch. An equal total, or possibly a little more, should be used in place of the cornstarch as a thicken agent. It is best to eat the finished dish a soon as possible because this starch does n’t hold together well with the rest of the ingredients .

Tapioca Starch

If making a proto-indo european, tapioca starch is an ideal alternative as it creates an even shiner appearance than cornstarch. For the best results, the tapioca should be mixed into the ingredients and left to sit for about 10 minutes before cooking to allow the tapioca to absorb the liquids and thicken properly. Use an adequate amount of instantaneous tapioca but avoid adding to dairy-based sauces. It is a good choice for recipes cooked at senior high school temperatures and foods that will be freeze .

Rice Flour

White rice flour is the ideal choice for thickening sauces since brown rice flour can be farinaceous. similar to flour, double the measure of rice flour should be used in place of cornstarch. This finely ground powder made from rice is colorless when desegregate with urine and frankincense a good choice when thickening clear liquids. Rice flour is a popular component in asian cook and can be added immediately to a recipe without making a slurry. It can besides be used to make a roux using vegetable oil .

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