We've all been baking or cooking at some point and suddenly realized that we don't have one of the ingredients our recipe calls for. A particularly common culprit in these instances is coconut flour. It's a gluten free flour made from desiccated coconut. You can use chickpea flour, tapioca flour, almond meal, and arrowroot flour as an alternative flour in your baking recipe.
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Coconut flour is a mild, sweet-tasting alternative to wheat flour that is made from ground coconut flesh. It’s ideal for baking sweet treats or for thickening soups and curries. However, it’s not as widely available as some other types of flour, which often presents a problem when working with a recipe.
Luckily, there are many other types of flour that can be used as substitutes for coconut flour!
In this article, we’ll be listing the 5 best coconut flour substitutes and providing a specific product recommendation for each type. We’ve also put together a buyer’s guide to help you make the best choice in terms of both your recipe book and palate.
OUR TOP PICK
If you’re not an experienced baker, you may not have heard of cassava flour, but when it comes to coconut flour substitutes, it’s going to be your new best friend!
Cassava flour is made from ground cassava root, which is the root of the cassava plant. Cassava is a root vegetable native to South America.
Although cassava is very poisonous in its raw form due to cyanide content, cassava flour is a great low-calorie source of vitamin C. It’s also highly versatile because of its neutral, earthy taste, making it suitable for use in both sweet and savory recipes. So, whether you’re baking cookies or making tortilla chips, cassava flour will do the job.
Cassava flour is less dense than coconut flour, so you’ll need to use more of it than you would coconut flour. Because cassava flour is less absorbent than coconut flour, the general advice is to use roughly 4 times more cassava flour than coconut flour. This will account for the difference in density and absorbency.
Anthony's Cassava Flour
Anthony’s Cassava Flour is indisputably one of the best cassava flour brands on the market, and as a substitute for coconut flour, we really don’t think you could do better.
Available in bags of either 2 or 4 lbs, this flour is gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO, making it a healthy alternative to wheat flour and an excellent coconut flour substitute. It’s also nut-free and paleo.
As we’ve mentioned, cassava flour is very neutral in taste, and this brand is no exception to that. Because of this, Anthony’s Cassava Flour can be used in a variety of recipes, from bread to pancakes.
One thing to bear in mind, however, is that this flour is not the best choice for use in conjunction with coconut flour. So, for example, if you have only half as much coconut flour as your recipe calls for and are hoping to top up with cassava flour, we would recommend using another type of flour (see other products below). This is because coconut flour tends to enhance the flavor of the cassava in the flour, which may bring a slightly bitter, earthy taste to your cooking.
- Available in 2 lb or 4 lb bags
- Neutral and versatile
- Gluten-free and vegan
- Not ideal in combination with coconut flour
Almond flour is an extremely popular substitute for coconut flour because of its similar sweet, nutty flavor.
In most cases, almond flour is made by soaking almonds in boiling water to ‘blanch’ them before grinding them into a fine powder, creating the white almond flour you’ll find at the store or through online retailers. Unblanched almond flour is also available, although its potential uses are more limited because of its rougher texture.
When using almond flour as a substitute for coconut flour, you should use 4 times the amount of almond flour as you would coconut flour. You may also need to reduce the amount of moisture in your recipe (eg. eggs, milk, melted butter, and oil).
Compared with coconut flour, almond flour is higher in protein, carbs, and fat. This also means that it’s higher in calories, so if you’re trying to reduce your calorie intake, this may not be the flour substitute for you. However, if this isn’t an issue for you, almond flour is likely to make a tasty and effective baking substitute for coconut flour.
Blue Diamond Almond Flour
Blue Diamond is one of the leading brands in almond flour production, with thousands of positive customer testimonials. If you’re looking to bring some of the familiar sweetness of coconut flour to your recipe without the addition of sugar or sweeteners, then this is definitely the flour for you.
This flour is available for purchase in bags of either 1 lbs or 3 lbs, so you have some flexibility in terms of quantity.
If you’re following a vegan, keto, or paleo diet, Blue Diamond’s Almond Flour will fit in perfectly with your dietary requirements. It’s also gluten-free and non-GMO certified.
This is high-quality flour made from real, blanched almonds. It has been finely sifted, so it should mirror the texture and consistency of coconut flour quite well when added in the correct ratios (see above).
Customers have reported a mildly sweet, but not overpowering flavor and a smooth texture that is free from grit and chunks. One potential drawback, however, is that some customers have also reported inconsistencies in taste and texture between the store-bought and online versions of this product.
- Available in 1 lb or 3 lb bags
- Fine, smooth consistency
- Mild, sweet taste
- Keto and paleo-friendly
- Vegan and gluten-free
- Non-GMO certified
- Some reported inconsistencies in taste and texture between store-bought and online products
Hazelnut flour, as you might expect, is made by grinding down whole hazelnuts. The result is a nutty, sweet flour that works well in baked goods as well as savory dishes like soups and curries where you still want a little sweetness to come through.
This type of flour is made by grinding whole hazelnuts into a grainy powder that is close in texture to cornmeal.
There are many health benefits to hazelnuts, and these are also present in hazelnut flours. Hazelnuts are a great source of dietary fiber and plant-based protein. They are also high in Vitamin E and rich in healthy fats.
You can substitute coconut flour for hazelnut flour relatively easily, but because coconut flour is the more absorbent of the two, it’s likely that you’ll need to decrease the amount of liquid recommended in the original coconut flour recipe.
However, hazelnut flour tends to work best as a partial substitution. That is, the taste and consistency of your finished dish will probably fare better when the hazelnut flour is combined with another kind of flour due to its gritty texture and noticeably nutty flavor. Therefore, we recommend combining hazelnut flour with coconut flour for the best results. This will also mean that
Oh! Nuts Ground Hazelnut Flour
‘Oh! Nuts’ might be the brand name attached to this Ground Hazelnut Flour, but we’re pretty sure that won’t be your reaction once you incorporate it into your coconut-flour-based recipe. Unless, of course, it’s a reaction to the incredible ability of nut-based flours to substitute deliciously for one another, but we digress.
The nutty, sweet taste of this flour makes it an ideal substitute for not only coconut flour, but also almond flour. It can also easily be combined with either of these flours.
This flour is high in fiber, vitamins, and healthy fats. It’s also vegan and gluten-free, Kosher, non-GMO, and suitable for Paleo and Keto diets.
The flavor of this hazelnut flour makes it the perfect coconut flour substitute for both savory and sweet dishes. However, although the majority of customers are extremely satisfied with this product, some customers found the taste to be a little stale.
- Sweet, nutty flavor
- Suitable for savory and sweet dishes
- Gluten-free and vegan
- Paleo and Keto-friendly
- Some customers feel that the taste is not fresh enough
Rice flour is normally used as a substitute for wheat flour, but in the correct ratios, it can also be a good substitute for coconut flour.
Rice flour can be made from either white or brown rice, although for the purposes of coconut flour substitution, white rice flour will be the better option. It is typically made by soaking, heating, and drying rice kernels before grinding them into the powder that is known as rice flour.
This type of flour is very neutral-tasting, so it’ll work perfectly no matter what you’re making.
In order to substitute rice flour for coconut flour, you will need to use 3 times the amount of rice flour than the amount of coconut flour stated in your recipe.
Naturevibe Botanicals White Rice Flour
This White Rice Flour by Naturevibe Botanicals is as healthy and natural as the brand’s name indicates, so it’s a great healthy substitute for coconut flour.
Naturevibe Botanicals’ White Rice Flour is made from 100% stone-ground white rice, which is high in insoluble fiber. This fiber has been proven to boost metabolism as it accumulates in the digestive system.
This rice flour is also low-carb, making it keto-friendly and generally a good option for anyone trying to cut back on their carb intake.
Thanks to its neutral flavor, this flour is versatile and can be used in a wide range of sweet or savory recipes as a substitute for coconut flour.
The flour formula is also organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
This flour is recommended for use in combination with other gluten-free flours, such as the ones featured in this article.
- 100% stone-ground white rice
- Versatile, neutral flavor
- Available in 2 kg bags
- Low-carb (Keto-friendly)
- Non-GMO and gluten-free
- Some reports of broken bag seals
Soy flour is the product of ground soybeans. When compared to many other types of flour, it’s quite a healthy alternative due to its high protein, vitamin, and mineral content.
Soy flour is also gluten-free, so those with gluten intolerances or allergies can safely use this type of flour without worrying about adverse effects.
The only potential drawback to using soy flour as a substitute for coconut flour is that it has quite a distinctive flavor which is noticeably different from that of coconut flour.
Once again, this probably won’t be too much of an issue in savory dishes, but baked goods may need to be sweetened more than usual using sugar or vanilla essence to counteract the taste.
When using soy flour as a substitute for coconut flour, you will need to use 2 cups of flour for every cup recommended in the recipe. Because soy flour is also a little stodgier than coconut flour in these double quantities, you may also need to add a little extra liquid to the recipe. This is something best done towards the end of the mixing process, though. This way, you can add only as much extra liquid as you need.
Naturevibe Botanicals Organic Soy Flour
Naturevibe Botanicals has formulated another fantastic coconut flour substitute (and a great product in its own right) in the brand’s Organic Soy Flour.
This flour is rich in a variety of nutrients, including protein, iron, calcium, and Vitamin B. It’s gluten-free and non-GMO.
Naturevibe Botanicals’ Organic Soy Flour is another really versatile product that can lend its mild, bean-like flavor to many different dishes. In fact, recipe suggestions for this product range from pancakes to oven-fried zucchini sticks, so you’ll never be at a loss for things to make, whether you’re using it as a substitute for coconut flour or not.
However, the only downside to this soy flour is that it’s only available in 1 lb bags, which might not be very convenient for regular bakers.
- High in iron, protein, Vitamin B, and calcium
- Versatile and mild-tasting
- Gluten-free and non-GMO
- Only available in 1lb bags
Coconut Flour Substitutes Buying Guide
The flour you choose to replace coconut flour in your recipe is going to be largely dependent on taste.
If you’re baking something sweet, for example, you’ll probably want to opt for a sweeter, nut-derived flour that matches the taste of coconut flour relatively closely. Failing that, your best bet is likely to be a neutral flour that can be sweetened with a little more sugar.
Where savory dishes are concerned, a neutral-tasting flour such as soy, cassava, or rice flour is likely to be your preferred option.
With dishes like curry, where coconut flour is often used as a thickening agent, the taste of the flour is likely to be less of an issue than in baking because smaller amounts are generally used, and the strong flavors of spices will mask most of the taste.
When it comes to baking or cooking substitutions, taste is, understandably, one of the first things up for consideration. However, it’s not all about the flavor. You’ll also need to consider the nutritional content of your substitute flour.
This is to ensure that the flour is safe and suitable for your own dietary requirements, and also because it’s important in general to be aware of what you’re putting into your body.
We’ve done our best to recommend flours that are compatible with as many dietary requirements as possible. That’s why the majority of the flours we’ve listed above are vegan and gluten-free. Where possible, we’ve also ensured that the flours are paleo and keto-friendly, as well as non-GMO. Some of these flour brands are also Kosher, and we’ve indicated where this is the case.
Soy, almond and hazelnut flours are high in protein, so they’re ideal for those following plant-based diets. Hazelnut flour is also rich in healthy fats.
Rice flour is an effective metabolism-booster.
Cassava flour, meanwhile, has an impressive vitamin content, containing high levels of Vitamin C as well as Vitamins B1 and B2. Hazelnut and almond flours are high in Vitamin E, while soy flour contains Vitamin K1.
In terms of overall health benefits, almond flour probably has the most drawbacks due to its high calorie and fat content. However, it still remains a wonderful substitute for coconut flour to use as a tasty treat.
Substituting cornflour for a different type of flour, unfortunately, isn’t quite as simple as throwing the originally recommended amount of flour into a mixing bowl. When you use a different type of flour to that recommended by your recipe, you’re going to need to work with a ratio. This is because different types of flour have varying densities.
Sometimes, you may even need to adjust the amount of liquid or moisture in your original recipe to cater to differences in flour absorbency.
We’ve noted the approximate ratios and increases or decreases in liquid in each flour’s information section above, so be sure to pay attention to this before purchase.
The main reason why people usually need to substitute coconut flour in recipes is the lack of availability. Whilst all of the flour types and products reviewed in our product section are, of course, great coconut flour substitutes, we’re aware that some of them are more available than others.
Cassava flour may not always be readily available in most stores, but your chances of finding it in a health store are much higher. Alternatively, cassava flour is widely available online.
Soy, rice, and almond flours, similarly, are quite easy to find in health stores and can be bought without any fuss through reputable online retailers.
Hazelnut flour is probably the least widely available type of flour featured in our recommendations. This is especially true in stores, where other types of flour are far more commonly stocked. However, you can still easily purchase hazelnut flour through online retailers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use plain flour instead of coconut flour?
While you can use plain flour instead of coconut flour, it is not the best alternative. Coconut flour is a sweet tasting flour. Given this, it is a great option to use for sweet recipes. When it comes to plain flour, it does not really have a taste.
While you may assume that you can swap out coconut flour for plain flour at a 1:1 ratio, this is not the best option. If you only have plain flour available, you will want to use more flour than the amount of coconut flour the recipe calls for. The best ratio to use would be a 1:4.
As coconut flour has a different consistency to plain flour, you will need to also add less moisture to the mix. This will typically mean using fewer eggs than the recipe states, and also use less liquid than the recipe states too. This will help you to keep to a similar consistency that is needed.
If you are creating a plant based recipe, you can choose to use egg substitutes instead of eggs too.
Can I replace coconut flour with almond flour?
Yes, you can choose to use almond flour as a replacement to coconut flour. However, due to the difference in consistency, you will need to change the amount of flour you use.
We would not recommend swapping coconut flour for almond flour using a 1:1 ratio. This will cause your recipe to be the wrong consistency, and this can affect how the recipe cooks. Instead, you will want to opt for a 1:4 ratio instead. For every ¼ cup of coconut flour that is needed, you will want to use 1 cup of almond flour.
When using almond flour, you will want to use less liquid in comparison to how much the recipe requires. This will help to ensure the consistency is correct when cooking. For example, we would recommend using less egg than is stated, to help with this.
How do I convert all purpose flour to coconut flour?
Similarly to plain flour, all purpose flour is not the best option to replace coconut flour. This is due to them being created differently, and not having the same consistency.
As coconut is a difficult flour to use, it needs a lot of moisture. However, all purpose flour does not. Given this, if you want to use all purpose flour, you will want to do so on a 1:4 ratio.
While it cannot be converted to coconut flour, if you use fewer eggs and moisture in the recipe, it can replace it if you have no other option.
How do I substitute almond or coconut flour for all purpose flour?
When using almond flour, as it is a similar consistency, you can use a 1:1 ratio. While the amount of flour needed will be the same, almond flour typically needs more moisture in compassion to all purpose flour. Given this, you will want to add a slightly higher measurement of wet ingredients to ensure you have the correct consistency.
Coconut flour is more difficult to use as a substitute as the ratio is 4:1 rather than 1:1. In addition to this, you will need to use significantly more wet ingredients to ensure you can work with the coconut flour correctly. To bind and work with the coconut flour correctly, you will also need to use more eggs.
As more wet ingredients are used, you will need to adjust the cooking times to correctly incorporate this change.