Many gluten-free, paleo, and keto recipes on the internet substitute almond flour for regular plain.
Unless you do a lot of gluten-free baking, it is rather unlikely that you will just have almond flour lying about your house.
Nut flours are tricky to work with as they absorb a different ratio of liquids compared to regular flours.
They have no gluten and do not create the same finished product. Where possible, it is better to switch out almond flour for another nut flour as they will react the most similarly.
What is almond flour?
To make almond flour, almonds are blanched and they have their skins removed. It is then finely ground into small particles. This is commonly used in French macarons, cookies, and quick bread.
Almond flour is high in fat, lending moisture, and lightness to baked goods. It contains a decent amount of protein and healthy fats while being lower in carbohydrates compared to wheat flour.
It will not act in the same way as traditional flour and so cannot be used as a direct substitute.
Almond meal is something you are likely to see too, and you would be forgiven for thinking that they are the same. Almond meal is made with the almond skins left on, and it is a much coarser grind than almond flour.
In some recipes, it will not matter too much which you decide to use. The textures are different and will create a different mouth feel in your finalized product.
For more delicate recipes, such as light cakes and macarons, we suggest using almond flour.
If you wish to substitute almond flour for coconut flour, you are likely to need to alter your entire recipe. This is because the flour can absorb anywhere from 5 to 8 times the volume of moisture that almond flour can.
This is because coconut flour is a dehydrated substance and so will reabsorb any moisture it comes into contact with.
Generally speaking, this means that you will have to include more liquid, and potentially some additional eggs, into your recipe.
If you only have coconut flour to hand, we suggest looking for a recipe that originally includes that.
The number of modifications you will need to make is so great it means that coconut flour is not the most efficient substitute.
We recommend using ¼ cup coconut flour for every cup of almond flour your recipe states. You are likely to need to include an additional egg too.
Coconut flour and tapioca flour
The addition of tapioca flour to the coconut flour provides a stretchy quality that mimics that of traditional flour containing gluten. It primarily serves as a binding agent in baked goods.
In place of 2 cups of almond flour, you should use 1 heaped cup of tapioca flour and 1 scant cup of coconut flour.
You are likely to need to double the number of eggs specified in a recipe originally using all-purpose flour. If you don’t want to do this, you can play around with other wet ingredients such as apple sauce and mashed banana.
This is made by drying out green and unripe plantains. Once dried, they are ground to a fine powder and this is plantain flour. These are not sweet and provide a source of resistant starch as well as carbohydrates.
This also absorbs more moisture than almond flour, and you may need to adjust the liquid content of your recipe to create a good result.
This is steadily growing in popularity in recent years. Cricket flour is high in protein and B12 and is a source of all essential amino acids. It is commonly used as a protein powder, but some people use it in baking.
YOu can replace up to one-quarter of the flour in your recipe with cricket flour. This will result in the same appearance and texture as a baked good made with regular flour, with the addition of a lot of protein.
Crickets come from the Arthropoda phylum, much like crustaceans. This means that people with a shellfish allergy may also have a reaction to crickets.
Sunflower seed flour
This is a highly popular nut and gluten-free substitute for almond flour. It has a very similar consistency and will interact with the rest of your ingredients in the same way as almond flour.
You may need to use half the quantity of baking soda that your recipe states.
There is a small chance that your dish will have a green tint when baked. This is due to the reactions that take place between the sunflower seeds and the baking soda.
If you incorporate a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice into the uncooked batter, this should impede the reaction.
Another way to do this is by doubling the quantity of cream of tartar included in the recipe. This means that your dish is likely to look the same as if it was made with almond flour.
Pumpkin seed flour will also work in the same way. These can be used as a 1:1 substitute for almond flour in your recipes.
Cashews are naturally sweet and work beautifully in sweet baked goods. It is made by simply blending cashews until they form a fine powder. Do not over blend as this will result in the formation of cashew butter.
This can be used as a 1:1 substitute for almond flour. It will give your dish a rich and creamy taste, making anything seem 10 times more indulgent.
Make your own gluten-free flour blend
There are many commercially produced gluten-free flour blends available on the market. These all vary in effectiveness, but if you prefer you could make your own.
The quantities noted below create the best gluten-free flour blend we have ever tried.
All you need is 2 cups of rice flour, ⅓ cup tapioca starch, ⅔ cup potato starch, and 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum.
Be aware that this flour may take on more moisture than almond flour, meaning you need to adjust the recipe.
This blend is ideal for baked goods, including cookies and cakes. We recommend storing any excess flour in an airtight container for future use.
This is a lower carbohydrate substitution for almond flour. This makes it popular for people following the Paleo diet. It results in a very similar final product to those made using almond flour.
You can use macadamia flour as a direct substitute for almond flour. This means that if your recipe calls for 2 cups of almond flour, you should use 2 cups of macadamia.
Eggs and flour substitutes
As we mentioned earlier, many flour substitutes are likely to require a greater deal of moisture than all-purpose flour.
For this reason, recipes made with almond flour tend to include 4+ eggs to help create a solid structure when baked.
If you have decided to substitute almond flour for one of the options listed below, we recommend halving the number of eggs needed.
This is a very popular flour substitute on the paleo diet. It is made by peeling and drying a cassava root. This is then ground into a fine powder which closely resembles the appearance of wheat flour.
It can be used in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for almond flour. As with coconut flour, we would highly recommend looking for a recipe originally including cassava flour.
This will create a much better final result, but this can be used as an almond flour substitute in a pinch.
This can be bought at most stores but is also incredibly easy to make yourself at home.
All you need to do is blend oats in a high powered blender until a fine powder is formed. 1 cup of oats will make ¾ cup of oat flour.
You can get standard and gluten-free oats, meaning that this flour is suitable for a wide range of dietary specifications.
This is not a gluten-free substitute but will work in place of almond flour if necessary. When substituting for almond flour, we recommend halving the quantity of flour needed.
This means that if your recipe requires 2 cups of almond flour, you should use 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
Whole wheat flour
This is not a great substitute for almond flour as it is much more dense. It needs combining with all-purpose flour before use.
If your recipe needs 2 cups of almond flour, you will substitute ½ cup each of whole wheat and all-purpose flours.
How can you make your own almond flour?
You will need 8 ounces of blanched almonds. Place these into a high powered blender and grind to a fine powder.
Stop once you reach this point, as overprocessing will lead to the creation of almond butter.
The flour should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This can last for up to a year in this way.