4 Amazing Corn Flour Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Knowing your way around corn flour substitutes is necessary if you are cooking for someone with dietary restrictions, or if you are simply looking for a healthier alternative.

Corn Flour Substitutes

Finding corn flour substitutes isn’t very difficult, as the consistency is relatively easy to match with other flours and common ingredients. Not to be confused with corn starch, corn flour is a common ingredient in dessert recipes and acts as a thickener in sauces and soups.

Although it is an important ingredient in these preparations, it is easily replaced by a few excellent household substitutes. The flavor may be slightly changed in some cases, so be sure to choose the most appropriate substitution.

A spoon of cornflour, stone-ground corn grits, corn kernels, and a whole corn

Cornflour, commonly known as cornstarch, is the finely ground version of corn kernels. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Wheat Flour

This is the most common of all the alternatives. Wheat flour and corn flour share a similar flavor and both can serve as a thickener in recipes. We recommend that you double the wheat flour when substituting for corn flour, however, to achieve the same effects. Obviously, wheat flour is not a gluten-free substitute.

Rice Flour

This rice byproduct is a healthy alternative to corn flour that will not alter the flavor of your dish too noticeably. Unlike wheat flour, it can be a good gluten-free option. Rice flour has a similar texture and thickness to corn flour and can be substituted in recipes at a 1:1 ratio. Rice flour is a particularly good substitute to use in baking.

Arrowroot Starch

Made from the arrowroot plant, this starch is another thickening agent that works in a similar way to corn flour. Although this can work well in both sweet and savory recipes, it is worth bearing in mind that this starch can quicken the listed cooking time. As arrowroot is a stronger thickener than corn flour, you will need about half the amount of arrowroot. 

Arrowroot flour with heart shaped tray on a granite backdrop

Arrowroot Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Potato Starch

Extracted from potatoes, this starch can be used to substitute for corn flour at a 1:1 ratio. It might add an earthy flavor to your dish and is best used for savory recipes, and it is also known to be more filling.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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