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Corn Flour Substitute

Choosing a corn flour substitute is easy with my comprehensive list of all the best substitutes for corn flour you can swap into any recipe! From breading, battering and frying to baking fabulous cookies, cornbread and more, this staple ingredient has readily available substitutions that you can make on the fly!

The best corn flour substitute is one that are already in your pantry!

Cornmeal is a handy ingredient to keep in your kitchen arsenal. It can be used as a coating for your favorite fried foods like chicken or fish, but can also be the flour of choice for making quick bread or waffles.

With so many uses, it’s no wonder cornmeal is such a popular ingredient. But that doesn’t mean everyone has it in their pantry. If you find your recipe calls for cornmeal, but it’s not something you keep in your pantry, you need a readily available substitute!

12 Best Corn Flour Substitutes

Below, you’ll find the 12 best replacements (+ a few extras!) to swap for cornmeal – and it works like a charm.

Cornmeal is a great ingredient to have in your pantry, but it’s not a must. You can easily swap cornmeal for other great ingredients, depending on the recipe you’re making.

Thickeners like arrowroot and kudzu starch are best for soups and sauces. All-purpose flour and cornmeal can be used as a breading and coating or mixed into baked goods. They are also wonderful because they are very common pantry items!

Tapioca flour and arrowroot powder are also favorites I keep on hand, and you’ll love them too.

I always feel like the best subs are all you have on hand, so check your pantry and then decide what will work best in your recipe. Let’s get cooking!

1. Cornstarch

When people hear the term corn flour, they probably think of cornstarch. Both are very similar, but they are not exactly the same thing.

That doesn’t mean cornstarch isn’t a viable corn flour substitute, though. Cornstarch can work wonders in place of corn flour because it has the same consistency.

It doesn’t compare in the flavor department, though, so consider seasoning them before we add cornstarch instead of corn flour.

Use cornstarch in a 1:1 ratio when replacing corn flour. Be aware, however, that you will still need to mix your cornstarch with cold water according to the recipe.

Best used as a thickening agent, breading for fried batter. Baked goods will tend to be more crumbly if used as a sub.

Corn Flour Vs Cornstarch

Corn flour is a finely ground powder of the whole corn kernel, while cornstarch is derived only from the starch in the kernels. That said, corn flour contains protein, fiber, and other nutrients that cornstarch lacks.

2. Rice Flour

Rice flour is an excellent substitute for corn flour, especially when used as a thickening agent or in sweet treats. Rice flour is a bit stickier and finer than cornmeal, so it shouldn’t be used in recipes where a crispy exterior is desired.

Due to the sweetness of rice flour, it is a wonderful flavor enhancer in some recipes like soups or muffins.

Use in a 2:1 ratio to corn flour, so twice as much rice flour.

Best used as a thickening agent and in baked goods.

3. Cornmeal

When it comes to replacing corn flour , it’s no secret that choosing another corn-related product might do the trick. With cornmeal (or corn flour), you can achieve the same flavor profile as cornmeal .

The biggest difference in using cornmeal is that it’s a much coarser texture. This can be great for fried foods or toppings on casseroles, mac and cheese, and more.

To better match the consistency of cornstarch, you can process cornmeal until you reach a finer cornmeal.

See my corn flour substitute page for instructions on making homemade cornmeal using popcorn kernels or by drying your own corn!

Replace corn flour with a 1:1 ratio of cornmeal.

4. Whole Wheat And All Purpose Flour

Whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour can make great alternatives to cornmeal. Remember that these flours are not gluten-free, so they may not be the right choice for all bakers and home chefs.

Most people have all-purpose or white flour in their pantry, making it the go-to corn flour substitute. Whole wheat is also a popular choice, not least because it contains so many more nutrients than its white counterparts.

White flour will not change the recipe in terms of flavor or texture. Whole wheat flour, on the other hand, can give your food a malty flavor. Although not an undesirable flavor, it may not be suitable for the flavor composition you are looking for.

Use both whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour in a 2:1 ratio, or twice the amount of cornstarch called for in a recipe.

5. Self-Rising Flour

I love using self-rising flour (aka self-rising flour) in a pinch. It’s like your all-purpose flour with a little baking powder and salt added to make it ready to bake!

To use self-rising flour as an alternative to corn flour, you will need to double the amount of self-rising flour to thicken soups, sauces, pie fillings, etc. For breading fried foods, use self-rising flour in a 1:1 ratio.

Note that the amount of salt is negligible in most recipes, but you may want to reduce the amount of salt needed in your recipe. Cook, then adjust the seasoning to taste once the flavors have melted.

Also Related Article: Corn Flour Substitutes

6. Tapioca Flour

The uses of tapioca flour are quite impressive. If you have it on hand, it can be a great replacement for cornmeal when the recipe calls for a thickener.

Unfortunately, this suggestion is not ideal for breading or baking. So unless you’re using tapioca flour for thickening, it ‘s best to choose another option.

Use equal parts tapioca flour to replace corn flour for thickening purposes.

7. Masa Flour

Masa Harina can easily be named as the Mexican and Latin American versions of cornmeal. Harina is made from cooked organic corn, soaked in water and lime juice, then shelled and ground into a cornmeal consistency.

That said, it makes a great substitute for corn flour, especially if your recipe has a Mexican or Latin twist.

Typically I use masa harina in a 1:1 ratio for corn flour replacement, but you may need to experiment depending on the recipe.

8. Rice, Potato, Tapioca Or Kuzu Starch

When looking for the perfect cornmeal alternative, you can’t go wrong with starches . Whether you have rice, potato, kuzu, or even tapioca starch, you can use it instead of corn flour.

Keep in mind that starches will work best as thickening agents for recipes like soups and sauces. Potato starch tends to form lumps fairly quickly, so be sure to whisk quickly when adding potato starch to your ingredients.

For those looking to add some unprocessed organic food elements back to their diet, kuzu is the way to go. Kuzu (Kudzu) is a plant that has many benefits. It is believed to help reduce liver damage, improve heart health and help calm inflammation.

Each of these corn flour substitute can be used in a 1:1 ratio of equal amounts to the cornmeal needed.

9. Guar Gum

Guar gum is another healthy, inexpensive option that works great for thickening. You only need to use a small amount of guar gum when replacing corn flour in a sauce or soup recipe. As a bonus, you get the digestive benefits of guar gum.

You will need a much smaller amount of guar gum to replace cornmeal in any recipe. Start with ⅛ the amount of cornstarch requested (⅛th of a tablespoon = th of a teaspoon).

10. Sorghum Flour

Sorghum flour is becoming incredibly popular, especially in the healthy food community. This flour is derived from sorghum grains and is packed with protein and antioxidants.

Not only that, but it contains essential vitamins and minerals including magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. When using sorghum flour, it is best used as a thickening agent rather than as a breading or coating.

Use sorghum flour as a 1:1 replacement for corn flour.

11. Ground Flax Seeds

If you’re looking for a nutrient-dense corn flour substitute, definitely give flaxseed a try. The flavor is a bit more bitter, you may want to add more flavoring to your recipe.

Mix ½ tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 2 tablespoons of water to replace 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

12. Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot is another popular starch that people often use in place of corn flour. It can also improve the flavor profile of your recipe, making it one of the best options.

Since arrowroot is a starch, it’s another great choice for thickening, but might not work as well in baked goods or as a coating. Use it as a substitute in soups and sauces that will be served immediately.

Corn flour substitute in a 1:1 ratio.

More To read: 5 Great Benefits of Himalayan Chef Grocery Shopping Whole Flour  (Chakki Atta) to Stay Healthy in Ramadan 2022

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