Say goodbye to dense, dry gluten free baked goods, and find the best gluten free flour for baking! We’ll teach you the difference between gluten free and regular flour, how to measure it, the best way to use different it, and more to make gluten free, allergy friendly baking a breeze!
Is Flour Gluten Free?
Flour is defined as being a fine soft powder. (Source) That means that any ingredient that has been ground down into a smooth texture can be considered a flour. However, whole wheat or wheat flour is the only type of flour that can be listed as such on nutrition labels. All other varieties must be specified. For instance, they may read as “coconut flour” or “almond flour” but will never be listed as plain flour. (Source)
That said, standard wheat flour including cake flour, all-purpose flour, and bread flour can have anywhere between 7-14% gluten. As a result, it is never gluten free. However, there are many gluten free flour alternatives suited for all diet types that yield the same fluffy, tender baked goods we all love!
Types of Gluten Free Flour
One peruse down the grocery store aisle and you’ll find endless items with the word flour on their label. It can be overwhelming! How is one supposed to know what is gluten free and what isn’t? In many cases, the packaging will contain a gluten free label. However, to make things easy, we’ve compiled a general list of the most common gluten free flours below. They include:
The Best Gluten Free Flour For Baking (Our Favorites)
For simplicity’s sake, we are only discussing the best gluten free flours for baking. The rest are great to have on hand but can prove tricky to use. For the best results, we reach for the following options.
What It Is: A gluten free flour made from whole blanched almonds that have been ground into a fine powder.
Almond Flour vs Almond Meal: Both are made from whole almonds. However, almond flour is made from blanched almonds (without the skin) whereas almond meal is made from unpeeled almonds. As a result, almond flour has a softer, finer consistency, and almond meal is slightly more coarse.
Health Benefits: A good source of fiber and monounsaturated fats, almond flour is also rich in nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, copper, and phosphorous. (Source)
Note: Pair almond flour with coconut flour for the best quick breads, pancakes, and other baked goods that don’t require a lot of rise to create a moist but soft texture. For the best results, use a ratio of 3:1 for almond flour to coconut flour.
What It Is: A gluten free flour made from whole ground oats.
For us, gluten free oat flour is a staple in our kitchens. Plus, it’s super affordable to buy at the store or make on your own! See our tutorial on HOW TO MAKE OAT FLOUR.
Health Benefits: A good source of complex carbs and high in fiber, oat flour is also rich in vitamins and nutrients such as manganese, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, and omega fatty acids. (Source)
Note: Pair oat flour and almond flour for fluffy soft baked goods such as cake, cupcakes, and muffins.
What It Is: A gluten free flour made from dried, ground coconut meat. The coconut meat is dried at a low temperature before grinding, which gives the flour a soft powder like texture suitable for baking.
Health Benefits: High in fiber and plant-based protein, coconut flour is also a good source of iron and potassium. (Source)
NOTE – If using coconut flour as a gluten free flour alternative, replace every 1 cup of regular flour with ¼-⅓ cup of coconut flour, and add more eggs or liquid. Coconut flour is much more absorbent than regular flour, meaning you’ll have dry baked goods if you don’t add enough liquid!
Tips for Using Coconut Flour: We love to pair coconut flour with almond flour or oat flour to achieve sturdy baked goods that have a soft, fluffy texture like in these muffins. Coconut flour (when used by itself) requires a higher liquid or egg ratio, but when you get that right it creates a magical soft texture. Like in coconut flour pancakes!
Honorable Mention – Tapioca Flour
What It Is: A baking essential, tapioca flour (also known as tapioca starch) is a sweet flour that is used as a thickening agent in gluten free recipes.
What It’s Best For: Extremely versatile, tapioca flour is used in everything from soups and stews to sauces, cookies, cake, bread, and more.
How to Measure – Grams to Cups Conversion
It is crucial to accurately measure your gluten free flour for baking. Otherwise, your recipes are likely to be dense, hard, or simply fall apart! For the most accurate results, we always recommend using a food scale. However, for easy cooking, download the chart below to make grams to cups conversions a breeze!
The Best Recipes to Use Gluten Free Flour
Pretty much any recipe that uses wheat flour can be made gluten free. If you’re looking for something specific, let us know in the comments below, and we’ll be happy to help! However, some of our all-time favorite recipes using gluten free four include: