12 Best Substitutes for All-Purpose Flour – What to use Instead

Have you ever found yourself in a bind because you had run out of all-purpose flour and needed to make something? Or maybe an allergy has made you search for other options.

Either way, there are plenty of substitutes for all-purpose flour that can be used in your recipes. Some flours work better than others depending on what type of recipe you’re

In this article, I’ll share with you the 12 best substitutes for all-purpose flour, what they work best in, and give you some tips on using them.

Substitutes for All-Purpose Flour

  1. Bread flour
  2. Cake flour
  3. Whole-wheat flour
  4. Almond flour
  5. Chickpea flour
  6. Soy flour
  7. Coconut flour
  8. Rice flour
  9. Gluten-free flour
  10. Buckwheat flour
  11. Pastry flour
  12. Self-rising flour

Bread flour

Bread flour is a popular substitute for all-purpose flour in baking and cooking. Unlike regular all-purpose flour, which is made from a blend of hard and soft wheat, bread flour is composed entirely of soft wheat.

This gives it higher protein content, making it ideal for creating crispy crusts, light textures, and sturdy loaves of bread.

Bread flour can also be substituted one-for-one with all-purpose flour in most recipes, making it an easy and versatile alternative to use when baking at home.

Additionally, because bread flour has such strong gluten content and is typically less refined than conventional flours, it may offer some additional health benefits over standard alternatives.

Whether you’re looking to amp up the flavor or nutrition of your baked goods, or just seeking an easy way to avoid excess gluten consumption, bread flour makes an excellent choice for anyone wanting to experiment with their cooking routine.

So if you’re looking for a new go-to ingredient in the kitchen, consider giving bread flour a try!

Cake flour

Cake flour is a great substitute for all-purpose flour, particularly when it comes to baking. Cake flour is finer than traditional all-purpose flour, making it ideal for creating lighter and more tender baked goods.

Additionally, because cake flour has less protein content than all-purpose flour, it tends to produce more consistent results and has less of a tendency to form tough gluten structures.

While there are many cases in which cake flour can be used as a substitute for all-purpose flour, some of the most common include making cakes, pancakes, or other types of batter, as well as light and airy biscuits dough.

Overall, the benefits of using this substitute are numerous – from creating more consistent and flavorful results to delivering superior texture.

Whether you’re looking for a better pastry recipe or just want to experiment with different baking techniques, cake flour is undoubtedly worth considering!

Whole-wheat flour

Whole-wheat flour is a suitable substitute for all-purpose flour in most cases. Whole-wheat flour is made from the entire wheat kernel, including the germ and bran. This results in a higher fiber and nutrient-rich flour than all-purpose flour.

Whole-wheat flour can be used in place of all-purpose flour in most recipes, although you may need to make adjustments to the amount of liquid used.

In general, you will need to use more liquid when substituting whole-wheat flour for all-purpose flour. For example, if you were attempting to bake a cake, you may need to add an extra leavening agent like baking powder to help it rise.

However, the higher fiber content of whole-wheat flour can result in a more dense and moist cake.

Therefore, it is important to experiment with different ratios of whole-wheat flour to all-purpose flour until you find a combination that works for you.

Almond flour

Almond flour is a favored substitute for all-purpose flour, and for a good reason. It offers a less traditional flavor profile than standard flour, but it is also much healthier.

Almond flour is lower in carbohydrates and contains fewer calories than all-purpose flour.

Almond flour is high in protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E. It is also easier to digest than all-purpose flour and can be used as a replacement in most recipes.

Whether you are looking for alternatives to standard wheat flour or simply seeking a healthier option, almond flour makes an excellent choice for all your baking needs.

Chickpea flour

Chickpea flour, or garbanzo flour, is a versatile substitute for all-purpose flour. Chickpea flour is made from ground chickpeas and has a slightly nutty flavor that can add depth to a wide variety of dishes.

Chickpea flour can be used as a one-to-one replacement for all-purpose flour when baking cakes and cookies. This makes it an easy way to add nutritional value to classic desserts.

Chickpea flour is also dense and high in protein, which makes it ideal for use in gluten-free recipes.

Overall, this simple substitution can be used in a variety of cooking styles and recipes to add lightness, texture, and nutrition to your favorite dishes.

So the next time you’re looking for an alternative to all-purpose flour, look no further than chickpea flour!

Soy flour

Soy flour is a great substitute for all-purpose flour, as it is packed with nutrients and offers many benefits for the body.

Soybeans are high in protein and other important vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent source of energy and nutrition.

Soy flour also has superior binding properties, which makes it ideal for dredging meat or coating fried foods.

Additionally, because soy flour contains no gluten, it can be safely used by people with gluten sensitivities or allergies.

Overall, using soy flour as a substitute for all-purpose flour is an easy way to boost your health while enjoying the wide range of culinary possibilities offered by this versatile ingredient.

Coconut flour

Coconut flour is a versatile flour that can be used as a replacement for all-purpose flour in many recipes. Coconut flour is made from the pulp of the coconut and is high in fiber and protein.

Coconut flour is also gluten-free, making it a good choice for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

When substituting coconut flour for all-purpose flour, it is important to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Coconut flour is very absorbent, so you will need to use less of it than you would all-purpose flour.
  • Coconut flour also tends to make baked goods denser, so it is important to add an extra egg or two to your recipe when using this substitution.
  • Coconut flour also has a very strong flavor of coconut, so if you don’t like the taste of coconut, you may want to avoid using this flour as a replacement.

With these tips in mind, using coconut flour as a substitute for all-purpose flour can help you create delicious and nutritious baked goods.

Rice flour

Rice flour is a fantastic substitute for all-purpose flour, especially when used in baking. Compared to other flours, rice flour has a neutral flavor that allows it to blend seamlessly into almost any recipe.

In addition, it is naturally gluten-free, making it a great choice for anyone with food allergies or sensitivities.

Rice flour also tends to be lighter and more grainy than many other types of flour, giving baked goods a slightly different texture that some people find more enjoyable.

Overall, rice flour is an excellent option for anyone looking for a versatile and allergy-friendly substitute for all-purpose flour.

Gluten-free flour

Gluten-free flour is a type of flour made from grains that do not contain gluten. These include rice, tapioca, potato, and bean flour. Gluten-free flour can be used as a substitute for all-purpose flour in many recipes.

It is important to note that gluten-free flour often has a different texture and flavor than all-purpose flour, so it may not be suitable for all applications. However, it can be a good option for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Gluten-free flour is also generally lower in carbs than all-purpose flour, making it a good option for those on a low-carb diet.

Buckwheat flour

Buckwheat flour is a great substitute for all-purpose flour in many different cooking and baking applications.

Buckwheat flour is a good choice for people looking for high-protein flour. It has more protein than other types of alternative flour, like chickpea or spelt flour.

Additionally, buckwheat flour is a gluten-free option that can be useful for those with food allergies or intolerances to wheat.

Overall, the versatility of buckwheat flour makes it a wonderful addition to any home cook’s pantry.

Pastry flour

Pastry flour is another very suitable replacement for all-purpose flour in many applications. Compared to all-purpose flour, pastry flour has a much lower gluten content, which makes it ideal for tender baked goods like biscuits and pies.

Pastry flour also produces more tender crusts, helping to create a lighter and flakier texture.

Furthermore, pastry flour is typically milled more finely than other types of wheat, which means that it absorbs less water during the baking process. This results in less gluten formation, reducing the toughness and density of baked goods made with pastry flour.

Using this versatile substitute can surely help you make delicious and light baked goods that are sure to impress your family and friends.

Self-rising flour

Self-rising flour is a type of flour that contains rising agents such as baking powder and salt. It can be used as a substitute for all-purpose flour in many recipes.

Self-rising flour is especially well suited for recipes that call for a light, tender texture, such as biscuits or pancakes. The baking powder in self-rising flour helps to leaven the dough and create a light, airy finished product.

Because self-rising flour already contains salt, there is no need to add additional salt to the recipe. This can be a benefit for people who are watching their sodium intake.

In addition, self-rising flour is often less expensive than all-purpose flour. For these reasons, self-rising flour is a good choice for many baking recipes.

All-purpose flour substitute for frying

A quick substitute for all-purpose flour in frying is to use cornstarch or baking powder. Both of these ingredients are readily available and suitable for frying.

Cornstarch is a very fine, powdery starch that helps to thicken sauces and batters and prevent starchy foods from becoming gummy or sticky. It also has the ability to absorb a lot of oil, so it is perfect for use when deep-frying.

All-purpose flour substitute for cake

You can use pastry flour, self-rising flour, or gluten-free flour as substitutes for all-purpose flour in cake recipes.

Pastry flour is a good choice for cakes that are supposed to be light and airy, such as angel food cake or chiffon cake. Self-rising flour can also be used in many different types of cake recipes.

Can I use plain flour instead of all-purpose flour?

Yes, plain flour is essentially the same as all-purpose flour. The two terms are often used interchangeably.

Plain flour is a type of milled wheat that has been refined and contains no added ingredients. All-purpose flour is also a type of milled wheat that has been refined, but it often has a small amount of added baking powder to help with

All-purpose flour substitute for pancakes

You can use almond flour, gluten-free flour, or coconut flour as substitutes for all-purpose flour in pancakes.

Almond flour is a good choice for people who are looking for a gluten-free or low-carbohydrate option. Gluten-free flour is also a good choice for people with gluten intolerances or allergies.

All-purpose flour substitute for cookies

You can substitute all-purpose flour for cake or pastry flour when making cookies. Cake flour is a type of milled wheat that has been refined, bleached, and sifted to remove the bran and germ. This results in a lighter, finer texture.

Pastry flour is well suited for cookies with a tender, crumbly texture. It is often used in recipes such as shortbread


These alternatives to all-purpose flour can help you create delicious and unique baked goods. With a little creativity, you can use these substitutes to make all kinds of recipes, from pancakes to cakes to cookies. So don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for you.

Leave a Reply