If you’re gluten-free, you know that finding good substitutes for flour can be tricky. Rice flour is a common substitution, but what are the best rice flour substitutes? These include: cornstarch, all-purpose flour, gluten-free flour, almond flour, and coconut flour.

Bowl of rice flour with grains of rice.

Overview of Rice Flour

Rice flour is a type of flour made from finely milled rice. It’s a popular ingredient in many gluten-free and grain-free recipes, as it’s a good alternative to wheat flour.

Here are some ideas on how to use rice flour:

  • Baking: Rice flour can be used in place of wheat flour in many baked goods recipes. It’s especially well-suited for making cakes, pancakes, cookies, and other desserts.
  • Sauces and gravies: Rice flour can be used to thicken sauces and gravies in the same way that you would use all-purpose flour. It’s a great thickening agent.
  • Coating: Rice flour can be used to coat chicken or fish before frying. It’s a great gluten-free alternative to all-purpose flour.
  • Rice pudding: It can be used to make a creamy rice pudding popular in Asian cuisine.
Bowls of rice pudding with grains of rice and anise.

How does rice flour differ from wheat flour?

There are a few key differences between rice flour and wheat flour:

  • Rice flour is gluten-free, while wheat flour contains gluten. This means that rice flour is a good option for people who are allergic to or sensitive to gluten.
  • Rice flour is made from milled rice, while wheat flour is made from milled wheat. This gives rice flour a slightly different flavor and texture than wheat flour.
  • Rice flour is light and airy, while wheat flour is heavier. This means that recipes made with rice flour may not rise as much as those made with wheat flour.

Best Rice Flour Substitutes

When it comes to finding a good substitute for rice flour, there are a few things you need to take into account.

The first is what you’re using the flour for. Are you looking for a type of flour to use in baking or cooking? The second thing to consider is what kind of flavor and texture you’re looking for.

Rice flour is relatively neutral in taste, but most of the substitutes will add flavor and even a slightly nutty flavor in some cases. So, just know that.

And because it’s so fine, rice flour can lend a light and delicate texture to baked goods. If you’re looking for something with a bit more heft, you’ll want to choose a substitute that has a coarser grind.

Now that you know a little bit about rice flour, let’s take a look at some of the best substitutes in case you don’t have it on hand or you run out and need something else.

1. Cornstarch

Cornstarch can be a great substitute for rice flour, especially if you are looking for a gluten-free option. You can find it in most grocery stores.

I use it to thicken a sauce or gravy, and it is also good for frying or coating meats. It can also be used to make thicken pudding like my Vegan Pumpkin Pudding.

When using cornstarch, it is best to make a slurry first by mixing it with a little cold water. This will help to prevent lumps and ensure that it mixes evenly into your dish.

To substitute one cup of rice flour, use one cup of corn starch.

Jar of cornstarch with corn and spoon.

2. All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour is a common ingredient in many recipes, but it can also be used as a substitute for other types of flour, including rice flour.

However, all-purpose flour is not gluten-free, so it should be avoided if you are following a gluten-free diet.

To use all-purpose flour as a substitute for rice flour, simply substitute it one for one and use in the same way as you would use regular flour. It’s an excellent substitute.

To substitute one cup of rice flour, use one cup of all-purpose flour.

Scoop with all purpose flour and wheat grains.

3. Gluten-Free Baking Flour

Most gluten-free baking flours can be used to substitute for rice flour.

The go-to brand that I like is Bob’s 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour. It has a neutral flavor and bakes very similarly to rice flour. As far as a gluten-free substitute for rice flour, it’s an excellent substitute.

To substitute one cup of rice flour, use one cup of gluten-free baking flour.

Gluten free flours on spoons placed horizontal.

4. Almond Flour

Almond flour is a great alternative to rice flour that also has the benefit of being grain-free and paleo-friendly. I find it has a similar texture to rice flour, so almond flour can be used in many of the same ways.

Almond flour is also high in protein and healthy fats, making it a nutritious option for people with gluten sensitivities. Almonds also have health benefits including helping to improve cardiovascular function and acting as a prebiotic.

If you use almond flour to substitute for rice flour, just know that the final product will be heavier and will have a lot more calories than if you used rice flour. So, plan accordingly. For starters, try these Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies.

To substitute one cup of rice flour, use one cup of almond flour.

Scoop of almond flour with almonds on bamboo mat.

5. Coconut Flour

I have found coconut flour to be another great alternative to rice flour since it’s naturally low in digestible carbohydrates. Coconut flour is gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly, and low in carbs.

I like this flour since it provides you with more fiber in your diet. Coconut flour is slightly sweet, and I would recommend adding it to smooth out the flavor profile when you are baking. Give these coconut flour Coconut Flour Muffins a try.

Cooking with coconut flour can be kind of tricky, though. It tends to absorb the liquid in any recipe, so you’ll likely need to add more liquid if you are substituting coconut flour for rice flour.

To substitute one cup of rice flour, use 1/2 cup of coconut flour. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe though, as coconut flour will absorb more liquid than rice flour.

Scoop of coconut flour with coconut in background.

Bonus recommendations

If you need rice flour for a recipe but you don’t have it on hand, there are other choices than the ones listed above. You can also try sorghum flour, chickpea flour, oat flour, tapioca starch, or buckwheat flour.

These all make a great gluten-free substitute for rice flour.

Substituting Rice Flour FAQs

Is sweet rice flour the same as regular rice flour?

There are several types of rice flour, including brown rice flour, white rice flour, and sweet rice flour. Each type of rice flour comes from a different type of rice. Most recipes call for either brown rice flour or white rice flour. Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour) will have more starch in it and is most commonly used for making mochi (a Japanese dessert).

If I’m making mochi, can I use white rice flour or brown rice flour?

You would ideally use sweet rice flour for making mochi, as it has the most starch and will provide the best texture.

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There are a variety of substitutes for rice flour that can be used depending on what you need it for. If you are looking for a gluten-free option, cornstarch or coconut flour are good choices. And if you’re looking for a flour that will impart its own flavor, almond flour is a good option.

All in all, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing a substitute for rice flour. The best option for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

Do you have a favorite substitute for rice flour? Share it in the comments below!

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About the Author: Carrie Forrest has a master’s degree in public health with a specialty in nutrition. She is a top wellness and food blogger with nearly 10 million annual visitors to her site. Carrie has an incredible story of recovery from chronic illness and is passionate about helping other women transform their health. Send Carrie a message through her contact form.