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Gluten Free Baking: Substituting Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is becoming a favorite substitute flour of many people on restricted diets because it’s not only gluten free but also high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. It’s lighter than almond flour, making it especially good for cakes, muffins, and breads. Coconut flour is much drier and absorbent than the average flour so if you’re substituting it, you’ll need to make some adjustments, here’s how:

When substituting coconut flour for all purpose or whole wheat flour, use the same amount of flour but add 1 extra egg (on top of what’s called for in the recipe) for every ounce of coconut flour. On average, 1/4 cup of coconut flour is equal to 1 ounce.

For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of all purpose flour and 2 eggs, use 1 cup of coconut flour and 6 eggs. This ratio of flour to eggs might seem crazy, but trust us, the coconut flour will absorb it up. As you’re experimenting with alternative flours, consider mixing coconut flour into the rotation.

  • Stephanie

    Thank you for this information! I can’t wait to start experimenting!

  • Bob Farquhar

    thanks, I make banana nut bread

  • E.A.

    For anyone who comes here like I did thinking this was correct, it is not even a little bit. The brownies I made were grainy, way too dry, and just overall inedible.

    • http://www.noshon.it/ Vijay – Editor @ NoshOn.It

      Sorry to hear that E.A.! There are a number of factors to consider that may have contributed to this happening. if you just substituted coconut flour for regular flour, did you make sure to add the extra egg required?

  • CoconutLover

    This is the normal ratio when subbing out wheat flour for coconut flour. However if you are inexperienced in this specific substitution it might be helpful to use recipes that work first, as opposed to taking your favorite brownie recipe and diving headfirst into new waters.

    That being said, coconut flour, is drier and a whole lot more absorbent than wheat flour. It does not produce the same texture, it is inherently different. However it is so much richer in protein and fiber than wheat flour so it is worth a second and third try.

    Please check out http://www.yummycoconut.com/ for recipes that use coconut flour and all the other yummy parts of the coconut.

  • Mary Golden

    so i the recipe calls for 2 cups of flour and 2 large eggs I should use 2 cups of coconut flour and 12 eggs?

    • http://www.noshon.it/ Vijay – Editor @ NoshOn.It

      @disqus_Y34KPluqWG:disqus Actually, it would be 10 eggs total. 2 cups of coconut flour = approximately 8 oz. in weight. Therefore, you need 8 additional eggs. Add that to the original 2 and you’ve got 10.

      Also, just as a word of warning, coconut flour does have a different texture than regular flour so I would encourage you to test this first to see if it works before relying on it for an occasion. Or, find a recipe that has been created and tested using coconut flour from the beginning to ensure the proper results.

      When you measure out 2 cups of coconut flour, it would be best if you can weight it. It should be close to 8 ounces, but may be more or less.

  • Paula

    i have a recipe that calls for 3 cups of flours and 4 eggs so I have to use 16 eggs? is that right?

    • http://www.noshon.it/ Vijay – Editor @ NoshOn.It

      Hi Paula – yes, that’s correct! My one warning is that coconut flour is inherently different in texture than white or wheat flours so I would strongly recommend testing this recipe before using it for an occasion. With 16 eggs, who knows what could happen so it’s best to try it first!

      • Lena

        Did the recipe work with 16 eggs?????

  • bluestockings

    I’m confused. The article is called “Gluten Free Baking,” but then the substitute for coconut flour is something *with* gluten. The “You might also like…” links also suggest that the page is discussing GF baking. So what would be a GF substitute for the coconut flour?

    • http://www.noshon.it/ Vijay – Editor @ NoshOn.It

      Thanks for writing in! The article is actually intended to be the other way around…if you have a recipe with all purpose flour but are gluten free, you can use coconut flour instead (which is gluten free.

  • Linda

    I came here looking for a substitute for coconut flour. I have a recipe that takes it and I want to substitute for it. This was no help.

    • http://www.noshon.it/ Vijay – Editor @ NoshOn.It

      Sorry to hear you didn’t find what you were looking for, Linda. The intention of this post was to talk about substituting coconut flour in for regular flour when you want to turn a recipe gluten free.

    • Donna Gilbert

      because you were on the wrong
      site!

  • Andrea Hockridge

    Holy crap that would be so many eggs. Is there anything you could use besides eggs?

    • Sierra

      i believe you can use flax meal. Try researching around on that a little bit to find the right ratio :)

      • Alisha

        you can use apple sauce, bananas i use vegetable or fruit puree.. 1/2 banana is equal to 1 egg

        • Alisha

          oh yea, and add an extra 1/4 -1/2 tsp of baking powder when substituting with banana or other variances.

  • irish

    gluten free
    recipe calls for 2 cups almond four — can I Use coconut flour as a substitute?

    • http://noshon.it/ Alex @ NoshOnIt

      That’s a difficult one that we can’t confidently answer without testing. Almond flour is gluten free as it is so if that’s your concern, you should be safe!

      • Monique

        Hi, I am following a recipe that is using almond flour, I’m substituting with coconut flour with no eggs in the recipe. Would you recommend doing 1cup of almond flour for 1cup of coconut flour and possibly adding some eggs? If so how many would you advise I add?

        • http://www.noshon.it/ Vijay – Editor @ NoshOn.It

          Monique – that is a particularly big challenge because coconut flour and almond flour have completely different properties and are not easily interchangeable. I probably would not recommend trying this substitution. Instead, if you can’t have almond flour, I would recommend looking for another recipe for the same dish using coconut flour that’s been tried and tested.

  • Carla

    Why not just use gluten free flour???

    • http://www.noshon.it/ Vijay – Editor @ NoshOn.It

      @disqus_FjPy1XggCu:disqus That’s always an option but this is just one of the many specific GF flours out there!

  • Sheranne

    Here is what I hope you can help me with! I want to make Chicken Velvet soup. How much coconut flour would give me the thickness of 1 cup regular flour? You don’t put eggs in this soup and adding an additional amount of cream or chicken stock to compensate for 1 cup of coconut flour would drastically change the taste, so I am thinking I need to just use a smaller amount of coconut flour, but how much? The other possibility is subbing some coconut flour and some buckwheat four. I am goign for low carb and what I have on hand. Hope you can help – thanks!

  • Jenny

    Thank you Vijay. The info was just what I was needing answers to. There are so many GF recipes out there, but I just wanted to know how to experiement with recipes by subbing just some of the flour out with coconut flour. This will allow me to compensate just the right amounts. THank you.

    • http://www.noshon.it/ Vijay – Editor @ NoshOn.It

      Happy to help Jenny! I definitely recommend putting this in your “experiment” bucket as every recipe with this large of an adjustment will be tricky.

  • g8rchik

    I am making a vegan cake that calls for 1 1/4 cups flour. I would also like to make it gluten free. There are no eggs in the recipe, so would I add more oil? or water? Or a combo? Or something else? Would love for this to work so both of my daughters can eat it (one is vegan, the other is GF)

  • Chaylin

    Ok. I’ve been researching this “no grain” thing since I want to switch. I found a chart for baking with coconut flour. It reads:
    1 cup of wheat/white flour or almond flour equals 1/3 cup coconut flour plus double the eggs plus an increase in liquids.
    I suppose that could be a little difficult to understand but that’s where trial and error come in…..

  • JESSIEMAE

    OK This is a great way to learn how to substitute regular flours with coconut or almond flours. I appreciate this site so much! Now, my question is, is there a diffenence between coconut and almond flours as to the extra egg etc?

    • http://www.noshon.it/ Vijay – Editor @ NoshOn.It

      @JESSIEMAE:disqus Sorry for the delay in getting back to you! As far as I know, almond flour does not have the same absorption properties as coconut flour so you most likely will not need the extra eggs.

  • Kelley

    Have you noticed that when swapping wheat flour for coconut flour, your baking time increases? Or do you think the time is pretty even?

    • Kelley

      I meant that to read coconut flour for wheat flour. I am using CF instead of regular flour. Thanks!

  • Mica

    that was just what i needed to know! Thanks!

  • Kristine

    Can almond flour be evenly substituted for all purpose flour?

  • Pyriel Atlas Infinity

    What if the recipe doesn’t require eggs? Im trying to make an Apple Betty but I did not want to use All purpose flour. I have coconut flour and Almond meal! any advice would help. Im just trying to use up some left over apples and oranges I have,

    • http://www.noshon.it/ Vijay – Editor @ NoshOn.It

      @pyrielatlasinfinity:disqus That’s a tough one. I would try searching for a vegan or gluten free apple betty recipe that might be able to point you in the right direction!

      • Pyriel Atlas Infinity

        I had been searching for some time before coming here and I still searched more after, Hun. I ended up making one with almond meal and adding a small amount of coconut flour and the fresh squeezed orange as liquid compensation. Turned out pretty good. Reheated it dried out so I just covered it with some coconut milk and it was a make shift Tres Leche Apple Betty but it was still a hit with my two year old so I know I did well.
        Thank you though for taking the time to respond :) and the information is still very helpful over all.

  • nina

    why not just reduce the amount of coconut flour instead of increasing the number of eggs (or liquid) ? e.g. for every cup of AP, use 1/4 cup of coconut

    • http://www.noshon.it/ Vijay – Editor @ NoshOn.It

      The main reason would be that sometimes you need a certain volume of dry ingredients compared to wet ingredients. If you reduce the amount of coconut flour, your ratios might be completely off with regards to the other items in your recipe.