Are you making cookies, but don’t want to use flour? Or maybe you’re all out of all purpose flour and you want to know what are the best ways to substitute for flour in cookies. Whatever the reason you’re here, you will find some amazing flour alternatives here.
A cookie is a flat round baked or cooked sweet treat that is usually made with flour, eggs, sugar, and some type of fat.
Most times when the word ‘flour’ is used in either a recipe, or just in regular conversation, it refers to the very popular all purpose flour also called AP flour, refined flour, plain flour, white flour, or less popularly standard flour. This type of flour has a mild flavor and is milled from the endosperm of hard and soft wheat.
So, if you’re out of flour, or you’ve just stopped using it and you’re looking for the best substitute for all-purpose flour in cookies then keep reading.
What are the best substitutes for flour in cookies?
The best substitutes for flour in cookies are pastry flour, whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, cake flour, self rising flour, bread flour, almond flour, coconut flour, whole grain oat flour, cassava flour, sunflower seed flour, lupin flour, corn flour, and rye flour.
Each will be discussed in more detail below.
Best substitutes for flour in cookies
A great sub for flour in cookies is pastry flour. Pastry flour is a low-protein flour that contains between 8 – 9% protein and is made from soft wheat. This type of flour works well because it has less protein which means less gluten and makes for light, flaky, and tender baked goods.
According to foodnetwork.com pastry flour is one of the best types of flour for many cookie recipes. Therefore, if you’re out of all purpose flour, but you have pastry flour available, then try it out! Or, you can find some pastry flour here.
Cake flour is another ingredient that can be used in place of all purpose flour in cookies. Cake flour is a soft type of flour milled from soft winter wheat that has no leavening agent or salt and has very little protein compared to other flour types. It is perfect for baking cakes of course, but this flour can also work for other sweet treats like certain cookies.
Cake flour is a very fine flour that is about 27 times finer than all purpose, so your baked goods come out with a very light, fluffy, or even delicate texture.
Because cake flour is super fine and gives less structure to baked goods when compared to all purpose, expect your cookies to be more crumbly.
Nonetheless, if this is all you have available, it can work for cakey chocolate chip cookies, light and crisp butter cookies, and even some sugar cookies!
Substitution: 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour = 1 cup standard all purpose flour
Self rising flour
If you happen to have self rising flour available, it can also be used in place of flour for your favorite cookie recipes. Self-rising flour is flour made from soft winter wheat with baking powder and salt added.
Therefore, self rising flour can be used as an alternative to all purpose flour to make any type of cookie recipe as long as you make the proper adjustments to the salt and baking powder i.e leave them out as this flour already contains these two ingredients.
Bread flour is a higher gluten flour milled from hard spring wheat that is formulated specifically to make bread. Bread flour contains about 12% protein, compared to the 11% protein found in all purpose and so bread loaves made with bread flour tend to rise higher.
However, while this type of flour is formulated for making bread, it can be used to make cookies too! Bread flour can be used to make chocolate chip cookies, coconut macaroons, and any other kind of cookie that you want as long as you don’t mind a chewier cookie texture.
100% Whole wheat flour
Another way to replace flour in cookies is with whole wheat flour or wholemeal flour. 100% whole wheat flour is a type of flour made by grinding hulled red wheat grain. Whole wheat flour has more nutrients and fiber and typically makes heavier, firmer textured baked goods. It also has a more nutty flavor and adds a brown color to baked goods.
It is great to use in your cookies if you want to make some cookies with better ingredients that are good for you. This flour can be used to make most types of cookies including chocolate chip cookies.
However, if you do not want healthier cookies or the thought of heavier baked cookies does not bode well with you, consider mixing whole wheat flour with other types of flour for lighter cookies.
White whole wheat flour
White whole wheat flour can also be used to replace flour in cookies. White whole wheat flour is made from milled hard white spring or winter wheat which means it is lighter in color and milder tasting compared to 100% whole wheat flour.
This type of flour offers you the perfect way to bake nutritious high-fiber cookies, without compromising the taste or color of the cookies like 100% whole wheat flour will. With white whole wheat flour, your cookies will be slightly more textured compared to nutrition-less all purpose, but it difference is very minimal in terms of texture and just as delicious!
Almond flour is a type of gluten free flour made by grinding and sifting blanched almonds until a flour-like consistency is achieved. This type of flour is great for people who follow gluten-free, keto, low carb, vegan, or even paleo eating regimes.
Cookies made with almond flour are very unlike the cookies you’re used to that are made with other kinds of flour like all-purpose or bread flour. Almond flour cookies are an acquired taste although they are the closest gluten-free substitute for standard flour cookies. I’ve made many almond flour cookies that actually taste good, so, if you’re looking for a good recipe, check out these melt-in-your-mouth, almond flour sugar cookies right here.
If you want to give almond flour cookies a go, grab yourself a bag of almond flour from Blue Diamond as this is one of the best types of almond flour on the market.
Substitution: 1 part almond flour = 1 part standard flour
Coconut flour is another gluten-free flour that can be used as a suitable alternative for all-purpose flour in cookies. Coconut flour is made from coconut meat that has been dried and ground until a flour-like consistency is achieved.
As you would expect, coconut flour has that distinct coconut-like flavor, which is unlike refined flour. However, coconut flour can be used to make most types of cookies including coconut flour chocolate chip cookies, coconut flour shortbread cookies, and more.
Note that coconut flour cookies taste different, but with some adjustments to the ingredients, you can make them surprisingly good!
Also, coconut flour absorbs a lot more liquid than all-purpose flour does so less of it is required when making cookies.
Lastly, this type of flour is gluten free so it requires binding agents like eggs, cream cheese, xanthan gum, etc to help the baked goods keep their structure.
Substitution: ¼ cup coconut flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour
Whole grain oat flour
Whole grain oat flour is another good sub for flour in cookies. Whole grain oat flour is made of 100% milled whole grain oat groats and has a light taste and texture.
This flour is gluten free so it does need binding agents like eggs and xanthan gum. It works well for baked goods like muffins and even cookies such as those delicious, soft, and fluffy oat flour chocolate chip cookies.
It’s simply a great substitute for white flour in cookies and other baked goods.
Substitution: 1 cup whole grain oat flour = 0.66 cups of plain flour
Cassava flour is also another good replacement for all purpose flour in cookies.
Cassava flour is a gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free flour made by drying and grinding the cassava root to form flour that has a mild flavor and light texture similar to that of wheat flour.
Cassava flour is great for baking cookies and makes for chewy cookies that are gluten-free!
Even though they are similar, cassava flour is lighter and more absorbent than all-purpose flour. Therefore, use slightly less cassava flour if a recipe calls for all-purpose, then adjust as needed. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of all-purpose, replace it with ¾ cup of cassava flour, then add a little more until you’re satisfied with the results.
Substitution: ¾ cup cassava flour = 1 cup AP flour
Sunflower seed flour
Sunflower seed flour is also great for making cookies. Sunflower seed flour is made from cold-milled sunflower seeds and has a mild flavor and fine texture. It is a great keto, vegan, grain-free, gluten-free, and paleo type of flour that is quite nutritious and bakes and cooks like regular flour.
Substitution: 1 part Sunflower seed flour = 1 part All purpose flour
Lupin flour is another type of flour that you can use as an alternative to regular flour. Lupin flour is made from lupin beans and this flour is high fiber, high protein, keto, and gluten-free.
This type of flour does have a bit of a slightly bitter, starchy taste that can be masked with the use of sweeteners. Therefore, it is great to use for cookies as the sweetener used in the cookies tends to help mask the bitterness of the flour. The other great thing about lupin flour is that it has a very similar texture to wheat flour.
Substitution: 1 part lupin flour = 1 part all-purpose flour
Rye flour can also be used to make cookies if you have no all purpose flour on hand. You use rye flour to make rye chocolate chip cookies, rye shortbread cookies, rye oatmeal cookies, and more.
If you happen to have some available, corn flour is also an ideal alternative for flour in cookies. Corn flour is a yellow powder made from finely ground dried corn that is used very similarly to other flours. Corn flour is gluten free, therefore, you can use it to make gluten free chocolate chip cookies for example.
How to make cookies without flour
Lastly, there are quite a few no flour cookies that you can make if you absolutely do not want to use flour in your cookies. Here are some delicious cookies without flour worth trying:
- Substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna
- Substitutes for heavy cream
- Substitutes for evaporated milk
- Substitutes for milk in cookies
- Substitutes for flour in gravy
- Substitutes for flour in pancakes
- Replacements for flour in baking