9 Best Substitute For Cassava Flour

Cassava Flour Substitute

Cassava flour is an increasingly popular alternative to wheat flour, cherished for its versatility, gluten-free, and grain-free nature. Hailing from the root of the cassava plant, this flour is a staple in several global cuisines, and recently it has found a firm place in health-conscious kitchens around the world. Its unique texture and subtle flavor make it a favorite in baking, cooking, and even as a thickening agent.

However, as adaptable as cassava flour is, there may be instances when you’re out of it or prefer to use a different option, perhaps due to dietary needs, flavor profiles, or specific recipe requirements. This is where understanding the best substitutes for cassava flour comes in handy. From the protein-rich almond flour to the high fiber coconut flour, or even the simple, starchy goodness of cornstarch, these alternatives each bring unique attributes to the table, ensuring that your culinary creativity need not be hindered.

What is Cassava Flour?

Cassava flour comes from the cassava plant, a staple crop in South America, Asia, and Africa. It’s derived from the whole root, making it different from tapioca starch which is extracted from the root. Cassava flour is nutrient-rich, gluten-free, grain-free, and nut-free, making it an excellent option for those with specific dietary needs. It’s neutral in taste, and its unique texture lends well to a variety of baking recipes, especially those that require a flour with a closer consistency to wheat flour.

Substitution Station: Alternatives to Cassava Flour

  • Coconut flour
  • Almond flour
  • Rice flour
  • Potato starch
  • Arrowroot flour
  • Tapioca flour
  • Chickpea flour
  • Sorghum flour
  • Cornstarch

Best Substitutes For Cassava Flour

Sometimes a culinary adventure calls for some improvisation. Let’s delve deeper into the best substitutes for cassava flour, each offering unique qualities that can still give your dishes the texture and flavor they need.

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour, derived from dried coconut meat, is a high-fiber, low-carb, gluten-free alternative to cassava flour. It has a mild sweetness that can enhance the flavor profile of your baked goods.

In the first paragraph, we’ve highlighted its origins and primary characteristics. But coconut flour also offers additional benefits. Due to its high fiber content, it can absorb a lot of liquid, which means you’ll need less quantity compared to cassava flour. This could be a game-changer in your baking, as it would mean altering your recipes slightly to adjust the moisture levels.

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However, it’s worth noting that coconut flour tends to make your baked goods more dense due to its heavy consistency. As a tip, consider combining it with other lighter flours or ingredients to balance the density and achieve the desired texture in your recipes.

Almond Flour

Almond flour, another popular gluten-free alternative, is made from ground almonds. It’s rich in nutrients and carries a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that pairs well with many recipes.

Almond flour’s texture is somewhat similar to cassava flour, although it is denser and has a more granular feel. This can lend a different but delightful texture to your baked goods, adding a bit of crunch that cassava flour might not offer.

In terms of usage, almond flour can typically be used in a 1:1 ratio in place of cassava flour. However, due to its higher fat content, you may need to adjust the amount of liquid or fat elsewhere in the recipe to prevent your end product from becoming too moist or oily.

Rice Flour

Made from finely milled rice, rice flour is another fantastic gluten-free substitute for cassava flour. It’s quite versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes from baked goods to thickening sauces.

When using rice flour as a substitute for cassava flour, it’s essential to note the type you’re using. White rice flour tends to be lighter and more delicate, while brown rice flour has a nuttier taste and denser texture. The choice between the two would depend on the specific requirements of your recipe.

Keep in mind that rice flour might not provide the same elasticity as cassava flour in your baking, which might affect the texture of your finished product. To counter this, consider combining rice flour with other gluten-free flours or additives such as xanthan gum to improve the texture.

Potato Starch

Potato starch, extracted from potatoes, is a gluten-free, grain-free substitute that can mimic many of the properties of cassava flour. Its light, fluffy texture makes it a fantastic thickening agent in soups, sauces, and gravies.

While potato starch can serve as a useful substitute for cassava flour, keep in mind that it has a very mild flavor. If you’re looking to substitute it in a recipe that relies on the taste of the flour, potato starch might not be the best choice.

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Also, potato starch tends to absorb a lot of moisture and can make your baked goods a bit more chewy than usual. To balance this out, consider combining it with other gluten-free flours to achieve the desired texture in your recipes.

Arrowroot Flour

Arrowroot flour, made from the starch of the arrowroot plant, is another gluten-free, grain-free alternative. It has a very light, powdery texture and is great for thickening sauces, gravies, and soups.

When using arrowroot flour as a substitute for cassava flour, it’s best to mix it with other flours as it can result in a slightly gummy texture when used alone. However, when used correctly, arrowroot flour can give your baked goods a light and crispy texture that’s hard to achieve with other flours.

As arrowroot flour is a starchy flour, it might make your baked goods a bit denser. To counteract this, you could consider combining it with lighter flours or adding a little extra rising agent to your recipes.

Tapioca Flour

Tapioca flour, another product of the cassava plant, is a popular gluten-free substitute. It’s a starchy, slightly sweet flour that’s great for thickening soups, sauces, fillings, and used in baking.

Tapioca flour tends to create a chewy texture and can add a bit of a glossy sheen to your recipes. Its fine texture and neutral flavor make it a great substitute for cassava flour in many recipes, although the end result might be slightly different in terms of texture.

In terms of substitution ratio, you can generally use tapioca flour in a 1:1 ratio in place of cassava flour. However, keep in mind that because it’s a highly absorbent flour, you may need to adjust the other liquid ingredients in your recipe to avoid a dry or crumbly outcome.

Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour, made from ground chickpeas, is an excellent source of protein and fiber. Its slightly nutty flavor and dense texture make it a great addition to various dishes.

While chickpea flour can be a good substitute for cassava flour, it’s important to keep in mind that it has a stronger flavor that might come through in your dishes. It’s best suited for savory recipes where the flavor can complement the other ingredients.

As chickpea flour is denser than cassava flour, it might make your baked goods a bit heavier. To balance this out, you might want to combine chickpea flour with other lighter, gluten-free flours to achieve the desired texture.

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Sorghum Flour

Sorghum flour is a nutrient-rich, gluten-free flour made from the sorghum grain. It’s mild in flavor and can be used in a variety of recipes as a substitute for cassava flour.

One thing to note about sorghum flour is its texture. It’s a bit coarser than cassava flour, so it might change the texture of your baked goods slightly. This can be a bonus if you’re looking for a bit of added texture in your recipe.

In terms of usage, you can substitute sorghum flour for cassava flour in a 1:1 ratio in most recipes. However, due to its dry nature, you may need to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe to prevent your end product from being too dry.


Cornstarch, a fine, starchy powder derived from corn, is an excellent thickening agent and can be used as a substitute for cassava flour in certain recipes, particularly in baking and for thickening sauces and gravies.

While cornstarch can be a useful substitute, it’s essential to understand that it’s not a perfect 1:1 substitution. Because it’s pure starch, it lacks the proteins found in cassava flour, which can affect the texture of your finished product. Therefore, it’s often best used in conjunction with other flours when replacing cassava flour in recipes.

Also, cornstarch can give a somewhat glossy finish to your dishes, so be mindful of this if the appearance of your recipe is a critical factor.

Substitutes for Cassava Flour: Nutritional Profile

Here’s a general overview of the nutritional profiles of these substitutes in comparison to cassava flour. This table represents the nutritional values in a ¼ cup serving:

Flour TypeGlutenCaloriesFat (g)Carbs (g)Fiber (g)Protein (g)
Cassava FlourGluten-free1140.32821
Coconut FlourGluten-free120416104
Almond FlourGluten-free16014636
Rice FlourGluten-free14513212
Potato StarchGluten-free16003800
Arrowroot FlourGluten-free10002510
Tapioca FlourGluten-free10002600
Chickpea FlourGluten-free178327510
Sorghum FlourGluten-free12012524

*Note: The nutritional values may vary slightly depending on the brand and the precise measurement of a ¼ cup.

Wrapping it up

The world of gluten-free, grain-free baking is certainly not limited to cassava flour. As we’ve discovered, numerous substitutes each come with unique properties and nutritional profiles, making them worthy alternatives in your culinary journey. Whether it’s the high fiber content of coconut flour, the sweet and nutty flavor of almond flour, or the excellent thickening properties of cornstarch, there’s a suitable substitute out there for everyone. So the next time you find your pantry lacking cassava flour, don’t panic; your perfect substitute is probably already sitting on your shelf!

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