If you are out of rice flour but your recipe calls for it, no need to worry! There are a number of great rice flour substitutes and we will cover them all, and how to use them, below.
Rice flour is traditionally used in making South Indian pancakes as well as rice noodles. But they have many other uses including a gluten free alternative for baking cakes, cupcakes, and biscuits.
No matter what you need a rice flour substitute for, you will find what you need here.
So what are the best substitutes for rice flour?
The top rice flour substitutes are almond flour, coconut flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, millet flour, chickpea flour, and sorghum flour.
Best Rice Flour Alternatives
Below you will find both gluten free and gluten rice flour alternatives. If using a gluten free replacement is important, you have a number of great options. And if staying gluten free is of no concern, any of the substitutes to come will work well.
Produced by blanching and grinding almonds, this is an exceptional gluten free rice flour substitute.
Almond flour is an incredibly versatile option. It works in many recipes, and particularly shines in baked goods.
This rice flour alternative produces delicious cakes, cupcakes, and more. It offers a mild flavor, which means it will not overpower the other flavors in your recipe.
There are a couple areas where almond flour is not ideal. Because it is gluten free, it is not great for baking breads. If you wish to bake bread with a rice flour substitute, a gluten option is the way to go.
Almond flour is additionally not well suited for breading fried foods. Almond flour burns when fried, leaving a charred and unappetizing flavor.
You can still use almond flour with one adjustment. When preparing your fried recipe do everything the same, except instead of frying your dish, bake it instead. This works with many fried recipes and is worth a try if almond flour is all you have on hand.
Coconut flour is one of the most versatile rice flour replacements you can use. It works well in all types of recipes.
It offers a subtle coconut flavor that is not too strong, and pairs well with desserts of all kinds.
It is both gluten free as well as grain free making it a great option all around.
Coconut flour is a popular thickening agent. It works as well as cornstarch when you need to thicken a mixture or batter.
And speaking of batter, coconut flour is great as a fried breading. It holds up well and produces a crisp and delicious crust.
It also boasts a solid nutritional profile. Coconut flour is high in fiber as well as containing numerous vitamins and minerals.
Coconut flour is denser than rice flour which means you will use a 1:2 ratio when subbing it in.
You should also increase your liquid ingredients when using coconut flour. It requires more moisture than rice flour, so increase your wet ingredients by 10% each.
Cornstarch is the most widely used thickening agent and is used in countless soups, sauces and more.
So if you are making a soup, sauce, pie filling, or gravy that calls for rice flour then cornstarch is your best substitution option.
It is gluten free and can be used in a 1:1 ratio.
Cornstarch also works well when frying foods. It is a solid breading option and also can be used at a 1:1 ratio.
While not my first choice, cornstarch does do the job in baked recipes as well. I’ve found the flavor to be a little lacking when using cornstarch alone in baked goods but if no other alternatives are available it will work in a pinch.
If you need a gluten free rice flour substitute for thickening or baking then tapioca flour is a solid choice.
It offers a subtle flavor that works well in cookies, donuts, pancakes, waffles, and pastries.
It is not recommended for frying recipes or baked breads though as it suffers the same issues all gluten free flours do.
Because it offers a slightly sweet flavor, it really shines when used in cakes, pastries and pancakes.
But it just may be the best gluten free rice flour substitute for thickening after cornstarch.
When using tapioca flour you will use a 2:1 ratio.
Tapioca flour shines in recipes where you want a crispy or flaky crust such as pastries
Millet flour is a popular substitute for brown rice flour. It is gluten free and quite versatile.
It has a light, nut like flavor that works in virtually all recipes. It performs near identical to rice flour meaning it can be used in any recipe that calls for rice flour.
In baked goods it produces soft, delicious cakes, breads, and pastries. And when used to fry, it creates a perfect golden crust.
Compared to all the gluten free alternatives, millet flour bakes the best. Cakes and muffins come out light and moist while breads even turn out surprisingly well.
And don’t forget millet flour when it’s breakfast time. Pancakes and waffles made with this flour come out light and fluffy.
All Purpose Flour
If you do not need a gluten free substitute, all purpose flour is the best of the best. It works in absolutely every recipe that calls for rice flour and it is the king of baked goods.
All-purpose flour is readily available in most kitchens as well as being quite affordable.
All purpose flour is the standard to which all flours are judged. And for good reason.
Cakes, cupcakes, bread, and pastries all come out wonderful when using all purpose flour.
While most readers will be looking for a gluten free alternative, if that is of no concern to you then all purpose flour is the best option hands down.
Chickpea flour is not the most commonly used option but it is another excellent gluten free rice flour replacement.
It does quite well at binding to other ingredients and it really shines when making pancakes and waffles. I’ve even found success when making classic crepes with chickpea flour.
It also works well when making flat breads and tortilla shells. It does not do as well with light fluffy baked goods but if you don’t mind a flat presentation it works for any recipe.
The flavor is light and subtle so it won’t overpower other flavors in your dish.
Use a 1:1 ratio when using in place of rice flour.
Keep in mind that chickpea flour absorbs a lot of moisture, so increasing your wet ingredients a bit will likely be necessary.
Chickpea flour can be found in most specialty stores but can be hard to locate at the local grocery store.
Making your own is an option though. Making chickpea flour is fairly simple.
Add dry chickpeas to your food processor or blender and mix until a fine powder is made.
This is not my favorite rice flour alternative but many people find great success with it. It is gluten free but it does offer a strong, bitter flavor. For this reason I find it subpar, particularly in desserts and baked recipes.
Most people will find that adding more sweetness will be necessary when using sorghum flour.
The one area it surpasses rice flour is in making bread. It rises much better than most other gluten free flours.
For this reason, I recommend using it only for breads and to go with one of the other options above for other types of recipes.
Rice Flour Substitute FAQ
Can I substitute regular flour for rice flour?
All purpose flour is one of the best substitutes for rice flour. It is not gluten free, so if that is important you will want to use a different option.
What can I substitute for white rice flour?
Any of the substitutes found above can be used in place of white rice flour. The top substitutes are almond flour, coconut flour, and all-purpose flour.
Can I replace rice flour with almond flour?
Yes, almond flour is an excellent substitute for rice flour.
Best substitute for rice flour in shortbread
Cornstarch and sorghum flour are the best gluten free substitutes for rice flour when making shortbread.
If gluten is not an issue, all-purpose flour is the top alternative.
What is a substitute for rice flour in mochi?
The best replacement for rice flour when making mochi are cornstarch and tapioca flour. Use a 1:1 ratio.
What is a rice flour alternative for kimchi?
Rice flour is not required for making kimchi. It’s purpose is to evenly spread the kimchi paste. A teaspoon of sugar can be used in it’s place.