At some point, you might be wondering: can I use baking powder instead of cornstarch?
Cornstarch is a pure starch powder extracted from corn kernels by removing the outer bran and germ, leaving only the starch-rich endosperm.
Cornstarch has few health benefits unless you are underweight or a bodybuilder looking to bulk up. In such cases, cornstarch can significantly increase a person’s calorie intake.
Another advantage of cornstarch is that it is gluten-free. There are, however, risks. It can slow carbohydrate conversion and cause a spike in blood glucose levels if consumed in large amounts.
Consuming starches can also raise one’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Cornstarch lacks the nutrients found in whole corn, such as protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which slows the absorption of glucose.
Cornstarch is a common kitchen ingredient that is used for a variety of purposes. When heated, starch absorbs a lot of water, which is why cornstarch is used as a thickening agent in so many different sauces, fillings, and gravies.
We all know that thickening agents are an essential ingredient in making our favorite recipes more convenient, whether you’re making a delicious pie filling, frying for a crispy crust, or trying to perfect a gravy recipe.
If you don’t have cornstarch on hand, you might be wondering what a suitable cornstarch substitute is.
So you don’t have to panic the next time you run out of cornstarch, we’ve compiled a list of suitable substitutes to try.
Check out our favorite cornstarch substitutes below to save yourself a trip to the store!
Can I Use Baking Powder Instead of Cornstarch?
Baking powder is a common ingredient in many households, but is it safe to substitute it for cornstarch? In most cases, the answer is no. It’s not a good idea to substitute baking powder or baking soda for cornstarch.
The issue is that baking powder has a completely different flavor than cornstarch, which can cause the dish to taste different. Both of these ingredients have chemical properties that contribute to their use as leavening agents.
If you put baking powder in a sauce or soup, it may not taste very good. It is usually preferable to substitute something else, such as a water and flour mixture or something else that does not significantly alter the flavor of the dish.
Can you use cornstarch instead of baking powder? Read our article to find out!
When in a pinch, wheat flour can easily be substituted for cornstarch. Wheat flour is the most commonly used flour in baking, so you’re more than likely to have this alternative on hand in your pantry or cupboard!
There are various types of wheat flour, and they are distinguished by the amount of gluten they contain.
When substituting wheat flour for cornstarch, keep in mind that while cornstarch will give the thickened recipe a glossy shine, flour will not have the same effect, resulting in a more matte final product.
You’ll need about 3 tablespoons of flour for every 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. It’s also worth noting that you’ll need to cook the recipe you’re thickening for a few minutes longer to ensure that the raw flavor of the flour isn’t present.
Rice flour is an excellent substitute for cornstarch! Rice flour is a highly versatile flour made from finely milled rice. It is a common ingredient used to thicken both sweet and savory sauces and is commonly found in Asian dishes.
Rice flour differs from rice starch, which is typically produced by soaking rice in lye. Rice flour, in general, is colorless when mixed with water, making it an especially useful ingredient to have on hand when thickening clear liquids and recipes.
Rice flour is gluten-free, readily available, and inexpensive! Unlike many gluten-free products, rice flour is reasonably priced, making it an excellent addition to your kitchen cupboard or pantry. It won’t break the bank as a cornstarch substitute, so you won’t feel bad about using it instead!
Rice flour, a common substitute for wheat flour, acts as a good thickener in the same way that wheat flour does, so use the same proportion as our previous suggestion: 3 tablespoons per 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Potato starch is an excellent substitute for cornstarch! Potato starch is the starch found in potatoes. It is a refined starch, which means it is high in carbs but low in fat and protein. Potato starch is well-known as a thickening agent due to its neutral taste, good clarity, and high binding strength.
Potato starch, like other tuber and root starches, has little to no flavor, which means it won’t add any unwanted flavor to your recipes.
It is important to note for anyone trying to avoid gluten that one of the health benefits of potato starch is that it is naturally gluten-free, unlike many flours that typically contain gluten.
When incorporating potato starch into a recipe, use the same amount as you would corn starch. This means that if your recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, simply replace it with 1 tablespoon of potato starch.
You should always whisk the potato starch thoroughly because it clumps up more than cornstarch and you don’t want it lumpy in your recipe.
Arrowroot is an Indonesian tropical tuber. The powder is made from the rhizomes (rootstock) of several tropical plants, most notably Maranta arundinacea, and can be used in place of cornstarch in a variety of dishes.
Because arrowroot is gluten-free and grain-free, it is a great alternative for celiacs or people with gluten intolerances, and it is also paleo-friendly. Similarly to the majority of gluten-free and paleo flours, arrowroot powder isn’t typically used in a 1:1 substitution for cornstarch or another ingredient.
As a result, when using it as a cornstarch substitute, start with 1/3 to 1/2 the amount of cornstarch called for in the recipe.
Unlike cornstarch, which has a slight flavor and leaves food cloudy and opaque, arrowroot powder has no flavor and leaves food glossy and clear. This means it won’t change the taste or appearance of your recipe!
When using arrowroot powder as a thickener, keep two things in mind.
To begin, always make a slurry. Before adding the arrowroot powder to your recipe, stir it with a small amount of cold liquid to ensure that there are no lumps.
Always add the slurry at the very end of your recipe when cooking it. You don’t want to cook with arrowroot because it will break down at higher temperatures, so add it right before serving.
Tapioca flour is an excellent substitute for cornstarch. Tapioca is a starch extracted from the storage roots of cassava, a plant species native to northern and central-western Brazil but widely found throughout South America.
Tapioca flour is made by grinding cassava roots to a pulp and then filtering out the starch-rich liquid, which can then be dried to make tapioca flour!
Although cassava is an edible tuberous root, it frequently contains cyanogenic glycosides that can cause fatal cyanide poisoning. As a result, before it is safe to consume, the cassava plant must be properly detoxified by soaking, drying, and scraping.
Tapioca gives a beautiful, shiny finish to any dish, as opposed to regular flour, which is more matte. Tapioca flour can also save a lot of energy because it can gel with your dish at lower temperatures.
Unlike cornstarch, which tends to coagulate when refrigerated, this cornstarch substitute is an excellent choice for dishes that require chilling. It’s also worth noting that tapioca flour doesn’t benefit from long cooking times and can easily be overcooked if you’re not careful.
Glucomannan is a water-soluble natural dietary fiber derived from the roots of the elephant yam, also known as konjac.
Glucomannan is an excellent cornstarch substitute, especially when making sweet recipes such as smooth, delicious custards, pies, gravies, and condiments. However, because it is flavorless and contains no sugar, it also works well in savory recipes.
Glucomannan contains a lot of soluble fiber. Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, glucomannan is now available as a dietary supplement and is frequently used to aid in weight loss due to its low calorie and carbohydrate content. This makes it a very popular cornstarch substitute for people who are watching their weight or following a low-carb diet.
Glucomannan is thought to have a variety of health benefits. Any type of soluble fiber can help to maintain or improve digestion. Glucomannan works by increasing the amount of bulk in the intestines. This not only relieves constipation but also slows the absorption of sugar and cholesterol from the intestine. It has been proposed that glucomannan may aid in the control of cholesterol levels.
It’s important to note that glucomannan thickens at low temperatures, so combine it with a splash of cold water before adding it to your dish to keep it from clumping together when it hits the hot dish.
Most people use a quarter teaspoon of glucomannan for every two teaspoons of cornstarch.
There are numerous thickening agents available that work just as well as cornstarch in thickening stews, sauces, pie fillings, and other recipes. You don’t have to use just one ingredient to get the same or similar results.
If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have enough cornstarch in your pantry the next time you go to cook a recipe, don’t be alarmed. As a cornstarch substitute, you can also use corn flour, cake flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, pastry flour, guar gum, arrowroot flour, potato flour, or baking soda.
Experiment with and enjoy some of our suggestions!