The 6 Best Gluten-Free Flours for Baking
Brought to you in partnership with Bob's Red Mill
These are the best gluten-free flours for any baking needs! These flours are versatile and can be used in everything from bread, pancakes, or even cookies.
Today's post is for my bakers! Specifically, those of you who are either new to the world of gluten-free or have been baking gluten-free for a while and need some help.
I'm here for you with a post that goes over all my favorite gluten-free flours! I personally would have loved to have a post like this when I was just getting started with gluten-free baking, so I'm excited to be able to give that to you.
In this post, we'll be talking about what – in my opinion – are the best gluten-free flours to have in your pantry. I've selected six flours to include on this list so as to:
a) not overwhelm you
b) provide you with a list of flours that can be used for pretty much everything
This list is comprehensive, but also simple. I hope you find it helpful!!
What Flours are Gluten-Free?
When it comes to gluten-free flours, there are actually quite a few options. Like lots and lots of options. It can get a little confusing and overwhelming sometimes, which is exactly why I wanted to create this post. That being said, if you're wondering what flours are gluten-free, it's essentially any flour that is made from a gluten-free grain.
Any grain, nut, or seed that is safe for a gluten-free diet, that flour will also be gluten-free (granted it's processed in a GF facility). Think about things like quinoa, almond, sorghum, rice flours, etc.
If the main ingredient is gluten-free, then the flour will be too.
Where to Buy Gluten-Free Flours
Luckily, now that gluten-free products have become kind of mainstream, gluten-free flours are fairly easy to find. I would say that most major grocery stores at this point have at least some options that are gluten-free. My go-to brand for all things gluten-free – and lots of other products for that matter – has always been Bob's Red Mill. Not only is Bob's Red Mill an amazing company – they're employee-owned and have been around since the late 70s – but they have an amazing selection of gluten-free flours.
I've been wanting to create this post for years and Bob's Red Mill is the perfect partner! They're my go-to and have been ever since I went gluten-free. I completely trust their products and love that you can find pretty much every flour imaginable! And I can honestly say they make the absolute best gluten-free flours out there.
The 6 Best Gluten-Free Flours for Baking
Since the list of gluten-free flours is like 20+ long, I wanted to narrow it down to my absolute favorites. Not only are these the flours that I personally use the most, but they're also super versatile and work a TON of different ways. I also chose them for nutritional value – most of these flours are pretty healthy! And finally, I chose these flours as they're the ones that I use most frequently on the blog. I feel like if you have these 6 flours stocked in your pantry, you'll pretty much be able to make all the baked goods on the site. Definitely a plus in my book!
So here are my top 6 best gluten-free flours for baking:
1. Quinoa Flour
I'm sure it comes as no surprise that quinoa flour is on the top of this list! I use quinoa flour for pretty much everything and I love it for so many reasons. For starters, quinoa flour is high in protein which helps it provide structure and integrity to baked goods. Additionally, quinoa flour has a light texture, so it doesn't make things too dense. The only drawback is that quinoa flour can sometimes be a bit bitter. If you find that you're super sensitive to the flavor, try toasting it! Here's a post that shows you how to toast quinoa flour.
Recipes that use quinoa flour:
- Best Quinoa Flour Pancakes
- Vegan Quinoa Flour Brownies
- 5-Ingredient Quinoa Flour Pizza Crust
- Vegan Gingersnaps with Quinoa Flour
- Best Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies
2. Almond Flour
Next up on the list of my favorite gluten-free flours is almond flour. I love almond flour. Like love, love, love it! Almond flour has an incredible texture – because of its high fat content, it's cakey, light, and provides an amazing crumb in baked goods. The almond flour from Bob's Red Mill is great because it's super fine, but it's also made from blanched almonds which helps with the texture and color of your baked goods. Almond flour on its own can be a bit tricky, which is why I often use it with a blend of other flours. If you are going to use almond flour on its own in your recipe – that's totally doable – you'll need to make sure you use eggs. The eggs help the flour bind together but also help give it structure. If you want a 100% almond flour recipe, you'll do well searching for recipes that are tagged as “paleo”.
Recipes that use almond flour:
- Healthy Lemon Almond Flour Cake
- Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Wholesome Almond Flour Waffles
- Quinoa + Almond Flour Pumpkin Bread
- Vegan Almond Flour Pizza Crust
3. Oat Flour
Third, on my list of the best gluten-free flours is oat flour. Oat flour needs to be certified gluten-free to be safe for those with severe sensitivities or Celiac, but it's so awesome for baking. Oat flour has a light, tender, yet chewy texture. I love it in things like muffins and pancakes. I find it a bit heavy for things like cake, but for a recipe that can handle a bit of density, it works super well. You can either purchase oat flour or you can make oat flour at home super easily! We have a tutorial coming very soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
Recipes that use oat flour:
- Chai Spiced Oat & Quinoa Muffins
- Best Gluten-Free Pancake Recipe
- Healthy Chocolate Muffins with Raspberry Swirl
- 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Honey Cookies
4. Arrowroot Starch (or another starch)
So this next section is kind of a “category” rather than a specific ingredient. And that category is starches. I personally like arrowroot the best, but most of the starches are interchangeable. They won't be 100% the same, but the result will be pretty darn close. Starch helps gluten-free baked goods in a few ways. It acts as a binder to help hold things together and acts similar to gluten. It also is very light and can help provide a lighter and more airy texture to your baked goods. Starch isn't nutritionally dense, so I only use a small amount in my recipes but do find that it helps with breads especially. If you can't find arrowroot starch (Bob's makes a great one!), the other options in the starch category include tapioca, potato, and corn.
Recipes that use arrowroot starch:
- Soft & Chewy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Coconut Flour Pumpkin Bread
- Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- Fudgy Salted Quinoa Brownies
5. Sorghum Flour
The fifth option on my list is sorghum flour. This flour works similar to quinoa flour but as a softer texture and a slightly sweet flavor. It's a bit more mellow. I used to use it a lot, but now that I've learned to love the flavor of quinoa flour, it's a little lower on my list, but still something I always have in my pantry. I haven't tested swapping quinoa flour for sorghum flour in a recipe that is 100% quinoa flour, BUT in recipes that only use a partial amount of quinoa flour, I've had good success. For me, sorghum flour works well in recipes like cakes, cookies, and even crackers!
Recipes that use sorghum flour:
- Gluten-Free Yeast-Free Quinoa Bread
- Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake
- Easy Gluten-Free Pizzelle Cookies
- Cheezy Kale & Quinoa Crackers
6. Garbanzo Bean Flour
Our last and final option is chickpea/garbanzo bean flour! I love this flour since it's high in protein, but it can also be tricky to work with. Chickpea flour has a strong flavor – and can be overpowering at times. But it's also got a really great texture! I actually find that chickpea and quinoa flour are pretty interchangeable which is great. Also, if you use chickpea flour in combination with other flours, it should be less powerful!
Recipes that use chickpea flour:
- High Protein Quinoa Bread
- Savory Chickpea Pancakes
- Grain-Free Peanut Butter Dog Treats
- Cinnamon Swirl Gluten-Free Coffee Cake
Other Gluten-Free Flours to Consider:
Coconut Flour: arguably one of the trickiest flours out there, I didn't add coconut flour onto my list for that reason. It's very specific in what it works (and doesn't work) with and it can't be substituted for anything else – at least not 1:1. Coconut flour absorbs a TON of liquid, but at the same time doesn't have any binding properties. So if it doesn't have eggs, it will fall apart and be crumbly. I just personally find that it's too specific to have as a general gluten-free flour favorite, but it's still a great flour to use from time to time.
Brown Rice Flour: I think brown rice flour used to be super popular in gluten-free baking, but honestly there are better flours out there now. I don't love the flavor and the texture is pretty grainy. I think it can work in some recipes, but I would rather use quinoa flour or sorghum flour (personally).
Cornmeal: I love cornmeal in recipes, but it's one of those flours that is pretty specific. It's obviously great in cornbread and can be used as a thickener, but I feel like it has limited applicability. Another thing to keep an eye out for is making sure you buy certified GF cornmeal if you're severely intolerant or allergic!
Buckwheat Flour: despite the name, buckwheat is actually a naturally gluten-free grain, so the flour is naturally gluten-free as well. While I do love buckwheat flour, it has a very strong flavor and color and I just don't find that it's that versatile. I think it has its uses – crepes, pancakes, even bread – but you're going to need to love that flavor in order to enjoy your baked goods. I think it's great to have on hand, but I just don't find myself reaching for it as much which is why I didn't include it on this list.
Gluten-Free Baking Questions
Do you have any baking questions I can answer? If so, I'd love for you to leave a comment down below and let me know what you might be struggling with. And if there's a gluten-free flour that I didn't include on this list that you want to chat about, also drop that down below! Happy baking ❤️
This post is brought to you in partnership with Bob's Red Mill and all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support SQ.