Are you looking for a cornstarch substitute? If so, you’re in luck! I’m here to tell you about my favorite alternative thickeners. I have compiled a list of the 13 best substitutes for cornstarch that will make your cooking or baking dreams come true. Let’s dive in and discuss their uses in cooking, and how to make your own cornstarch at home!
- What is Cornstarch?
- List of The 13 Best Cornstarch Substitutes
- 1. Arrowroot
- 2. Potato Starch
- 3. Tapioca Flour
- 4. Rice Flour
- 5. Ground Flaxseed
- 6. Glucomannan Powder
- 7. Gelatin
- 8. Pectin Powder
- 9. Psyllium Husk Powder
- 10. Xanthan Gum
- 11. Agar Agar Powder
- 12. Carrageenan Powder
- 13. Gum Arabic Powder
- People Also Ask [FAQs]
- Wrap-Up: Cornstarch Substitutes
- 🍽️ Recipe
What is Cornstarch?
Cornstarch also known as maize starch or cornflour (British English) is a powder made from corn kernels. It is typically used as a thickening agent in sauces, gravies, and puddings.
It has twice the thickening power of wheat flour, so it can create perfectly creamy textures without worrying about lumps or clumps.
If you find yourself out of luck with no cornstarch on hand, fear not – several other ingredients will help get that same velvety texture in your recipes.
One simple solution is to mix equal parts of all-purpose flour with water to create a paste-like substance that can then be added to sauces or soups for thickening purposes. There are also 13 other substitutes for cornstarch that work just as well.
List of The 13 Best Cornstarch Substitutes
Arrowroot is a starchy powder made from tropical Maranta arundinacea plant roots. It has a neutral flavor and can be used as a thickening agent in sauces, soups, and stews.
When used as a thickener in place of cornstarch, it produces glossy clear sauces with no taste or smell.
Arrowroot has less starch content than cornstarch and its thickening power is not as strong. To replace 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, use 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder.
2. Potato Starch
Potato starch is a white powder made by extracting starches from potatoes and then drying them into powder form. It has double the thickening power of arrowroot starch but less than that of cornstarch.
Potato starch has almost no flavor but its texture can sometimes be gritty if not cooked properly. Not only that, but potato starch can withstand higher temperatures than cornstarch.
Consequently, it is regularly used in place of cornstarch when creating baked goods recipes. The best proportion to substitute potato starch for cornstarch is in a 1:1 ratio, or 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of potato flour, that should work too!
3. Tapioca Flour
Tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch) is made from cassava root which is native to South America.
The flour also gives foods an opaque rather than glossy finish when used as a thickener due to its high fiber content which absorbs more liquid than other starches like arrowroot or potato starches.
To replace 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, use 2 tablespoons of tapioca flour/starch plus 1 teaspoon of water to help it bind better with liquids during cooking.
4. Rice Flour
Made from finely ground white rice grains, rice flour is a gluten-free, wheat- and all purpose flour alternative.
This flour can be used to replace wheat flour in baking recipes such as pie crusts and cake batters, while still maintaining the same texture and consistency! It's a perfect choice for those intolerant or sensitive to wheat products, like people with celiac disease.
Rice flours are a great choice for dishes that need to be light and airy, as opposed to wheat or rye which can make recipes dense.
This is because rice flours contain less protein than other grain-based alternatives, making them an ideal substitute for cornstarch in many recipes! With superior thickening power yet still maintaining the desired lightness of the dish.
To replace one tablespoon of cornstarch with rice flour use two tablespoons instead - this will give you enough thickness while also providing the essential texture that only white or brown rice flour can provide!
5. Ground Flaxseed
Ground flaxseeds can be a great alternative as they are highly absorbent and form a jelly-like consistency when blended with water.
They are a good source of soluble fiber and can be used to thicken sauces, custards, and puddings.
To make it at home, all you need to do is grind up whole flaxseeds in a blender or food processor until they become a powder-like consistency, to replace 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, use ½ tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with 2 tablespoons of water.
6. Glucomannan Powder
Glucomannan powder also known as Konjac flour or Konjac gum is derived from konjac root and has high levels of starch, best when mixed with a small amount of liquid.
Similar to the cornflour, it works well as a thickening for sauces, gravies, and puddings. While the powder doesn't thicken much when combined with cold water, it does so quickly when heated.
Glucomannan powder can be purchased online or in health food stores but it can also be made from scratch by boiling konjac root until it forms a paste-like consistency.
When substituting glucomannan powder for cornstarch in recipes, use ¼ teaspoon of glucomannan powder with 1 tablespoon of water to replace 1 tablespoon of cornflour in the recipe.
Gelatin is often used as a thickening agent in desserts such as mousses and jellies due to its ability to form gels when mixed with liquid ingredients.
It consists of proteins and amino acids which have no starch content—but it still works great as a substitute for cornstarch because of its gelling properties!
To make gelatin at home, mix one packet of unflavored gelatin with one cup of cold water and let it sit until fully dissolved before using it as a thickener in recipes.
8. Pectin Powder
Pectin, a kind of heteropolysaccharide starch, exists naturally in the cell walls of fruits and vegetables to help provide them with structure and stability, making it an excellent thickening agent.
It is available in powder form and can be used as a substitute for cornstarch. When substituting pectin powder for cornstarch, use ¼ teaspoon of pectin for every tablespoon of cornstarch that a recipe calls for.
It should also be noted that pectin must be cooked to activate its thickening properties, so it's best suited for recipes requiring longer cooking time.
9. Psyllium Husk Powder
This is a great substitute for cornstarch because of its high fiber content. That means it can offer many health benefits when added to food.
It’s also gluten-free, making it suitable for those with allergies or sensitivities, it is great in baking, and its often used for gluten-free recipes.
It works best as a thickener when mixed with cold liquids before they are heated. Use 1 tablespoon of psyllium husk powder per cup of liquid as a replacement for cornstarch.
10. Xanthan Gum
Xanthan gum is made by fermenting glucose, sucrose, or lactose using the Xanthomonas campestris bacteria.
It is an excellent thickening agent that can be used in both hot and cold recipes. Because it doesn't break down at high temperatures, it's perfect for sauces and gravies that need to be cooked longer than normal recipes do.
Use ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of liquid as a replacement for cornstarch.
11. Agar Agar Powder
Agar agar powder is extracted from red algae and is commonly used in Asian cuisine due to its ability to gel liquids together quickly without needing much heat or time.
It has a neutral flavor which makes it ideal for savory dishes too since it won't overpower other flavors in the dish.
Use 1 teaspoon of agar agar powder per cup of liquid as a replacement for cornstarch.
12. Carrageenan Powder
Carrageenan powder is derived from seaweed and has been traditionally used as an alternative thickening agent due to its high gelatinous properties, making it ideal for creating smooth textures in sauces and soups without any lumps or bumps!
Use 1 teaspoon of carrageenan powder per cup of liquid as a replacement for cornstarch.
13. Gum Arabic Powder
Gum arabic powder is made from acacia tree sap and is most commonly used as an emulsifier because it helps bind oil-based ingredients together with water-based ones, making them easier to mix together without separating again quickly afterward.
Use 1 tablespoon of gum arabic powder per cup of liquid as a replacement for cornstarch.
People Also Ask [FAQs]
No, baking powder cannot be used instead of cornstarch as it is a leavening agent and will not effectively thicken the dish and can negatively affect the flavor.
Yes, cornstarch is gluten-free as it is derived from the endosperm of a corn kernel, which does not contain any gluten proteins.
Thickening a sauce without cornstarch can be done by reducing the liquid, adding egg yolks, preparing a roux, making beurre manié, adding pureed vegetables, or using another thickening agent such as arrowroot powder or tapioca starch.
Wrap-Up: Cornstarch Substitutes
- There are many cornstarch substitutes that can be used to thicken sauces and gravies.
- Flaxseeds, glucomannan powder, gelatin, pectin powder, psyllium husk powder, and xanthan gum all work well as replacements for cornstarch in recipes.
- Each of these ingredients has its own unique properties which make them ideal thickening agents depending on the recipe you’re making.
- Experiment with each one until you find your favorite!
How to Make Cornstarch at Home
- 500 grams Dried Corn Kernels
- First, wash the kernels and spread them out on a flat surface.
- Then use a food processor or grinder to turn the kernels into a fine powder.
- Next, line a strainer with cheesecloth or another type of cloth napkin.
- Place it over a large bowl or pan and put something heavy on top of it to press out the liquid overnight.
- The next morning, spread and dry the paste in a tray under the sun till it is completely dry.
- Finally, grind it until smooth like powder!
- For a richer flavor, you can also lightly toast the corn kernels before grinding them. This will help to bring out the natural sweetness of the corn and enhance its nutty flavor profile.
- Additionally, for a more evenly dried paste, it's important to turn the paste in the drying tray every few hours. This will ensure all sides of the paste get an equal amount of exposure to the sun.