Substituting Coconut Flour for Almond Flour

By Adriana Harlan

Part of Paleo Desserts For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Coconut flour and almond flour are two of the most commonly used flours in Paleo and grain-free baking. Both these flours produce soft and tender baked goods, and each has its own unique delicious taste.

Baking with coconut or almond flour is very easy and both are great substitutes for wheat and refined white flours. Coconut flour also can be used as a substitute for almond flour in a recipe. Coconut flour can replace almond or wheat flours in any recipe.

However, when making substitutions, the properties of each of these flours have to be taken into consideration. Coconut flour is particularly absorbent and sucks up a lot of moisture. Replacing coconut flour for almond flour (or grain flours) requires that you adjust the amount of liquid and eggs added. A good starting point is to substitute 1 cup of almond flour with 1/4 cup (1 ounce) of coconut flour. You will also need to add 1 egg for every 1/4 cup of coconut flour used in addition to the eggs called for in the original recipe.

Doubling the amount of liquid in the original recipe may also be necessary, but it’s best to add the same amount the recipe calls for first and then add more as needed. If your mixture seems too dry, add more liquid until you get the right consistency, or if your batter is too wet, add more coconut flour one teaspoon at a time until you get the right consistency.

Another way of substituting coconut flour for almond or wheat flours in a recipe that doesn’t require using a large number of eggs is by adding a starch such as arrowroot or tapioca to your recipe. The starch gives baked goods made with coconut flour elasticity and structure. You can use a combination of half coconut flour and half starch, plus a few eggs and enough liquid to make tender Paleo baked goods. For instance, substitute 2 cups of almond flour with 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1/2 cup tapioca starch, 3 eggs, and 1/2 cup coconut milk as a base for your recipes.

Trust your instincts and start experimenting. Begin by making existing recipes made with coconut flour until you get a good feel for how the flour behaves; then substitute the almond flour in a recipe using your own combinations and proportions of coconut flour, starch, eggs, and liquids. Coconut flour may seem difficult to work with at first, but you can adjust the recipe as you go, and soon you’ll get the hang of baking with it.