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Substitutes for Cornstarch

In making it, the corn kernel protein and fiber are removed, thereby leaving only the endosperm, which is the starchy center. It is very high in carbs but low in other nutrients.

cornstarch imageFor culinary purposes, it is used as a thickening agent in foods such as soups and sauces. This is done by mixing the cornstarch with water to form a paste or slurry, mixing it with the food, and then heating it. Cornstarch is flavorless and does not taste like corn. It has a bland taste on the tongue and does not add any flavor to your cooking. 

The texture of cornstarch is smooth and silky but dissolves when mixed with water and forms a jelly-like liquid when heated. When heating it, the more you add cornstarch, the more jellylike it becomes.

Cornstarch Nutrition Facts:

Cornstarch nutrition facts

Uses in Different Recipes

  • In Fruit pie filling
  • Puddings
  • Ice Cream

Cornstarch, when used in the above-listed recipes, serves as a thickener. Adding cornstarch to your ice cream gives you a creamy, chewy touch.

In Shortbread

When used in baking shortbread, cornstarch creates an extra tender crumb.

As Marinade for Seafood

When cornstarch is mixed with egg white, it forms a protective coating that keeps the protein silky and tender.

Substitutes for Cornstarch




This starchy flour is made from the Maranta genus plant’s roots, which can be found in the tropics. The seeds are dried before being ground to a fine powder. This powder is used as a thickener in cooking.

Arrowroot contains more fiber than cornstarch. It is the best substitute for cornstarch when used to thicken clear liquids as it produces a clear gel when mixed with water. Arrowroot is gluten-free and requires twice the quantity of cornstarch it is being substituted with.

Wheat Flour

Wheat Flour

Wheat Flour

When wheat is ground to a fine powder, it becomes wheat flour. It contains fiber, protein, and starch, unlike cornstarch, which is only high in starch. This implies that when substituted with wheat flour, it will require more flour to achieve thickening.

Where you require one tablespoon of cornstarch, apply two tablespoons of wheat flour. You are to mix the wheat flour with a small quantity of cold water to form a paste before adding it to your recipe. It is not gluten-free, which makes it not suitable for persons with celiac disease.

Potato Starch

Potato Starch

Potato Starch

This substitute for cornstarch is obtained when potatoes are crushed, dried, and ground into a fine powder. It is gluten-free. However, it is a refined starch, meaning it contains a high portion of carbs and little fat or protein. The taste is bland, which means it will not introduce any surplus flavors.

A 1:1 ratio of potato starch to cornstarch is advised when substituting these ingredients. One tablespoon cornstarch is equivalent to 1 tablespoon potato starch. Potato starch absorbs water and thickens faster than grain-based substitutes like wheat flour.

Rice Flour

Rice Flour

Rice Flour

When rice is ground into a fine powder, you get rice flour. Asians use this ingredient in desserts or soups. It is gluten-free and suitable for persons with celiac disease. It is a good substitute for cornstarch.

It serves as a thickener I many recipes and is also colorless when it comes to water contact. This makes it a good thickener for clear liquids. When substituted with cornstarch, the quantity of rice flour should be double the quantity of cornstarch.




Tapioca is a gluten-free starch product gotten from cassava. Cassava is ground to a pulp then dried to obtain the tapioca flour. Cassava contains cyanide, which requires it to be treated to make it safe for use. 1 tablespoon of cornstarch can be substituted with two tablespoons of tapioca powder to achieve the thickening effect.

Substitutes for Cornstarch In Sauce

Cornstarch is a commonly used ingredient in sauce making. One of the substitutes for cornstarch in the sauce is Tapioca or Arrowroot powder to serve as a thickener. The dilemma with these substitutes is that they do not maintain their thickness for long.

Substitutes for Cornstarch In Pie

When you run out of cornstarch, Tapioca is a suitable replacement for it in your pie. It serves the same purpose as cornstarch in your pie. Substitute 2 tablespoons of Tapioca for one tablespoon of cornstarch is advised. This would get you the desired results.

Substitutes for Cornstarch In Baking

Cornstarch is responsible for the crumbly and tender taste of your baked products. A good substitute for cornstarch in your cake is Potato Starch or Rice Flour in your cookies.

Substitutes for Cornstarch In Pudding

Egg yolks and cornstarch come together to thicken your pudding. You can substitute the cornstarch with Rice Flour. Substitute 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of Rice Flour in your pudding. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use if I don’t have cornstarch?

When you don’t have cornstarch, you are availed with alternatives, which include; Wheat Flour, Tapioca, Rice Flour, and Arrowroots. They are all good substitutes for cornstarch as they serve the purpose of thickening in cooking.  

Can I use baking powder instead of cornstarch?

You cannot use baking powder instead of cornstarch as the two ingredients do not serve the same purpose. While cornstarch functions as a thickening agent, baking powder is used to make cakes fluffy and light.

What is the equivalent of cornstarch?

For most people, flour is the go-to substitute for cornstarch, although various substitutes exist, some of which are more efficient. Examples include; Tapioca and Potato Starch.


Conclusively, cornstarch serves as a thickener in many recipes, and the substitutes for it have been highlighted above, some of which require are larger quantity to be used when substituted. Some are grain-based, while others are tuber based substitutes. Also, how it can be used in other recipes was discussed.

It is also advisable for you to research the actual ingredients contained in the replacement is what you can consume. This is especially important if your search for substitutes is because you are allergic.