Cassava flour has become a trendy grain-free flour in recent years. It is great for baking since it has fiber, which can help to provide structure in some baked goods. Despite its popularity, you may have a hard time finding it in some stores. If you are out of it or can’t find it, try one of the cassava flour substitutes below.
Your best bet: All-purpose flour
All-purpose flour is made from wheat that has been ground and refined. The big problem with it is that it contains gluten, which means that it is not your best cassava flour substitute if you are gluten intolerant. Bear in mind that cassava flour and other gluten-free flours are used as wheat flour substitutes precisely because they are gluten-free, not because they deliver superior results.
If the gluten content is not an issue for you, all-purpose flour will give you everything that you want from a cassava flour. It is the superior option as far as texture and versatility in recipes are concerned. Note that all-purpose flour is also more nutritious than cassava flour, which means that it can improve the nutritional profile of a dish when you use it as your cassava flour replacement. When used as a thickener, all-purpose flour has a similar effect as cassava flour but thickened liquids are not as glossy.
You can use all-purpose flour as a 1:1 substitute for cassava flour in many recipes but not in all. It is important to note that cassava flour has a lighter consistency than all-purpose flour, but is more absorbent. You will have to keep both of these properties in mind. The latter means that you will need to increase the amount of liquid that you add to your recipe.
A decent second choice: Tapioca starch
Tapioca starch comes from the same plant that is dried and ground to produce cassava flour. They are not the same product but are often confused for each other. Like cassava flour, tapioca starch is gluten-free. This is important since cassava flour’s gluten-free status is one of the main reasons for its present-day popularity.
The difference between tapioca starch and cassava flour has to do with the extent of the processing. Tapioca starch is a much more refined product as it has had its fiber and almost all of its nutrients removed Think of the difference between tapioca starch and cassava flour as being similar to the difference between refined white flour and whole wheat flour.
In a pinch: Arrowroot
You will often see the name arrowroot being used as a synonym for tapioca starch or cassava flour but they are not the same, nor do all three come from the same plant. Arrowroot comes from a second tropical plant. Arrowroot is best known as a thickener that can be used in place of cornstarch, but you can also use it in baking and to dredge fried foods.
Like cassava flour, arrowroot is gluten-free and is therefore safe for people with celiac disease and similar conditions to consume. When baking with arrowroot, note that it works best when you blend it with other flours. You should use it alone only when making food items that are supposed to be crisp like cookies and crackers.
Oat flour is gluten-gluten free but high in other forms of protein, which means that you can use it to make different kinds of bread. It can work by itself or in a blend with other gluten-free flours.