Hazelnut flour and almond flour are two similar gluten-free nut flour options. While they both have a similar nutritional profile and can play the same role in many recipes, they do have some differences. See how they compare in the SPICEography Showdown below.
How does hazelnut flour differ from almond flour?
Flavor is one important area where these nut flours differ. Both flours are good alternatives for each other in terms of their flavors but they are not perfectly interchangeable. Almond flour has a strong, nutty flavor with a slightly bitter and more savory edge than hazelnut flour. Hazelnut flour is sweeter and mellower.
One of the key factors with the flavors is richness and the buttery note. Both contain healthy fats, but you will be better able to taste those fats in hazelnuts. This is partly because hazelnuts are somewhat sweeter and partly because they contain considerably more fat when you compare them to almonds.
The fat content affects more than just their respective flavors. Both of these flours go rancid quickly because of how much fat they contain, but hazelnut flour is likely to start spoiling faster. The protein content is one more way that they differ. The blanched almonds used to make almond flour have a significantly higher protein content than the blanched hazelnuts used to make hazelnut flour.
You will also find that they are not equally available in your local grocery store. Because almond flour is an established wheat flour alternative for people suffering from celiac disease, it will probably be easier for you to find. In addition to being rarer, hazelnut flour will usually be a lot more expensive.
If your recipe calls for one, can you use the other?
Hazelnut flour is easily replaced with almond flour. In fact, many bakers recommend the substitution because of the cost and the fact that hazelnut flour can go bad quite easily. The flavor of the almond flour is not as sweet or as buttery as that of hazelnut flour, which makes it a slightly better in savory dishes than in desserts.
Similarly, you can use hazelnut flour in place of almond flour for most recipes but you may see better results when you use it in desserts. Because of almond flour’s higher protein content and greater density, it does a better job when it comes to creating structure for cakes. Hazelnut can work but you may need to use it in combination with another flour like wheat flour if you are not concerned about gluten, or quinoa flour if you are.
When should you use hazelnut flour and when should you use almond flour?
Use hazelnut flour for a crisp texture in cookies, crackers and in the breading for fried foods. You can also use it to make a hazelnut butter, which can serve as a base for a homemade Nutella.
Almond flour is great in all of the applications that require hazelnut flour. It is also a great option for baked goods that you want to rise. Use it in cake and muffin batters with other flours or by itself. When using almond flour alone, make sure to follow a recipe formulated specifically for it to get the best results without costly trial and error.