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Thickening Sauces v Cornstarch vs. Flour

All starches, consisting of cornstarch and flour, have thickening properties. Castle act prefer a sponge, taking in liquid and also expanding. They then gelatinize, firming up once they cool down. Since cornstarch is pure starch, it has actually twice the thickening power of flour, i beg your pardon is only component starch. Thus, twice as much flour is required to accomplish the exact same thickening as cornstarch.

To thicken sauces, cornstarch is an unified with cold water first, i beg your pardon is referred to as a slurry. Flour, on the other hand, is cooked v fat and also made right into a roux. A roux is made in ~ the beginning of a cooking recipes while a slurry is included toward the end. This is since the flour demands to be cooked longer to eliminate the floury taste; cornstarch needs a much shorter cooking time and also a greater heat come activate the thickening properties. Cornstarch must not it is in cooked into a roux.

Using flour together a thickener will make the sauce opaque and also cloudy if cornstarch leaves a shiny, more translucent finish. This is a preferable feature for fruit pie filling and certain sauces, especially in Chinese stir-fries.

If a sauce is fairly acidic, cornstarch won't thicken it quite as well. This goes because that sauces with tomatoes, citrus, or vinegar, or one made through eggs yolks or butter. If girlfriend use too much, a recipe including cornstarch i do not care spongy once refrigerated or frozen.

Frying v Cornstarch vs. Flour

Both flour and also cornstarch are offered to coat chicken, fish, and also vegetables before deep-frying. Cornstarch generally makes for a crispier finish than flour.

Cornstarch absorbs moisture from the food and expands, giving deep-fried foodstuffs a crispy coating. When the food is fried, the humidity cooks the end of the cornstarch, leaving a crackly, swollen coating top top the outside. (This is why most eastern fried recipes speak to for using cornstarch rather of flour.) Flour will achieve this to part extent, but since more flour is necessary to achieve the same effect, the coating will be thicker and chewier. Recipes touting the crispiest chicken will certainly often call for a 50/50 mix the flour and also cornstarch to create the perfect balance and also a beautiful brown exterior.

Baking with Cornstarch vs. Flour

Baking is whereby a finish swap won"t work. A cake recipe, because that example, will not rotate out if cornstarch is provided in the location of flour. Baked items rely ~ above the protein in the flour (gluten) to assist create that body and also texture. There are many excellent gluten-free baking recipes; just note the cornstarch isn"t the just flour or starch in many of them.

Adding cornstarch to a cookie or cake recipe, however, will assist to do the perfect product more tender. In fact, this homemade recipe for cake flour replaces 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour v cornstarch.

various other Cornstarch Substitutes

Flour is the most common substitute because that cornstarch. However, arrowroot, potato starch, tapioca starch, and rice flour have the right to work simply as well, if not better at times. Additionally, every one of these cornstarch substitutes are gluten free.


This powdered white thickening certified dealer acts an in similar way to cornstarch with a few exceptions. It is not great to usage in dairy-based recipes as it will cause the food to end up being slimy, but it is a good substitute for cooked dishes that setup to be frozen. Take keep in mind that recipes making use of arrowroot may need to be cooked a small longer to with the preferred thickness. Use the exact same amount the arrowroot together cornstarch called for in the recipe.

Potato strength

A popular ingredient in Passover recipes, potato strength is also fantastic replacement for cornstarch. An same amount, or perhaps a small more, should be supplied in place of the cornstarch together a thickening agent. It is finest to eat the finished food as quickly as feasible because this starch doesn"t hold together well with the rest of the ingredients.

Tapioca starch

If do a pie, tapioca strength is an ideal alternative as it creates an also shiner appearance than cornstarch. Because that the ideal results, the tapioca need to be mixed right into the ingredients and also left come sit for about 10 minutes before cooking to permit the tapioca come absorb the liquids and also thicken properly. Use an same amount of instant tapioca yet avoid including to dairy-based sauces. It is a great choice for recipes cooked in ~ high temperatures and also foods that will certainly be frozen.

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Rice Flour

White rice flour is the ideal selection for thickening sauces due to the fact that brown rice flour can be gritty. Comparable to flour, dual the lot of rice flour must be supplied in location of cornstarch. This carefully ground powder made indigenous rice is colorless when mixed with water and thus a an excellent choice when thickening clear liquids. Rice flour is a renowned ingredient in eastern cooking and can be included directly to a recipe without do a slurry. That can additionally be offered to do a roux utilizing oil.