Have you been considering switching up your baking routine with almond flour instead of all-purpose flour? If so, you’re not alone.
Almond flour has become increasingly popular over the last few years as people discover its many health benefits and delicious taste. But is it really a better alternative to all-purpose flour?
We’ll explore all the important differences between almond flour and all-purpose flour (plus give you some tips and tricks for baking). So let’s dive in!
Comparing almond flour vs all-purpose flour
|Almond flour||All-purpose flour|
|Common Allergens||Almonds (tree nuts)||Wheat, gluten|
|Liquid absorbency||Medium (slightly less than all-purpose flour)||Medium|
|Pantry shelf life (unopened/sealed)||2-4 months (generally better to store in fridge or freezer)||6-8 months|
|Best for baking||Cookies, pie crusts, cupcakes, muffins, macarons, and sandwich bread||Non-yeast recipes (think cookies, biscuits, and some breads)|
*While you can use a 1:1 ratio for most recipes, you may need to add more flour or less wet ingredients as I’ve found that almond flour makes for a moister batter due to its high fat content.
Additionally, I would NOT recommend almond meal or ground almonds as replacements for all-purpose flour. Almond meal is coarser than almond flour and contains more moisture which affects how a batter or dough behaves in baking recipes.
Differences between almond flour and all-purpose flour
Almond flour and all-purpose flour are very different. Almond flour is keto-friendly, paleo-friendly, and naturally gluten-free, unlike all-purpose flour, which should be avoided by those with Celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity.
When it comes to baking, almond flour and all-purpose flour are not interchangeable without adjustments. All-purpose flour absorbs liquid more effectively than almond flour. So if you’re replacing all-purpose flour with almond flour, be prepared to add an extra egg or two to prevent things from falling apart.
Baking with almond flour vs all-purpose flour
When baking with almond flour, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
Almond flour has a much higher fat content than all-purpose flour, which helps create moist baked goods. But too much almond flour can make your bake greasy.
In my experience, almond flour works best when added in small amounts to recipes, rather than being the primary flour. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of all-purpose flour, use a 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup of almond flour. This will help give baked goods a richer flavor, but without the greasy pitfall of almond flour. There are exceptions, like delicious macaroons or almond flour cookies.
In terms of flavor, almond flour lends a subtle nutty flavor to baked goods. All-purpose flour, on the other hand, is fairly flavorless. As the name suggests, all-purpose flour is suitable for mostly all types of baking such as bread, pizza, biscuits, cookies, and more.
Ingredients in almond flour vs all-purpose flour
Almond flour is made from ground almonds. Accept no substitutes! (Here’s a great brand.) All-purpose flour, on the other hand, is made from wheat and can contain additives like preservatives and bleaching agents.
I love the simplicity of almond flour as a baking ingredient, as it is free from any additives that are often added to all-purpose flour. I exclusively use blanched almond flour in my recipes because blanching eliminates harmful phytic acid.
Almond flour + all-purpose flour nutritional facts
|Per 1/4 cup serving||Almond flour||All-purpose flour|
|Carbs||6 g||24 g|
|Fiber||5 g||1 g|
|Fat||12 g||0.5 g|
|Protein||6 g||4 g|
|Glycemic index score||15 (almonds)||85|
In terms of nutritional value, almond flour is much more nutritious than all-purpose flour. It contains significantly more calories, healthy fats, fiber, and protein than all-purpose flour. It’s also a low-carb flour (unlike all-purpose.)
Almond flour is also a low FODMAP flour, so it’s generally a good option for those with conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). (Although of course you should consult with a physician about almond flour if you’re on a low FODMAP diet.)
All-purpose flour still contains a decent amount of protein, but it’s really high in carbohydrates and because it’s processed, it’s likely to spike your blood sugar much faster than almond flour. The glycemic index for almonds is just 15, which means that they have a VERY low impact on your blood sugar levels.
Almond flour vs all-purpose flour storage
Yes, flour can actually go bad. Almond flour, in particular, is prone to going rancid due to the oils in it. It can be stored for 2-4 months in the pantry, while all-purpose flour can last up to 6-8 months. Keep this in mind when you are choosing what size of bag to buy, and only buy what you know you will use within that time frame.
Both almond flour and all-purpose flour should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place and placed in the fridge or freezer if possible.
The ultimate verdict: Almond flour vs all-purpose flour
If you’re looking for a gluten-free, paleo, grain-free, low-carb flour, almond flour is ideal. I think you’ll also enjoy the subtle nutty flavor that almond flour brings to baked goods.
On the other hand, if you have a nut allergy or are simply looking for a versatile baking flour that can be used in sweet or savory dishes, then all-purpose flour is the better choice.
For other amazing alternatives to traditional flour, check out our in-depth guide of 60+ different types of flour!
You can substitute almond flour for all-purpose flour using a 1:1 ratio, but this isn’t a perfect rule. Since almond flour is high in fat and doesn’t bind the same as all-purpose flour, you may need to play with flour, oil, or liquid levels so your batter isn’t too wet or too dry. It’s always best to find recipes specifically designed for almond flour or all-purpose flour rather than attempting to make the substitution yourself.
Not really. Almond flour is denser than regular all-purpose white or wheat flours so baked goods may turn out heavier if you do not adjust the other ingredients accordingly. Since it’s high in fat and gluten-free, it tends to spread more with less rise than regular flour.