White rice flour is a finely ground, gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat flour, made from rice with bran and germ removed. It is a popular choice for those with gluten sensitivities or following gluten-free diets, as it is cheap, easy to find, and reasonably neutral in flavor.
The top substitutes for white rice flour are:
- Gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
- All-purpose flour
- Brown rice flour
- Coconut flour
- Oat flour
- Almond flour
Let’s see when to use each one!
Best All-Around White Rice Flour Substitute: Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
The best all-around substitute for white rice flour is gluten-free all-purpose flour. This versatile alternative often contains a blend of different gluten-free flours, such as rice flour, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum, to help it all bind. It is designed to mimic the texture and functionality of wheat flour, and it does so pretty well, though it will not be 100% the same.
When using gluten-free all-purpose flour as a substitute for white rice flour, you can generally use a 1:1 ratio.
Best Budget-Friendly White Rice Flour Substitute: All-Purpose Flour
Trusty old all-purpose flour is the most budget-friendly substitute for white rice flour, though it is not suitable for those intolerant to gluten. It can be found at any supermarket and used in any recipe that calls for rice flour as a 1:1 substitute.
As all-purpose flour contains gluten, it tends to bake differently from rice flour without gluten, producing a less crumbly texture that holds together better than rice flour.
Best Easy-to-Bake-With White Rice Flour Substitute: All-Purpose Flour
All-purpose is also the most straightforward substitute to bake with, as its gluten content means it can help bread products, cakes, and muffins rise, and you don’t have to worry about adding extra binders to hold things together. If you cannot have flour with gluten, then the next easiest thing would be a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix. You can substitute either of them 1:1 with rice flour.
Flour Closest in Flavor to White Rice Flour: Brown Rice Flour
Brown rice flour is the closest in flavor to white rice flour, making it an excellent substitute for those seeking a similar taste profile. Both flours are derived from rice grains; brown rice flour is made from whole rice grains that still have their bran and germ layers, while white rice flour comes from rice grains with the bran and germ removed.
This means that brown rice flour has a stronger flavor, is nuttier and is more complex, though they both still taste ‘rice-y’.
Best Neutral-Flavor Substitute for White Rice Flour: All-Purpose Flour
All-purpose flour is the most neutral flavored substitute for rice flour. To me, it barely has any flavor at all and therefore allows the other ingredients in the recipe to shine! Again, it is not for those avoiding gluten, but if you have no issues with gluten, then it’s the most neutral substitute you will find that works in all the same recipes as rice flour. Gluten-free all-purpose is also pretty neutral, but does have some ‘taste’ depending on what it is made with.
Best Healthy Substitute for White Rice Flour: Coconut Flour
A healthy substitute for white rice flour is coconut flour. Coconut flour is made from dried and ground coconut flesh and is high in dietary fiber, protein and fat while being low in carbohydrates. It also has a light coconut flavor that pairs nicely with many recipes, but there is a distinct taste, so if you don’t like coconut, it is not the flour for you.
Coconut flour also works differently from rice flour as it has a higher capacity for water absorption, holding almost 3 to 4 times the amount of water that rice flour does. This means you will need to adjust the liquid ingredients in your recipe when substituting.
Best High-Fiber Substitute for White Rice Flour: Coconut Flour
Coconut flour packs a fibrous punch! It contains 10 grams of fiber per ¼ cup, while white rice flour has practically zero, as the fibrous part of the rice has been removed in the processing. This is likely why coconut flour has such a high liquid absorbency!
When using coconut flour, try to find recipes designed with it in mind, as it works differently from rice flour. Substituting 1:1 is not possible without making changes to your recipe, so it’s always best to work with recipes that have been tried and tested with coconut as the primary flour.
Best Gluten-Free Alternative to White Rice Flour: Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
Gluten-free all-purpose flour is the simplest gluten-free swap for white rice flour. A lot of the time, gluten-free all-purpose contains a high percentage of rice flour anyway, though it does vary by brand. Simply swap the amount of rice flour called for in your recipe with the same amount of gluten-free all-purpose.
Best Lower Calorie Substitute for White Rice Flour: Oat Flour
Oat flour is lower in calories than white rice flour. It contains 120 calories per ¼, whereas white rice flour has 150 calories. Oat flour also contains more fiber and protein than white rice flour. To swap oat flour for white rice flour, simply replace the amount of white rice flour called for in the recipe with an equal amount of oat flour.
Oat flour does absorb a bit more liquid, though, so keep that in mind when substituting. You may have to add a little more moisture!
Best High Protein Substitute for White Rice Flour: Oat Flour
Oat flour has 4 grams of fiber to rice flour’s 3 grams of fiber when measured per ¼ cup. It is not much more, but it adds up over time if you bake a lot! Oat flour is also low GI, whereas white rice flour is not, so if you are looking for a higher protein alternative flour that won’t spike your blood sugar, give oat flour a try!
Best Keto/Paleo/Whole30 Substitute for White Rice Flour: Almond Flour
White rice flour is absolutely not keto, paleo or Whole30. It is high in carbohydrates, high GI, and has been highly refined. Almond flour is probably the best substitute for these diets, though you could use coconut flour too.
Almond flour is easy to work with, and you can swap the rice flour 1:1, but you may have to reduce the fat ingredients in your bake, so it isn’t greasy and add some extra binding ingredients. If that sounds like too much work, then simply search for almond flour recipes, there are a ton!
Usually, yes, though it will depend on the brand. If it is brown rice flour, it will usually say brown rice flour or whole grain rice flour instead of just rice flour.
Rice flour is used to make mochi, but it is a slightly different one called sweet white rice flour, or glutinous rice flour, which is more gelatinous and made with short-grain rice.
As a thickening agent, yes, you can, but you will need to double the amount of rice flour as cornstarch for it to thicken effectively. As a flour batter, I love white rice flour and prefer it over cornstarch to get that crisp on the outside of pan-fried fish.