Wondering which type of flour is the best for your recipes? Well, wonder no more because today we’re settling the ultimate flour showdown: oat flour vs corn flour.
These two gluten-free flours are popular for different reasons (which I’ll get into), but which one should you choose? Whether you’re someone who loves to bake gluten-free or just wants to try something new, I’ve got you covered.
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Comparing oat flour vs corn flour
|Oat flour||Corn flour||All-purpose flour|
|Common Allergens||None||None||Wheat, gluten|
|Pantry shelf life (unopened/sealed)||2 months||1 year||6-8 months|
|Best for||Pancakes, muffins, cookies, fruit crumbles and crisps||Cornbread, biscuits, fritters, spongecake, and pancakes||Non-yeast recipes, cookies, biscuits, and some breads|
As you can see, neither oat flour nor corn flour can be exactly substituted for all-purpose flour; while you need about 1.3 cups of oat flour per cup of all-purpose, the substitution ratio for corn flour is more like 1:2 (so you need about half as much as all-purpose).
Both oat flour and corn flour are hypoallergenic – they don’t contain any of the most common allergens. As you can see, oat flour is highly liquid absorbent, which likely means you’ll need more liquid in your baking recipes so your bake doesn’t get too dry.
Differences between oat flour and corn flour
These two whole-grain flours have quite a few differences to consider. First off, oat flour is made from ground oats, while corn flour is made from ground corn. That’s a pretty big difference, right? Funny enough, corn is technically considered a fruit!
But it’s not just about the source – there are other factors to consider too. For example, oat flour has a finer texture than corn flour, which can give your baked goods a softer, more delicate crumb. On the other hand, corn flour has a coarser texture and can be more gritty.
Then there’s the flavor. Oat flour has a mild, slightly sweet taste that can add a subtle nuttiness to your baked goods. (I find this is enhanced if you make your own oat flour.) Corn flour, on the other hand, has a more distinct, corn-like flavor that can be a good match for certain recipes like cornbread and other savory dishes.
There’s also baking, nutritional facts, and storage differences. Let’s start with baking!
Baking with oat flour vs corn flour
As I mentioned, with oat flour, you can expect a softer, more delicate crumb in your baked goods. It’s great for things like cakes, cookies, and muffins.
On the other hand, corn flour has a coarser texture and can give your baked goods a more rustic feel. It’s perfect for things like cornbread and tortillas. Plus, it has a distinct, corn-like flavor that can add an extra layer of yumminess to your baked goods.
One thing to keep in mind when baking with either flour is that they can be a bit trickier to work with than traditional wheat flour. They don’t have gluten, which means they can’t bind together as well, so you may need to experiment with adding extra binders, such as eggs, to the right consistency.
Ingredients in oat flour vs corn flour
The ingredients in these two flours are pretty straightforward – oat flour is made from whole grain oats, and corn flour (masa harina) is made from whole grain corn. It’s as simple as that!
Important note: cornmeal is not the same as corn flour! Cornmeal is made from coarser grounds of corn and is commonly used to make cornbread and to keep pizza dough from sticking to the pan.
Oat flour and corn flour nutritional facts
|Per 1/4 cup serving||Oat flour||Corn flour||All-purpose flour|
|Glycemic index score||44||70||85|
Corn flour also has a high glycemic index, closer to that of all-purpose flour, so it’s much more likely to cause spikes in blood sugar compared to oat flour!
Oat flour vs corn flour storage
Both oat flour and corn flour can be stored in similar ways – in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Oat flour typically has a shorter shelf life than corn flour because it tends to go stale faster. It will stay fresh for around 2 months, whereas corn flour can last a year!
While you don’t necessarily need to keep oat flour or corn flour really cold, if you want to keep your flour fresh for as long as possible, it’s a good idea to store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Oat flour vs corn flour: The ultimate verdict
Overall, both oat flour and corn flour are great alternatives to wheat flour if you’re looking for a gluten-free option. It just depends on what you’re making and what you’re in the mood for!
Most days, I prefer oat flour because it’s silky smooth and somewhat more versatile for baking. Plus, I’m not always craving the corn flavor of corn flour in my recipes. Of course, if you’re in the mood for cornbread or corn tortillas, corn flour is best!
Yes, in some cases, you may be able to use oat flour as a substitute for corn flour, particularly in recipes that call for a small amount of flour as a thickener. But I wouldn’t recommend it for baking, as this will probably change the final texture and flavor quite a bit.
The best substitute for corn flour depends on the recipe and what you’re trying to achieve. Some alternatives to corn flour include rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, or wheat flour if you’re not avoiding gluten.
While oat flour is a healthy alternative to traditional wheat flour, it’s not necessarily the healthiest flour overall. Other flours, such as almond flour, coconut flour, and chickpea flour, also have their own unique health benefits and can be used in a variety of recipes.