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Homemade Gluten Free Flour Blend

| | byKat |4 Comments

This is my favourite, go-to gluten free flour blend, and you can use it in everything from cakes and cookies to brownies and all sorts of pastry. It successfully mimics commercial gluten free flour mixes and it always gives the most delicious results. You only need three ingredients to make it, but I’ve also included lots of substitution options so you can tweak it to your own unique requirements.

Homemade gluten free flour blend in a glass jar with a wooden scoop.

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is about what kind of gluten free flour blend I use in my gluten free baking. And while I often use store-bought gluten free flour mixes available in the UK (and I always make sure to specify which blend I used in the recipe), I also frequently mix my own from the individual gluten free flours.

While you can buy gluten free flour blends in many grocery stores nowadays, they might not be available in your area or your country. Maybe, you’re not happy with the selection of the blends available – be that because of the ingredients used or because they don’t give the best results when used in gluten free bakes.

Regardless of the reason, sometimes it’s just easier and better to mix your own gluten free flour blend. And, thankfully, it’s incredibly simple and straightforward.

Overhead view of the gluten free flour blend in a glass jar with a wooden scoop.

Today, I’m sharing my favourite, go-to gluten free flour blend that I use in everything from cakes and cookies to pastry and even in my gluten free flour tortillas! This is the blend I already recommend in most of my gluten free recipes, but it’s such a central topic in gluten free baking that it deserves a post all of its own.

It took quite a bit of experimentation and several rounds of recipe testing to get this gluten free flour mix just right – and it’s been tested over and over (and over) again, so you can be 100% confident that it works perfectly.

The great thing about this gluten free flour blend is that it successfully mimics commercial gluten free flour mixes that you might buy in the store. It gives very consistent results across batches and, perhaps most importantly, it’s a blend that can be used in a wide variety of different gluten free bakes – so that you can basically use it whenever a recipe lists “gluten free flour blend” in the ingredients list.

So, regardless of whether you want to make a soft and fluffy gluten free sponge cake, gooey gluten free cookies, a super flaky gluten free pie crust, or delicate choux buns or eclairs: you can confidently use this gluten free flour blend and know that you’ll get the perfect result – every time.

By the way, this is the first post in my new Gluten Free Baking Basics series, where I’ll walk you through EVERYTHING you need to know about gluten free baking. I hope that, by the end, it will help you become a more confident and successful gluten free baker. So, let’s get going!

Scooping homemade gluten free flour blend into a glass jar.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this gluten free flour blend – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

The gluten free flour blend ingredients

This simple gluten free flour blend comprises three gluten free flours:

  • White rice flour. It’s very important that the rice flour is finely ground (or finely milled) – it should have the fine texture of flour, not the coarse texture of polenta.
  • Potato starch. Note that this is different from potato flour, so be sure to check the packaging!
  • Corn flour (US) = maize flour (UK). Here, there’s a rather annoying difference in terminology depending on where in the world you are. What we call “maize flour” in the UK is known as “corn flour” in the US – it’s finely ground and light yellow in colour, and this is what you should use in this blend. Note that this is different from “cornstarch” in the US (known as “cornflour” in the UK), which is a very fine white powder, chalky in appearance.

The three ingredients of homemade gluten free flour blend.

How do you make your own homemade gluten free flour blend?

All you have to do is thoroughly whisk the three gluten free flours together (in the proportions listed in the recipe below), transfer them into an airtight container and that’s it.

Yes, making your own gluten free flour blend is really *that* easy.

Whisking the gluten free flour blend ingredients together.

Substituting “regular” wheat all purpose flour with gluten free flour blend: it’s not a 1:1 substitution!

Many would assume that you can 1:1 substitute a gluten free flour blend into a recipe developed with wheat all-purpose flour. But that’s not the case! (No, not even if you use a “1-to-1” gluten free flour blend that promises miracles and whatnot.)

You see, when it comes to comparing gluten free flours and blends to the “regular” wheat all-purpose flour, there are two main differences:

  1. Firstly, the rather obvious one: the gluten free flours and blends have no gluten. That means that they’re lacking the important binder that, in wheat baking, prevents your bakes from being too crumbly and gives bread its characteristic chewy, elastic crumb. To prevent your gluten free bakes from being too crumbly, you can add a separate binder – usually, that’s xanthan gum or psyllium husk (we’ll talk about them in more detail soon).
  2. Secondly: gluten free flours and blends have a higher water absorption capacity – in simple terms, this just means that they tend to absorb more water and moisture that wheat all-purpose flour. That means that on average, you need a larger quantity of wet ingredients (especially water, milk or similar) relative to the gluten free flour or blend to prevent your gluten free bakes from being too dry.

In practice, this means that when you’re trying to adapt a “regular” recipe made with wheat all-purpose flour to gluten free, you should decrease the amount of gluten free flour blend by about 10%. So, for example, if the initial recipe uses 100g of wheat all-purpose flour, you’ll need to use only 90g of gluten free flour when you’re adapting the recipe (as 10% of 100g is 10g and 100–10=90). This is especially true when making cakes, cupcakes, muffins and brownies.

Also, very generally, when making things like cakes, cookies, brownies, cupcakes and muffins, you’ll need to add about ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum per every 120g of gluten free flour blend. I go into more detail about the function and importance of xanthan gum in the Xanthan Gum 101 post.

Why doesn’t this gluten free flour blend contain xanthan gum?

Speaking of xanthan gum, you’ll notice that I don’t add it directly into my gluten free flour mix. Instead, I always add it separately when making a recipe.

That’s because different gluten free bakes require different amounts of elasticity – for example, pastry typically requires more elasticity (and therefore more xanthan gum) than a soft and tender cake.

Adding xanthan gum separately allows you to fine-tune its amount and to tailor it to the specific requirements of the recipe that you’re making, and that ultimately results in much more delicious bakes.

For more information about xanthan gum (from how it’s made and its role in gluten free baking, to my rough guide about how much you need to use), check out the Xanthan Gum 101 post!

Why is it important that all the gluten free flours are very finely ground?

You’ll notice above that I’ve emphasised that it’s very important that your flours (and especially the white rice flour) are finely ground or milled.

A coarse flour texture shouldn’t be a problem with potato starch and corn flour (or maize flour in the UK), but rice is fairly difficult to grind, so some brands of both white and brown rice flour can be on the coarser side – closer to polenta or grits in texture, when you want them to be very fine, like “regular” flour.

A coarse flour texture can cause problems in your gluten free baking. Unlike finely ground flour, coarse flour comprises larger particles which (due to their smaller total surface area per unit weight) absorb less water.

This is especially obvious in recipes where you need to be able to handle a dough (like bread or cookie dough) – if your gluten free flour or blend are on the coarser side, they will absorb less water and you’ll be left with a much stickier and more difficult to handle dough.

So, when choosing your flours, make sure that they have a very fine texture.

Homemade gluten free flour blend in a brass scoop.

Possible gluten free flour substitutions

Now, you might want to tweak this gluten free flour blend recipe slightly – for example, if you can’t find one of the flours in the store, or if you have additional food intolerances (like a corn allergy or a nightshade intolerance).

Here are some possible gluten free flour substitutions (all of these substitutions should be made by weight, not by volume):

  • Instead of potato starch, you can use arrowroot starch, corn starch (cornflour in the UK), or tapioca starch.
  • Instead of corn flour (maize flour in the UK), you can use buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, or white teff flour.
  • White rice flour: there is no reliable substitute for it within this specific gluten free flour blend formulation. If you don’t want to use a rice-based gluten free flour blend, you’ll need to adjust the ratios of the individual flours used – I’ve actually developed a rice-, corn- and nightshade-free gluten free flour blend that’s also lower in starches and you can find it in my gluten free cookbook, Baked to Perfection!

Note that using buckwheat, sorghum or teff flour instead of corn flour (maize flour) will change the flavour profile of your blend and might also affect the colour of your bakes. This is especially true for buckwheat flour – depending on the brand you’re using, buckwheat flour can sometimes give your bakes quite a dark brown colour.

What can you make with this gluten free flour mix?

The great thing about this gluten free flour blend is that it can be used a a very wide variety of gluten free bakes, from cakes, cupcakes and muffins, to brownies, cookies and all sorts of pastry. So long as the recipe lists “gluten free flour blend” among the ingredients, you can use this flour mix without any problems.

So, you can use it in most of the gluten free recipes on this blog, the one exception being the bread recipes (like my Ultimate Gluten Free Bread, Gluten Free Seeded Loaf and Gluten Free Poppy Seed Rolls), which list the individual flours rather than a blend. With gluten free bread, a very specific flour profile is needed and that varies depending on what type of bread you want to make – so it’s best to always work with the individual gluten free flours in those instances.

With this exception out of the way, here are some of my favourite gluten free recipes where you can use this gluten free flour blend:

How to measure gluten free flour correctly: use a scale!

Now, I know that many prefer to use volume measures (cups and tablespoons) when baking but I’m here to try to convince you to pretty please use a digital food scale if you possibly can.

The simple truth of the matter is that using a scale is infinitely more precise and yields far better, more consistent results than relying on rather imprecise volume measurements.

Firstly, it’s very easy to compact the gluten free flour blend too much in the measuring cup. This means that you can very easily add too much flour to a recipe, which can lead to dry, crumbly bakes.

What’s more, gluten free flours can vary widely in density depending on the type and brand of flour you use. For example, whereas on average 1 cup of corn flour (maize flour in the UK) weighs 125g, 1 cup of white teff flour weighs 155g. Similarly, 1 cup of the same type of gluten free flour can weigh different amounts depending on the brand, as one brand might grind the flour more finely than another.

This means that if you change the type or brand of gluten free flours in your homemade blend, that can change its density – that is, it can change its weight per cup. And if it’s a difference of 20 or 30 grams per cup, that can have a HUGE effect on your bakes, one that you really want to avoid.

And if all of that doesn’t convince you: using a scale also means less clean up! (And that’s always a big bonus.)

If, after all of this, you still want to use volume measures, at least make sure to measure your gluten free flour blend correctly. Don’t scoop the blend with your measuring cup directly. Instead, fluff it up in its container and then use a spoon to transfer the blend into the measuring cup. Then, level it off with the straight edge of a knife. This will give the most reliable results – within the realm of volume measurements, of course.

Note that for this specific recipe (without any substitutions), 1 cup of the gluten-free flour blend measures about 150g. As mentioned above, this might vary depending on the brand of the gluten free flours you use.

And that covers everything you need to know to make your own, homemade gluten free flour blend and to use it successfully in your gluten free creations.

Hope you’ll love it!

Happy baking!

Signature of the author, Kat.

Homemade gluten free flour blend in a glass jar with a wooden scoop next to it.

If you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Homemade Gluten Free Flour Blend

This is my favourite, go-to gluten free flour blend, and you can use it in everything from cakes and cookies to brownies and all sorts of pastry. It successfully mimics commercial gluten free flour mixes and it always gives the most delicious results. You only need three ingredients to make it, but I’ve also included lots of substitution options so you can tweak it to your own unique requirements.
Note that for this specific recipe (without any substitutions), 1 cup of the gluten free flour blend measures 150g.
Print Rate
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 1 kg (about 6 ⅔ cups)

Ingredients

  • 500 g (2 ¾ cups + 2 tbsp) white rice flour (make sure that it's finely ground)
  • 300 g (1 ¾ cups + 1 tbsp) potato starch (note that this is different from potato flour)
  • 200 g (1 ⅓ cups) corn flour (US)/maize flour (UK)

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, throughly whisk together all the ingredients until well combined.
  • Transfer the gluten free flour blend into an airtight container.
  • Shake the container before using in case any of the gluten free flours have settled unevenly.
  • Use as directed in the recipe.
    Tip 1: For this specific recipe (without any substitutions), 1 cup of the gluten free flour blend measures about 150g.
    Tip 2: You can use this gluten free flour blend in any recipes that list "gluten free flour blend" in their ingredients list. This includes most gluten free recipes on this blog, with the exception of the bread recipes. There, you need to use individual gluten free flours, as instructed in the recipe.
  • Storage: The gluten free flour blend keeps well in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for several months (no need to keep it in the fridge).

Notes

POSSIBLE SUBSTITUTIONS

If you want to tweak this gluten free flour blend recipe slightly – for example, if you can’t find one of the flours in the store, or if you have additional food intolerances (like a corn allergy or a nightshade intolerance) – here are some possible gluten free flour substitutions (all of these substitutions should be made by weight, not by volume):
  • Instead of potato starch, you can use arrowroot starch, corn starch (cornflour in the UK), or tapioca starch.
  • Instead of corn flour (maize flour in the UK), you can use buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, or white teff flour.
  • White rice flour: there is no reliable substitute for it within this specific gluten free flour blend formulation. If you don’t want to use a rice-based gluten free flour blend, you’ll need to adjust the ratios of the individual flours used – I’ve actually developed a rice-, corn- and nightshade-free gluten free flour blend that’s also lower in starches and you can find it in my gluten free cookbook, Baked to Perfection!
Tried this recipe?Mention @theloopywhisk or tag #theloopywhisk!

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4 thoughts on “Homemade Gluten Free Flour Blend”

  1. I thought I had asked you this but I don’t see it here. I bought your book and used the rice free blend on your pumpkin bread recipe. Perfect! Thank you. My question is if that blend works in crispier things, like pie crusts or cookies? I would like to mix up a bunch and use it on everything, if so. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Alene! The rice-free blend (DIY blend 2 in the book) works on all my recipes – on the blog and in my book – that list “gluten-free flour blend” as part of their ingredients list. That includes cakes, cookies, pie crust, pastry (like shortcrust and rough puff), brownies, muffins, and even my GF flour tortillas! 🙂 The only exception are the GF bread recipes, which don’t use a blend but rather require you to measure out the individual GF flours. That’s because GF bread requires a very specific flour profile that depends on the type of bread you’re making.

      Reply
  2. Hi! I bought your cookbook so I can A. get your non rice blend and B read everything you know about gluten free baking. I read that you have tested your recipes with all 4 blends. Does the non rice blend, tapioca starch, buckwheat, etc work with all your recipes? If so, I will be eternally grateful to you! I am probably going to try it today, and you will hear me screaming for joy (from Florida, U.S. to you). On another note, I bought light buckwheat flour as I read that it bakes up in a lighter shade. I am going to try it in things that need a lighter color, like white cake. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Alene! Hope you’re enjoying my book! The non-rice blend (DIY blend 2) works with all my recipes (both in the book and on the blog) where “gluten-free flour blend” is listed on the ingredients list – so basically all my GF recipes apart from bread, where you need to use the individual GF flours. 🙂 Light buckwheat flour is a GREAT idea, as some buckwheat flour brands can give bakes a rather dark colour, which isn’t the best for bakes like vanilla cake and similar.

      Reply